Nissan to manufacture Navara pickup in South Africa

Nissan has announced a R3 billion investment in its facility in Rosslyn, Pretoria to prepare the plant for production of the next generation Nissan Navara pickup.

The move expands the role of the plant as a Light Commercial Vehicle manufacturing hub for Nissan. The Navara will join the popular NP200 and NP300 models, which are already built at Rosslyn and sold in the domestic market, as well as up to 45 pan-African countries.

Production is expected to start in 2020 and will create around 1 200 new jobs directly at the facility as well as across the local supply chain. Depending on market conditions, it is anticipated Navara’s arrival will add 30 000 units to Rosslyn’s current annual production volume of 35 000, creating the need for a new, second shift at the plant.

“Africa is an essential part of Nissan’s M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm plan in which we aim to double our presence across the Africa, Middle East and India region. We already have a strong industrial footprint in Africa including plants 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. In South Africa, this is supported by the government’s creation of a stable environment for long-term investment,” commented Nissan’s Africa, Middle East and India chairman, Peyman Kargar.

The investment in Navara production will result in further modernisation of the Rosslyn plant, including a new, flexible production line and additional facilities, as well as training and upskilling of staff.

Working with the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), a local Government agency that promotes small businesses in the supply chain and skills development, Nissan has identified 15 black-owned companies that it will support in step with its preparations for the new Navara. It plans to partner with these businesses as it ramps up production and increases its spending on local content.

To date, Nissan together with the AIDC has incubated 8 new component manufacturers and related companies from its Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment start up programme. In total Nissan has 318 BBBEE suppliers which make up 34% of the total number of suppliers in South Africa.