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Nissan Invests in Commercial Truck Production



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Nissan invested some $1.94-billion in its Canton, Mississippi, assembly plant, which started production in May, 2003. It just spent an additional $118-million to expand and retool for the production of its commercial vehicles (CVs), a.k.a., work trucks and vans.

Among the changes are:

  • 14,400-square-foot addition to Body Assembly
  • Modification of 79,200-square feet in Body Assembly
  • 49,000-square-foot expansion of Paint
  • Modification of 59,000-square feet in Paint
  • New assembly line in Trim & Chassis

The plant will produce three models of the NV (for “Nissan Van”):

  • NV1500 with standard roof
  • NV2500HD with standard roof and high roof
  • NV3500HD with standard roof and high roof

Two engines will be available at launch, which is to occur in the fall of 2010 for these MY 2011 vehicles: 4.0-liter V6 and 5.6-liter V8.

“The new kid on the block, as it turns out, is also a long-time player in the global commercial vehicle market. As the first non-domestic nameplate to design, manufacture and sell CVs in the United States, we bring a more than seven-decade tradition of durability, quality and reliability to our products,” said Joe Castelli, vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Fleet, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). Which is to say that in the Japan domestic market it is a long-time player in this space. He went on to say, “At the same time, we’ve taken a fresh look at every aspect of the CV business – including styling, powertrain, interiors, cost of operation and ownership, dealership sales and service operations and, most importantly, real world customer needs.” Meaning that the NV planning team spent a whole lot of time in places including LA, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, and elsewhere meeting with small business owners, fleet managers, converters, aftermarket suppliers, and owners of competitive vehicles.

“The NV is one of the most researched projects ever in the history of Nissan. We touched the market at every point possible, with the findings reflected in every aspect of the final NV design,” added Castelli.

While things like pickup trucks aren’t necessarily work tools in places like Japan, commercial vehicles certainly are, so the company is undoubtedly hoping the NVs will resonate better in the market than the Titan has so far.

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