PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will start producing cars in Nigeria this year through a local manufacturing partner. The announcement comes about three months after rival Renault-Nissan's started vehicle output in Africa's largest economy.
PSA said in a statement it will begin building its Peugeot 301 sedan in small volumes at a plant operated by PAN Nigeria Ltd. in the central state of Kaduna. PSA will ship semiknockdown kits to Kaduna from its plant in Vigo, Spain. Additional models, such as the Peugeot 308 compact and 508, may follow later, PSA said in a statement.
The company's operations director for Africa Middle East, Jean-Christophe Quemard, said the move "will enable the group to take full advantage of growth opportunities in the market."
Last October Renault-Nissan announced plans to start production in Nigeria with a local partner. The first Nissan Patrol SUV rolled off the line at a plant in Lagos in April.
Renault-Nissan, which is working together with West African conglomerate Stallion Group, has since added production of the Almera sedan and NP300 pickup, a Nissan spokesman told Automotive News Europe. He said initial volumes are modest but Nissan expects to accelerate production starting next month.
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says Nissan wants to make Nigeria a significant manufacturing hub in Africa and that "as the first-mover in Nigeria, we are positioned for the long-term growth of this market and across the broader continent."
Takashi Hata, Nissan senior vice president and chairman for the Africa, Middle East and India, said in a statement that Africa is a strategic growth driver for the automaker.
The PSA and Renault-Nissan agreements are aligned with the Nigerian government's new automotive industry development policy.
Douglas A Bolduc contributed to this report