Japan-based automobile manufacturer Nissan has halted plans to establish the Sh2 billion assembling plant in Kenya based on a change in strategy.
The vehicle manufacturer said it will start executing a strategy to revive the brand in Africa through a focused plan that comprises of increasing its dealer network footprint and expanding product line-up in the main markets.
Nissan head of East Africa Max De Wit said:
“The idea to set up an assembly plant in Kenya will take some time; it is something we will look at in the future. For now, we want to push the brand’s visibility while staying focused on creating more enjoyable driving experiences.”
The Proposed Assembly Plant
In April this year, Nissan announced plans to open the assembling plant in Kenya in an effort to take advantage of the increasing demand for its new vehicles in the region. The proposed assembly plant, which was to be ready in early 2019, was yet to receive government approval.
Nissan officials are mulling over producing their vehicles at Isuzu East Africa plants, Simba Corp Associated Vehicle Assemblers, Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) owned by the Kenyan government, Al-Futtaim Group, and Toyota Tsusho Corp.
So far, it is unclear when the company will revive the plans to establish the assembly plant and whether Nissan Kenya had submitted the proposal to the government, an activity that was to follow market studies and due diligence evaluations.
Alleged Boardroom Conflict
The company also thwarted suspicions that there was a boardroom conflict among shareholders. “There are no wrangles and all our partners are working well,” said De Wit.
The alleged conflict is said to have begun after Motus Holdings based in South Africa took complete control of the local Nissan dealership after buying out Kenyan businessman Mohamed Zubedi who held a 49 per cent stake in the business.