No D23 update for Europe.
Nissan might be investing handsomely in South Africa, to increase future Navara production, but its bakkie is doing less well, elsewhere.
The European bakkie market is small but with the attractive profit margins that double-cab bakkies present, most brands with a suitable product try to be present there.
Ford’s Ranger and Toyota’s Hilux dominate much of the European market and despite building Navaras in Barcelona, Nissan no longer believes it has a future on the old continent.
The company has confirmed that its new Navara will not replace the current configuration, in Europe. This means that European bakkie fans will not have an option on the facelifted D23-series. It also means that as the production of the current Navara is phased-out, Nissan will not have a double-cab bakkie offering in Europe.
There is no replacement product strategy for Nissan’s European bakkie business, once the current Navara has run its course. For a company that produces an array of bakkies, its capitulation in the European market is telling.
Nissan’s failure to secure a future for Navara in Europe will also haunt the legacy of its Barcelona production plant. This facility now has the dubious distinction of having produced two of the least successful double-cab bakkies in recent memory: Mercedes-Benz’s X-Class and the European specification Navara.
For a brand that has always been revered for its rich bakkie heritage, Nissan’s waywardness in terms of its European double-cab strategy is sad.