Coscharis Motors in conjunction with JiangSu Yoylong Automobile of China agreed to set up an assembly plant with capacity of producing 14,000 vehicles annually. The Chinese firm will serve as the Original Equipment Manufacturer and the technical partner for the project.
This development is different from its ongoing construction which is nearing completing of a Ford Assembly plant at Ajah, Lagos which will assemble Ford Ranger, and Explorer vehicles in Nigeria.
The Group Managing Director, Coscharis, Mr. Josiah Samuel said Coscharis had commenced negotiations for the purchase of 14 hectares of land where the assembly plant would be sited. Details of the factory design, which showed that the plant would be churning out 18 units of buses per day, amounting to 4,680 units yearly; and 37 units of passenger cars, pickup and multi-purpose vehicles per day, which would add up to about 9,620 units annually.
Mr. Samuel said Coscharis had also concluded an agreement with another Chinese auto firm, DongFeng Design Institute Company Limited, for the design and management of the project including its general oversight.
The Coscharis boss was optimistic about the success of the project as he noted that Nigeria with 54 per cent of her 170 million people in the working class group, “the demand for automobile, specifically cars and buses, is on the increase.”
He lamented that despite being the largest auto market in Africa, Nigeria currently relied heavily on imported vehicles to meet its demand. For instance, Samuel recalled, “A total of about 400,000 vehicles (100,000 new and 300,000 used) were imported in 2012. As the seventh most populous economy in the world, with a growing middle class of over 38 million and a potential vehicle market of one million vehicles annually, the Nigerian automotive industry, with its current assembly of only commercial vehicles, will definitely not be able to handle the needs of Nigerians