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Nissan to Launch Seven Models in Africa, Create 1200 Jobs

Zacks Equity Research

Nissan Motor Co. NSANY recently announced that it plans to develop seven new vehicles in Africa in the next two years, as the firm is looking to concentrate on high-growth markets to fight against the coronavirus crisis.

In Africa, Nissan will expand its SUV (sports utility vehicles) and cross-over portfolio with seven new models, four of which will be in the SUV category. It plans to make Africa a hub for light commercial vehicles (LCVs), open plants in Ghana and Kenya, and increase production of its popular Navara pick-ups.

The company aims to manufacture the latest Navara at Tshwane's Rosslyn assembly plant, and is also looking to export. It plans to spend 3 billion rand ($174.07 million) on the vehicle and intends to start manufacturing commercially in January 2021.

The investment in Navara is projected to generate 400 new positions at Nissan SA, and another 800 at components’ suppliers. The plant already manufactures two bakkie ranges, the one-tonner Hardbody and the smaller NP200, both of which will continue.

Meanwhile, the company announced a plan last month to cut the number of models it makes globally and improve efficiency after the pandemic triggered its first annual loss in 11 years.

Nissan has redesigned its best-selling Rogue SUV, which is part of a major restructuring program announced by the Japanese carmaker in May. The transition entails cutting billions in operating costs, axing several car nameplates, and closing or realigning assembly facilities that are part of the Nissan-Renault RNLSY-Mitsubishi alliance.The new-generation Nissan Rogue SUV, also known as X-Trail, sports a sleeker look, improved power and advanced technology, including an upgraded version of the company's ProPilot Assist driver-aid system.

Further, Nissan has announced plans to launch the production version of the company’s all-electric compact SUV battery-electric vehicle (BEV), Ariya, in 2020. The latest model features Nissan's fresh corporate styling, 21-inch wheels, a dual-engine all-wheel-drive system and is expected to offer a maximum range of about 300 miles.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Nissan currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have depreciated 36.7%, year to date, compared with the industry’s decline of 13.1%.

Some better-ranked stocks are Niu Technologies NIU and Tesla TSLA, both carrying a Zack Rank of 2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Shares of Niu have surged 91.4% year to date, as against the industry’s decline of 12.2%.

Shares of Tesla have soared 167.6%, year to date, compared with industry’s rise of 44.5%.

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