Nissan to make big push in South Africa – including a shift from bakkies to passenger cars

Nissan has unveiled a major expansion strategy in the Africa, the Middle East and India region today as part of the company’s six-year midterm plan.

In a statement released on Wednesday (13 June), the company said that it aims to maintain and build on solid profit margins in these regions and will further develop strong partnerships and use local talent to meet growing vehicle demand.

The regional expansion is the latest announcement of the global ‘Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022’ plan. Launched in fiscal year 2017, the midterm plan calls for achieving sustainable growth while leading the automotive industry’s technology and business evolution.

Globally, Nissan is targeting annual revenue of 16.5 trillion yen and an 8% core consolidated operating profit margin by the end of fiscal year 2022. Industry-wide sales across theses regions are expected to rise by about 40% to more than 12 million vehicles a year by 2022, it said.

The car manufacturer specifically mentioned that South Africa would be one of the key drivers of this strategy, as it looks to build on strong 2017 growth in the region.

“Nissan plans to increase its market share in South Africa, now at 10%, substantially over the course of the plan,” said Roland Buerk, Nissan’s senior director of communications for Africa, Middle East, India.

“The company’s sales in South Africa jumped by 26% to 53,400 vehicles in fiscal year 2017. The introduction of new models, including the new Nissan Micra, is expected to boost demand further.”

He added that the company was also currently studying further manufacturing opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking to Reuters at the briefing, Peyman Kargar, chairman of Nissan’s operations in Africa, Middle East and India said that Nissan also expects to raise its market share in South Africa to “more than 15%” by 2022 – from 10% in 2017.

In making this jump, Kargar said that Nissan would be looking to sell fewer pick-up trucks and more passenger cars.


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