Tech sharing is the future for these Japanese bakkie models.
During May, Nissan announced startling changes to its business. The Japanese automotive giant is under pressure and its ageing product portfolio is in desperate need of updating.
Nissan is planning to bank on models which are guaranteed to make money, and that includes double-cab bakkies. Although the current Navara has not achieved the success of its predecessor, it is the best bakkie that Nissan builds and will now become an anchor for the brand’s rejuvenation effort.
An updated version of the Navara is expected to be revealed late this year and should include mild styling changes and some equipment upgrades. Of greater interest to Nissan bakkie fans, will be the next-generation Navara project.
Despite the Renault/Nissan Alliance being under tremendous pressure towards the end of 2019, survival in testing economic times has forced reconciliation upon the different stakeholders. In the broader context, this also includes Mitsubishi, which is part of the Alliance and could become the supplier of crucial engineering assets for the next Navara.
Saving costs without sacrificing technology gains is part of Nissan’s immediate corporate vision. Mitsubishi is regarded as having the ascendancy in bakkie engineering skill and technology and as such, most of the platform, engine and transmission bits for any future Navara, will be primarily sourced from Mitsubishi.
The cooperation between these two brands is a bizarre arrangement by proxy of Renault, which owns 34% of Mitsubishi.
How will future Tritons and Navaras be distinguished from each other? Although platforms will be shared, cabs and loadbox designs will be unique to each brand.
The double-cab joint-venture between Triton and Navara is a brave new reality for Japanese bakkie fans, but one that is necessary for the survival of both Nissan and Mitsubishi.