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Nissan plots huge van sales growth

Date: 16 October 2008   |   Author: Tristan Young

Concept version of the NV200

Nissan is planning to further increase its dedicated commercial vehicle dealer network to 75 sites in the next 12 months - a significant expansion from the previous target of 48 by early 2009.

Newly appointed LCV sales and marketing director Tony Lewis made the revelation to BusinessVan following worldwide LCV boss Andy Palmer's announcement at the recent Hanover van show that Nissan planned to double CV revenues by the end of 2012.

Lewis intends to reach the new target by expanding the dedicated commercial vehicle dealer network.

"We are looking to review the number of centres to get to 70 or 75. We've got 33 currently within the Nissan network and five within the Volvo truck network, and a target of 48 by early next year," said Lewis.

Lewis added that 2009 would be about the run-out of some models and the run-in of the all-new NV200.

"But by 2010 we will be doing [a total of] 15,000 units per year." In 2007, Nissan sold around 5000 vans.

Nissan will have more than 10 new commercial vehicles by the end of 2012, according to Palmer's recent Hanover show announcement. These vehicles are expected to follow Nissan's new naming strategy, so if it's a van it will be NV followed by a number denoting the size of van.

"With the NV200, we're the first of the Japanese makers to enter that [light van] market," said Lewis.

"There is a different approach with the Japanese van designers: they spend time with the customers and the drivers. The result is that we can do a lot more bespoke products on the production line - as many configurations as possible on the line."

Commenting on the NV200's design, Lewis said: "The footprint will be small but it will have class-leading room inside. It will only be a Nissan - there won't be Renault or Vauxhall versions."

Lewis claimed Nissan's 2008 CV sales will be up year-on-year in a market he predicted will end the year 15% down. However, the brand classes the Navara pick-up (down nearly 25%) as a car, not part of its CV?range.