The Nissan Navara 2019 Ute has been a popular off roading choice here in Australia, and our supply of our vehicles originates at the Nissan plant in Thailand. However, Nissan HQ has decided to upgrade its Rosslyn facility in South African to manufacture the Navara NP200 and NP300 ute models at that site. Let’s take a closer look at what we know and if this will affect Australia.
A 2020 Production Date
Nissan has announced that they intend to commence full production of their Navara NP200 and NP300 utes at their new South African production facility sometime in 2020. They estimate that production output at the Rosslyn plant would add around 30,000 units to the existing annual output of 35,000 units. The NP300 is an older generation Navara that has been sold in recent years to developing nations. The production of the NP300 will continue for the foreseeable future alongside the latest Navara models.
The Rosslyn Facility
Nissan has stated that the additional production output will create approximately 1,200 new jobs in the area. An additional shift will also be needed to meet the demand for the Navara. New investment has been required to introduce the latest modern technology to the Rosslyn plant, with extra training to up skill the employees and flexible production line processes. The assembly line will go live in 2020, but at the moment there is no exact date available.
The Need for Extra Nissan Production
The managing director for the Nissan Group of Africa is Mike Whitfield; he said “The new Navara is the ideal model for South Africa” he added, “our workforce is poised to build it, supported by the government’s Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP).” Mr. Whitfield later said “Vehicles already account for around 14% of total exports from South Africa” he then added “Navara production will allow Nissan to expand Rosslyn’s role as an export hub for our Light Commercial Vehicles and contribute further to the local automotive sector” he concluded by saying “(this is) fully in line with the goals in the next phase of the APDP.”
The Impact on Australia and Global Sales
Nissan sold a total of 231,435 Nissan Navara utes during 2018 globally. This was a great sales year for the Japanese car manufacturer with an annual increase of 6% over 2017. The Navara has been a tremendous success, and the company is hoping that this trend will continue. Here in Australia, the dual cab ute has emerged as a genuine alternative to the ubiquitous SUV. Some people, need a rugged ute that they can use as a family adventure vehicle at the weekend or on holidays. These South African production changes are unlikely to affect us here, and we expect the Australian Navara to be sourced from Thailand for the foreseeable future.