Global automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen Group, and regional conglomerate, Stallion Group, have signed an agreement to establish a vehicle assembly plant in Nigeria.
This will mark a historic return of the German carmaker after more than 20 years of their departure following the collapse of their joint venture with the federal government leading the closure of their manufacturing facility in Lagos and the subsequent sale of government shares to the Stallion Group.
In line with the new auto policy announced by the federal government in October 2013, the collaboration between the Volkswagen Group and Stallion will result in local assembly of prime Volkswagen brands in Nigeria.
The Volkswagen Group, with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. The Group operates 107 production plants in 19 European countries and a further eight countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. The Volkswagen Group sells its vehicles in 153 countries.
Stallion Group is already the exclusive distributor for several brands of the Volkswagen Group, including Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, and Porsche.
Stallion Group is a multinational conglomerate with a 45-year history operating in Nigeria and in 18 countries and is engaged in diversified industries.
Commenting on the partnership, Stallion’s chairman Sunil Vaswani 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”.
He reaffirmed his commitment to working with the Nigerian government to create jobs and attract foreign investment as the sure means of growing the economy.
For his part, the executive director of Sales, CIS, Middle East and Africa at Volkswagen, Dr. Jan Utermarck, announced that “Volkswagen is 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.”
With this development, Volkswagen will be returning to Nigeria for assembly operations after their initial joint venture with the federal government two decades back that was eventually privatized.
“The timing seems perfect, considering the FG’s focused efforts to revive the automobile eco-system in the country through the new policy,” said an analyst at the Stallion Group.
Stallion will assemble the Jetta, Volkswagen CC and Amarok models during the initial phase, followed by the Passat, Tiguan and other models in subsequent phases.