The local automobile industry may be waking from its slumber with the return of Volkswagen Automobile Group 20 years after the assembly plant closed shop.
The German automaker said the reopening of the factory in Lagos, was made possible through its partnership agreement with a private auto company, the Stallion Group for the assembly of the Volkswagen brand of vehicles in the country in line with the National Automotive Industrial Plan announced by the federal government in October 2013.
The Stallion Group, in a statement quoted Ratz Wolfgang, leader, Volkswagen Group’s delegation from Germany, that the plant has rolled out the first set of vehicles, which includes Passat, Jetta, CC and Amarok models from the rejuvenated plant.
“Today marks the revival of the assembly of Volkswagen vehicles in Nigeria. Volkswagen has returned to Nigeria to continue a long history that began in the 1970s,” Wolfgang said in the statement.
“We are certain that further growth is possible, which is why Volkswagen is constantly searching for new opportunities to increase its global market and sales potential, and we appreciate the fact that we are able to strengthen our business relationship with our professional partner, Stallion Group.”
Sunil Vaswani, chairman of Stallion Group, disclosed that the group acquired the moribund Volkswagen of Nigeria plant, resuscitated it and commenced the assembling of buses, trucks, pick-ups and passenger vehicles at the facility.
He said Nissan, Hyundai, Ashok-Leyland and IVECO vehicle brands are already rolling out of the factory, while it had also developed a large team of skilled human resources following extensive training by specialists from the respective principals.