A high-ranking Nissan official has confirmed the Japanese firm is “exploring” the idea of developing a new global small bakkie to slot in below the Navara.

In South Africa, of course, Nissan already sells a small bakkie in the form of the ageing half-tonne NP200, which is produced at Rosslyn and has the segment all to itself. This rumoured new model, however, would likely be developed for global markets.

Ivan Espinosa, Nissan’s senior vice-president for global planning, suggested to CarsGuide.com.au the company would watch the performance of the upcoming Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz closely.

“Yes, it is of interest. We’re always looking at the market and constantly monitoring trends as well as customer behaviour,” Espinosa said.

“You’re probably right, this [opportunity] exists in some markets globally. [Thinking] of the evolution of trucks, not only the customer demands but also regulatory trends will be demanding lighter vehicles that are more fuel efficient. One way of solving that is through electrification, but the other is working on the weight and mass reduction.

“It’s one of the scenarios that you can imagine would come; maybe there’s a need for something more car-derived that could be of interest to customers. As we said, we are constantly looking at the market and exploring different alternatives.”