• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Coscharis to set up $55m local auto assembly plant

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Coscharis Motors Nigeria Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Joylong automakers of China and MG brand manufacturers to set up an assembly plant in the country within the next two years.

The move is in response to the new automotive poli¬cy introduced by the Federal Government. The policy, amongst other imperatives, aims to encourage local automobile manufacture, discourage new imports and stimulate employment generation to the citizens.

Briefing newsmen at Coscharis office on Awoyaya, Lekki, Lagos, Josi¬ah Samuel, group managing director, Coscharis Motors Limited, said the new assembly plant will assemble the Joylong range of intra and intercity commercial and passenger buses, passenger cars and pickups, including MG brands.

With the total cost of the plant put at $55 million to be sourced from a consortium of local banks, the new Chinese automobile assembly plant is expected to roll out 13,000 units annually, of vehicles, with one shift of eight hours daily. The plant hopes to increase the shift to two, with 26,000 units expected to be churned out of the plant annually when fully utilised to capacity.

Josiah Samuel told newsmen that with January 2014 and December 2015 targeted as the completion dates of the project, the assembly which will meet global industry standards will be located on 14 hectares of land located on the Lekki sprawling business district of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.

Meanwhile, as a prelude to the final commencement of the multibillion naira project, Coscharis Motors has made presentations with the National Automotive Council (NAC) and hopes to do the same with the Ministry of Trade and Investment. The company chief said that as a company that is proactive, it will fully go into the business using the completely knocked down parts (CKD) and not the conventional semi knocked down (SKD) one and two models.

In his submission, the group managing director said, “This brief but impor¬tant event is to showcase another initiative from our great organisation to create value as a key player in the automobile industry in Nigeria. I equally welcome our technical partners from China who have been with us for the past few days to tidy up and meet our other stakeholders like you.”

The idea of a CKD plan, he said, was conceived in Coscharis about three years ago, but couldn’t be realised for reasons beyond its control. With the introduction of the new automotive policy, it has become imperative to revisit it, he noted.

He stated that Coscharis has also concluded an agreement with DongFeng Design Institute Co. Ltd, a company well-known in China for its world class auto factory design and management. They will design and manage this project including general oversight, he said.

Extensive work, he dis¬closed, is already on-going on the project. The assembly plant design and layout is already in place, as the partners are in Nigeria to finalise discussion on the move to finalise the next phase of the project.

MIKE OCHONMA