AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The new four-row, 12-passenger Nissan NV Passenger Van pricing is now available, with the NVP 3500 S model starting at $31,690.
The 2012 Nissan NV Passenger Van is available in three model trims (S, SV, and SL) and either a 4.0-liter V6 or 5.6-liter V8 engine. Only the V8-powered model has the top-of-the-line SL trim.
Pricing for the NVP 3500 SV V6 starts at $33,890 while the basic V8 model will begin at $32,590. Those looking to step up from the standard S V8 model can opt for the SV trim for $34,790 while the most expensive SL V8 is priced at $37,390.
The 4.0L V6 engine has 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, while the V8 sports 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. Both engines use Nissan’s Continuous Valve Timing Control (C-VTC) to help improve fuel efficiency and are also mated to a heavy-duty five-speed automatic transmission.
Assembled in Canton, Miss., the Nissan NV Passenger Van also offers amenities such as storage for a laptop and charger, business cards, hanging files, pens and paper, 12.0-volt outlets and more. Available technology options include a 5-inch touchscreen navigation display, Bluetooth hands-free, and XM Satellite Radio.
The Nissan NV Passenger Van also has a class-leading 324 seating configurations and segment-exclusive supplemental side curtain air bags for all rows.
GALLERY: 2012 Nissan NV Passenger Van
There’s no question that Nissan‘s recently introduced full-size cargo van, the NV is a credible attempt at establishing a foothold in the commercial sector, however despite doing it’s homework extensively before launching the vehicle, sales have been rather sluggish.
According to Ward’s Auto, NV inventory supplies at the end of September, stood at 205 days, a stark contrast to just 48 for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and 116 for the GMC Savanna.
The two biggest selling vans in the marketplace, the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express, stood at 73 and 69 days supply respectively. In it’s first nine months on the market the NV has sold just 3,035 copies in the US, by contrast, Ford shifted more than 69,000 E-Series vans in the same period.
So what’s the problem? Certainly not the product. According to Ward’s; Nissan spent a lot of time researching the wants and needs of existing van customers before developing the NV, addressing many of their concerns, such as a lack of both regular and high roof options, as well as ease of maintenance.
Rather, the problem seems to be distribution; Ford and GM have been long established players in the marketplace with proven fleet sales channels and even the Sprinter, the most recent challenger; has an established commercial vehicle distribution channel via the Freightliner brand, which is owned by Daimler AG.
Nissan, by contrast doesn’t currently have one for the NV. To make matters worse, many commercial fleet buyers still don’t see Nissan has a serious alternative to the likes of Ford, GM and Mercedes.
“The first thing that comes to mind [for van buyers] is not a Nissan,” says Chris Brady, president-Commercial Motor Vehicle Consulting. “The Nissan brand is not considered to be a commercial brand.”
Nevertheless, Nissan plans on expanding the NV range next spring, introducing a passenger version and perhaps other features down the road. In addition, more commercial vans will be entering the market over the next few months, though the latest trend seems to be importing European offerings and localizing them, rather than developing new product specifically for North America, since it saves on R&D and tooling costs as well as enabling potentially greater profits.
Among the vans slated to make the grade include the Ford T-Series (Transit in Europe) and versions of the Fiat Doblo and possibly even the Ducato and IVECO Daily under the Dodge umbrella.
With more competition in the marketplace than ever, it will be interesting to see how the NV fares in the near future, though with Ford currently having no plans to drop the E-Series and the Sprinter proving quite costly, there’s definitely potential for a competitively priced, practical full-size van.
Perhaps the introduction of the smaller, global NV200, for which Nissan has already snagged a 10-year contract with the New York City Taxi and Limousine competition, will help establish the brand as a player in the commercial van market. One thing’s for certain, it certainly won’t hurt.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
Nissan North America recently announced a new program for customers who purchase its full-size commercial van, the NV.
Through the program, qualified businesses will be able to have an up-fit package or graphic wrap installed free of charge. The up-fit packages, available from Adrian Steel, include a Cargo Management system with a steel/cabin partition and three 44-inch shelving units, or a Utility Package with the partition and a choice of exterior or interior mounted utility racks (the latter is available only on high roof models).
In addition, the no-charge graphic packages include up to 70 feet of customized wrap material and free installation. Buyers who choose not to go with these packages, can receive a rebate of $300.
According to Joe Castelli, vice-president of Nissan Commercial vehicles, the packages are designed to provide fleet customers with an “innovation for business,” solution, especially as the company tries to make an impact in the full-size commercial van market, which is currently dominated by the Ford E-Series, Chevy Express/GMC Savana and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The 2012 NV, built at the firm’s Canton, Mississippi plant, uses much of the hardware from Nissan’s F-Alpha truck platform, including a ladder type rear-wheel-drive chassis and a choice of 4.0-liter V6 or 5.6-liter V8 engines. Like most competitors in the segment, it’s offered in 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and 1 ton payload capacities. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. Base MSRP is $24,590.