Zimbabwe key to Nissan's African plans - Market leader celebrates Trade Fair's 60th anniversary

Zimbabwe key to Nissan's African plans - Market leader celebrates Trade Fair's 60th anniversary
Published: 25 April 2019 (1867 Views)
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's perennially popular automotive brand is back on show at the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which is currently underway in the country's second biggest city.

The fair, which acts as a trade hub for the region, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year – only slightly older than Nissan's continuous presence in Zimbabwe itself – began on Tuesday and runs until Saturday.

This year the focus of the fair is on reinvigorating business and achieving rapid and inclusive industrialisation.

"The expo is a great platform for Nissan to showcase the different models it has on sale in the country and to network with business and government leaders," says Jim Dando, the director of sales and operations for Nissan Group of Africa, which oversees the global carmakers operations in the country.

"Zimbabwe is a very special market for us, it's very close to our heart especially since we are the number one brand in the country, which we are very proud of, but there is also great potential in the country which we are very keen to explore in the near future."

Nissan Group of Africa restructured its African operations into three decentralised regions last year; west, east and central out of Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya and Pretoria, South Africa each with their own regional general managers in a bid to bring the operations closer and more responsive to local market conditions.

In addition, the company signed a memorandum of agreement with the Government of Ghana to explore creating an automotive manufacturing industry there. Last month, the company's South African plant, which already produces the NP200 and NP300 hardbody light commercial vehicles (LCV) for export into 45 African countries, announced its intentions to start building the highly regarded and award-winning Nissan Navara heavy duty pick up, which is scheduled to start rolling off the production lines in November 2020.

"We have high hopes for Africa and its people," said Dando. "The Nissan Navara will be made for Africa, in Africa by Africans, it's just one of the ways we are living up to our commitment to bring the best possible mobility solutions to the continent."

Nissan's success in Zimbabwe remains built on the popularity of the country's favourite NP300 Hardbody, the half-ton NP200 and the one-ton Nissan Navara. The pickups' sturdiness and reliability have long made them a byword for mobility in Africa. But the Japanese automaker's X-Trail, Qashqai and Almera more than hold their own and have proven firm favourites in their own right.

The Trade Fair is an opportunity to showcase all of these to government, the corporate sector, the mining industry and of course the public. The Trade Fair is open to the public on Friday and Saturday.

"We invite members of the public to visit our stand and share our excitement about Nissan Intelligent Mobility and the vehicles we make for Africa," said Dando.

- Agencies

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