• Nissan has been in South Africa since 1963.
• The automaker is producing several vehicles locally, including the NP200 bakkie.
• The next-generation Navara will also be produced in SA.
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Nissan has quite a rich history in South Africa. Over the last 60 years, the Japanese automaker went out of its way to show its dedication to the needs of the South African market.
Nissan began its South African journey in 1963 through importation and local assembly of completely knocked down (CKD) vehicles (CKD is when an automaker reassembles a car from scratch using kits of loose parts). A decade later, Nissan established its manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria – which is still in operation to this day.
There are 24 vehicles under the Nissan and Datsun brands in South Africa today, including the popular NP200 half-ton bakkie. Nissan will also be producing the third-generation Navara at its Rosslyn plant from 2021 onwards. This follows an R3.0-billion investment. Renovations to accommodate the Navara’s production is currently underway.
Nissan can trace its roots back to 1911 when the Kwaishinsha Automotive Company was formed to produce the first Datsun cars in Japan. This company was taken over in the early 1930s, and the Nissan Motor Company was registered. For South Africa, this story started later, in the 1960s.