For several decades, Nigeria was almost entirely dependent on the importation of vehicles; however, the automobile industry has gradually been able to boast of having local car assemblers, some of whom are even indigenous. There was a time (about 50 years ago) when local assembly was known with certain brands, but by the 90s it had lost the most traction.
The automotive industry in Nigeria dates back to the 1950s, with the early production of Bedford TJ trucks made by United Africa Company subsidiary Federated Motors Industries and the production by SCOA of Peugeot 404 pickup trucks.
During the oil boom of the 1970s, the federal government formed a joint venture with foreign automakers to build vehicles and provide technical assistance, creating a skill set for local industry.
Foreign brands dominated the industry in the mid-1970s and early 1980s; they simply assembled components and completely disassembled parts acquired elsewhere.
By the year 2000, foreign used automobiles dominated the country, and the rise of foreign used cars slowed the integration of the country’s seemingly domestic automobile industry.
A policy for the automobile was released in 2014 stating that licensed car dealers in Nigeria should engage in local car manufacturing and assembly to make cars more affordable and accessible to Nigerian buyers.
By the end of 2018, government inconsistencies and the higher cost of locally manufactured cars compared to other peers had had a significant influence on the industry.
Today, the narrative has changed, with new vehicle manufacturers rewriting the narrative of the automotive industry.
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Here are seven local auto company assemblers that are changing the industry narrative.
It is the first-ever all-Nigerian company to enter large-scale automotive manufacturing in Nigeria, with a capacity of 10,000 vehicles per year and 70% of parts manufactured locally. Its head office is in Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
Nord Automobile, a Lagos-based automaker, has found the solution to provide durable and affordable vehicles in Nigeria.
The Nord Tank is the company’s most popular vehicle. It is a pickup truck that has been expertly designed to suit the driving conditions in Nigeria.
The Nord Flit, Nord Max, Nord A3 and Nord A5 are among the company’s other vehicles, which range from sedans to full-size commuter buses.
Nissan launched local car manufacturing in 2014, with the Nissan Patrol SUV as its first model. The Nissan Almera and the Nissan NP300 are two vehicles that are regularly built in Lagos.
Nissan sees itself as the first automaker to comply with Nigeria’s new auto policy as Stallion Motors says it recognizes that the demand for new automobiles in Nigeria is increasing every year and that can only benefit the country and the company.
Hyundai’s KONA Electric is the first electric vehicle made in Nigeria, launched in November 2020 by Stallion Group Automobile.
Dangote Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (DPAN)
It was founded in December 1972, as a joint venture between the federal government and AP France. The company was initially PAN, a car manufacturing company based in Kaduna, started full local production of cars in Nigeria in the 1980s and was producing 90,000 cars a year at the time.
It became DPAN recently and produced popular models such as the 301, 206, 306, 307, 406 and 607.
Lanre Shittu Motors (LSM)
With the potential to manufacture 2500 vehicles per year, Auto Assembly became a household name with MAC and JAC heavy duty trucks in October 2018. LSM is a certified KIA, NISSAN and Jinbei Bus dealership.
One of the largest vehicle franchise owners, with Mercedes, Toyota, Hyundai and Higer brands since March 1984.
Hyundai launched its first locally built automobiles in 2020 through Globe Motors, the company’s largest distributor in Nigeria.
Models such as the Hyundai i10 Grand, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra and Hyundai ix35 were produced.
It was founded in 2014 and started producing Ford Rangers vehicles.
Coscharis Motors Assembly Ltd is a Coscharis Motors company which is an assembler of Ford vehicles for the Nigerian market. The Ford F-150 pickup truck was the facility’s first vehicle.
Coscharis, Nigeria’s largest distributor of BMW, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and Ford vehicles, completed its Ford assembly plant in 2018, with plans to produce 10,000 to 20,000 cars a year.