Nissan SA launches R3 billion investment in latest Navara model

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Nissan South Africa on Wednesday formally launched a R3 billion investment in the manufacture of the latest Navara model.

The manufacture of the model from 2020 will create 400 direct factory jobs with a further 800 jobs created along the car production value chain.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was invited to celebrate the investment milestone.

Celebrating the investment announcement at its main factory, north of Pretoria, the company said the investment could result in a further 30 000 units to the company’s current annual production of 35 000 units.

Ramaphosa was ferried around Nissan’s motor plan in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.

Already, the car manufacturer exports vehicles produced in South Africa to over 45 countries around the world and says with the additional capacity that will be created, there’s potential for that number to grow.

In line with government’s strategic objectives for the sector to grow, it has every confidence in making its latest investment.

Vice President and Chairperson of Nissan Africa, Peymen Kargar, says that the company is confident in its skills and competency.

“Because we are confident in the skills and competency, this is giving confidence to Nissan to continue to invest in South Africa and to get benefit from excellent level of skill in the country.”

As a result of the investment, Nissan plans to make available an incubation hub, which will help to facilitate up to 15 previously-disadvantaged small businesses working in the car components field to, ultimately, serve directly into Nissan’s manufacturing system.

President Ramaphosa has welcomed the investment, sounding almost vindicated by it.

“Nissan are formally launching an investment of R3 billion towards the building of a new brand Navara model. Now, we’ve said we want to raise R1.4 trillion in the next five years and boldly, at that conference pledges were made, adding up to about R300 billion. Some people thought that this was just a pipe-dream and thought that this is never going to happen and some even thought that this would not be investments that lead to new capacity. But today, we’re proving them altogether wrong, and we welcome this investment as we continue the drive to raise R1.4-trillion over the next five years, trillion rather.”

Of the R290 million commitments made at the Investment Conference in 2018, R40 billion of that came from the automotive sector, pledged over a period of five years, with Nissan now translating its pledge into reality.

The President described the automotive sector as a crucial element in the country’s bid to re-industrialise.

“The automotive sector is an essential partner in the industrialisation of our economy. The sector is a reliable partner, but it’s also a dependable ally as it demonstrated by this investment manufacturing catalyst; development and economic growth.”

The company says in its first year of production of the new Navara pick up, it will source 38% of local content, which will rise to 48% the following year, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that it reaches 60% local content – which indicates more boosting of local business and with that, more jobs.

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