Japan motors brand new state-of-the art automotive assembly plant is well on track to begin assembling the all new built of more Nissan Navara by the end of this year.
The civil engineering phase of the construction of this purpose built 5 000 sq. m factory in Tema, outside the Ghanaian capital, is scheduled to be completed quarter 3 of 2021, to be followed by the installation of the specialised equipment from Japan which is essential for the correct assembly of these vehicles according to Nissan’s stringent global standards.
The plant, when it is operational, will consist of four warehouses for the assembly and testing lines, a special shower bay fed by an underground 180 cu m water tank, the only test track in West Africa, offices and a showroom area, all on 22 407 sq. m site. The entire project is being overseen by Japan Motors assistant managing director Mohammed Byrouthy.
“It’s the highlight of my career,” he says, “was chosen by Japan Motors to co-ordinate and oversee the building and commissioning of this brand-new plant.”
He joined Japan Motors in 1981 – 40 years ago – and rose through the ranks working mostly in after sales, latterly as general managing in charge of parts and service before his current appointment as assistant MD.
“I was so elated when the deal was concluded in 2020 with Nissan Africa and Nissan Japan. We’re very proud that this will be the most advanced automotive plant in West Africa,” he says, noting that the plant has been purpose built for Nissan; from the shower test facility checking how waterproof the assembled vehicles are to the unique test track with its 12 noise detection sections to ensure every vehicle that leaves the plant is as good as any other Nissan Navara made anywhere else in the world.
Japan Motors sent 12 engineers, including the plant manager designate, to Nissan’s LCV African manufacturing hub in Rosslyn, South Africa earlier this year for an intense seven-week course on the Navara. Those engineers have since been redeployed across Japan Motors five branches to share their knowledge with Japan Motors technicians pending their return to the plant in Tema when it becomes operational.
Nissan Sub Saharan director Hide Kuwayama is extremely excited too about the progress: “2021 is shaping up to be a great year for us in Africa.
“This all new Nissan Navara is the toughest vehicle we have ever built in the global Nissan family, designed to meet and beat the toughest road conditions, the highest severity standard in our manufacturing. It hasn’t just been tropicalised, it has a reinforced chassis, with extra lateral and torsion bars; the suspension is different and tougher and the roll over angle is the best in the market.
“It’s being built in Africa for Africans at our continental LCV manufacturing hub in Rosslyn, South Africa, but very soon it will be built in Ghana by Ghanaians, which will be both an incredible achievement and a great source of pride for all of us involved in this.