Presented as written by Felicia Nkhwashu, Pretoria North Rekord:
About 1 200 new jobs will be created as Nissan plans on injecting R3-billion into its Rosslyn plant to manufacture their new Navara model.
Production is expected to start in 2020, according to company spokesperson Veralda Schmidt.
The modernisation of the Rosslyn plant will include a new, flexible production line and additional facilities, as well as the training of staff.
Depending on market response, it is anticipated the Navara’s arrival will add 30 000 units to the plant’s current annual production volume of 35 000, said Schmidt.
“This created the need for a new, second shift at the plant.”
The Navara bakkie will join the NP200 and NP300 models, which are already being built at the plant.
The new model will be sold in the domestic market, as well as up to 45 African countries.
“The move expands the role of the plant as a vehicle manufacturing hub for Nissan,” Schmidt said.
The announcement was made at an event attended by president Cyril Ramaphosa.
It was also attended by Nissan’s Africa, Middle East and India region chairman Peyman Kargar and Nissan group of Africa Mike Whitfield.
“Automotive production is the largest part of South Africa’s manufacturing sector,” said Ramaphosa.
“It contributes about seven percent GDP annually and accounts for a third of manufacturing output. I am delighted Nissan will produce Navara here.”
Kargar said Nissan hoped to double their presence across Africa, the Middle East and India.
Working with the automotive industry development centre, Nissan has identified 15 black-owned companies it will support in its preparations for the new Navara. It plans to partner with these businesses as it ramps up production and increases its spending on local content.
The centre is a local government agency that promotes small businesses in supply chain and skills development.
“The new Navara is perfect for South Africa and our workforce is ready to build it,” said Whitfield.
“Navara production will allow us to expand Rosslyn’s role as an export hub for light commercial vehicles and contribute further to the local automotive sector.
“This is fully in line with the goals in the next phase of the automotive production and development programme and contribute further to the local sector.”
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