Nissan Rolls Into Canadian Commercial Vehicle Market

by James Menzies

TORONTO, Ont. –Nissan has leapt into the Canadian commercial vehicle market, with a full-sized van it says will inject life into the traditionally “boring” segment.

The NV2500 concept van, available in GVWRs up to Class 5, was introduced to Truck News in advance of the Canadian International Auto Show where it was unveiled to the public for the first time.

“We’re trying to show that commercial vehicles need not be boring boxes on wheels, they can be enhanced considerably in design and functionality with a lot of aesthetics to give it emotional as well as rational appeal,” Syed Ahmed, corporate manager, light commercial vehicles with Nissan Canada told Truck News. “We want to take the boring concept of a box on wheels commercial vehicle to the next level and allow professionals -which may include building site operators and small business owners -a new level of versatility.”

The NV2500 features three zones: the driver/passenger zone; the workspace; and the cargo zone. An ideal application for the new vehicle is to serve as a mobile workstation at job sites, Ahmed explained.

The NV2500 on display at the auto show was designed as a workstation for Habitat for Humanity. It was a concept vehicle, with many upgrades you won’t find in a traditional commercial vehicle, including a laser beam that projects a keyboard onto a wood panel so a worker with dirty hands can enter data without gunking up a computer keyboard. Once he’s done, the wooden panel can simply be wiped clean.

Solar panels on the roof of the vehicle power interior equipment such as lights and accessories.

The NV2500’s large doors swing open to reveal a spacious interior that allows for excellent visibility of a job site and easy access to cargo and tools while also serving as a mobile office.

North America’s commercial vehicle market represents the “final frontier” for Nissan, which is already a player in 73% of global markets, according to Ahmed.

But one must ask: why enter the North American market in the midst of a deep recession that has brought commercial vehicle sales screeching to a halt?

“We hope that by the time we enter the market in 2010 things will have rebounded, business confidence will have improved considerably and we feel we’ll be in the market at the right time with the right product to leverage the huge opportunities offered by the commercial vehicle segment,” Ahmed said.

He also hinted Nissan will be pursuing other segments of the North American commercial vehicle market in the future.

“The commercial vehicle market is huge and it has a lot of segments in it. At the outset, we’ll be entering up to Class 5 GVWR ratings with vans, trucks and cab and chassis,” explained Ahmed. “Nissan has experience in medium- duty and heavy-duty commercial vehicles as well. Once we feel we have established ourselves with the light commercial vehicle segment, maybe we will look at new segments in the future.”

The NV2500 is built on the Nissan Titan frame and has a 147.6-inch wheelbase and measures 19.5-ft. bumper-to-bumper. Objects up to 10.5-ft. long can be transported and the raised roof can accommodate taller items such as an upright refrigerator. It will be powered by a V8 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission.

To see the vehicle up close, check out our WebTV show Transportation Matters in the Multimedia Centre on

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