|Kia’s new factory launch the latest dividend of Nigeria’s automotive policy|
VENTURES AFRICA – Leading Korean car maker, Kia Motors Nigeria, has unveiled a new assembly plant in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, in a bid to strengthen its presence in the local automobile industry. The United Vehicle Assembly Limited (UVAL) plant will produce 25,000 vehicles every year.
The launch of the new plant is the latest success of the Nigerian government’s automotive policy which has led to the emergence of several car assembly plants in the country and has also encouraged local manufacturing.
Dr Olusegun Aganga, head of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment – which has ensured the successful take off of the automotive policy – expressed his delight at the successful completion of the new plant. After inspecting the new plant, he said: “I am pleasantly surprised at the level of success and the advance technology of this plant. I have visited different auto assembly plants across the globe and I can tell you that with the level of the quality assurance control and the sophistication of the equipment of this assembly plant, it can compete with international standard.”
The CEO of UVAL, Jacky Hathiramani, stated at the event that “the move to establish an assembly plant stems the tide of investment aimed at Nigeria and also keying into the country’s automotive policy. We are committed to making Nigeria a leading auto manufacturing country in Africa and also to contribute immensely to the development of the nation through this multi-billion Naira investment.” He further stressed that the plant has employed engineering graduates from Nigerian universities and will continue to provide employment for Nigerians.
Kia Motors Nigeria had last year promised to produce Kia vehicles in the country. It recently launched its made in Nigeria vehicles which include Kia Rio, Cerato, Optima, Sorento, Soul and plans to roll out all its models ranging from the Sedans, Sport Utility Vehicles to the Pick Ups before the end of the year.