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Nissan to produce award-winning Navara bakkie in SA

  • Major investment in plant, equipment, training
  • LCV export hub for Navara, NP200 and NP300 bakkies
  • Significant job creation at plant and parts supply chain
NAVARA TO BE BUILT BY NISSAN SA: Present at the April 2019 announcement event were (among others) Nissan Africa MD Chris Whitfield and South Africas ‘president Cyril Ramaphosa  to whom Whitfield is presenting an image of the coming bakkie   Image: Nissan SA

PRETORIA, South Africa – Nissan has announced a R3-billion investment in its facility in Pretoria to prepare for assembly of the next-generation Nissan Navara bakkie.

The plan involves nearly doubling production and hiring 1200 workers.

”The move,” the automaker adds, ”will expand the role of the plant into a Nissan LCV  manufacturing operation. The Navara will join the NP200 and NP300 models, already assembled at Rosslyn and sold in not only South Africa but also about 45 African countries.

PARTY TIME AT PRETORIA PLANT

Production is expected to start in 2020 and will create around 1200 jobs at Rosslyn and across the external local supply chain. ”Depending on market conditions,” Nissan adds, ”the Navara will add 30 000 units to Rosslyn’s current annual production of 35 000 and create a second daily shift.”

The announcement was made at the Rosslyn plant at a function involving SA’s president Cyril Ramaphosa, the chairman of Nissan’s Africa, Middle East and India region Peyman Kargar, and Nissan Group Africa MD Mike Whitfield,

READ MORE Nissan features on Carman’s Corner

Ramaphosa said the Navara production in South Africa was further proof of the increasing contribution of the automotive industry to the country: “Automotive is already the largest part of South Africa’s manufacturing sector, contributing around seven percent to the GDP annually and accounting for a third of manufacturing output.

”I congratulate the employees for their efforts in securing this important model.”

Peyman Kargar added: “Africa is an essential part of Nissan’s M.O.V.E. to 2022 mid-term plan in which we aim to double our presence across Africa, the Middle East and India.

”We already have a strong industrial footprint in Africa – plants in Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and, soon, Algeria. Today’s announcement highlights the continuing evolution of Africa as one of the most important global markets.”

FLEXIBLE PRODUCTION LINE

Nissan says the investment will mean further modernisation of the Rosslyn plant: a new and flexible production line and extra facilities, as well as training and upskilling of staff, will be needed.

Whitfield commented: “The new Navara is the perfect model for South Africa and our workforce is ready to build it. Vehicles already account for around 14% of total exports from South Africa.”

The Navara has won a number of awards around the world since its launch, including the 2016 International Pickup of the Year. 2018,global sales were 231 435 units – a six percent more than the previous year.

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