Nissan SA will export locally-assembled bakkies to Europe, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand from next year following the finalisation of a R1-billion export contract.

Nissan SA will export locally-assembled bakkies to Europe, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand from next year following the finalisation of a R1-billion export contract.


The managing director of the Rosslyn-based company, Julio Panama, said the deal would entail the export of some 4 600 left- and right-hand drive one-ton Hardbody bakkies a year.


Australia and New Zealand would receive 2 800 vehicles a year from next October, with another 1 800 destined annually for Europe and Singapore from December 2005.


"This will double our current export volume of this model," Panama said, who added that the contract was for an initial two years, renewable for another three years (depending on the performance of the company).


"The deal places South Africa among the global players and is evidence of our parent company's confidence in our ability to deliver quality vehicles on time, and at a competitive price, to markets."


Panama said the contract would result in direct capital investment of more than R250-million: "The additional units will have a direct impact on cost per unit, on our export credits, and (will) limit our exposure to currency fluctuations".


"It will obviously benefit South Africa's economy by earning additional foreign exchange, and will result in job creation and

business to a wide range of our suppliers, who should expect a volume increase of about 20 per cent," he added.


About 50 suppliers were expected to benefit, with the local content of the vehicle being about 65 per cent.


South African Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin congratulated the company for winning the contract: "They've given you some tough markets in which to sell, where expectations of quality and delivery standards is going to be high.

"Orders like this, that give the workforce the prospect of higher security over time, are for us extremely valuable."