Nissan declares Zimbabwe a major market


JAPANESE vehicle manufacturer, Nissan Motor Co Ltd (Nissan) says Zimbabwe has emerged as one of its top markets in sub-Saharan Africa for its Nissan Navara vehicle.

Locally, the Nissan Navara single and double cabs are the most preferred brands for government, parastatals and companies.

Presently, all four Nissan dealerships in Zimbabwe are forecasting sales of 1 500 vehicles for the year, a rise from 1 300 in 2023. They are actively working with local financial institutions to broaden credit options.

Nissan Cloverleaf Motors, AMC Motors, Amtec Motors, and Croco Motors make up the four official dealerships for Nissan.

Nissan, through its subsidiary, Nissan Africa, is currently in a push to promote the Nissan Navara vehicle in the local market as part of a push running across the 42 sub-Saharan countries it serves.

“I have to commend this market. Zimbabwe has been one of greater markets for Navara in general and it is one of the few markets where we have been dominating against such leaders as Toyota, and somehow, Isuzu coming into the picture,” Nissan Africa Southern, Northern and Central Africa general manager Linda Mazimhaka said in a recent interview with businessdigest.

“But we have managed through the tough economy that we know in which people live with in Zimbabwe. We have managed to be resilient to provide a good performance which I commend dealers for.

“What we do, in general, is about 11 000 in sub-Saharan Africa in those 42 markets per month and we go up to 17 000, which is our target for this financial year.”

He said while it was a daunting task, the company felt that with their local dealers promoting the product, which can deliver on motorists’ needs, in terms of comfort and safety, the brand could achieve such numbers.

“In Zimbabwe, and my dealers would be very happy to hear, we are talking about 1 000 units on the Navara per year, which is a bit of a stretch from where we came from. However, we have all the potential to achieve this number,”  Mazimhaka said.

He said their focus on the market was to offer a range of Navaras to the market in either the single or double cab versions.

Nissan Africa operates a manufacturing plant in South Africa, producing the Navara brand alongside its other vehicle models, which are distributed to Zimbabwe and 41 other countries in the Sub-Saharan region.

Nissan Africa Sub-Sahara head of communications Nthabiseng Mokoape-Motsepe said the brand has consistently held the top or second position in Zimbabwe year after year.

“If you recall, previously, in the past we have had some issues with the vehicles that are being imported, grey imports into the country that are not meant for these roads,” she said.

“So, as we were doing our feasibility studies, when we were building this vehicle in South Africa, we reinforced the suspension, and we have a big suspension on this vehicle with other features of this vehicle.

“You can use it for leisure as well as for business, then it’s a two in one that supports our audience and the customers that we are targeting,” Mokoape-Motsepe said.

While grey imports are cheaper, they typically cannot be trusted in terms of performance owing to their age.

However, motorists have turned to grey imports as buying brand new vehicles remains very expensive for most people in Zimbabwe.

Nissan Africa has been selling the car brand on the continent for 60 years.

THE AUTHOR: Tatira Zwinoira 

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