Renault Nissan alliance invests €80 million in new South African plant

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has confirmed the launch of a new manufacturing project in South Africa. Nissan's manufacturing plant at Rosslyn was identified as having the potential to maximise synergies between Renault and Nissan.

With this manufacturing project, the two groups are reaffirming their commitment to South Africa. Renault and Nissan are to invest 1 billion rand (€80 million ) in the project to adapt two cars to the South African market (e.g. right-hand drive), prepare the plant, and develop the local components and accessories supply chain.

The current production output at the plant is 40,000 units per year. This will increase to 68,000 units in 2009 as a result of the investment.

The local integration rate will be 25 per cent at the start of production and gradually increase afterwards. Production will initially be sold in the local market.

Production of the new Nissan half-ton Pickup NP200 will follow the end of 1400 Bakkie production.

''Nissan has built up a formidable reputation in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment of the market and the retirement of the legendary 1400 Bakkie should not be viewed as the end but rather the beginning of an era,'' emphasised Nissan South Africa managing director Mike Whitfield, who said that Nissan South Africa was dedicated to sustaining its reputation in the sector.

Xavier Gobille, managing director of Renault South Africa explains, ''Sandero will represent affordable motoring, produced to meet the needs of the South African market and will be the first Renault product manufactured in South Africa''.

Renault Sandero will contribute significantly to Renault's growth in South Africa. In the coming years, Renault will expand the product line-up offered to South African customers with vehicles ranging from entry-level to upper range. Among them will be New Twingo, a lively little car, connected and practical, and Koleos, Renault's first crossover, set for launch in South Africa in 2008.