Another one bites the dust. Yes, the Nissan Almera has been quietly killed off in South Africa, ending the 3rd-gen budget sedan’s 10-year run on the local market…
The death knell has finally sounded for the Nissan Almera in South Africa. Cars.co.za can confirm the Japanese automaker’s local division has stopped importing stock of the long-in-the-tooth budget sedan. The news means Nissan no longer markets a sedan in Mzansi.
In July, we noticed local sales of the Indian-built sedan – typically a popular vehicle among rental and fleet buyers – had tapered off markedly through the year, from a high of 785 units in January 2023 to a mere 7 units in June 2023 (and then 10 units in July). So, on 20 July, we approached Nissan South Africa for comment on whether the Almera was still on the market. No feedback was forthcoming.
After a follow-up on 25 July and several subsequent – likewise unsuccessful – attempts to source an official response from the brand in August, we decided to do some digging ourselves. We spoke to 2 separate sources, both of which confirmed the Almera had indeed been put out to pasture locally.
Technically, of course, the vehicle is on runout (and is still included both on Nissan SA’s website and in its official price list), but we understand local stock has now run virtually dry – exactly as the latest sales figures suggest. Despite the fact Nissan stopped importing this model at some point earlier this year, the Almera ranked 2nd on the list of SA’s best-selling sedans in the 1st half of 2023, behind only the locally built Toyota Corolla Quest.
Though it’s perhaps flown under the radar somewhat, the Almera was an important vehicle for Nissan South Africa in terms of sales volumes. Over the opening 7 months of this year, 1 573 units of the sedan were registered locally, making it the automaker’s 2nd most-popular passenger vehicle after the Magnite.
After a 7-year hiatus (when it was replaced locally by the Tiida), the Almera nameplate returned to South Africa in August 2013, with the launch of the N17-generation model, complete with a 490-litre luggage compartment. The front-wheel-drive saloon – which was known in some countries as the Sunny, Versa, V-Drive or Latio – remained largely unchanged over its decade on the local market, bar a minor update in September 2014. In fact, the Mk3 Almera soldiered on locally despite a 4th-gen model being revealed for overseas markets in 2019.
The local Almera range had comprised 2 derivatives, each powered by Nissan’s naturally aspirated 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine and differentiated only by their transmissions (a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic cog-swapper). Peak outputs for this atmospheric engine stood at 73 kW and 134 Nm. The 1.5 Acenta manual was last priced at R291 900, while the 1.5 Acenta auto was pegged at R310 000.
The Almera isn’t the only well-known Nissan nameplate to have been discontinued in South Africa in recent times. The NP300 Hardbody, 370Z, Micra and GT-R (not to mention the entire Datsun brand) were all axed fairly recently, while production of the NP200 half-tonner – which has made 4th place on the list of SA’s best-selling bakkies very much its own and is easily Nissan’s strongest seller overall – is scheduled to end at Rosslyn in March 2024.
Original Story by www.cars.co.za