The American automaker Ford Motor Company announced in a November 17 press release that the first assembled vehicle will leave its factory in Ikeja, near the Nigerian economic capital Lagos.
“The plant will initially produce 10 Ford Ranger pickups per day for the Nigerian market, creating about 180 direct and indirect jobs,” said Ford director for Sub-Saharan Africa Jeff Nemeth.
Launched as part of a partnership with Coscharis Motors, the local distributor of the Ford brand, the new plant is the American group’s second location in Africa. Ford already has plants in South Africa, where it produces about 85,000 vehicles per year, which are marketed in 24 African countries.
The new Ikeja plant will assemble the Ford Ranger pickups using components imported from its South African factories. It will have a capacity of 5,000 vehicles per year. Ford currently sells around 4,000 new vehicles a year in Nigeria, of which around 60% are Ford Ranger pickups.
The Nigerian government’s imposition of a new 35% tax on new imported vehicles has prompted automakers to scramble at the Ministry of Industry’s gate to open assembly plants. Several manufacturers, including French Peugeot, German Volkswagen, South Korean Kia Motors, Japanese Honda, have also announced in recent months their intention to assemble vehicles in Nigeria.