by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – NISSAN has officially started production of the first Navara vehicles to be manufactured in Africa by Africans.
Production has begun at the Nissan manufacturing facility in Rosslyn, in the capital, Pretoria.
Mike Whitfield, Africa Regional Business Unit Managing Director; Kabelo Rabotho, Nissan South Africa Country Director; Shafick Solomons, Nissan South Africa Plant Director; and a group of Nissan employees witnessed the momentous occasion.
“This is a significant day for Nissan continentally,” Whitfield said.
It is the culmination of Nissan’s pledge of R3 billion (US$217,4 million) in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for investments to revive the South Africa economy.
“Today we are meeting that commitment, vehicles made in Africa for Africa going out into the market,” Whitfield said on Tuesday.
The first vehicle rolling off the production line is the culmination of an intense period of upskilling and training of South African staff to meet and exceed Nissan’s exacting global quality standards, while making Rosslyn the Japanese automaker’s light commercial vehicle manufacturing hub for the continent.
“This first Navara built in our Rosslyn plant for the African market is a significant milestone in the Navara journey, which has been unfolding for a number of years,” Solomons said.
“It speaks to the long-term commitment of Nissan Motor Limited to Africa together with the many men and women who have worked passionately on the project, ensuring that we build the iconic Navara for the African market within Nissan’s global quality standards.”
A week ago, Nissan graduated 12 Ghanaian engineers who have returned to their own country to start setting up Nissan’s first assembly plant in the West African country next year.
This highlights Nissan’s skills transfer policy.
“It’s important that we develop this relationship and continue to be seen as one of the leaders in Africa, for Africa,” Solomons said.
– CAJ News