The company seeks to boost its manufacturing capacity and penetrate one of the world’s biggest undeveloped new car markets.
The move marks a reorganization of the company’s disparate operations on the continent, bringing them within one entity headed by Mike Whitfield, who has previously served as managing director of Nissan’s units in both South Africa and Egypt.
Nissan said in a statement on Wednesday saying, “Beyond internal operating enhancements, this also positions Nissan to focus on the massive opportunity that Africa presents to the organization globally.”
Nissan together with its competitors, Volkswagen, BMW and Toyota, have been lobbying African governments to grant conditions favourable to local assembly and manufacturing while curbing imports of cheap used cars.
Most carmakers have focused on manufacturing and sales in South Africa, which constitutes for 85% of Africa’s new car purchases.
Carmakers are also hoping to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area expected to come into force early next year and will reduce tariffs and ease the flow of goods between its member states.