Nissan’s announcement of a R3bn investment in its SA vehicle manufacturing operation is a “clear and unambiguous signal” of foreign investor confidence in SA’s economic renewal, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday. He was speaking at the company’s Rosslyn, Pretoria plant after Nissan SA MD Mike Whitfield announced the investment to build the Navara pick-up from 2020. Whitfield said the intention is to build about 30,000 Navaras annually, almost doubling the current total Rosslyn production of about 35,000. Rosslyn will continue to build its two existing pick-ups, the Hardbody one-tonner and smaller NP200, for the foreseeable future. Peyman Kargar, head of the international Nissan group’s Africa and Middle East operations, said the plant could eventually build vehicles for Renault and Mitsubishi, Nissan’s partners in a global alliance.

Besides being directed at the SA market, where pick-ups — or bakkies — are very popular, the Navara is also intended to spearhead Nissan...

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