Pretoria - Nissan South Africa has hailed the building of the first Nissan Navara at its Rosslyn plant in Pretoria as a significant milestone in Africa.
Nissan South Africa plant director Shafick Solomons, speaking at the virtual celebration of the official start of production to build the vehicle in Africa by Africans, underlined the company’s commitment to build the iconic Navara for the African market within Nissan's global quality standards.
“Our team has been incredible and agile.The first vehicle rolling off the production line is the culmination of an intense period of upskilling and training of South African staff to meet and exceed Nissan’s exacting global quality standards,” he said. He added that it made Rosslyn the manufacturing hub for Nissan light commercial vehicles on the continent.
Nissan's Africa regional business unit managing director, Mike Whitfield, said the production was a significant day for Nissan on the continent.
Whitfield said: ”Three years ago, Nissan South Africa had the privilege of answering President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ‘Thuma mina’ call on behalf of Nissan, by pledging R3 billion towards his appeal to rebuild South Africa. Today we are meeting that commitment, vehicles made in Africa for Africa going out into the market.”
Nissan South Africa country director Kabelo Rabotho said: “I would like to say how immensely proud I am of the committed men and women who endured many challenges under unprecedented conditions to locally produce the Navara in our world-class production facility.”
Recently, Nissan had the privilege of graduating 12 Ghanaian engineers who have returned to their own country to start setting up Nissan’s first assembly plant in the West African country next year.
Solomons said: “From a people perspective, it has been very fulfilling and motivational to share our skills and our capabilities across the African continent. There are a lot of positives that come out of this process for us and for Africa.”