“Together with our local partner, Nissan is preparing to make Nigeria a significant manufacturing hub in Africa,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says in a statement.
Renault-Nissan expects final approval of the memorandum of understanding with Stallion by Nigeria’s federal government of the new Automobile Industrial Policy, which is designed to promote the development of the country’s auto industry.
The French-Japanese automaker and the West African conglomerate, already Nissan’s exclusive distributor in Nigeria, say they will launch production of Nissan’s Patrol SUV in Nigeria in spring 2014.
That model, along with still-to-be-named cars, light-duty trucks, pickups and vans, will be assembled at Stallion’s existing plant in Lagos, VON Automobile, where it builds commercial vehicles.
Renault-Nissan says capacity at the Lagos plant will be expanded by 45,000 units annually, but does not state the plant’s current capacity.
It is inferred in the statement released this morning that models planned for the plant are Nissans, as the alliance partners say the Lagos plant’s capacity will be available to Renault “according to future business needs.”
Nissan already produces vehicles in three nations on the African continent, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. The South African operation assembles Nissan’s Livina and Grand Livina multipurpose vehicles, Tiida subcompact car and NP300 Hardbody compact pickup, as well as the Renault Sandero subcompact hatchback.