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PAN Nigeria diversifies into assembly of Chinese Higer buses

…Offers 3 variants at N16m starting price

Globally, the automobile industry, just like other businesses, is open for collaborations. In line with this global cooperation, and following the recent partnership between PAN Nigeria Limited and Higer Bus Company Limited of China, the legendary assembler of Peugeot vehicles in the country has commenced the production of the Higer Bus in its assembly plant located at Kakuri Industrial Area, Kaduna.

The commencement of the Chinese bus range of commercial buses at the existing automobile assembly facility in Kaduna, according to BusinessDay findings, is the precursor to the diversification plans of PAN Nigeria in its quest to launch itself as one of the country’s foremost multi-brand automobile manufacturers and assemblers.

Higer models to be produced in Nigeria are the H5C 16-seater, H6C 19-seater and ambulances with a starting price of N16 million. Useful for mass transit, transportation of school children, and ambulance services, the rollout started off the company’s assembly lines in Kaduna in December 2019.

The partnership also enables the delivery of city buses for mass intra-city bus services. The Higer Bus comes with features such as Charging ports for all passengers/occupants, park-assist, rear camera, DVD/15’ LCD Display for passengers as well as spacious leg and headroom.

In addition, the Higer Ambulance is fitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment such as suction catheters, stretcher belts and anatomical mattress, silicon resuscitators with mask, pulse oximeter, digital thermometer, 2kg fire extinguisher, automatic loading stretcher, scoop stretcher, AC/DC electronic suction machine, and oxygen regulator, among others.

Established in 1998, Higer Bus Company is China’s leading exporter of buses and coaches, whose vehicles are available in more than 100 countries in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

During a telephone chat with BusinessDay last Monday, Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, managing director of the Company, said, “The assembly of Higer buses started in 2019 in a move to offer the best in terms of automobiles to the buying public. PAN Nigeria has a long rich history in the production of quality vehicles in Nigeria, which have proved to be durable and high performing’’.

The managing director explained that some of the station wagon ambulances that produced inside the assembly plant as far back as 1980s are still being operated by some hospitals in urban and rural communities throughout the country.

Mohammed explained that Higer Ambulance and transport buses will follow the proud tradition of durability and quality that the assembly plant is known for over the years.

The assembly of the commercial bus range is coming on the recent Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria where hospitals and other health establishments, doctors, nurses and other personnel are currently going through trying times.

According to him, ‘’There is a huge need for many more ambulances to be supplied to this sector, and we are responding to this national challenge by opening up a new production line in our factory dedicated to producing these emergency medical vehicles”.

Head of quality control, Ojo Oladapo, said that “PAN has enough capacity to meet all the country’s need for ambulances, school buses and mass transit vehicles. The bulk of the interior fittings in the buses are sourced locally from suppliers spread across the country.

Oladeji Victor Bamidele, head of corporate communications told our reporter that; ‘’Our factory currently has an installed capacity to produce 45,000 vehicles in a year. Producing these vehicles locally will deepen productive activities, create important backward linkages, increase employment and preserve foreign exchange. The new Higer Bus models will be marketed, distributed, and represented by PAN’s accredited dealers across the country”.

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