“Assembling Ford Ranger trucks in Africa’s largest economy is an important milestone in our Middle East and Africa growth plan,” Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East and Africa, said on Tuesday.
Ranger assembly will begin in Ikeja, in the Lagos State, about 750km south-west of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Ford is partnering with Ford dealer group Coscharis Motors Limited on the project. Benintende added: “With Coscharis we have the right partner and with the Ford Ranger we have the right product to deliver a world class truck that Nigerian customers want and value.”
Ford will assemble the vehicles at a semi-knockdown level, using body parts and components imported from South Africa. The company expects the new assembly plant in Ikeja to create approximately 180 jobs directly and indirectly. It will have the capacity to assemble up to 5,000 units a year. Vehicles to be assembled at Ikeja are destined for sale in Nigeria only.
“Nigeria is a priority market for us in sub-Saharan Africa and today’s announcement will allow us to better serve our customers, both from a retail point of view, and in terms of vehicle and parts availability,” said Jeff Nemeth, president and chief executive of Ford Motor Company, sub-Saharan Africa.
“We are committed to supporting Nigeria’s developing automotive industry and economy together with Coscharis, and are looking forward to being active in the community. New assembly operations, even on a smaller scale like this one, have very positive ripple effects in the local economy and workforce.” he added.
Dr Cosmas Maduka, president of Coscharis Motors, said: “This partnership will boost Nigeria’s much needed march towards industrialisation and create an important step in the development of the automotive industry.”