Sports & Motoring

Nissan Qashqai Discontinued in South Africa After 17 Years

The Nissan Qashqai has been discontinued in South Africa, ending its nearly 17-year tenure in the local market. The decision comes amid dwindling sales and strategic realignments by Nissan South Africa.

Nissan has quietly discontinued the Qashqai in South Africa, bringing an end to the model’s nearly 17-year run in the local market. This move follows a significant decline in sales and forms part of Nissan’s broader strategy to enhance its brand competitiveness in Africa.

The Qashqai’s Legacy in South Africa: The Nissan Qashqai made its South African debut in September 2007, quickly becoming a popular choice among crossover enthusiasts. Over the years, the Qashqai earned a reputation for its blend of practicality, style, and reliability. The first generation, known as the J10, sold over 20,000 units within its initial years, establishing a solid foothold in the market.

The second generation (J11) launched in mid-2014, continued this success, further cementing the Qashqai’s position as a favored crossover. However, the third generation (J12), introduced in September 2022, struggled to replicate the same level of success. Despite its updated design and advanced features, the J12 faced several challenges, leading to its eventual discontinuation.

Sales Decline and Discontinuation: Nissan’s decision to halt the Qashqai’s production in South Africa is attributed to a combination of factors, including poor sales performance and economic pressures. In 2023, Nissan managed to sell only 879 units of the Qashqai, with monthly sales averaging a mere 73 units. Although the first quarter of 2024 showed some promise with about 150 units sold each month, sales plummeted dramatically in April, with only 10 units sold and zero in May.

The Qashqai’s higher price point compared to its predecessors, coupled with economic challenges and exchange rate issues, likely contributed to its decline in popularity. The model was imported from the United Kingdom, where it was built in Sunderland, making it susceptible to exchange rate fluctuations.

Official Statement from Nissan South Africa: In response to inquiries, Nissan South Africa issued a statement confirming the Qashqai’s discontinuation. The company emphasized that this move is part of an ongoing assessment of their vehicle lineup to better serve the market. Nissan assured customers that the discontinuation of the Qashqai will not affect the aftersales services currently provided.

“Nissan confirms the discontinuation of the current Qashqai model in South Africa. This discontinuation will not impact the aftersales services currently provided to our customers. Nissan South Africa is evaluating opportunities for new products and an updated product plan will be shared in due course,” the statement read.

Impact on Nissan’s Local Lineup: With the exit of the Qashqai, Nissan’s range in South Africa now includes the Magnite, X-Trail, Patrol, and the locally built Navara. The brand has seen several other models, such as the NP200, Almera, Micra, and the entire Datsun brand, phased out over the past few years.

Despite the discontinuation, Nissan remains committed to the South African market and is exploring new opportunities to introduce fresh models that align with the evolving needs of consumers.

The Qashqai’s Journey: The Qashqai was initially introduced as a robust alternative to traditional hatchbacks. Named after a semi-nomadic tribe in southern Iran, the Qashqai, or “Dualis” as it was known in Japan and Australia, was conceived as an indirect replacement for the N16 Almera hatchback. Its unique positioning and crossover appeal helped it carve a niche in the market, though its journey in South Africa has now come to an end.

As Nissan evaluates its product offerings and strategizes for the future, the end of the Qashqai era marks a significant shift in the brand’s local portfolio. Enthusiasts and loyal customers can look forward to new models that promise to uphold Nissan’s legacy of innovation and reliability.

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