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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Nissan confirms ‘half-ton’ NP200 replacement will happen, but…

Still unnamed newcomer will, as with the NP200, ride on a Renault platform, in this case, the Oroch-replacing Niagra reportedly due in 2027.

Nissan‘s President for Latin America has confirmed speculation uncovered last year that a half-ton bakkie aimed at the Fiat Toro and Chevrolet Montana will happen as part of a joint venture with alliance partner, Renault.

No name or timeline yet

Although not part of its “Arc” product strategy launched in April this year, the unnamed newcomer will conform to the separate Mobilise scheme involving the Frontier, its twin, the Renault Alaskan, and the incoming Renault Niagara.

ALSO READ: Renault-based Nissan NP200 successor coming, but prepare to wait

Omitting the Mitsubishi Triton, which will provide the base for the next generation Navara, known as the Frontier in South America, and by extension, the Alaskan, the Mobilise roll-out will see Nissan leverage off of the Niagara’s platform in creating an effective replacement for the NP200 sold only in South Africa as a rebadged version of the original Dacia/Renault Logan Pick-Up.

According to motor1.com Brazil, the announcement by Guy Rodriguez, made at Nissan Brazil’s head office in São Paulo, won’t involve production in said country.

New half-ton Nissan bakkie will be Renault based
Screengrab confirming the still unnamed NP200 replacement based on the eventual production Renault Niagara. Image: motor1.com Brazil

Instead, the Santa Isabel plant in Argentina will produce the newcomer alongside the Niagara Renault last year Renault would only go on-sale in 2027.

While no timeline for the Nissan version was released, the publication states that, similar to the Alaskan and Frontier made at the same facility, a model specific exterior will be applied more than likely derived from the still-unseen all-new Navara tipped for unveiling next year.

South Africa’s conundrum

Whereas the Niagara will seemingly replace the dated first generation Dacia/Renault Duster-based Oroch, the Nissan equivalent will fill a gap in Latin America below the Navara currently frequented not only by the Toro and Montana, but also the Ford Maverick and the ageing Volkswagen Saveiro.

While a replacement for the latter has been approved for 2026, it remains unknown as to whether Nissan will devise a right-hand-drive programme or keep the steering gear exclusively on the left.

The same applies to Renault, who had been expected to debut the Oroch in South Africa following the showing of a prototype at the Nampo Agricultural Expo in Bothaville in the Free State last year.

Renault Oroch shows itself to South Africa for the first time
Renault Oroch, shown here in prototype form at Nampo last year, has all but ruled-out for South Africa entirely after yet another planned launch this year fell through.

In announcing its product line-up for this year though, Renault importer, Motus, told The Citizen that “unfavourable economic market factors, in particular the degradation of the exchange rate”, had left it with no option but to delay the Oroch that had originally been projected to go on-sale in 2020.

Nissan itself ended production of the NP200 after 16 years at its Rosslyn Plant outside Pretoria on 31 March after plans to introduce a successor failed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement last October, Nissan South Africa said planning had already started on sourcing a replacement from Russia, which had to be called off due to the conflict, as well as Nissan and Renault withdrawing from and selling its factories in the Federation.

Nissan ends production of the NP200
Nissan NP200 production officially ended on 31 March after 16 years. Image: Nissan

The ending of the NP200 and ensuing restructuring has seen 400 of Nissan South Africa’s 1 600 employees being retrenched despite reported plans being afoot of supplementing ongoing Navara production with another model at some stage.

“During the consultation phase we will work with our employees, their representatives, and our partners to minimise the impact on our people and investigate other opportunities for them and for the business to ensure a sustainable future for the brand in South Africa,” Nissan’s statement read.

Keeping tabs

For the time being, no further details about the Niagara or its Nissan sibling are known, however, expect more to become apparent heading into 2025.

NOW READ: Calculation error sees Nissan NP200 bow-out as sales runner-up

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