Nissan announced this week that as of next year, its flagship bakkie, the Navara will be built at its Rosslyn plant near Pretoria in South Africa. The group will invest N$3 billion in plant, equipment and training to expand the factory's role as export hub for light commercial vehicles.
Nissan already builds the NP200 and NP300 at its Rosslyn plant for the South African market as well as another 45 African countries. The factory's expansion will enable Nissan to build 30,000 units per year more than the current production volume of 35,000 units, almost doubling the facility's capacity. The full range of Navara derivatives will be produced on a new, flexible production line.
Attending the project announcement ceremony, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said "Automotive is already the largest part of South Africa's manufacturing sector, contributing around 7% to Gross Domestic Product annually and accounting for a third of manufacturing output. I am delighted Nissan will produce Navara here and congratulate the employees for their efforts in securing this important model."
Managing Director of the Nissan Group of Africa, Mike Whitfield, commented "The new Navara is the perfect model for Africa and our workforce is ready to build it. Vehicles already account for around 14% of total exports from South Africa. Navara production will allow us to expand Rosslyn's role as an export hub for Light Commercial Vehicles."
"We already have a strong industrial footprint in Africa in Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and a planned facility in Algeria. Today's announcement highlights the continuing evolution of Africa as one of the most important global markets," stated Nissan's chairman for Africa, the Middle East and India, Peyman Kargar.
In 2016 the Navara collected the award for the International Pickup of the Year. Last year, more than 230,000 Navaras were sold worldwide.