Renault-Nissan Announce New Car to be Built in South Africa

Car will be for South African market

The Renault-Nissan alliance said on July 18 that it would invest one billion rand (US$132 million) in South Africa to produce two vehicles. Renault will start producing its Sandero hatchback next year at a Nissan plant in Rosslyn, South Africa, the first time the French automaker has produced a vehicle in South Africa, the two companies said.

Japan's Nissan Motor Co. will also step up production of the NP200 pickup truck at the plant, they said. Renault holds a controlling stake in Nissan, Japan's third largest automaker by sales.

"With this manufacturing project, the two groups are reaffirming their commitment to South Africa," a joint statement said. Some 300 jobs will be created at the plant, it said, adding that vehicle production will rise from 40,000 this year to 68,000 next year. The vehicles will initially be solely for the South African market.

Major automakers have increasingly been looking to growth in emerging markets to make up for slowing sales in rich nations, where soaring oil prices have discouraged consumers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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