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Nissan Sets Sights on Doubling South Africa Output

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Nissan NP300

Nissan’s NP300 pickup, one of two pickups already produced in South Africa

If all goes well, Nissan’s plant in Rosslyn, South Africa, is going to get much, much busier. In a move to tap into steadily growing demand for vehicles in Africa, Nissan has announced that it will be building a new model of pickup truck from the Rosslyn plant, boosting the factory’s output from about 40,000 vehicles per year to 80,000.

According to Nissan South Africa Managing Director Mike Whitfield (speaking to Bloomerg), the company is currently in negotiations with suppliers, and will probably announce details of the full plan early next year.

More New Nissans: Check out what Nissan is bringing to the US from Europe

This move also takes advantage of government aid, as South Africa uses incentives to attract companies like Nissan to set up and invest in the country’s factories. The government also recently extended the program beyond 2020 and loosened restrictions on companies to qualify, causing the number of vehicles produced in the country to rise to a projected 622,000 this year, more than double the 277,491 cars built there last year. According to Whitfield, these extended incentives are crucial.

“The fact that they’ve clearly stated there will be a policy after 2020, that they will work with the industry in 2016 to formulate the next phase of the auto policy, is critical,” he told Bloomberg. Otherwise, he said, “You wouldn’t be able to make investment decisions.”

The new pickup would join the NP200 half-ton pickup and the NP300 one-ton Hardbody in being produced at the Rosslyn plant, and would contribute the factory’s eventual rise to producing at its full, 100,000-vehicle capacity.

More International Pickups: Check out Nissan’s “Navara,” aka the NP300

News Source: Bloomberg