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Nissan’s 1400 Half-Ton A Champion Of Africa Says Goodbye
|Date: 18 Jul 2008
||Author Type: Press Release
With more than 275,000 units sold in South Africa, Nissan’s iconic 1400 half-ton bakkie is the longest serving vehicle in the history of the South African motor industry and Nissan South Africa has formally confirmed its run-out.
“The Nissan 1400 bakkie forms the cornerstone on which Nissan’s Commercial reputation was built in South Africa,” says Chris Schell General Manager Light Commercial Vehicles at Nissan South Africa. “The Nissan 1400 is truly an icon in South Africa’s motoring history and will be remembered for years to come as a true ‘Champion of Africa.”
The Nissan 1400 made its debut in South Africa in 1971. The original Datsun 1200 evolved into the Datsun 1400 in 1980 and became known as the Nissan 1400 in 1990. It has earned a well-deserved reputation as the ultimate small workhorse, thanks to its excellent reliability, low maintenance requirements, and modest sticker price.
In both the Standard and Champ guises it has stood strong as one of the most affordable commercial vehicles on the South African market for the last decade. During this period if you wanted to buy any other rear-wheel-drive bakkie you’d have to spend at least an additional
“It’s a vehicle that has stood the test of time and one that has been with us through all the memorable historic events in South Africa,” says Schell.
Before the days of the internet, the cellular phone and even the colour TV the Nissan 1400 was a trusted partner of South Africans. While fads like bell bottoms, rubiks cubes, Star Wars, Nintendo, dos computers and stone wash jeans came and went the Nissan 1400 bakkie remained ever present and proved to be a reliable friend to so many South Africans in everyday life and everyday use.
“Nissan always knew that the 1400 bakkie enjoyed a solid reputation in the market place but looking back, the unprecedented production run and loyal cult following that developed is a truly momentous story,” says Schell.
Small business owners and fleet operators continue to swear by the evergreen 1400 bakkie and are saddened by the news of its farewell.
“The Nissan 1400 bakkie has been a reliable partner to so many people in South Africa and after nearly 40 years of production there are very few South African’s who haven’t had some kind of encounter with the vehicle,” says Schell.
“Many of its drivers talk about the 1400 bakkie as if it is a friend that you can rely on and trust anytime and anyplace. We want to hear these incredible stories. After all, what better way to say farewell to this trusted workhorse than to hear the stories of those who have been so well served.”
Nissan South Africa is inviting past and present owners to send in their Nissan 1400 bakkie stories, movies or photos describing their fondest Nissan 1400 memories. One worthy winner will walk away with number 1 of 150 Heritage Edition. Upload your stories, movies or photos at www.thelast1400.co.za . Alternatively call 0800NISSAN, fax 0866869602 or email email@example.com.
To commemorate the end of an era Nissan South Africa will offer a limited run of Heritage Edition 1400 bakkies.
The numbered units will carry Heritage Edition decals, a certificate of authenticity, rubberized loadbox, nudge bar and a tow bar kit. The cabin is appointed with bucket seats and exterior styling is finished off with spot-lights and a tonneu cover.
The Heritage Edition 1400 Bakkie will be available in very limited numbers as only 150 have been produced. While only a few will have the opportunity to purchase one of these limited edition bakkies, one lucky South African will have the opportunity to win one.
“With only 150 models on offer the Heritage Edition will be a sought after commodity, as such we are excited to be able to give one away. We are also looking forward to hearing all of the funny, sad, memorable, heart warming and moving stories people have to tell about this special vehicle,” concludes Schell.
NISSAN 1400 HISTORY IN SUMMARY
1932: First Datsun truck
1967: The first B20 Datsun Sunny Truck introduced in Japan
1971: The Datsun 1200 introduced in SA
1976: Renamed Datsun 120Y bakkie
1979: 40 000 unit sales recorded
1980: Datsun 120Y Improved to 1400cc and named Nissan 1400
1986: Sport and De-Luxe derivatives were introduced
1989: 100 000 sales recorded
1990: Introduction to the current Nissan 1400 Standard Bakkie
1993: Introduction of the Champ derivative
1995: 150 000 sales unit celebration
2004: 250 000 sales unit celebration
2008: 275 000 unit sales recorded
2008: Nissan 1400 farewell/Heritage Edition