Tata Africa will open an assembly plant in Nigeria. Tata Africa’s Regional director for West Africa, Sudeep Ray says that this plan comes with a condition that the unit sales of the model hits one thousand per year in the country where used cars compete fiercely with brand new cars.
“Definitely for Nigeria we’re planning an assembly plant. We started operation one and half years ago and the last one year has been a learning period to understand which models will be doing well here and accordingly we will be looking at an assembly operation going forward in the next two to three years,” he told the media.
Talking about the assembly operations, Ray said that the company would need a minimum volume of sales. He added that unit sales would have to run into thousands to have an assembly. Currently, the company is identifying two models, which it can do and one of them is definitely buses. While the bus body building would be done there, the chassis would be got from India.
Ray said that Tata is mapping the whole of Nigeria and starting with the major towns that have 80 to 90 per cent sales after which services would extend to remote areas. He said the edge Tata has over other brands is “value for money”. Tata strong vehicles are suitable for even the bad road conditions and the company’s strength lies in the competitive prices of its vehicles.
“We’re marketing these products, as a Tata company, which you won’t find here. Other brands are represented by their dealers or distributors. You don’t find the principal company that has actually come, invested in the country, set up its own workshop and sundry facilities,” added Ray. He said the acceptance of vehicles in Nigeria is very good because of their sturdiness.