A global conglomerate, Kewalram Chanrai Group, is to set up a 10 billion naira (US$62 million) automotive assembly plant to produce the Foton range of vehicles in Nigeria, the local media reported Monday.
The report quoted the Executive Director of the Group, Mr. Raju Sawlani, as saying it had already acquired 25 acres of land in Ikorodu, on the outskirts of the commercial city of Lagos, for the automotive plant.
The company said it is in the process of finalising the designs, importation of equipment and other necessary tools required for effective take-off.
Mr. Sawlani said over 10 billion naira would be invested in the project with an initial capacity of 15,000 units annually, which can be increased as required.
He said the Group’s partnership with Foton would ensure high quality and affordable vehicles for Nigerians, while the plant would also generate employments and transform the nation’s industrial landscape, leading to an increase in skills development.
The plant will assemble the full range of commercial and passenger vehicles as offered by the Group, including high-quality trucks, buses, vans, pick-ups, and sport utility vehicles.
Foton is the largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in China and the second largest in the world, having produced and sold more than 850,000 vehicles in 2011.
Foton vehicles are distributed in more than 40 countries including Angola, Algeria, Kenya, South Africa and Russia.
PANA reports that the move is in response to the new automotive policy introduced by the Nigerian government last year, with the main objective of encouraging local automobile assembly, discouraging imports and increasing employment for Nigerians.