By Felix Tjozongoro
ONGWEDIVA – Nissan South Africa is celebrating the overwhelming success of its NP200 pickup after final national sales figures for 2014 reported that it had reached a full-year market share of 52.2 percent for the half ton pickup market.
The NP200’s market share dominance reached as high as 65.4 percent in November last year and is a fitting end to a successful year for the South African produced pickup. Last year, comprehensive 12 month market research by Ipsos noted that the NP200 had the best vehicle quality in its segment, based on feedback from both business and leisure NP200 customers.
Ipsos South Africa’s quality accolade was followed late last year by a firm endorsement in the annual Kinsey Report, in which journalist and researcher Malcolm Kinsey calculated the cost of maintenance and repairs of different vehicles and vehicle segments.
In the 2014 Kinsey Report, the NP200 is singled out as the most affordable single cab pickup to own and maintain, beating its nearest rival, the Nissan NP300 Hardbody, in the bakkie-segment. The NP200 also beat all the entry-level vehicles in the passenger vehicle segment to be crowned the most affordable vehicle to maintain overall.
The NP200 replaced the well-loved Nissan 1400 after this locally adapted workhorse reached the end of its production life cycle in 2008. By that time, the 1400 had earned a place in South African culture and a parking bay in the global Nissan museum in Japan. Since taking over the reins, the modern NP200 has doubled its sales volume every year for the first four years before reaching a peak in 2014 with monthly sales of more than twice that achieved by the 1400.