Long-standing Nissan MD Mike Whitfield moves to Stellantis South Africa

Published Sep 22, 2023


Hot on the heels of confirming a R3 billion investment to build a one-tonne bakkie in South Africa, Stellantis has undergone a leadership change.

On Friday Stellantis South Africa announced that three new members would be joining its Executive Committee, with Mike Winfield appointed as new Managing Director.

Mike is a well known stalwart of Nissan South Africa where he has spent his entire working life, having most recently served as the company’s MD for the African region.

“Mike has played a major role in the leadership of the South African automotive industry and the development of a Pan-African automotive industry through both the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) and the African Association of automotive Manufacturers (AAAM),” Stellantis said.

He is currently serving his second term as president of the AAAM and is a previous Naamsa president.

At Stellantis Mike replaces Leslie Ramsoomar, who served as the company’s MD for four years, where he proved instrumental in plotting the company’s course following the Fiat Chrysler and PSA merger and, more recently, the conclusion of the manufacturing project.

Stellantis SA has also appointed Pravin Harinarayan as its new Sales Director and Hassan Sazlie as After Sales Director.

Pravin has served in various positions at Volvo South Africa before joining MAN Truck and Bus as head of sales operations in 2017.

Hassan joins the company from Audi Africa where he was the Head of Sales and Network Development since 2020. Prior to that he held various positions at VWSA, such as Head of Aftersales and Head of Network Development.

Stellantis says South Africa will play a critical role in its Dare Forward 2030 strategy for the Middle East and Africa region, where it aims to achieve a market share of more than 22 percent, and annual volumes in excess of one million vehicles.

The company recently released further details about its R3 billion manufacturing investment in South Africa. This will see Stellantis setting up a new factory in the Coega Special Economic Zone in the Eastern Cape.

It will reportedly build the Peugeot Landtrek one-tonne bakkie in completely knocked down (CKD) form from early 2026 onwards.

IOL Motoring