Harnessing the 4X4 expertise of Nissan’s Spanish operations, the new NP300 Navara has been fine-tuned for European customers and will be built on a renewed production line in Barcelona.
On a visit to the plant yesterday, Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe, led the traditional Japanese Daruma ceremony to mark the realisation of €80m investment for the NP300 Navara, the quality of which has heralded the launch of a new five-year Nissan Light Commercial Vehicle warranty.
Willcox said: “With 80 years of pick-up heritage, this new NP300 Navara arrives with the off-road ability, durability and loading capacity you would expect from the name.
“What makes the fully-updated Navara truly unique is the driving experience, style and comfort that it inherits from of the Nissan crossover range, like Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail.
“With the expertise of our team in Spain, a totally renewed production line in Barcelona, and our new five-year Nissan Light Commercial Vehicle warranty, Navara is further evidence that Nissan quality has never been better.”
The new NP300 Navara was engineered for Europe in Nissan’s Technical Centre (NTCE) in Barcelona, where the team developed the new 2.3 litre dCi engine and adapted noise and vibration, steering, suspension and brakes for European customers.
The contribution of Nissan’s Spanish team to the new pick-up also includes the manufacture of parts including steering knuckles, brake discs and drums at the company’s Cantabria plant. Production of the new NP300 Navara for Nissan in Barcelona will be followed by new one-tonne pickup trucks for both Renault and Mercedez-Benz, all of which will also share some common architecture. The Barcelona plant has capacity to produce about 120,000 vehicles annually for the three brands, which would see 1,000 new jobs created once full production is reached.
Frank Torres, Managing Director and Vice President of Nissan Spanish Industrial Operations, added: “The new product range in Barcelona point to a sustainable future for the plant and takes us towards our goal of producing 200,000 vehicles per year.
“In 17 months we have launched three vehicles successfully in Spain. As the quality output from this plant continues to improve, we are about to start the production of the fourth, the new NP300 Navara.
“Not only will this set a new benchmark for the pick-up market, it signals the beginning of our journey to becoming a premium plant.”