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Nissan Targets 20% of Nigeria Auto Market

Says it’s Committed to Sustainable Presence in Nigeria

ROTIMI ASHER

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n spite of temporary setback due to scarcity of foreign exchange, Nissan sub-Sahara Africa in partnership with Stallion Nigeria, says it targets about 20% share of the Nigeria vehicle market.

Managing Director of Nissan South Africa, Mr Mike Whitefield disclosed this in a media chat granted to selected journalists during the five-day South Africa Festival of Motoring concluded in Johannesburg, last Sunday.

Whitefield said, ” As a Nissan brand, we would like to be around 20% of 400,000 units and not 40,000 as the current volume of new market in Nigeria.

” If you look at the vehicle market today,” he explained, ” it is difficult to justify any real focus in investment in the market that is only 40,000 or thereabout. However, our focus is a long term approach.

“Everything we are doing is because we have a long term faith.”

Whitefield who doubles as the President of National Association of Automobile Manufacturers, South Africa (NAAMSA) and Vice-President, African Association of Automobile Manufacturers (AAAM) lamented over the setback experienced in the Nigeria’s auto industry, which has  obviously been frustrating, because things haven’t moved as we would like to see due to lack of foreign currency.”

“Having done business in many developing countries,” he stressed, “we realise you don’t go into any country and expect a short term success.

“We believe from the Nissan perspective, we are moving forward as planned, but we will like to see it move much faster. However, we are still very committed to the ultimate goal to have sustainable presence in Nigeria.”

When asked what Nissan intend to do to sustain the projected 20% share of Nigeria’s market when her stronghold has lately been the high-end market as against the low end market, he revealed his organization’s intention to find solution to affordability first.

” We intend finding solution to affordability first, and you are aware of our Datsun brand even though it is still only available in the right-hand drive. Indeed, we recognize one element, that what we do need to bring to the market is affordable transport solution and surely we will, ” he explained.

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