Nissan says the refreshed Navara bakkie range set to go into the production in South Africa in 2021 will be “perfectly suited to African conditions”.
Kabelo Rabotho, newly appointed country director for Nissan South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, promised the updated D23-generation bakkie would “boast a bevy of features ideally suited to the rugged demands placed on light commercial vehicles operating on and off the continent’s roads”.
“For the first time in history, the full model line-up of the Navara will be produced on home soil, made in Africa for Africans,” Rabotho said.
“I am immensely proud that we have overcome adversity and the effects of COVID-19 to reach this milestone and bring this amazing pick-up to Africa,” he added.
Nissan plans to start building the updated bakkie for local and export markets at its Rosslyn plant in Pretoria in 2021. The R3-billion investment will see the Navara added to the production line alongside the NP300 Hardbody and half-tonne NP200. The local Navara range is expected to grow from the current double-cab-only line-up to one that includes a broader range of body styles.
Interestingly, the Navara will also be assembled in Ghana, while Nigeria has been identified as another “key market” on the continent.
Rabotho said the investment demonstrated the Japanese firm’s commitment to Africa.
“Africa is a critical region for Nissan. Africa is one of the fastest-growing territories for the company globally in terms of total industry volume, therefore Nissan will continue to enhance its product offering through vehicles like the Navara as well as footprint throughout the region,” he said.