High demand prompts Nissan planner to hike NV200 output

Article by Anita Panait, on July 2, 2013

Nissan's senior product planner for the new compact NV200 commercial van wants the carmaker's Cuernavaca site in Mexico to step up production to keep with the high demand for the vehicle. Peter Bedrosian, NV200's senior product planner, remarked that dealers are selling the van as fast as the Mexican factory could produce them.

Bedrosian noted that they plan to increase the monthly output to 600 units from the current 400 vans, adding that the figure will keep going up to 1,000, and then 2,000.

Nissan started selling the compact NV200 commercial van in late March 2013. The NV200 van is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a continuously variable transmission, and features sliding doors on both sides of the body. It boasts of an EPA-rated fuel economy of 24 mpg city/25 highway/24 combined.

Nissan dealers sold 341 NV200 vans in May, with a starting price of $20,835, including shipping. The NV200 is Nissan's challenger to the Ford Transit Connect, which virtually commands the compact van segment in the United States.

In the fall of 2014, Nissan will begin sharing the NV200 with Chevrolet dealers. Ram dealers on the other hand, are set to get a version of the Fiat Doblo cargo van in 2014.

Bedrosian says that some Nissan dealers were unhappy to hear that Chevrolet will also receive a version of the Nissan van, noting that "they don't want to share it." He said Nissan dealers like the NV200 and they want more of it.

Designed from the start both as a commercial and a passenger vehicle, the new Nissan NV200 offers a higher degree of roominess, practicality and comfort in the small van market in Europe and other markets around the world.

Nissan plans to offer the new NV200 in three different versions. One of these is a commercial van variant that boasts of the largest load space in its class. The second is the seven-seat Combi version that offers generous space for both passengers and loads. The third version – which will be unveiled at 2009 Geneva Motor Show -- offers more comfort for its seven passengers.

Andy Palmer, Senior Vice President for Global Product Planning at Nissan Motor, remarked that the carmaker’s Nissan LCV business is now expanding despite these challenging financial situations. He added that Nissan aims to expand this business by offering smart new products and services that cater to the needs of customers, both in Europe and around the world.

Having a roomy cargo area is one of the main attributes of a van, but the Combi version of the new NV200 could also provide enough room for passengers. The new Combi features fixed seats – a configuration seemingly shying away from the convention of using removable seats. To offer ample space, the backrest of the middle row features a 60/40 split, thereby increasing versatility. Then the entire seat assembly could be folded flat forward against the front seats with the rear pair fold separately to either side of the load area.

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