The current restructuring of the Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi Alliance could mean that the Nissan plant in Rosslyn will build more Navaras.
The Nissan plant in Pretoria currently builds the NP200 half-ton bakkie and the NP300 one-ton bakkie. Nissan has invested around R3 billion in upgrading the local plant to build the ‘new’ Navara (it has been on sale since 2014 globally). The upgrade is likely to come online in late 2020 or early 2021 and produce up to 30 000 Navaras a year. That number may be stretched though if its sister plant in Barcelona Spain is closed down, which it is expected to, according to a report from Automotive News Europe.
The decision is expected to be made quite soon with Navara assembly to be shifted to the Rosslyn plant when it comes online. The Spanish plant had a maximum capacity of 120 000 vehicles per year, but this was split across the Navara, X-Class and Renault Alaskan. As we now know, the X-Class has been canned and will not be produced in SA.
We should hear more in the coming days as the Alliance continues to outlay its massive global restructuring.
The R3-billion investment by Nissan will also add around 400 new jobs to the Nissan payroll, as well as 800 jobs in the larger value chain. Local parts content in the Navara would start at 35%, growing to 48% according to the previous director Mike Whitfield.
The Navara is reaching the end of its lifespan, with a facelift model being shown in 2019 and a new model expected somewhere in 2023/2024. Nissan South Africa could see itself having to invest further in order to meet the needs a new model would require from the plant.