German auto manufacturer Volkswagen and Nigerian company Stallion Group have signed an agreement to establish a vehicle assembly plant in Nigeria
According to officials in both companies, Volkswagen returns to Nigeria after 20 years. Based on the African nation’s new auto policy, prime Volkswagen models would be locally assembled.
Stallion Group, which has been operating in Nigeria for 45 years, has agreed to assemble models such as Jetta, Volkswagen CC and Amarok in the first stage, and Passat and Tiguan in the later phases, confirmed officials.
Sunil Vaswani, chairman of Stallion Group, said, “This is a proud moment for Stallion in partnering with a world-leading global brand like Volkswagen. Stallion is fully committed to achieving its objectives in establishing assembly operations in Nigeria, and expanding into other aspects of the automotive industry value chain.”
The private company is the exclusive distributor of other Volkswagen brands such as Audi, Skoda and Porsche, in Nigeria.
Jan Utermarck, executive director of sales for Volkswagen in CIS, Middle East and Africa, said, “We are on a constant global search for market and sales potential. Nigeria is the largest automotive market in the sub-Saharan region; hence, we appreciate the fact that we have found a professional partner in Stallion to launch a local vehicle assembly in Lagos starting in 2015.”
The deal has come at the right time, as the Nigerian government is aiming to revive the nation’s automobile sector through its new policy, said Stallion officials.