Nissan Plans Full-Size Passenger Vans, Too

Nissan Plans Full-Size Passenger Vans Too

Nissan's all-new 2011 NV full-size cargo vans are just the first products in a series of light commercial vehicles that will be built off its Nissan Titan-derived ladder frame. People-carrying vans are also planned.

"We're going to try to bring a passenger version along in the next 12 to 18 months," said Joe Castelli, vice president, Nissan Commercial Vehicles and Fleet. "The full-size commercial vehicle market is like a big jigsaw puzzle, and passenger vans are a nice piece of the segment. Bus versions are also a nice piece."

Before then, Nissan has work to do building a specialized dealer network that will sell and service its vans. Castelli expects to have 300 to 350 dealers signed up, or about 30 percent of Nissan's current U.S. dealer network.

"This isn't a segment that every dealer wants to have," Castelli said. "It requires a financial investment. Service requirements include a 30,000 pound lift, extended service hours, and parts delivered to the field. There are also different warranties and extended service contracts [than passenger cars and trucks]."

But for those dealers that sign up to sell Nissan's LCVs, Castelli said they can expect a steady cadence of products as the lineup grows over the next several years.

The first vans will only be available with a choice of a 4.0-liter V-6 or 5.6-liter V-8 gasoline engines. Optional Cummins diesel engines are expected later for stripped chassis trucks and cutaway vans.

"I think diesel is still further down the road for us, for more advanced pieces of the segment," Castelli said.

For now, the vans will compete on innovative features. They will offer the only full-size, high-roof, body-on-frame configuration in the segment, a long-nose layout that places the engine in front of the driver like a pickup truck and cool features like storage beneath the driver's seat that can be pulled out when the door is open.

Castelli says they also plan to be competitive on price.

Comments

Dear God that's ugly. Did they farm the design out to Mahindra?

Nissan need to sit down, take a deep breath and realize that they should stick with compact cars/pickups. They can barely sell any Titans, but they wanto to get into the cargo van business?! That doesn't make any sense.

Nissan has more than done the homework/research for this segment and the finished product, while perhaps not pretty, IS the most functional vehicle to hit the commercial vehicle market in forever! Ford showed there was a need for improvement with the Transit in light duty and now Nissan will fill the need of a heavier duty class with the NV Series, Go Nissan!

I think this is good for the industry this van is going to revolutionize the van market much like the Titan did in 04. It may not have been popular but it spun complete redesigns buy the big three to keep up.

If this van is built to the same durability standards as Nissan's Titan, it has about as much chance of success as the Titan.

I will take one and put some nice wheels on it. I imagine I can get four rows and drop my suburban. Imagine the things you can do with that van, talk about pimp my ride! Sign me up Nissan.

Pat, the Titan has very high durabity standards, I have a five year old Titan, its been flawless other then needing new front rotors, it hasn't been to the dealer for anything. I love it and plan on buying another.

Think about it guys...this truck may not be the prettiest, but think about those dated 90s style American-brand vans that have been overlooked except with a fresh face and some powertrain updates from the redesigned pickups. Trust me, I've seen far worse designed vehicles on the street (ie the Subaru Tribeca, Suzuki XL7, the latter looks like someone pulling the bottom of their eyes to their mouth). Makes me sick even writing that [shudders]. Anyhoo, this van gets my vote. :)

I wish them all the best there is definitely room for improvement in the van market. Nissan makes great trucks that unfortunately have had allot of bad press because of some early build issues. I own a 2006 Titan and I have never had an issue with it whether using it to haul tons of material and trailers or the family around.

Not bad, front end looks like a Dodge Dakota though.

I've always believed that when it comes to cars and trucks, and vans, that form follows function. We all want a vehicle that is attractive to the eyes, but what good is looking good if it doesn't serve a purpose?



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