• Nissan will build its next generation Navara bakkie in South Africa.
• The Japanese carmaker currently builds the NP200 half-ton pickup, and NP300 one-ton Hardbody.
• In 2019, they announced a R3-billion investment to facilitate the local production of the Nissan Navara.
It's been 60 years since Japanese carmaker Nissan, via the Datsun brand, made its first investment in Africa. The brand turned soil in Zimbabwe and the Nissan Motor Company Limited, opening its Rosslyn operations in South Africa.
The group furthered its investments in 2000, when it purchased a 37% stake from Sanlam Group; opened an assembly facility in Egypt; and became the first overseas car manufacturer to begin local assembly in Nigeria in 2014.
In 2019, Nissan continued its commitment to the continent, making a R3-billion investment announcement to facilitate the local production of the Navara bakkie.
The brand already produces the NP200 half-ton pickup, and NP300 one-ton Hardbody at the plant in Rosslyn.
Nissan says the impact of the Navara production announcement has been substantial, extending from the facility, to its people and the communities.
The modernised Rosslyn plant now has a new, flexible production line and additional facilities. R190-million has already been invested in re-skilling and training its employees to expand their expertise in preparation for the bakkie's local production the company’s production trial engineers, for example, spent three months receiving virtual training (due to Covid-19 travel restrictions) from Nissan trainers in Japan.
According to Nissan's Africa Regional Business Unit, Managing Director, Mike Whitfield, the company will continue to develop regional hubs, he said: "South Africa remains a pivotal market, first for the access that it grants Nissan to the continent and secondly as a light commercial vehicle hub for the Nissan group."