Sep 14, 2012
R1bn Nissan investment to make SA an African bakkie hubBack
Africa|Building|Flow|Nissan SA|Nissan South Africa|PROJECT|Renault|Training|Visiting Nissan SA|Africa|Japan|Mexico|South Africa|Spain|Thailand|Rosslyn Plant|Automotive|Flow|Mike Whitfield|Power|Toshiyuki Shiga|Operations|South Africa
© Reuse this
“We need to grow the plant to the 100 000- unit-a-year level now,” says Whitfield. “We have already started doing this.”
The plant last year produced 54 000 vehicles – including the current NP200 half-ton bakkie, the Hardbody one-ton pick-up and Sandero models – up from 25 000 units in 2008.
Production volumes of the new one-ton pick-up will include exports, especially into Africa, but also other markets. Whitfield, however, does not want to provide details on either volume or markets.
Nissan SA last year exported 14 000 left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive vehicles, largely into Africa.
Local content on the new pick-up, excluding the power train, will be increased from 50% on the current Hardbody to 70%, adds Whitfield.
This move will mean the introduction of new component suppliers to South Africa, he adds, something with which the company is “actively busy”.
Whitfield said the plant’s expansion will add 800 jobs to the company’s payroll, with another 4 000 new jobs expected down the supply chain.
Apart from the production of the new pick-up platform, Nissan SA will continue assembling the NP 200 half-ton bakkie, and the vehicle will continue sharing this pick-up’s platform, namely the Renault Sandero.
Whitfield says Nissan SA will also be looking at producing two new, additional models at the plant, but using the half-ton and one-ton pick-up platforms to be employed in 2014.
Visiting Nissan SA’s operations from Japan, Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga says the capacity expansion at the local plant is vital to the Japanese manufacturer’s “ambitious growth plan”.
Nissan sold 4.8-million vehicles in the 2011 financial year, and wants to expand this to 5.35-million vehicles this year, and then continuously upwards.
The company is aiming for 8% market share by 2016, up from 6.4% in the 2011 financial year. A large chunk of this growth is expected to flow from developing markets, such as Africa.
Shiga praises the South African government’s commitment to growing the local automotive industry through strategies such as the Motor Industry Development Programme and the Automotive Production and Development Programme.
He describes South Africa as a “really good base” for “quality” pick-up production and exports, especially into Africa.
He says Nissan is currently building pick-ups at four locations, namely Spain, Mexico, Thailand and South Africa, with Mexico and Thailand “at capacity”.
“This is a good place to make more pick-ups.”
Whitfield adds that he expects South Africa to build more than 400 000 one-ton bakkies a year “in three . . . four years”.
In a move somewhat mirroring Thailand’s success as a one-ton production hub, he noted that Ford, Isuzu, Nissan and Toyota would all be bakkie assemblers and exporters in a few years.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Other Automotive News
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme. LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) – which disbursed a record R13-billion during 2015, from R12.7-billion in the prior year – remained optimistic that it could ramp-up loan disbursements to R25-billion a year by 2018 as it sought to give greater emphasis...