Japan Motors brand new state-of-the-art automotive assembly plant has assembled 156 units since officially starting production at the end of March this year, 100 of which have gone straight to the local market for sale.The plant, the most technically advanced assembly facility in West Africa, officially began assembly of the all new built of more Nissan Navara at the end of March following a gala opening of the facility by the President of Ghana, HE Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.
Now it is able to start increasing production to meet market demand after getting the final greenlight from Nissan’s commissioning engineers who certified that the Ghanaian technical team had achieved the final quality and production milestones that had been set following the official start of production.
“It was a highly successful, though emotional, moment for the Ghanaian team,” Japan Motors assistant managing director Mohammed Byrouthy, who has personally overseen the project literally from the ground up.
The final approval is the culmination of an intense almost four-year process that began with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Government of Ghana and Nissan in 2018, followed by the selection of Japan Motors in 2020 as the approved partner and then 17 months later the official commissioning of the plant.
The all new Navara is unique in that it is the toughest vehicle ever designed by Nissan engineers in Japan. As Hide Kuwayama, Nissan’s Independent Markets Africa director for Sales, explains; the Navara has been designed specifically for the severest road conditions in Africa.
“This vehicle hasn’t just ben tropicalised, it has a reinforced chassis, with extra lateral and torsion bars; its suspension is tougher and the roll over angle is the very best in the market. It is one of the safest vehicles in its class and exceeds the safety standards in all international markets in which it is sold,” he says.
“The Nissan Navara that is produced in Tema, Ghana, is precisely the same as the one manufactured in Rosslyn, South Africa. It is safe and technologically advanced bearing a suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features that enhance the driving experience like hill descent control, electronic brakeforce distribution, vehicle dynamic control, front and rear SRS airbags, a reversing camera and parking sensors, among so much more.
“When you buy a Nissan Navara from Japan Motors, you are buying more than a phenomenal vehicle, you’re buying peace of mind in every regard – and that’s priceless,” says Kuwayama.
But there’s also the added benefit of supporting the local automotive industry, creating jobs, paying taxes and earning valuable foreign exchange when these vehicles are ultimately exported for sale across the region. The plant, says Nissan Africa managing director Mike Whitfield, is proof of the fantastic public private partnership between the government of Ghana, Japan Motors and Nissan Africa.
“It’s a flagship project, not just for Nissan, but for Africa; a symbol of so much that can be achieved if we have the same sense of purpose and commitment.”