Nissan Commercial Vehicles Aims High

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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.

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Putting the Cummins V8 into the NV3500 would basically cement Nissan as the go-to for a heavy duty van, especially if they could do it for less than the GM Duramax option.

Goofy looking for sure. Except for the high roof which actually looks ok. Usually it's opposite...

Funny,Nissan is a French company add a Cummins,French truck with a American engine and a Japanese name.

@Jay - therein lies the paradox of brand or badge loyalty based on nationality or location of the prime head office.

If Nissan were to offer the 5.0 Cummins in a van, especially a chassis cab 1 ton, they'd be able to take a bite out of the Emergency Vehicle market pie. That market for the most part has been dominated by the E Series Ford. Ford is going to the Transit chassis but their diesel is too small for the accelleration demands of an Emergency vehicle. Passing/overtaking vehicles is a white knuckle experience in a low power but heavy unit.


2012 Ram 3500, 2012 Ram 4500, 2012 Ram 550

The Problem: Some heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmissions in the Ram chassis cab trucks may not meet the company’s design specifications. In that case, the Ram truck transmissions could suddenly lose motive power, potentially causing a crash. However, Chrysler says it has no reports of any accidents or injuries related to this problem.

The Fix: Chrysler will recall the Ram trucks and replace the transmissions for free, starting next month.

Somehow PUTC missed this recall. As you may recall, this was the "new" 6 speed tranny Ram received in 2012.


Be careful with these Rams. Give them a good 4 years for the bugs to be worked out.

@Mike D. - I think that Ram is the class leader pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.

@Lou (real or otherwise)- around here, ambulances only need to pass vehicles that are pulled off to the side, since BY LAW we have to pull over for emergency vehicles. Besides all that, the EB may actually be better suited to emergency vehicles.

@Mike above

The transmission introduced for 2012 was the 66RFE and is used in 2500/3500 pickups with the Hemi V8. The transmission being recalled in the 3500/4500/5500 chassis-cab trucks is the Aisin AS68RC. For 2013, that unit was supplanted by the stronger AS69RC for chassis-cab trucks, and added to the 3500 pickup.

@Lou and RodTrip, ONLY 91 TRUCKS WERE INVOLVED!!!!!!

Only 91 vehicles have been affected by the recall for a possible condition that could cause power loss to the truck!

During production of the affected trucks, the transmissions that were placed in the vehicles did not conform to the proper design specifications, which were discovered during a consultation with a supplier. There have been no reports to the company of injuries, accidents, or complaints in regards to the vehicles in question!

Chrysler will send out notification to the owners of the 91 affected trucks at the beginning of September. Dealers will replace all affected transmissions at no charge to the owners. Customers may contact the Chrysler Group by phone at (800) 853-1403 for further information about the recall!

There's nothing to see here.

@Lou, This was a SUPPLIER problem!!!


Chrysler FIXED the problem!

I'm not so sure about becoming the world's leading LCV manufacturer, but they are right on target on being a player in that field. Love or hate the NV vans' look, but they are having an impact. Around here, I'm seeing more full-sized NV's in service, and one guy I know quite well told me he wasn't happy with the Sprinter.

With these vans and the upcoming Titan with the new Cummins diesel engine-and I'm hoping it will show up in the NV also-Nissan is poised to steal a lot of sales from Toyota. The Tundra is in trouble.

I get the feeling Toyota won't develop the Tundra beyond its current status because it wants to position Hino as its true truck brand. It would be best to get Hino involved in Tundra development, or at least give the Tundra unit to Hino and let them run the show.

@Mechanic - I can tell from the quality of the Rambo Motard posts that you make you are used to playing with small nobs. I went all week without my inner school girl surfacing, but when someone sets up pins for you, you have to knock them down...I agree it is a supplier problem, Chrysler/Fiat supplying the public with vechiles!

What is the fixation on coil springs?
Most likely the same fixation Mechanic has regarding wet tee-shirts. The Ram 1500 isn't a good comparison to a HD. Ram has admitted point blank that if one needs to tow or haul then buy a Chevy. I do think that from a tow/haul perspective the Ram 1500 air ride system is as useful as screen door on a submarine. The Ram 1500 lost the 1/2 ton challenge based primarily on the ability to carry a load. I believe that for me and most truck buyers, satellite connectivity is more important. I can buy an SUV that can tow pretty much the same as a 1/2 ton if towing is all I want. But will I be able to listen to the tunes I want? I'm sure that I'll be bombarded with "cheapskate" buyer comments, but I’ll pay the extra $40 bucks a month to listen to Howard Stern. How is that cheap? Most buyers want a small truck because they prefer the size. But have they spoken to any women and asked them if size matters?

