South Africa’s legendary brand stands tall in the commemoration of a proud heritage
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (September 23, 2020) –
For the last 60 years, Nissan South Africa (NSA) has supplied quality vehicles that have met the specific needs of the South African market. Initially, it was through the importation and local assembly of completely knocked down (CKD) vehicles in 1963. This was followed by the establishment of manufacturing facilities in 1973 at Rosslyn, near Pretoria. Since then, Nissan and its forerunner, Datsun, have provided transport solutions for South Africans, while simultaneously developing the country’s motor industry.
In South Africa, the company offers a range of 24 vehicles under the Nissan and Datsun brands, including the popular locally-produced Nissan light commercial vehicles - the NP200 half-ton pickup and NP300 one-ton Hardbody. Soon to join their ranks is the Nissan Navara. The plant is currently undergoing renovations after a 3-billion Rand investment to welcome the new vehicle to the locally produced lineup.
The Datsun brand has re-established Nissan in the entry-level market where the tailor-made Datsun GO competes. After 40 years in the market, Nissan is one of the top five automotive companies in South Africa.
Nissan can trace its roots back to 1911 when the Kwaishinsha Automotive Company was formed to produce the first Datsun cars in Japan. This company was taken over in the early 30s and the Nissan Motor Company was registered. For South Africa, this story started later, in the 1960s.
Nissan South Africa officially opened its Rosslyn operations in 1966 under the name Nissan Motor Company Limited. Since then, Nissan South Africa has become the operational hub for Regional Business Unit South, serving Nissan's key South Africa market and 45 other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria as well as the key Southern African markets of Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.
The Nissan 1400 debuts and until 2008, the pick-up model Nissan 1400 was built exclusively in South Africa (initially as Datsun 1200, then as Datsun 120Y or 1400).
The Company renamed to Datsun Nissan South Africa, and the organisation was focused on the sole production of Nissan products sold under the Datsun brand.
Ten years later, the organisation dropped the Datsun banner to become Nissan SA.
Nissan became the first South African motor company recognised by the international ISO 9001 and subsequent 14001 quality certification.
Nissan Motor Company increased its investment in South Africa by purchasing a 37% stake from the Sanlam Group. The investment gave Nissan Motor Company control, whichwas subsequently increased to 98.7%. In 2001 the South African company’s name changed from Automakers to Nissan South Africa.
Production of the NP200 commences at Rosslyn. It earmarked the beginning of a new era and quickly earned its right as a key player in the half-ton segment. The NP200 still operates as the most comprehensive commercial vehicle line-ups on the market with a reputation for reliability and rugged ability.
Nissan’s iconic NP300 Hardbody celebrates 25 years in South Africa and continues to commit to active involvement in the community. Since 1988, it has contributed substantially to the creation of jobs, strengthened the South African economy, and is testament to the strength and proud heritage of Nissan South Africa.
Nissan makes history with the introduction of Africa’s first electric vehicle, Nissan's flagship Nissan LEAF. As well as boasting zero-emissions leadership, Nissan is also a leader in the crossover segment. Among its product offerings are the all-new Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail, as well as Juke.
Nissan re-enters the taxi industry in South Africa with the launch of the all-new Nissan NV350 Impendulo. Impendulo is the isiZulu word for 'the answer'. With it, Nissan aimed to recapture the love and affection of both taxi operators and commuters.
The Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) in partnership with Nissan South Africa successfully met the training criteria to become an Institute of the Motor Industry-approved international centre. To further strengthen community initiatives, Nissan promoted the social development as is often set out as objectives of the government through successfully instituting two automotive learning centres that can grant IMI international qualifications to its learners. The IMI’s Quality Assessment process enables the AIDC students to study and gain new skills in the automotive industry.
Nissan wins the CCBC Award for Manufacturing in recognition of its contribution towards economic growth and job creation.
Nissan announces a R3 billion investment in its Rosslyn facility to produce the Nissan Navara pickup. President Africa Cyril Ramaphosa serves as the Guest of Honour.
Next year, Nissan will welcome the first locally produced Nissan Navara, which will be exported across the Sub-Sahara Africa region. It is a watershed moment for the African automotive industry and will further cement Nissan’s status as a brand that is made for and by South Africa.