Join­ing the bull run

Nissan read­ies its new Navara to join the line-up for bakkie-buy­ers’ hearts

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT -

RAIS­ING the bar for qual­ity and per­for­mance, the all-new Nissan Navara is ready for launch at the com­pany’s Barcelona plant.

Har­ness­ing the 4X4 ex­per­tise of Nissan’s Span­ish oper­a­tions, the new NP300 Navara has been fine-tuned for Euro­pean cus­tomers and will be built on a re­newed pro­duc­tion line in Barcelona.

On a re­cent visit to the plant, Paul Will­cox, chair­per­son of Nissan Europe, led the tra­di­tional Ja­panese Daruma cer­e­mony to mark the re­al­i­sa­tion of €80 mil­lion (R1,2 bil­lion) in­vest­ment for the NP300 Navara, the qual­ity of which has her­alded the launch of a new five-year Nissan Light Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle war­ranty.

Will­cox said: “With 80 years of pick-up her­itage, this new NP300 Navara ar­rives with the off-road abil­ity, dura­bil­ity and load­ing ca­pac­ity you would ex­pect from the name.

“What makes the fully-up­dated Navara truly unique is the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, style and com­fort that it in­her­its from of the Nissan cross­over range, like Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail.

“With the ex­per­tise of our team in Spain, a to­tally re­newed pro­duc­tion line in Barcelona, and our new five-year Nissan Light Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle war­ranty, Navara is fur­ther ev­i­dence that Nissan qual­ity has never been bet­ter.”

The new NP300 Navara was en­gi­neered for Europe in Nissan’s Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre (NTCE) in Barcelona, where the team de­vel­oped the new 2,3 litre dCi en­gine and adapted noise and vi­bra­tion, steer­ing, sus­pen­sion and brakes for Euro­pean cus­tomers.

The con­tri­bu­tion of Nissan’s Span­ish team to the new pick-up also in­cludes the man­u­fac­ture of parts in­clud­ing steer­ing knuck­les, brake discs and drums at the com­pany’s Cantabria plant.

Pro­duc­tion of the new NP300 Navara for Nissan in Barcelona will be fol­lowed by new one­tonne pick-up trucks for both Re­nault and Mercedez-Benz, all of which will also share some com­mon ar­chi­tec­ture.

Barcelona plant has ca­pac­ity to pro­duce about 120 000 ve­hi­cles an­nu­ally for the three brands, which would see 1 000 new jobs cre­ated once full pro­duc­tion is reached.

Frank Tor­res, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and vice-pres­i­dent of Nissan Span­ish In­dus­trial Oper­a­tions, added: “The new prod­uct range in Barcelona point to a sus­tain­able fu­ture for the plant and takes us to­wards our goal of pro­duc­ing 200 000 ve­hi­cles per year.

“In 17 months we have launched three ve­hi­cles suc­cess­fully in Spain. As the qual­ity out­put from this plant con­tin­ues to im­prove, we are about to start the pro­duc­tion of the fourth, the new NP300 Navara.

“Not only will this set a new bench­mark for the pick-up mar­ket, it sig­nals the be­gin­ning of our jour­ney to be­com­ing a pre­mium plant.” — News­press.

FRANK TORRE vice-pres­i­dent of Nissan in Spain This set a new bench­mark for the pick-up mar­ket


The fourth-gen­er­a­tion Navara will use a new 2,3 litre dCi en­gine to com­pete with the latest Toy­ota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

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