Dr. Harpreet Singh is the Managing Director of VON Automobile Nigeria Ltd, one of the top automobile manufacturing companies in Nigeria. Harpreet spoke to Haulage and Logistics magazine on the company’s operations and businesses here in Nigeria. Excerpt.
Tell us briefly about yourself?
Dr. Harpreet Singh is the Managing Director of VON Automobiles Nigeria Ltd, and he has a wide range of experience. He manages multicultural teams across all business lines, skillfully managing stakeholder interests and propelling enterprises to new heights. He has extensive experience working with major international corporations, joint ventures, and family-owned enterprises.
Tell us about Von automobile Nigeria Limited?
Von Automobile Nigeria Limited is a Nigerian-based automobile company that was established in 2011. The company specializes in the design, development, and production of affordable luxury vehicles, including SUVs, Sedans, Buses, Trucks, Army Vehicles, and pickup trucks. Their vehicles are primarily targeted at the Nigerian market, but they also export to other African countries. Overall, Von Automobile Nigeria Limited is a relatively major player in the Nigerian automobile industry.
How many years has the company been operating in Nigeria?
Stallion is a people’s company, completely dedicated to its customers, partners and communities around the facilities in West Africa. It has worked in the Sub-Saharan region for the past 52 years by developing businesses around agriculture, food, commodities, automobiles, steel &mines, logistics, plastics & packaging, business solution services to name a few. It has invested significantly towards building large-scale local industries in Africa, deploying most recent technologies, generating employment, and strongly endorsing the concept of domestic production.
What brands of truck, buses and cars does Von Automobile sell in Nigeria?
Ashok Leyland, Nissan, Hyundai, Forland, Baic, Changan, Jinbei, MG, Bajaj etc.
How has the journey been so far in the Nigerian automobile industry?
The Nigerian automobile industry has a relatively short history, dating back to the early 1970s when the first assembly plants were established in the country. In recent years, there has been a renewed effort to revive the Nigerian automobile industry, with the government initiating policies to support local production and assembly of vehicles. Stallion Group began selling vehicles in 1993 when he obtained exclusive rights to sell Honda vehicles in Nigeria. Since then, the journey has been tremendous and successful, and we now have major brands such as Hyundai, Nissan, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, Ashok Leyland, Bajaj, Morris Garages, and many others.
What inspired the transformation of the defunct Volkswagen Nigeria into Von Automobile Nigeria Ltd?
It was as far back as 1972 that the federal government of Nigeria, in collaboration with Volkswagen of Germany, established Volkswagen assembly plant along Lagos-Badagry Expressway in Nigeria. Nigerian government sold its equity interest to Stallion Group, which resuscitated the facility and name it VON automobiles Nigeria Limited, where it now assembles Volkswagen vehicles, Hyundai, Nissan, Ashok Leyland buses and many others.
What is the capacity of the Von Automobile assembly plant in Nigeria?
Installed capacity 15,000 passenger vehicles and 3,200 commercial vehicles per year. Over 23,000 vehicles assembled.
Asides the Ashok Leyland Phoenix which was recently launched into the market what other products should we expect from your company?
In the recent past, we have launched Ashok Leyland Boss and partner. Soon, we aim to offer several CNG buses and trucks that would be more technology oriented and affordable to the Nigeria Market.