@Lou...a very insightful comment you make about the emergency vehicle market.

Allow me to add just one more bit, namely, that those vehicles are loaded with aftermarket value-added equipment.

Just like the firms who build firetrucks, whether for fire departments, military, police or ambulance service, the companies that add value to the chassis with pumps, generators, lighting, and other specialty equipment are extremely well connected firms. They are on the rolodex of every municipal procurement department in the country.

They will quickly adapt their lines to the Nissan platform. Ford, Dodge and GM have missed a key point here being so focused on the micro-truck market.

Three quarter and one-ton vans outfitted with emergency gear sell for well north of 100k. Some are much higher.

The cities and counties who buy this stuff are BRAND loyal. This could be huge for Nissan.

Speaking only for myself, the only Nissan we ever had in my family was a 350Z but we loved it and it never hicupped.

Enjoyed reading this article. Good luck to Nissan.

The Nissan van would be awesome with the new Cummins. They should also offer AWD.

Sprinters are used as Ambulances here, not a problem as @MrKnowitall said.
Nissan being a "leading Global LCV player"? A lot of competition out there.

I read yesterday that Renault and Nissan off loaded their truck divisions. I suppose every country in the world is represented by a large LCV market.

As for the size of engine capacity for emergency vehicles. I do know in Australia VW and Mercs has the ambulance market sown up with their large diesel vans.

We have them at work, but the AWD versions. Most of larger emergency vehicles are MDTs and HDTs

The bottom photo is one of our ambo's

Sydney Merc Ambo.

An old Victorian Jeep fire truck.

An Australian OKA 4x4 fire services vehicle.

Looks like a Freightliner, Tasmanian.

@Mr Knowitall - not everyone complies or follows proper road rules when encountering an Emergency vehicle. I've had to pass traffic that doesn't even slow down or move over for you.
Once one has a patient on board, outright accelleration goes out the window because a smooth ride is literally critical for the patient and the paramedic in the back.
In congested large cities, top speed is of little importance but in rural and mountainous terrain trying to get along powered by a 3 litre or smaller engine deffinately would not be fun. I had to transfer a unit for repairs from one town to another over 240 miles and the unit was severly underpowered and that was stripped of gear. It couldn't even hold speed on steep hills. Most units run dual alternators and that takes power as well.
Top speed isn't the concern but being able to accellerate to get ahead of traffic is important. The motoring public tends to drive like nearsitted jack rabbits.
i'm saying that the 5.0 Cummins would be more advantageous than the VM 3.0 or Ford's diesel Transit.
The Cummins name alone would attract attention of buyers.........hmmm Cummins 5.0 with 500 lb.ft torque or Ford 3.2 Duratorque with 200 horsepower and 350 lb.ft torque. Even the fact that the Nissan is the most "traditional" unit of the bunch would help sales.

@ Big Al,

This was done several years ago, unless they re-entered the market and sold those off as well. Renault merged its Renault/Mack truck units with Volvo Trucks several years ago, and Nissan's old UD unit was acquired by Daimler, or some other company.

I reading up on the Renault-Nissan Alliance yesterday.

Renault-Nissan are the 4th largest vehicle manufacturers globally at the moment.

I do think Nissan is seriously reassessing its position in the NA market. This can only make for a better market to buy and choose from.

I do think a 5 litre Cummins van and pickup is a great move. But they should also have the 2.8 Cummins available as well.

I would also like to see the new Navara with the ISF Cummins over the current 2.5 diesel thay have.

In Europe the NV400 use the 2.5 diesel and these vehicle look like they can carry at least 5-6000lbs.

I find it funny that Nissan wants to be the LCV manufacturer of choice, yet the Titan and Frontier are completely unsuitable for commercial service. Note to Nissan: there's more to LCV's than vans.

And another thing: If Nissan is so hot on commercial trucks, why did they sell Nissan UD off to Volvo?

My guess is Nissan will try with a few vans, not meet with much success, and fade away. They should stick to vehicles like the Juke. Oddball CUV's is what they are good at.....

Oh, unless Fred Diaz is allowed to run with the ball.....

Good questions there, Big Bob.

Nissan's recent decisions don't make a lot of sense to me either.

