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Nissan NP200 goes out with a bang in South Africa

The Nissan NP200’s time has officially come to an end, but not before going out with a bang, as the bakkie managed to rack up a staggering 2,679 sales in its final month of production – one of its highest tallies on record.

The compact light commercial vehicle (LCV) has been one of the country’s best-selling models for years, but its monthly sales figures are usually less than half of what it achieved in March 2024, illustrating how desperate people are to get their hands on one before the car disappears from storefronts forever.

A final victory lap

The Nissan NP200 has been a consistently popular offering in South Africa ever since it first went on sale 16 years ago.

The basic design hasn’t changed much in all that time, as the vehicle’s appeal lies in its simplicity, utility, and affordable price tag.

It was the ninth best-selling car in the nation in 2023, totaling 12,721 units between January and December – an average of 1,060 units per month.

The real figure tends to vary from month to month with sales usually somewhere between 700 and 1,200 units, putting it in the same league as fan-favourite hatchbacks like the Toyota Starlet, Suzuki Swift, and VW Polo.

It’s also the fourth best-selling bakkie behind the double-cab trio of the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D-Max, and is often far ahead of other models like the Mahindra Pik Up, Nissan Navara, and VW Amarok in terms of customers.

Much of the NP200’s success comes down to the fact that it is the last compact single-cab bakkie in South Africa, which is no doubt the same reason as to why so many people bought one last month.

At a starting price of R245,300, it is one of the most affordable LCVs on the market, making it ideal for small businesses that can’t afford or don’t need a larger pickup.

It runs on a 1.6-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 64kW and 128Nm, which allows it carry a load of up to 800kg in the back, or tow 650kg.

Gear shifts are handled by a five-speed manual box, and it has an average fuel consumption of 8.1l/100km.

Even though the car is clearly still very popular and enjoys a monopoly over its segment, Nissan ultimately decided to pull the plug on the model due to its ageing design.

Production of the locally-made bakkie ended at the company’s Rosslyn plant in March, though excess stock still means you may be able to find one in a dealership for another few months.

When every last unit is sold, motorists will either need to hunt on the second-hand market or turn to another carmaker for an alternative, though most other single-cabs are considerably more expensive.


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