Nissan South Africa (SA) would not start production of a new one-ton pick-up range in 2014, as the local arm of the Japanese manufacturer had stated it would, in September last year.
“Nissan can confirm that the development of the one-ton pick-up truck allocated to Rosslyn plant, Pretoria has been postponed,” Nissan SA spokesperson Veralda Schmidt told Engineering News Online on Monday.
“The decision represents a normal part of our programme-management process and it is not uncommon for model schedules to change during the planning phase, for a variety of business reasons,” she noted.
She said, however, that Nissan remained committed to producing the new pic-kup model at the Rosslyn plant.
“The sourcing process is expected to restart within the next 12 months. We have no more detail to share at this time.”
Nissan SA MD Mike Whitfield said in September last year that NIssan has officially signed off on the Rosslyn plant as a production hub for the new pick-up, in a project valued at more than R1-billion.
“We need to grow the plant to the 100 000-unit-a-year level now,” Whitfield said at the time.
The Nissan SA plant in 2011 produced 54 000 vehicles – including the current NP200 half-ton bakkie, the Hardbody one-ton pick-up and the Renault Sandero models – up from 25 000 units in 2008.
Whitfield said production volumes of the new one-ton pick-up would include exports, especially into Africa, but also other markets.