It started like a rumour at the beginning of this year. There were heightened speculations especially within the motoring press for the news to break, but BusinessDay can authoritatively confirm to keen industry watchers that at the time of filing this report, the Nissan brand is set for repositioning follow the brand’s fresh in the country by Stallion automobile group under the name Stallion Nissan Motors Nigeria Limited.
On hand in Nigeria few days ago to demonstrate the legitimacy attached to the new found love between Stallion Nissan Motors Nigeria Limited and the Japanese automaker was Jim Dando, general manager, Africa Regional Office, Export Sales, Nissan South Africa (Pty) Limited.
Prior to the event proper, he had told BusinessDay that the market performance of Alliance Autos Nigeria Limited (AANL) the immediate past franchisee nosedived and since their market rating fell short of expectation, Nissan had to look for a reliable country accredited dealership.
At the historic signing-on ceremony with Jim Dando from South Africa was Michael Lester, project manager, Sub-Sahara Africa, Nissan SA. Analysing the market trend so far, the company official said, the brand is targeting to grow 16 percent in 2016. In Africa alone, he revealed that the brand grew 29 percent in Ghana, 7 percent in Angola while the growth rate in Nigeria was 4 percent.
While admitting that, the Nissan has a lot of work to do in re-awakening Nigerians consciousness about the brand, he said, “We have got a lot of work to do with our brand. It is expected to grow from strength to strength. We shall present our brand to consumers in a consolidated manner and we have to more aggressive in rolling out more Nissan brand in many Nigeria cities.”
The General Manager confirmed that Nissan is embarking on new marketing offensive with seven more model injection into the market which he said will come in stages. He said recently, Nissan gauged the pulse of consumers by conducting exhaustive research which showed that though Nissan is popular brand with international pedigree, yet it disappointing to discover that not much effort is put in place to drive the brand into the minds of individual and corporate fleet buyers.
He said that Nissan has full model line-up that can challenge rivals in the Nigerian market which he identified as one of the major potential maker for automobile manufacturers given its population size and peculiar tastes and sophistication of cars that enters the borders.
Looking at the level of commitment made by Stallion, Dando gave commendation to what Stallion has put in place within the very short period and that he had strong confidence that the outlet will deeply penetrate the market in the very near future.
In November 2006, Parvir Singh, was appointed pioneer managing director of Alliance Autos Nigeria Limited (AANL) and left the services of the dealership in June 2010 and returned back Stallion Autos where he was before as the managing director.
It would be recalled that, Singh had told the quality crowd that gathered for the Nissan/Renault and facility unveiling eight years ago that, the slogan of the company will be Shift. He said, A “Shift is who we are and how we work. Everything we touch, we shift, and everything we shift, we try to make better and uniquely too.”
The coming of AANL was part of the worldwide auto concern restructuring effort by CFAO global that runs Renault and Nissan brands together, hence the approval of a subsidiary in Nigeria under the auspices of CFAO Automotive group, Nigeria.
The company which took over the marketing of Renault brand already under the control of CFAO, took over the distributorship of Nissan vehicles in the country from the then Nissan Nigeria Limited. Worldwide, Renault owns about 44 percent in Nissan, while Nissan owns about 40 percent in Renault, and the two companies have a common chairman. Renault is French while Nissan is Japanese.