Navaras set off on journey through Africa

A convoy of Nissan Navara bakkies, representing the entire range that is manufactured in South Africa, left Rosslyn plant in Pretoria, Nissan’s African LCV manufacturing hub, today (Wednesday, 27 March) on the first leg of an eight-country odyssey into the interior of Africa and ultimately Cairo.

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The expedition, dubbed Daring Africa 2024, proves the boast that this range of Nissan Navaras has been built to withstand the most severe road conditions in Africa. It also celebrates a wonderful legacy, says Nissan South Africa Managing Director, Maciej Klenkiewicz, who adds: “These Navaras, all new and built of more, have been made for Africa by African hands that care, in the very same place that the first Nissan vehicle was built in Africa more than 60 years ago.”

The factory in Rosslyn, says Nissan Africa managing director Sherief Eldessouky, is an enduring symbol of Nissan’s ties to South Africa and Africa as a whole. “We are very proud of our history and of the multi-generational relationship that we have been privileged to create between employees and customers since we started, both here and across the continent.”

Today Rosslyn has evolved into Nissan’s LCV manufacturing hub for Africa, with the Navaras that are built here sold across Africa and, since the end of last year, in the new markets of Algeria and Libya. Soon, the vehicle range will be introduced to Egypt.

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“We’ve dubbed this journey Daring Africa,” explains Nissan African Head of Communications and PR Ramy Mohareb, “because it really is a wonderful new chapter to Nissan Dare, last year’s celebration of Nissan’s 90th anniversary.”

The odyssey, he says, is daring in so many different ways. “It allows us to showcase a vehicle that we are very proud of in a series of immersive events literally all the way to Cairo. We are proving our promise that the entire range of the Nissan Navara, which we build on the continent, is equal to the severest road conditions that Africa has to offer as we connect our two manufacturing hubs on either end of the continent,” he added.

Tonight, the expedition, accompanied by selected South African journalists, overnighted at Nelspruit after visiting selected Nissan dealerships in Pretoria and Mbombela: Nissan Menlyn and Produkta Nissan en route to the Mozambique border. The next leg will see the expedition heading into Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya, being met and accompanied by a team from each country’s media, before ending the adventure in Egypt.

Throughout their African odyssey, the Navaras will be shadowed by a Nissan X-Trail acting as an expedition support vehicle, which will also give the X-Trail an opportunity to prove its adventure credentials on some of Africa’s highways.

“The Navara is a wonderful evolution of the Nissan pick-up legacy,” says Nissan Africa marketing director, Stefan Haasbroek, “and this trip will show our customers and fans exactly what happens in real life, real-time situations as we celebrate the best that Africa has to offer.”

The vehicle is not just tropicalised for the African market, it literally has been built for market conditions, with a reinforced chassis a very different suspension and the best roll-over angle in the market. “It literally is built of more,” he says.

Africa is a vital market for Nissan, says Eldessouky. The continent is regarded as the world’s last remaining automotive frontier because of the low level of vehicle ownership, which Nissan is well placed to serve through its unique manufacturing footprint in Egypt and South Africa and its wide range of mobility solutions.

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