British government delegation visits Japan Motors’ Nissan Vehicle Assembly plant

A high-powered delegation from the British government has paid a working visit to Japan Motors’ ultra-modern Nissan Vehicle Assembly plant.

Present at last Friday’s visit were Britain’s Minister of International Development, Andrew Mitchell, accompanied by the UK’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, Baroness Kate Hoey, British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson and a team from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the representative of Jobs for Economic Transformation Programme (JET) Ghana.

They were there to see first-hand the critical role that Nissan is playing in domestic automotive assembly and to find out more about the Ghana Automotive Development Policy.

Present to usher the delegation on a tour of the facility were: the Managing Director of Japan Motors, Salem Kalmoni; Assistant Managing Director, Mohammed R. Byrouthy; Emmanuel Jason-Solomon Penneh, the Assembly Plant Manager and Harriet Esi Mensah, Marketing Manager.

They were ushered on a tour of all sections in the brand-new plant, starting with the assembly line and ending with the tester line through to the unique water test facility.

Japan Motors’ brand new Nissan Assembly plant in Tema, Ghana, has become West Africa’s most visited automotive factory in the last nine months.

Opened by President Akufo-Addo in March this year, the modern plant which assembles the full range of the all-new South Africa built-of-more Nissan Navara pick-up has played host to a veritable who’s who of Ghanaian government and business.

“It’s a great honour,” said Japan Motors assistant managing director Mohammed R. Byrouthy, who was responsible for managing the plant construction project.

“We have had visitors almost every single week since we opened and I think it is a testimony of what Nissan and Japan Motors have achieved here.”

Nissan Africa managing director Mike Whitfield agrees: “one of the highlights of 2022 was the commissioning of this factory in Ghana and it is wonderful to see the excitement and interest that the Plant has continued to generate.”

The Plant, says Whitfield, is proof of what can be achieved when both parties are absolutely focussed on the end result and a testament to the fantastic public-private partnership between the government of Ghana, Japan Motors and Nissan Africa.

“The existence of this plant is a tribute to the passion and commitment of Japan Motors investing $9 million, which in itself would not have been possible without the security and certainty offered by the government of Ghana’s progressive automotive industry development policy which was signed into law in record time.

“In 2022, Ghana stands as a benchmark for the African automotive industry, an example of what can be done when there is a will and a vision.”

The Plant has produced more than 500 Navara pick-ups since it began production, with plans to ramp up production even more and perhaps even extend the product line in the new year, says Byrouthy. “Overseeing the planning, construction and now running of this factory, has undoubtedly been the highlight of my career,” he says.

The all-new Navara is the toughest vehicle ever designed by Nissan engineers in Japan, specifically designed for the severest road conditions in Africa.

“This vehicle hasn’t just been tropicalised, it has a reinforced chassis, with extra lateral and torsion bars; its suspension is tougher and the rollover 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,” says Hide Kuwayama, Nissan’s Independent Markets Africa director for Sales.

“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,” said Harriet Esi Mensah, Marketing Manager, Japan Motors.