Nissan to add Navara pickup at South Africa factory
Nissan will spend ZAR3bn (US$214m) at its factory in Rosslyn, Pretoria, South Africa to prepare for production of the next generation Nissan Navara pickup.
The move expands the role of the plant as a light commercial vehicle manufacturing hub for the automaker.
The Navara will join the NP200 and NP300 models which are built at Rosslyn for both domestic sales and export to 45 African countries.
Production is expected to start in 2020 and will create around 1,200 new jobs directly at the factory and the local supply chain.
Depending on sales, Nissan expects the Navara to add 30,000 units to Rosslyn's current annual production volume of 35,000, creating the need for a second shift at the plant.
South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa said the decision to produce the additional model was further proof of the increasing contribution of the automotive industry to the country.
"Automotive is already the largest part of South Africa's manufacturing sector, contributing around 7.0% GDP annually and accounting for a third of manufacturing output."
Nissan's Africa, Middle East and India chairman, Peyman Kargar, said: "Africa is an essential part of Nissan's MOVE to 2022 midterm plan in which we aim to double our presence across the Africa, Middle East and India region. We already have a strong industrial footprint in Africa including plants in Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and a planned facility in Algeria. Today's announcement highlights the continuing evolution of Africa as one of the most important global markets. In South Africa, this is supported by the government's creation of a stable environment for long-term investment."
The investment in Navara production will result in further modernisation of the Rosslyn plant, including a new, flexible production line and additional facilities, as well as training and "upskilling" of staff.