Egypt: Nissan Motor starts production, sales of Pickup commercial vehicle
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., announced the start of production and sales of the Pickup commercial vehicle in Egypt. As the first model to be produced and sold under Nissan’s direct management in Egypt, the Pickup marks the start of the company’s plan to establish Egypt as an automotive industrial base for the Middle East and North Africa.
“We are excited to begin our operations in Egypt with the Pickup,” said Shoichi Miyatani, Nissan vice president in charge of marketing and sales for the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. “This model is ideally suited to local customers and will contribute to enhancing Nissan’s presence in this market. From this base, we believe we have great potential for future growth, not only in Egypt, but throughout this region.”
Miyatani added that the expansion of Egyptian operations supports Nissan’s performance under its new three-year business plan, NISSAN Value-Up. Under the plan, which began on April 1, Nissan aims to grow its global sales to 4.2 million units, maintain a top-level operating profit margin among global automakers and maintain a 20% return on invested capital.
The Pickup is being built at Nissan’s expanded and refurbished manufacturing plant at 6th October Industrial City, 40 kilometers west of Cairo. Sales began early April. Nissan plans to add more models to its production lineup in the future, including passenger cars and sport utility vehicles.
Nissan has also started importing the new 1.6-liter Sunny sedan from Japan for the local market. In the summer, Nissan will also begin imports of its popular X-TRAIL sport utility vehicle. Nissan’s imports for Egypt are handled by Nissan Import Egypt, Ltd. (NIEL), a newly established subsidiary. Sales are being handled through Nissan Marketing & Distribution Egypt, S.A.E. (NMDE), also a newly established company. The Sunny went on sale earlier in April.
Mitsuji Sato is chairman and managing director of NMDE, as well as Nissan Motor Egypt, S.A.E., Nissan’s assembly operations in Egypt.
Total industry sales in Egypt amounted to 70,335 units in calendar year 2004, up 12% compared with the previous year.
Nissan began manufacturing operations in Egypt in 1997 through a local, privately owned company. On June 28, 2004, Nissan announced it would take direct control of its manufacturing operations in Egypt by investing $60 million to buy out the manufacturing facility at 6th October Industrial City, refurbish and expand the plant, and enhance its sales, marketing and distribution operations in Egypt.
The newly refurbished plant at 6th October Industrial City has an annual capacity of 17,000 units per year. All of its facilities -- including the body, paint, and trim and chassis operations -- have been upgraded. The plant employs 245 people.
By 2010, Nissan’s investment in Egypt is expected to rise to more than $100 million as the company expands its operations in the country.