4 April 2008Nissan Diesel South Africa opened its new R10.9-million production and warehouse facilities at Rosslyn outside Pretoria last week, in a ceremony that also marked the completion of the first Quon extra heavy commercial vehicle to be assembled at the plant.Nissan Diesel South Africa vice president Johan Richards said in a statement that the company currently employed a total of more than 330 people, with some 185 of them working on the plant’s assembly line.“These new facilities form part of Nissan Diesel’s ongoing commitment to assemble and deliver trucks of the highest standards and quality to customers,” Richards said.Nissan Diesel South Africa is currently the third biggest seller of trucks in South Africa, and the facility upgrade will enable the company to increase its production of trucks from the current 4 500 units per year to a possible 9 000 units per year.The self-funded investment by Nissan Diesel South Africa was used to expand the physical truck assembly building, as well as to install additional equipment, including a “chassis turn-over machine” to make assembly easier for the operators by having the chassis upside down during the early stages of the build process.On a global front, Nissan Diesel South Africa retained its number one position as Nissan Diesel’s top market and largest export hub outside of Japan in 2007.“With the benefit of increased production capability and the launch of our new flagship model range this week, we are intent on strengthening our position even further,” said Nissan Diesel South Africa CEO Hiroshi Yokofujita.“Nissan Diesel South Africa remains a dedicated truck company that aims to provide profitable transport solutions to its customers by adopting a ‘Nissan Diesel for life’.”According to the company, which started South African operations in 1962, it has produced over 59 000 units since its inception, with some 38 000 of them still on the country’s roads.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The Opposition parties on Tuesday agreed to keep their alliance on track for the Assembly polls due later this year, despite the drubbing it received by the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra. “We reflected on the Lok Sabha poll results and discussed the Assembly polls. We, in general, agreed to come together. We are yet to discuss things in detail and take final decision,” Maharashtra Congress committee president Ashok Chavan told reporters after the meeting.The Congress leader, who lost from Nanded, blamed the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) formed by Prakash Ambedkar and AIMIM for the defeat of the opposition alliance. He said the situation would have been better had the VBA joined the anti-BJP parties.Asked whether opposition would approach the VBA for an alliance, Mr. Chavan said, “The main issue is whether they are willing to be part of the grand alliance. We had tried last time, but they did not come together.” He however added that there was no discussion on aligning with Raj Thackeray-led MNS for the Assembly polls.He also said that the BJP was trying to poach Congress and NCP legislators, but would not succeed. Asked whether senior party leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil is joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said, “Technically, he (Vikhe Patil) is still a member of the Congress. It is likely he may join the ruling party. I don’t think our MLAs will join the BJP. The BJP is trying to poach Congress or NCP MLAs. But I don’t think it will happen, we are being alert,” he added.Meanwhile, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti, who also attended the meeting, said he met Mr. Thackeray earlier in the day.“We shared our views. He had addressed a rally for me during the Lok Sabha polls. Hence, I met him after coming here,” said Mr. Shetti, who lost from Hatkanangale. The meeting was also attended by NCP leaders Jayant Patil, Ajit Pawar and Dhananjay Munde, CPI leader Prakash Reddy, Ashok Dhawale of the CPI(M) and the Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi.