First Nissan Navara for continental market rolls off production line at Rosslyn plant
The official start of production of the new Nissan Navara bakkie at the company’s manufacturing plant near Pretoria, was witnessed this week by Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan’s Africa Regional Business Unit, Kabelo Rabotho, Nissan South Africa Country Director, Shafick Solomons, Nissan South Africa Plant Director; and a group of Nissan employees. The ceremony was also streamed live.
The Navara is now manufactured at Nissan’s Rosslyn plant outside Pretoria, for the entire African market. This plant where Datsun and Nissan have been manufactured for the past fifty years, in 2019 received a R3 billion investment to enable the African manufacturing of more Nissan models.
Noting the severe disruptions in production due to Covid lockdowns, Rabotho commended the employees who overcome many challenges and unprecedented conditions to turn the local manufacture of the Navara into reality. Plant director Solomons confirmed this sentiment, stating that the production team has been incredible and agile.
For Solomons, the first vehicle rolling off the production line is the culmination of an intense period of upskilling and training South African staff to meet and exceed Nissan’s exacting global quality standards, while making Rosslyn the Japanese automaker’s light commercial vehicle manufacturing hub for the continent.
“This first Navara built in our Rosslyn plant for the African market is a significant milestone in the Navara journey, which has been unfolding for a number of years. It speaks to the long-term commitment of Nissan Motor Limited to Africa together with the many men and women who have worked passionately on the project, ensuring that we build the iconic Navara for the African market within Nissan’s global quality standards.”
Kabelo Rabotho (left), Nissan South Africa Country Director and Shafick Solomons, Nissan South Africa Plant Director.