Worldwide, one in five vehicles sold by Nissan is a light commercial vehicle but the company is looking to increase that number significantly in the next three years and hoping to take the global leadership position in that category.
"Our ambition to become a global LCV player has been achieved. Our target now is to be the world's leading LCV manufacturer by 2016," Hideto Murakami, corporate vice president in charge of Nissan's Global LCV Business Unit, said in a statement.
Global LCV sales already account for more than 20 percent of all Nissan sales, and its goal will be achieved by expansion into new markets while forming strategic partnerships and building substantial growth in traditional markets. An ongoing new model offensive will see the company offering one of the youngest model ranges of any manufacturer.
Of course, Nissan's LCV presence in the U.S. is modest — with just the NV full-size van and smaller NV200 available through select dealerships — but that could change. Globally, Nissan makes small and large work vehicles that offer many different configurations and powertrain choices. Additionally, Nissan said it will push hard to pack as much technology and feature content into these vehicles as the market will bear.
The strategy sounds simple enough, but the U.S. light commercial vehicle market has proven difficult for other manufacturers trying to make large strides. Nissan is in a great position to take a leadership position with its zero-emissions electric vehicle powertrains, which it has promised we could see in the e-NV200 sometime soon or possibly a diesel-hybrid in the next-generation larger NV. No announcements have been made about using the newly announced 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 in any NV commercial vans; however, either of these options could help Nissan take a bite out of Ram and Ford commercial sales, since those companies seem to be sticking with more traditional powertrains.