Ford Aims To Drive Through Nigeria's Automotive Blockade

American multinational automaker, Ford Motor Company, has revealed plans to introduce 17 products into the Nigerian auto-market by 2016 as part of plans to launch a total 25 new products in its 67 markets in Middle East and Africa- a business unit recently created by the company.

However, Ford’s ‘big plans’ for Nigeria is somewhat complicated by Nigeria’s Automotive policy which discourages importation of wholly made vehicles while advocating local production. The policy thus pressures auto-makers like Ford to set up manufacturing or assembly plants in the country, a decision the company’s top officials say it is analyzing but with nothing to announce yet.

What Ford is announcing is an up in interest to capture the African market, a huge part of which is Nigeria and Angola, with the volume of products planned for the market testifying the company’s commitment to grow the market. Ford says it would bring a full range of cars, trucks and SUVs that would be safe, of high quality, fuel efficient and fun-to-drive to customers throughout the Middle East and Africa region. “Africa is one of the youngest markets in the world, and there is an opportunity to provide an affordable product for the people of the continent” enthused Jim Benintende, the President of Ford Middle East and Africa.

Benintende explained that Ford’s Middle East and Africa operation, a combination of four regions of North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and the Middle East, is a strategy to consolidate and advance growth opportunities in the regions. He described the Middle East and Africa region as vast and comprised of very diverse markets with different political, cultural and economic environments thus needing “a robust operation with a dedicated focus and clear understanding of the unique conditions and customer needs in these markets.”

“MEA is the final frontier for global growth in the auto industry and thanks to the power of our One Ford plan, we are able to offer vehicles here that our customers want and value”, the MEA boss added. Ford and Lincoln sales in the region have grown by 60 per cent in the past four years, Benintende revealed, adding that Ford currently sells about 200,000 vehicles a year throughout the Middle East and Africa region. The company is represented in Nigeria by Coscharis Motors and BriscoeFord.

Among the Ford products to hit Nigeria is the 2015 Ford Mustang which debuts in South Africa this month. The Ford Mustang, which comes in fastback and convertible models, was introduced at Ford’s inaugural Go Further exhibition in Sandton, Johannesburg. According to Ford, the Mustang promises exceptional performance and refinement while embracing the Mustang’s half-century of heritage and status as a global icon.

“Few other cars inspire passion like the Mustang” said Mark Kaufman, Vice president of marketing, sales and service, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA). “The iconic design and visceral sound of Mustang resonate with people, even if they’ve never driven one. It is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford”, he enthused.

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Posted on : 20 May,2024 | News Source : ABNews

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