Nissan South Africa celebrated a milestone this week as the first locally-built Navara models started rolling off the company’s assembly line in Rosslyn, Gauteng. Nissan had intended to commence production sooner, however pandemic-related factors have delayed the process.
Nissan’s regional MD Mike Whitfield, who was on hand to witness the official start of production, said that it was a significant day for Nissan on the African continent.
“Three years ago, Nissan South Africa had the privilege of answering President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ‘Thuma mina’ call on behalf of Nissan, by pledging R3-billion towards his appeal to rebuild South Africa. Today we are meeting that commitment, vehicles made in Africa for Africa going out into the market.”
Nissan SA country director Shafick Solomons said that the local production follows an intense period of upskilling and training of staff to meet and exceed Nissan’s global quality standards.
Expanded model range
The locally-built Navara series ushers in a significantly expanded model range in which the high-spec double cab models, which were previously imported, are now joined by lower-spec variants and a single cab body style.
The more modern 2,3-litre twin-turbo diesel engine has also fallen away, in favour of a 2,5-litre turbodiesel that’s deemed more suitable for local conditions. The 2,5 is available in two outputs guises, with the entry version producing 120 kW and 403 N.m and the flagship making 140 kW and 450 N.m. Nissan SA has added a normally aspirated 2,5-litre petrol unit as well, which produces 118 kW and 233 N.m.
Trim levels include base XE, mid-spec SE and high-spec LE and PRO-X model grades. Single Cab models are priced between R311 000 and R527 000, while the double cabs vary between R474 900 (for a mid-spec SE) and R740 000 for the range-topping PRO-4X.