South African President Cyril Ramaphosa/Bloomberg
The manufacture of the Navara from 2020 will also create about 400 direct jobs in a country which has an unemployment rate of 27 per cent.
Wednesday 10, April 2019
(Bloomberg) --Nissan Motor Company has announced plans to invest a further ZAR 3 billion ($213 million) in its South African plant to prepare for production of the latest version of the Navara pickup.
Mike Whitfield, Nissan Africa Managing Director, said that the decision by the Japanese carmaker may add 30,000 units to the plant’s current annual volume of 35,000.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “Automotive is already the largest part of South Africa’s manufacturing sector, contributing around seven per cent of gross domestic product annually and accounting for a third of manufacturing output.”
Nissan’s investment is the first significant commitment by an automaker since international firms agreed with the government late last year to extend a manufacturing incentive programme through 2035.
Additionally, the plan has also seen the likes of Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW operate plants in the country, in return for generous tax breaks. The majority of vehicles are produced for export.
Last month, Peyman Kargar, Nissan’s Chairman of Operations in Middle East, Africa and India said that the carmaker plans to more than double its industrial reach in the Middle East, Africa and India by 2022 by adding more factories.
“By 2022 we want to double our presence in Africa and South Africa is the most important base for this growth, we export to more than 45 countries from South Africa and with the new Navara this will be even more,” Kargar said.