Nissan Motor intends to double the production capacity of its plant in South Africa by building a new pickup model there in 2018.
In an interview made by Bloomberg, Nissan South Africa Managing Director Mike Whitfield said Nissan plans to double the production at Rosslyn’s plant from 40,000 units to 80,000 cars in the near future. For this target to be achieved, the carmaker intends to build a new pickup there, with further details of Nissan’s plan to be announced in 2016. “Like any investment decision, there are a number of key milestones, but we are moving forward,” Whitfield said. “It would be a new product with a lot more potential in Africa.”
To increase major carmakers’ interest and to make them boost investments in factories, the South African government uses state incentives, therefore the number of vehicles produced in the country is forecast to rise to 622,000 this year, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa. If the estimates are correct, it means a major leap in production, as last year 277,491 vehicles were built in South Africa, of which 55 percent were exported.
Nissan plans to eventually achieve the full plant’s capacity of 100,000 units per year. Currently, Nissan builds the NP200 and NP300 Hardbody pickups at Rosslyn. “For us, the future potential of this industry is going to be the future growth of Africa,” Whitfield said. “We don’t see this as a major export plant into the US and Europe.”