Lanre Shittu Motors has set a target to be one of the biggest truck manufacturers in Africa as it rolls out 150 JAC trucks assembled at its new Lagos-based auto assembly plant.
The auto firm has thus joined other big names assembling trucks in Nigeria such as Dangote Group (sino trucks), CFAO Group (Fuso), Tata Africa Services (Nigeria) Limited, Perfection Motors (FAW) and National Trucks Manufacturers and Transit Support Services (Shacman).
The Group Executive Director of LSM, Mr Taiwo Shittu, said the company’s new truck plant on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway churned out 150 units of JAC trucks with the support of its technical partner, the JAC China.
The dealership is the sole distributor of JAC heavy duty trucks and medium duty trucks in the country.
Specifically, Shittu said the plant had the capacity to assemble six units of trucks in one shift or 12 units in two shifts, depending on the market demand, adding that it could produce about 150 trucks every month.
According to him, the plant has the capacity to produce 1,500 trucks per year and more.
He said the company’s decision to invest in the auto assembly plant was in support of the Federal Government’s auto policy, which is meant to encourage local production of automobiles with its attendant benefits of creating job opportunities for the people and improving the nation’s economy.
Shittu, who conducted journalists round the plant expected to be unveiled formally early next year, described it as one of the most standard assembly plants in Nigeria.
He stated that the plant being operated by Nigerian technicians, with two JAC technicians on supervision, currently carried out semi-knocked down assembling.
He said the plant was being built with the capacity to carry out complete knocked down assembly, adding that the trucks being assembled at the plant were of equal standard with those produced from any other JAC assembly plant in the world.
He explained that the company was working on another assembly plant in Makun, Ogun State, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for the production of buses, cars and pickups and another line for support vehicles such as trailers and tanks.
He said, “In this assembly plant, all the equipment was imported from Germany. We believe in the auto policy and we believe it has come to stay.”
The executive director disclosed that Lanre Shittu planned to use a section of the assembly plant along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for the manufacturing of automotive batteries, tyres and other allied products to further align with the vision of the automotive policy.
He said Lanre Shittu employed 40 Nigerians every year who had benefitted from the technical knowledge and expertise of its Chinese partners.
“We believe solely in the JAC brand; it has come to stay and very soon, it will take over the truck market because of its quality and our experience in the automotive business in the last 38 years in Nigeria. Already, we have received orders for hundreds of units of the trucks from fleet customers, including the BUA Group,” Shittu said.
The Sales Manager, Medium and Heavy Truck Department of JAC, Shaun Yu, said JAC trucks were specially designed for Nigerians, noting that most of them had been running for eight years and they were still in good condition.
He said the partnership with the LSM was a win-win situation, expressing optimism that the future would be bright for the two companies.