I don't see many of those shoeboxes on wheels either. The van designed by van drivers didn't take off like they expected so they've come back for more?

in canada, demers is a big ambulance manufacturer and they build ambulance on ford, chevy, and also on sprinter


nissan really need to offer diesel to get fleet, i saw a lot of ford e series sale go to chevy express when they lost diesel option

@bigtowing - thanks for the link. Sprinters and van based ambulances are fine in urban settings because there are multiple support units available. Fire/rescue have their own units so an ambulance only needs to pack enough medical/trauma gear for 2 patients.
When one runs into rural settings these units often are expected to be "ready for anything" and municipal fire/rescue departments will pull over and stop at the city limits (seen that first hand). If there isn't a rural rescue service or rural fire department then one is often alone. That requires larger units with greater capacity which traditionally has fallen to 350/3500 chassis cab vans like the E-series. Since the E-series is going, we most likely will see more 350/3500 pickup based units or MDT's. Just hope that there is a shock/trauma medevac helicopter in the region. My part of the world has poor trauma survival rates due to remoteness and the lack of a dedicated medical/trauma helicopter. Renting a Bell 206 for a remote rescue is pretty pathetic.

My biggest regret in life is that I didn't hit Lee Iacocca in the mouth while I had the chance.

From what I've read Northern Canada has a similar system to our RFDS in the Outback.

It's quite a comprehensive and complex organisation.

Medical and emergency people in all countries are probably the most under valued group. Everyone expects them to be there when needed.

I value their work as much is volunteer in Australia.

@Big Al from Oz - BC has a decent ambulance system and a decent medevac service but all of the dedicated planes are in larger centres and as far as I remember, they only have dedicated helicopters in the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. The biggest problem is funding. The Vancouver fire department has a bigger budget than the BC Ambulance service.

Hino Tundra... That sounds cool actually. Also make the Tacoma/Hilux a Hino too. I know that won't happen for the foreseeable future, but that would put the "ol' Toyota" trucks in a head-to-head competition with RAM and give them a more commercial fanbase.

I think what's also holding Nissan NV back is that like the Titan they make a limited number of configurations. Like what can benefit the big NV is an optional long wheel base NV3500 that can hold 15 passenger or extra cargo. The diesel engine can offset the other shortcomings, but only in the short run. If the competition offers decent light-duty V6 or V8 diesel engines in their vans then the NV could be in real trouble.

@Lou- if we are talking about an ambulance that would need to carry more gear or patients, making it too heavy to have reasonable performance with a 3liter diesel, aren't we then talking about a cube body anyways? IN a cab/chassis config, the NV3500 wouldn't have anything on a domestic CC 35-5500 diesel. For smaller ambulance service I really think the Transit with the Ecoboost is a good answer, if you want performance.

@mrknowitall- it all depends on the environment the unit will be used in. A standard or raised roof van would probably be fine with the 3.2 duratorque but if I had a choice between a unit with a 3.2 and one with a 5.0, I'd go with the 5.0.
Eventually all of the E series chassis cabs will also be discontinued. The transit is available in that configuration in Europe. The 3.2 would seem to be underpowered for that application. I do see Sprinters with camper bodies and at least for civilian use seem plenty powerful.

@Big Bob
"I find it funny that Nissan wants to be the LCV manufacturer of choice, yet the Titan and Frontier are completely unsuitable for commercial service. Note to Nissan: there's more to LCV's than vans."

Your comment actually highlights what the American 1/2 ton pickup is most commonly used for this day and age. Our dual cab midsizers appear to be heading down that track as well. VW is now offering the Amarok with a small payload (1 800lbs).

I do know there are trucks that work, but the majority are SUVs with balconies (thx DlM).

We don't know what the new Titan will bring as a working vehicle. Hopefully Nissan has learnt a lesson from the current Titan. As for the Frontier, it could work, especially the 4 cylinder gas ones, how many are used for work?

@Fake Lou. Since you are so completely puzzled and confused by what BC stands for, I'll enlighten you. I've said before that I am from British Columbia or more simply "BC".

I'm sure that you find yourself completely amusing and the very fact that I am answering one of your posts must have you firing a wad into your coloured underwear (yellow front, brown back).

Ultimately, your cowardice hurts PUTC and if you do have a problem with my presence on this site then you should have the intestinal fortitude to debate me face to face without hiding behind a false name.

This will be the last time that I will acknowledge your presence and to the rest of the bloggers, any post using "Lou" from now on was not made by me.


ANY post that uses my new blog name Lou_BC but does not have a link to my TypePad account, was not made by me. Any new post using "Lou" my prior blog name was not made by me.

PUTC does not seem interested in controlling trolls:

- That hurts them.

- That makes them look bad.

- That deteriorates their site.

I think this is a great step for Nissan in order to keep growing and competing as an industry.

Annie |

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