Renault-Nissan is planning to produce vehicles in Nigeria with a local partner, starting with the Nissan Patrol sports utility vehicle next spring. Production of Renault vehicles will then follow. Renault-Nissan has inked a preliminary agreement with the Stallion Group that entails the West African conglomerate increasing capacity at its existing plant in Lagos, Nigeria, the alliance partners said in a statement.
Stallion currently builds commercial vehicles at the Lagos site. Its annual capacity would be hiked to 45,000 units to assemble a range of cars, light duty trucks, pickups and vans, Renault-Nissan said. Renault-Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn remarked that the Japanese carmaker is preparing to make Nigeria a "significant manufacturing hub in Africa."
He said that as the first-mover in Nigeria, Renault-Nissan is positioned for the long-term growth of local market and across Africa. The carmakers' move comes as the Nigerian government is expected to green light a new policy designed to encourage development of the country's auto industry, the alliance partners said.
Nissan is targeting to double annual sales in the continent by 2016 from 110,000 units in 2012, with plans to bring in the Datsun brand in South Africa before the end of 2014.