By: ROTIMI ASHER
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wenty years after shutting down, resuscitated plant of Volkswagen of Nigeria shall be inaugurated and commissioned tomorrow, Tuesday, courtesy of Stallion Group, Nigeria’s franchise dealer and representative for Volkswagen AG.
The event, which will take place at Automobile (Nig.) Ltd.(formally Volkswagen Nigeria Limited) Kilometre 16, Badagry Expressway, Volkswagen Village, Lagos is expected to be attended by delegates from Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg-Germany, Directors of Stallion Group, Director general of National Automotive Council (NAC), and the media.
The plant, Motoring World gathered, has not only been revivified but also retooled and ready for full assembly and, ultimately, manufacturing operation. After tomorrow’s inauguration, the plant, we’ve been told, will begin to roll out into the nation’s auto market VW Passat, Jetta, Amarok and CC.
Tomorrow’s event will mark history of Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen’s second return to Nigeria. In 1978, the company set up the assembly plant, Volkswagen of Nigeria Limited (VON), in Ojo, Lagos State, along with the federal
government as equity partner but later pulled out, when new car sales fell and Nigerian consumers turned to cheaper second-hand cars from Europe and the US in the 1990s, leaving the assembly plant moribund for years until the federal government sold its shares to Stallion Group under its privatisation programme a few years ago.
Although since the plant’s acquisition, Stallion has reportedly assembled buses and trucks from the facility, tomorrow’s inauguration will signal Volkswagen’s official return to Nigeria.