When Nissan revealed the third generation Navara in 2014 followed by the Philippine launch in 2015, the truck was at the head of the class. Many of the competitor models at the time were already dated, and Nissan effectively set the new standard in the pick-up category.
Come 2021, however, all that has changed. Nissan may have launched the redesigned, updated, and upgraded Navara for the new model year, but it enters the market with facelifted competitors that have been upgraded more significantly. The Isuzu D-Max is also in the market as an all-new model and brings significant upgrades across the board.
So the question is this: when will the all-new fourth generation Nissan Navara be revealed?
Now we have an answer: According to our sources in the region that are familiar with the manufacturing plans of the major automakers, the all-new Navara will start production in 2025 in Thailand.
That also means that -depending on the timing- the Navara will likely be revealed a few months before the assembly line starts series production. If we were to estimate, that means the vehicle could have its world premiere (probably in Thailand too) sometime in late 2024. And by the typical timing between the premiere and the Philippine launch, we could see the Navara in late 2025 or early 2026.
A 10-year model life may seem long for a vehicle, especially now when customers expect that every vehicle should be moving up the pace in terms of generations every few years and not every decade. Ten years is actually par for the course for pick-ups and SUVs in the auto industry; the previous generation Toyota Hilux (the IMV model) was in showrooms for a total of 11 years.
While we expect a 10-year gap between generations and the long vehicle research, development, and testing process, there is another underlying (and very important) reason why: Nissan may be playing for time to maximize the alliance with Mitsubishi.
We know the new generation Navara and the new generation Mitsubishi Triton/Strada will be platform brothers. This was something confirmed by Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta during the mid-term business plan press conference a year ago when he said that the two models will not only share powertrains but common modules as well.
Nissan became Mitsubishi's largest single shareholder in 2016 and promptly reformed the Renault Nissan Alliance as the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance. In a bid to reduce costs and boost profitability amongst the three companies, they pursue “synergies” where ever they can by sharing production sites, warehouses and logistics, R&D, negotiating with parts suppliers, and many more.
Given how the last few years have been exceptionally challenging for Nissan as a company following the issues around ex-supremo Carlos Ghosn's departure (literally) and many other financial troubles that have only been compounded by COVID-19, pushing the debut and production of the Navara to 2025 is very attractive. Leveraging the cost advantage of the partnership between Nissan and Mitsubishi simply makes sense.
Still, that means Nissan fans will have to wait quite a while longer for an all-new Navara model. And the Triton/Strada too.