Posted by Amechi C. Obiakpu | 14 June 2012 | 8,164 times
Hurray! PAN Nigeria has finally remembered the middle class auto lovers whom it had neglected for a very long time. Thanks to its alliance with Changan International Corporation, Chongquin-China, PAN Nigeria is hitting the market with Changan Alsvin, a Chinese auto brand designed for the middle class.
Changan Alsvin was unveiled at the seventh Lagos motor show held recently at Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos. PAN is expected to flood the Nigerian auto market with 3,000 units of the product before the end of the year and 7,000 units annually subsequently.
“Prior to this time, we only had the upper and lower classes. Now we are beginning to see the emergence of the middle class and that middle class we want to give them something they can really afford. Something of quality, something one is sure of, produced within the shores of this country. Something we are sure of the after sales services and sure of the spare parts,” said Musa Bashir Usman, Head Corporate Affairs of PAN Nigeria.
In a chat with Transport & Business Express in Lagos, Usman described PAN Nigeria’s new move as “progress in the right direction, which is something to be happy about.”
According to him, “Some time last year, we rebranded our organisation from PAN (Peugeot Automobile Nigeria) Ltd to PAN Nigeria. We did that purposely to give us the opportunity to go into multi-branding. Already, everyone knows that for about four decades now, we have been assembling Peugeot brand of vehicles.
“We then decided to move into another area to see how we can divest our portfolio of profit which led to the signing of a technical agreement between PAN and Changan International Corporation (CIC), to produce the Alsvin in Nigeria, a car internationally certified, which we have found adaptable and affordable for a good majority of income earners in the country and market it across the West Africa sub-region.”
The PAN Nigeria image maker described as “amazing” the response which the company had been getting since the unveiling of Changan Alsvin and predicted that the car would sell because of its ‘Nigerian touch’.
A statement from the Kaduna-based company said the decision to introduce Changan Alsvin into Nigeria was inspired by the parent company’s joint venture with Ford, Suzuki and PSA.
The statement said that the Changan Alsvin project would create employment directly and indirectly for more Nigerians as well as boost local component manufacturing in the country.
In the statement, Mr. Bawo Omagbitse, Technical Adviser to PAN Nigeria’s Managing Director, disclosed that the decision to settle for Changan Alsvin was a product of their research meant to give Nigerians the best products at affordable price.
Omagbitse said Changan Alsvin was already a popular brand in Europe, and a leading brand in China. “Our motive is to produce quality and affordable automobiles for Nigerians,” he stated.
The PAN Nigeria strategist disclosed that the company was working towards achieving a 50 per cent local content in the production of Changan Alsvin within the next few years.
“Our objective is to have 50 per cent local content and have a research and development unit of Changan sited in Nigeria in the near future,” he said.
Attempts by Transport & Business Express to confirm the cost of the vehicle were unsuccessful. Usman, the PAN Nigeria image maker, simply described Changan Alsvin as being affordable, predicting that the product would give other automobiles in the country a run for their money.
Changan Alsvin’s features include a 1.5 litre engine, Electronic Brake Distribution packaged for safety and emergencies, while the chassis and platform provide a reliable and excellent road holding. Another feature of the car is its sleek design.
According to PAN Nigeria, from the exterior to the interior, “Alsvin combines the advantages of Macpherson independent suspension and twist-beam with type semi independent suspension, leading to high and excellent power performance, comfort and road handling.”