The first assembled Ford Ranger (JOB 1) from the ultra-modern plant in Ikeja Lagos was recently officially unveiled at an event held on the grounds of Coscharis Motors, Awoyaya Lagos. Ford Motor Company, together with Coscharis Motors Limited initiated the new assembly plant as part of Ford’s expansion into the Middle East and Africa, and a commitment to the Nigerian automotive industry.
“The facility will accommodate one shift and will produce an initial 10 units per day for the Nigerian market, creating approximately 180 direct and indirect jobs. Over time, this will gradually expand,” said Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO Ford Motor Company of Sub-Saharan Africa region. “The main driver behind Ford in Africa is affordability. Africa is one of the youngest markets in the world and presents a huge opportunity in terms of consumption,” he added. “The buying power of the African consumer is on the rise as the continent’s middle class increases exponentially. Despite infrastructure challenges, Africa has demonstrated impressive returns on foreign direct investment.”
Ford’s semi-knockdown (SKD) operation in Nigeria was established in partnership with the local Ford dealer group, Coscharis Motors Limited, and is based in Ikeja, Lagos State, approximately 750km south-west of Nigeria’s capital city Abuja. Dr. Cosmas Maduka, president of Coscharis Motors, said: “We have worked hard and moved quickly to turn this dream into a reality. Today marks an important milestone when the cogs in the wheel really start to turn, not only for Ford in Nigeria, but in general for the Nigerian industry, which is receiving a much needed boost towards industrialisation and the development of the automotive industry.
“We are committed to setting the bar high, and establishing world-class, best practices in Nigeria that every other industrialist will have to be judged by. This is a major milestone for us and marks another first in the evolution of our company.”
Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO Sub Saharan Africa region; Ockert Berry, Vice President of Operations Ford Sub-Saharan Africa; Rob Johnston, Regional Manager for Ford Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, CEO of the Coscharis Group and Josiah Samuel, Managing Director Coscharis Group all graced the occasion.
The Ford Ranger remains one of the most capable pick-ups in its class, and in many regards is suitable for the Nigerian market. With an exceptional 800mm water wading depth, and with 230mm of ground clearance, it is designed and engineered to handle the most extreme terrains with ease. A 28-degree approach angle and 25-degree departure angle, allows drivers in the new Ranger can feel confident when taking on steep obstacles.
A robust electronically controlled transfer case lets drivers in 4×4 models shift on the fly from 4×2 to 4×4 high via a knob on the centre console. For low-speed torque or additional downhill control, drivers can also engage low-range 4×4 gearing, while an electronic locking rear differential helps to improve traction in difficult conditions. These off-road strengths are matched to a towing capability of up to 3 500kg and impressive payload capacity.
The models that will initially be built in Nigeria are the 2.5 petrol 4×4 double cab base and the 3.2 TDCi XLT 4X4.
Tosan Aduayi is the founder of Trendy Africa Magazine and has been an Auto columnist since 1994. Photo Credit: Ajayi Oyebo
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