It’s official: Nissan NP200 compact bakkie to be discontinued

Published Aug 3, 2023


South Africa’s half-tonne bakkie market, as we know it, is effectively dead following news that the Nissan NP200 is set to be culled next year.

As first reported by Carmag the Nissan NP200, which is built at the carmaker’s local plant in Rosslyn, will be discontinued in March 2024.

IOL approached Nissan SA for commentary and the following statement was provided:

“After a 16-year heritage, the production of NP200 will end in South Africa in March 2024 following the end of its extended lifecycle,” Nissan SA said.

It added that no immediate replacement was currently in the planning, but the company is currently evaluating other alternatives in line with its “Africa Mid Term plan.”

The Nissan NP200 is one of South Africa’s most popular bakkies, consistently selling over 1,000 units per month. In July it ranked fourth with 1,041 sales.

The Japanese company reiterated that it remains “fully committed” to South Africa as well as the African continent as the “last frontier” of the motor industry.

“The Rosslyn manufacturing plant is the light commercial vehicle (LCV) hub for Africa, and the locally-produced Nissan Navara is a core model that will enable Nissan’s ambition across the continent,” Nissan SA said.

Following the discontinuation of the older NP300 range last year, the latest Nissan Navara will be the only model produced by the Rosslyn plant when the NP200 is run out next year.

Nissan SA did not give a reason for the compact bakkie’s discontinuation.

But what alternatives could be in the pipeline?

Currently Nissan does not offer any half-tonne pick-ups globally besides the NP200, which itself was something of a local creation based on the Dacia Logan Pick-Up that was discontinued in its home market of Romania some years back.

However, Nissan did confirm earlier this year that it was in the process of developing a new half-tonne bakkie in conjunction with Renault for the Argentinian market.

It appears, then, that the upcoming Nissan compact will be a close relative of the next-generation Renault Oroch bakkie.

This of course means that a double cab version is a given, but it remains to be seen whether a single cab derivative will be offered, nor whether the Argentinian project will also extend to South Africa.

Even so, it also remains to be seen whether such a product would be built locally or imported, although a new half-tonne bakkie with a double cab derivative could certainly be a unique offering from The Rosslyn plant - assuming that Volkswagen doesn’t plug that gap first.

Also read: Is Volkswagen planning to build a compact bakkie in SA?

Are there any other affordable bakkies in South Africa?

Technically yes, but none are of the unibody type that tend to offer superior comfort and safety.

The cheapest bakkie in SA is the Suzuki Super Carry, which is priced at R166 900 with a payload of 750kg. While an honest little workhorse at a bargain price, it has no airbags or ABS braking, and its cab-over format means limited crumple zones.

The next two least expensive bakkies - Mahindra Bolero, from R204 999 and JAC X100, from R209 900 - also lack basic safety items like airbags and ABS brakes.

The Nissan NP200 is currently priced from R234 000, fitted with a Safety Pack as standard.

IOL Motoring