Yokohama, Japan - This teaser image of a “special new member of the Nissan family” (to be unveiled on 11 June) has sent the cybergarage rumour mill into overdrive, but popular consensus is that this is the long-awaited replacement for the Navara (or Frontier as it’s known in some markets).
Is this, then, the new one-ton bakkie to be built at Nissan SA's Rosslyn plant on a R1-billion new production line announced in August 2012 by Nissan SA managing director Mike Whitfield?
A quick call to Nissan SA spokeslady Veralda Schmidt revealed that the new bakkie would be launched in Thailand, and follow a global roll-out plan – including South Africa – with specific market launches and manufacturing locations to be confirmed in due course.
It remains Nissan SA’s ambition to double production at Rosslyn from the current 50 000 vehicles a year, including the NP300 Hardbody and NP200 bakkies. That plan includes local production of a new one-tonner, and the substantial investment required to make it happen is currently underway.
Production of the new model has been delayed, however, while global manufacturing capacity is aligned to demand worldwide.
Meanwhile, as soon as we see an image of the new Navara without its Casper disguise, so will you.