Tata Africa Services Nigeria Limited says it plans to manufacture 40 per cent of its trucks being sold in the country locally from next year.
It also hinted about establishing a production centre for vehicle components in Nigeria as part of its contribution to the development of the nation’s automotive industry.
These disclosures were made at the roll-out of the 200th Nigeria-assembled vehicle from its Lagos assembly plant, which is a joint venture between Tata Nigeria and a steel production firm, Iron Products Industries.
The development came even as the Federal Government promised to provide the needed land for the establishment of the vehicle component production centre.
The Managing Director, Iron Products Industries, Mr. Nunu Diwan, spoke on the plan by the assembly plant to begin the production of 40 per cent of Tata trucks from the Lagos factory.
“By next year, more than 40 per cent of our trucks will be locally manufactured here in Lagos,” Diwan said.
He stressed that the vision was not only to assemble vehicles, but to manufacture the Tata vehicle models being sold in the country, including pickups and fire-fighting vehicles.
The Auto Head, TML Business, Tata Nigeria, Mr. Suraj Prakash, said the company’s assembly plant in Lagos was established in 2016 following the Federal Government’s introduction of the auto policy, which gave incentives to automakers to set up vehicle plants in the country.
“It started with a pilot project of 10 vehicles in 2016 after the Nigerian government introduced the national auto policy, encouraging the establishment of local assembly plants. The whole range commenced at the assembly plant in 2017. With your continued patronage, we’re confident that we’ll soar high,” he stated.
Tata, according to him, has strong presence in Nigeria with about $10m investment.
“Our vehicles are well-assembled and cost-effective. They are durable, up to standard and made for the Nigerian terrain. We would like to have more of government’s support for the automobile policy, because importation of Tokunbo vehicles is of great disadvantage. Our vehicles are not expensive, because most of the materials are sourced locally,” he said.
The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelal Aliyu, who was represented by the Director, Industrial Infrastructure at the council, Waheed Adetoro, said the government would continue to give adequate support for automakers to produce vehicles in the country through patronage as directed by the Bureau of Public Procurement.
He said Tata had promised to start production of vehicles parts in the country, adding that the government would be willing to give the needed land for the project.