Nissan Navara at NAMPO
The last place we thought we would find ourselves in, was an agricultural show. Good thing then this was not any old show, rather it’s the largest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere. The show is called NAMPO and each year, thousands of people flock to Bothaville in the Free State, to see the latest and greatest in farming technology. Of course there are many factors that come into play when farming, some which require small machines and others that require machines big enough to make a 6ft man look like an infant. The weird and wonderful world of agriculture is as fascinating as ever, especially for a born and raised city dweller such as myself. In my world milk comes from Woolies and special breads come from my weekly visits to the Fourways Farmer’s Market.
So what does this have to do with cars you may wonder? Well for starters cars or rather Bakkies are the backbone of farm life. Without a Bakkie, it may get difficult to do farm stuff, whatever that is…In all seriousness though, a strong workhorse is needed for the gravel roads, towing and loading required to run a farm. This is why you’ll see amazing displays from the likes of ISUZU, Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan. Nissan decided to invite us to explore this exhibition with them as they had a very important vehicle to showcase at this show. The new Navara is a car we drove and were impressed by a few months ago. One of the main reasons why we enjoyed it so much was because it is one of the few bakkies in the market that do the whole “lifestyle” thing very well. As a daily commuter with no load at the back, it’s very comfortable and has minimum bounciness, mainly due to its unique suspension.
For years now Bakkie’s have used a traditional leaf spring setup, which works beautifully when loaded. The problem is that when there is no load at the back, certain pick-ups tend to hop, skip and jump, making for a rather interesting drive. The Navara on the other hand, has a coil setup, which is like what a normal car uses. As a result, your back and nerves do enjoy the comfort levels offered. So for Nissan, a show like NAMPO is extremely important because the farming community plays a large role in Bakkie sales. At the Nissan display, there was a “naked” Navara, showing viewers exactly how the new suspension worked. A variety of customised Navara’s were also on display, one in particular with a matte green wrap and some bits on it that would make most Sandton “off-road experts” salivate. The trend to have a 4×4 that looks guerrilla ready is on the rise, so that particular Navara would fit right in parked outside Tasha’s on a Saturday morning. That being said, those who will use their Navara’s on sketchy terrains will love the additions you can bestow on your car. Features like a raised suspension, roll bars, nudge bars and more will ensure that you’re next African escapade will be a breeze.
It is a fact that the farming industry plays a major role in an economy and South Africa’s agricultural industry is no exception. The fact that thousands of people attend a show like NAMPO proves just advanced we are in South Africa when it comes to farming. Seeing all these machines was a real eye opener for me, as we don’t often know what goes into making those juicy patties we eat on our burgers, or the pap we all love. It’s good to know that these farmers have the right support when it comes the vehicles they need to do their jobs properly. If your Bakkie can cut it at NAMPO you must be doing something right, because whatever products are displayed are up for major scrutiny from industry experts. As a motor journalist I can tell you how nice a Navara drives on the road, but it’s these farmers that can tell you if your Bakkie will see the next decade or not.