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Nissan announces ambitious plans for LCV growth

24th September 2008 Print
In a press conference held at the 62nd Hannover Motor Show, Nissan announced plans that will lead to a doubling of LCV business revenues and top level customer satisfaction in the LCV market globally.

As part of a plan to introduce 13 all new products during its GT 2012 mid term business plan period, Nissan will introduce a small van globally in 2009. The vehicle, inspired by the NV200 Concept first presented at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2007, will hit the road in Japan next spring and then in Europe, as well as in several other markets, in the second half of 2009.

Like the concept vehicle, the all-new small van will be named NV200. Its attractive design will combine with practicality, convenience, low-running costs and high quality. With a smart configuration of its layout, the NV200 will offer class leading cargo space.

Reflecting the importance of reduced fuel consumption and emissions to LCV fleets in Europe, Nissan announced its on-going development to mass market a hybrid-powered light commercial vehicle by the end of 2012. The Hybrid Cabstar prototype presented at this year’s Hannover Motor Show demonstrates Nissan’s commitment to LCV hybrid technology, coupled with state of the art battery technology.

It was developed in partnership with powertrain specialists ZF.

It will spend a high proportion of its working life in urban areas, where stop and start traffic is the norm. Nissan estimates that reductions in CO2 and fuel consumption will amount to up to 30%.

“We have not yet reached our full potential,” said Andy Palmer, Corporate Vice president, Nissan Motor Company, LCV Business Unit. “We aim to expand our business much further with smart new products and services that meet the needs of our customers, both in Europe and around the world.”

Nissan also presented a refreshed Cabstar, with the addition of a new automatic mechanical transmission. With no clutch pedal, drivers will find it easier and more relaxing to drive, particularly in urban environments, where stop-start traffic is the rule. A second benefit is the reduced wear on vital transmission components, such as the clutch – potentially reducing running costs and time off the road.

The interior of the Cabstar has also been updated, offering added convenience and comfort for the driver and passenger.

Also, Cabstar will be available with Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) option on the versions equipped with the ZD30 three litre engine. Emissions will be reduced and the vehicle will comply with the stringent Euro 5 emissions limits.

The new Cabstar with automatic mechanical transmission or DPF will be available in spring of 2009.

In mid 2009 the Atleon equipped with the Cummins ISB5-4H 4.5 litre diesel engine will be upgraded and will meet the future Euro 5 emission regulations.

A dedicated Nissan conversion centre has been established at the Avila plant near Madrid, where Nissan produces the Cabstar and Atleon light duty trucks. The centre will supply genuine built-to-order conversions, directly from the factory, with higher speed and quality. Nissan will start sales of its converted vehicles on October 1st and anticipates it will supply 2,000 conversions in the first full year of operations.

Earlier this year, GT2012, Nissan’s five year business plan, was announced. The plan outlines the company’s strategy for future growth and identifies the LCV business as a key pillar of the company’s performance..

Nissan set two commitments for the LCV business to be achieved by the end of 2012 globally:

a doubling of the revenue compared with fiscal year 2007
top level customer satisfaction.

The two commitments are also objectives for the European LCV Business Unit..

As well as 13 all-new models, the increase in revenue is expected to come from geographic expansion of the LCV business. In September, Nissan starts selling its commercial vehicle range in Russia, a market which has a huge potential. Sales start with two vehicles, Cabstar and the NP300 pick up, with a view to offer a range of six products in 2012. Nissan has already established a network of eight dealers, and plans to expand it further.

Outside of Europe, the geographical expansion will be implemented with the introduction of commercial vehicles in North America (in 2010) and India (in 2010-2011).

Customer satisfaction, the second commitment, will be pursued through increased quality levels of vehicles, purchase process and aftersales management.

“We have meticulously analysed the whole value chain, from product design to ownership experience and are now ready to deliver a level of quality and service that we are confident will exceed the expectations of our customers,” concluded Palmer.