Production of Nissan's new light commercial van is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2011 at its Mississippi plant. Last Thursday, Nissan North America spokesman Steve Parrett confirmed that the revised production schedule at the Canton plant will enable the company to release the vans as 2012 models.
This year, Nissan stopped the production of the Quest minivan this year, reassigned 600 workers, and accomplished a $118 million expansion and modification of the facility to hold the new vans.
Parrett said that Nissan's engineering team requested for more time to ensure high quality and performance standards for the vans. As a result, the schedule was pushed back several weeks to December.
Parrett added that as soon as the company chose to adjust its production schedule, it decided not to start in December since production would only be interrupted for the holidays. They opted instead to restart in January and begin with the 2012 models, rather than starting with a limited 2011 model year.
Parrett was quoted to have said that this "benefits the customers through better residual values for the newer model."
The vans, which were launched in February at the National Truck Equipment Association's annual Work Truck Show in St. Louis, are new products for North America. Nissan has already been offering commercial vehicles in other countries but has only now chosen to enter this market.