Nissan gives up on commercial vans in North America



Nissan is done selling its NV line of commercial and passenger vans in the U.S. and CanadaAutomotive News reported Friday, confirming a move that AN reported a few months ago. The automaker is going to push its sedans and SUVs for fleet sales instead.

Nissan will end production of its full-size NV vans in Canton, Miss., and the compact NV200 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, next summer.

A few factors went into the decision, not the least of which is Ford’s dominance in commercial vans. Nissan sold just under 39,000 units of the NV and NV200 in North America last year — while Ford sold just under a quarter of a million of the Transit and Transit Connect. In market share, Ford has nearly half of all large van sales, with Chevy taking a quarter, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Nissan’s market share? It’s 4.9 percent.

The other factor: The Titan pickup was not a strong seller (though the Frontier is a popular fleet truck), and companies would prefer to buy their trucks and vans from the same source. There again, the Ford has the F-150.

Nissan’s previous commercial sales program offered limited models. Now it will launch a program called Business Advantage that will market all its other vehicles to government and business fleets — all models but the GT-R, AN says, though we can’t imagine too many fleets would be interested in the 370Z, either.

A purchase of just two vehicles from the Business Advantage Program will land commercial customers a volume discount and other perks.

AN points out the strategy shift is a financial blow to hundreds of Nissan dealers, who made a major investment in lifts capable of hoisting a fully loaded commercial vehicle for service.

 





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