As a facelifted Navara goes on sale around the world, Professional Pickup & 4×4 has learned that Nissan is withdrawing the popular pickup truck from sale in the UK and Europe.
Nissan has confirmed that the heavily revised 2021 Navara, an updated model with an entirely new style and enhanced safety equipment, won’t be arriving in the UK, with the manufacturer continuing to offer the current generation model instead.
However, insiders close to Nissan’s plans confirmed to Professional Pickup & 4×4 that the current generation model will cease to be available in early 2022, with no replacement planned.
Nissan Navara Axed: Factory Closure
Production of the European Navara was already slated to stop at Nissan’s Barcelona factory at the end of 2021. The manufacturer’s plant in Samut Prakan, Thailand, could have taken up the slack, but that facility will produce vehicles for the local southeast Asia and Australia markets, while the Rosslyn, South Africa, factory will supply Navara pickups to the African continent.
Production at the Barcelona factory slowed significantly through 2019 and 2020, with just 40 trucks a day rolling off the production line at one point. A lack of demand as sales plummeted has led to fewer orders to fulfil, leaving the factory operating at a fraction of its 500-plus daily capacity.
Nissan’s production demand has also been hit by the cancellation of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, as well as limited European sales of the Renault Alaskan, as both products are based on the Navara’s architecture.
Nissan Navara Axed: Sales Collapse
Sales of the Navara have collapsed throughout Europe, even before the effects of the coronavirus pandemic took hold, leaving Nissan to decide to concentrate on higher-volume, more profitable markets in Australasia and Southeastern Asia.
European sales stood at more than 30,000 vehicles in 2016, dropping by a third to 21,904 in 2019. The pandemic-affected total for 2020 reached just 11,695 pickups sold, with the UK taking a share of more than 40% of European sales.
In the UK, Navara sales have dropped from 10,815 in 2017, to just 4,730 in 2020. Last year, its market share reduced to 13.3%, losing its share of the segment faster than Mitsubishi, which suffered after announcing its withdrawal from the UK and Europe.
Navara ended 2020 in fourth place on the year’s pickup sales chart, behind the Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux, and the UK’s best-selling truck, the Ford Ranger.
With production of the current model ending in December, sales will continue into 2022 only as long as dealer stock remains.
Nissan Navara Axed: The Missing 2021 Model
The 2021 Nissan Navara facelift is quite significant, making it all the more galling that the UK will miss out. A completely redesigned front end incorporates an oversized grille and Nissan’s signature C-shaped LED headlights, as well as new fenders and wheel arch flares. At the rear, the load box incorporates a rear lip for improved aerodynamics, above revised taillights.
Minor changes in the cabin lift the ambience, with a more compact steering wheel, larger infotainment touchscreen, and a digital instrument panel. Rear passengers have also been looked after, with revised seating and improved cushions and backrests.
A suite of safety technology has been added too, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring for the first time.
Nissan confirmed that the updated model won’t be making it these shores, with a spokesperson telling Professional Pickup & 4×4 that the revised 2021 Navara “will not be on sale throughout Europe. We will continue to sell the current European Navara model, which is produced at the Barcelona plant.”
Nissan Navara Axed: The Future
With no prospect of updating the European production line, UK buyers will have to make do with the current-generation model, lightly revised in 2019. Following the exhaustion of stocks in 2022, the Navara will disappear from UK showrooms.
However, an entirely new Navara is expected in 2025, based on the next-generation Mitsubishi L200 platform and, while unlikely, it remains a possibility that this could be introduced in the UK and Europe.
In the face of continued falling sales, especially throughout Europe, the prospects of Navara’s return are not strong, though, while Mitsubishi’s new L200 also won’t appear following the brand’s withdrawal.
Nissan’s spokesperson added that it “is not announcing the end of Navara for Europe. Navara is an important product and the Navara currently sold in Europe meets the needs of our consumers. Future product plans will be announced in due course.”