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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Closure of Nissan Navara plant in Spain won’t hinder Rosslyn

Locally assembled Navara sales will be limited to South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa.

With production of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Renault Alaskan already over, Nissan has confirmed its Barcelona plant in Spain will close at the end of this year and that sales of the European Navara will end in 2022.

Alluded to last year with the reveal of the brand’s restructuring plans aimed at saving ¥300-billion and reduce output to 5.4-million units, Automotive News Europe reports that the Nissan Motor Ibérica S.A plant will shut down after 41 years in December, due in part to declining bakkie sales on the Old Continent versus those of vans.

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“Production of the current generation Nissan Navara for European markets will end when our Barcelona plant closes in December 2021 and sales will end in the course of 2022,” the automaker told the online publication in an email.

The closure comes amid Nissan’s initial decision to continue with production for Europe instead of sourcing the Navara from other markets such as the main plant in Thailand. A facelift version was revealed in 2019, but the heavily updated current model now also assembled in South Africa had been ruled out on the back of worsening sales.

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Despite assembly also taking place in Mexico, where the Navara is called the Frontier – no relation to the US model- , China and Argentina, the latter now the sole manufacturing hub for the Alaskan, the facilities were not mentioned as having been considered to replace the Barcelona models, more than likely as a result of them building market specific iterations differing from those made in Spain.

The ruling out of Thailand has subsequently put renewed focus on the Rosslyn plant outside Pretoria as the likely facility for Europe, but with sales ending next year, the plant will, for now, assemble the Navara only for the local market as well as those in sub-Sahara Africa.

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