A subsidiary of the Stallion Group, Stallion Nissan Motors Nigeria (NMN), has been conferred with the 2015 Global Sales Award by Nissan Motor Corporation, Japan, in recognition of its sales contribution and customer service performance in 2014.
During a brief ceremony to present the award to Stallion NMN, Nissan’s managing director for South Africa operations, Mr Mike Whitefield, said that the award was a very important one recognising the significant growth that Stallion NMN has brought to the Nissan Motor Corporation in reaching the automaker’s global target of 8 per cent global market share.
Stallion Nissan Motors Nigeria Limited started operations in April 2013, achieving the 4 per cent Nigerian automobile market share by the end of its financial year, March 2014 and by March 2015, the Nissan distributor attained a double-digit 10 per cent market share. With its semi-knocked down (SKD) plant in Lagos, where it now assemble a number of Nissan models locally, the company targets 15 per cent market share by the end of its 2015 financial in March 2016.
Whitfield said that this is a very significant progression which has enabled Stallion NMN’s impact to be felt in the global market as it concerns the growth of the Nissan brand.
“Nissan will continue to move forward in Nigeria which is the largest economy in Africa. Nigeria is one of the major emerging markets of the world and Stallion NMN has proven to be an excellent partnership. Within this short time, it received the award for best showroom in West Africa and the fastest growing automobile brand in Nigeria,” he said.
Commending the Nigerian government for the commitment to the National Automotive Policy, Whitfield, who is also the president, Nissan Africa, said that the auto policy remained the catalyst for a boost in automobile manufacturing in the country to make Nigeria an automobile hub for African countries.
“I believe the future is very bright. Local distributors and key importers should work together to see that the policy is successful. It is the right path to follow in order to make Nigeria take its place as an important automotive hub in Africa,” Whitfield said.
In his response, the managing director of Stallion NMN, Mr Parvir Singh, said that the confernment of the award in just two and a half years of operations in Nigeria was indeed a significant achievement for Nissan and one of its biggest recognition.
He thanked his workforce saying, “I know we have been put through a lot of pressure to achieve this but nothing good comes easy. Stallion Nissan Motors as part of the Stallion conglomerate in West Africa started in 2013. Meanwhile the lead distributor of Toyota and JAC Motors in Nigeria, Elizade Motors Limited, plans to begin the assemblage of the Japanese and Chinese brands respectively at its Ikotun Plant in Lagos by the second quarter of next year. Elizade, known for its leadership in Toyota distribution in Nigeria, in 2013 got the distributorship right for one of China’s major automakers, JAC Motors, a brand it is currently positioning for long term market. The managing director for the JAC arm, Mr Demola Adeojo, who disclosed the company’s plan at a media briefing recently, said that having been a distributor of Toyota for over 40 years, Elizade is prepared to position the JAC brand in its rightful position in the Nigerian market.
He said that the Ikotun plant is a multi-brand facility with a capacity to produce 10,000 units of vehicles per year, adding that works on the plant has been completed, with production commencing by the second or third quarter of next year. Speaking on the JAC brand, Adeojo said, “As the Nigerian market expanded we saw that the landscape changed with a lot Nigerians buying used vehicle because of cost. So we made up our mind to introduce a vehicle with considerable less price and which we have confidence in. It is not simply because they offered us a cheaper vehicle, but it meets our minimum expecation. We visited China to study auto manufacturing and the tenets guiding their business philosophy.
“Two things happened that made me see JAC a potential “Toyota” of 40 years ago. One, they decided that they will not manufacture other vehicles than their original brand. Most Chinese auto companies have manufacturing partnership with global brands – Toyota, BMW, VW – which will produce the vehicles on their behalf. Two, they have their own research and design centre from day one – the only Chinese company that has a research centre in Japan and Europe. They put into their own DNA how to make a good car. So I belive that their business culture and philosophy is in line with what we expect and a vehicle we want to sell.”
Adeojo said that the implementation of the auto policy with 70 per cent tariff affected Elizade’s plan to introduce the JAC cars at that time.
“We have been watching the implementation of the auto policy. As it is implemented today, it does not allow good transition. That can have an effect on the whole industry,” he said.
The JAC boss said that having been satisfied with the brand, the company began brand acceptability strategies by selecting various organisations to test the vehicles for three months to gauge their performance.
“One car was tested by a number of companies moving from a current kilometre to the next thousands of kilometres. At Elizade, profit is not the focus. For any product for Nigeria, one must think long term. Our position with the JAC is long term positioning that Nigerians after many years can still say that the product is good. This is not about money but about a product that would have a long term value, fit for Nigerian use and affordable so that Nigerians can afford new vehicles, enjoy quality after sale service and comfort. This shows our love for Nigerian customers,” he said.
JAC Motors is China’s 9th manufacturer, building 476,696 vehicles in 2015, after moving up from its 14th position in 2014 in which it produced 464,700. The company has maintained its number one position as an exporter of commercial vehicles in China for 40 consecutive years and ranks 4th among the country’s 38 manufacturers with 199,141 units of mainly light trucks in 2015. It has presence in 28 African markets with full brands, running 19 manufacturing plants globally.
The regional manager for light commercial vehicle division, JAC International, Mr Lyrida Lu, said that the company, being among the top five truck manufacturers in the country and with presence in 130 countries in the global market, has maintained a strong position in global market, especially in light duty truck market.
Posted by: ©thebrandradio 2015.