The head of Nissan Group of Africa says the local arm of the Japanese firm has “absolutely no plans” to discontinue its NP200 or NP300 bakkies.
Mike Whitfield, managing director for the Nissan Group of Africa, was speaking to journalists after the automaker announced a fresh R3-billion investment in its South African operations, with the Navara set to start rolling off the Rosslyn production line – alongside the NP200 half-tonne bakkie and NP300 Hardbody – in 2020.
“Last month, I think we sold over two thousand NP200s and nearly a thousand NP300s. That demand carries on. So, very clearly, we have absolutely no plans to discontinue those,” Whitfield said.
Francois Bailly, global vice president for Nissan’s light commercial vehicle division, furthermore suggested there was a place for both the NP300 and Navara in the market.
“I see those two cars – the NP300 and the Navara – as complementary, but we’ll have to see the market and see where that takes us. The market will tell us what is the best for all the stakeholders,” Bailly said.
Launched locally in March 2017, the current D23-generation Navara range in South Africa comprises seven derivatives, all in the double-cab body style. But once local production commences in 2020, the firm plans to offer the full range, including single-cab models.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.