Senior Nissan officials say Renault and Mitsubishi, the Japanese automaker’s two Alliance partners, are “welcome” to start building bakkies at its Rosslyn production facility in South Africa.

The executives were speaking to journalists after Nissan 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.

“We have decided for Nissan to go ahead and we would invite our partners to join us as soon as they are interested. This is always for competitiveness; the best cost, the best quality we can deliver. We hope they will come,” said Francois Bailly, global vice president for Nissan’s light commercial vehicle division.

Peyman Kargar, Nissan’s senior vice president for the Africa, Middle East and India regions, suggested once the Rosslyn plant started churning out the Navara in 2020, partners Renault and Mitsubishi may well be persuaded to join the production line.

“This is their decision, but our objective is to make this asset we have here at the best level. And then our partners in the Alliance are welcome to join,” Kargar said.

The Renault Alaskan (currently not offered in South Africa) shares its underpinnings with the Navara, while the next-generation version of Mitsubishi’s Triton is expected to be built on the same platform as the Japanese bakkie.