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Volkswagen expects vehicle sales rebound in Nigeria

2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Volkswagen AG expects a rebound in vehicle sales in Nigeria as the economy in Africa’s biggest oil producer recovers, the head of the company’s South African operations has said.

Sales in the West African nation dropped to less than 40 units last year, according to the company. Nigeria was one of several African oil exporters hit hard when crude prices crashed in 2014, but the economy is recovering as oil rebounds.

“Now that the oil price has been recovering, hopefully, this situation will reverse and we can assemble and see a few hundred cars in the next year or so,” Thomas Schaefer said in an interview with Bloomberg at a conference in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

Volkswagen resumed building cars in Nigeria in 2015, its first factory on the continent outside South Africa. The company is set to start producing models, including the Polo, Passat and Teramont at an assembly plant in Rwanda next month.

“We are expecting to start with at least 2,000 cars in 2018 alone, but I would love to get to 10,000 cars,” Schaefer said.

While Volkswagen is continuously assessing opportunities in countries like Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania for expansion, “with these new markets, it is a bit of a long shot,” he added.

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