By Fact Jeke
THE launch of the Nissan Navara will forever be a date to remember in Zimbabwe motoring History. Nissan South Africa together with its dealer network in Zimbabwe launched the all new Nissan Navara. After years of thorough research, production and testing, the brand has brought to our showrooms a master piece which they trust will surpass what the previous generation delivered.
This market leader sums up Nissans ethos “ innovation that excites “ as it is competitively positioned in an environment where the brand enjoys a healthy market share.
With the introduction of the first generation Navara back in 1997 onto the market, Nissan has become a strong contender in the pickup segment. To date millions have been sold globally and sales in Zimbabwe have been a significant addition to those millions. I remember my first experience with the Navara back in 2010 only 3 years after its introduction onto the market. I got a demo bright red monster Navara from one of the local dealerships to test drive and review. There I was a young lady fresh out of Botswana which is another 4X4 nation spotting a bald look and dangling earrings cruising the Harare streets in the Navara for a whole 14 days. It was an experience I would want to relive again considering the heritage this vehicle carries. In Botswana for a few years running the Nissan brand through the NP300 and the Navara had outshined Toyota, VW, Isuzu, Mitsubishi and other not so competitive brands by taking the trophy for seven years plus in the 1000km Kalahari Desert Race. For me thats rich heritage and with the Navara being redefined with more ruggedness in its DNA history is being rewritten.
The event was graced by dealer network partners and their principals from Nissan South Africa together with stakeholders clients and media. Speaking on behalf of the Nissan Dealer Council Zimbabwe chairman Stanford Sibanda commended the support from Nissan South Africa which has seen the brand continue to lead in sales in the country despite the economic difficulties.
Nissan South Africa general manager sales and operations, Liz Segal shed some light on the figures which have been sold in 2017 giving a clear indication of the brand positioning on the market. “With this product we have high expectations in all markets in Sub Saharan Africa. With time I’m sure the evidence will be seen not on paper but on the number of units on the streets across Zimbabwe. From the information gathered from the dealer council, to date the country has seen sales of 831single cabs of those 504 are Nissan making the 2017 market share for Nissan in Zimbabwe in that segment a significant figure of 61 percent. What this means is that for every 10 single cab pickups on Zimbabwean roads, 6 are Nissan. It’s success stories like these which drive us to do more research and offer more practical products for our customers. Zimbabwe is part of Southern Africa, a key region in our Africa Strategy for business expansion on the continent. Our footprint has continued to grow with additional service centres being opened across the country run by our direct to dealer network. Our Africa Strategy has identified Zimbabwe as a country with much potential for growth despite the harsh global economic environment.”
Nissan currently has a 33,5 percent market share in Zimbabwe. This is due to their strong partnership with AMC Motors, AMTEC Motors, Croco Nissan & Nissan Clover Leaf Motors. Together they are building the Nissan brand in Zimbabwe by delivering a variety of vehicles that are tailor-made for this market.
What’s impressive is that before I even get to have a long term test drive in the Navara, it has already won the international pick up of the year award which means there is a lot to look forward to. Personally I can foresee myself bundubashing in sheer luxury when I pick one up for the week.
Here is a bit of what you should expect in this new rugged redefined Navara. I’m sure if you pop in at any of the four dealers, they will enlighten you with more information and pricing on the vehicle.
The striking new design of the all-new Navara centres on the next-generation V-motion grille. The V-shape of the bold chrome grille flows into the creased bonnet and is resolved on the tailgate, which features a stamped V-motif. The first hints of the Navara’s SUV features are seen in the full LED-headlights with boomerang-style LED daytime running lights and bright LED side indicators in the mirrors.
Also visible from the side view are rear privacy glass, side steps and striking 18” alloy wheels (16” for the SE) with a diamond cut finish. The rear view reveals bold new rear lights, a high-mounted stop light and integrated aerodynamic lip on the tailgate.
The locally launched double cab models feature the new coil spring rear suspension. The set-up combines traditional pick-up load-carrying capabilities, with the benefits normally associated with an SUV with a similar suspension set-up. These include better road holding, car-like ride comfort even over rutted gravel roads and better tracking through high-speed corners.
Powering the new Navara is the next Generation YD25DDTi, variable turbo diesel engine. The engine combines common rail direct injection and turbocharger with electrical Actuator and low compression ratio to produce high power from low engine speeds. The high output engine delivers 450 Nm torque at 2,000 rpm and 140kW at 3600 rpm on the LE grades. On the SE grade, the mid-output engine delivers 403 Nm torque at 2 000 rpm and 120 kW at 3 600 rpm.
The pricing is competitive and support is available since all personnel go on continuous training to match the brand’s global standards and ever evolving technologies. The sales people at AMC, AMTEC, Croco Nissan and Nissan Clover Leaf Motors will gladly assist. They also have stocks on the ground to test drive as well.