Nissan has announced the start of Navara production in Argentina, which becomes the fifth country to take up manufacturing of the bakkie as “global demand continues to grow”.

The Navara is now also built at Alliance partner Renault’s Santa Isabel plant in Cordoba, alongside the Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz X-Class (the three vehicles share a platform). The automaker says its $600-million investment in the facility will generate up to 3 000 new jobs and the ability to produce 70 000 Alliance vehicles a year.

The Japanese bakkie is also produced at facilities in Spain, China, Mexico and Thailand.

“With more than 15 million Nissan pickup owners across 180 countries, trucks are a growing segment across the world and a particular strength of Nissan,” said Ashwani Gupta, senior vice president of Nissan’s light commercial vehicles business.

“Today’s start of production is fantastic news for the region, as well as for Nissan and the Alliance. We already have a strong presence in Latin America and this production line will ensure better delivery of our pickups as the demand for them around the world continues to grow.”

The brand says that one in every six Nissan vehicles sold globally is now a light commercial vehicle (LCV). Recently, Nissan announced a mid-term plan to increase global sales of LCVs by 40 percent by 2022.