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Nissan Looks for Big Niche With Small NV 200 Van

Food truck anyone?

by on Feb.08, 2012

Nissan's newest commercial truck, the NV 200, makes its Chicago Auto Show debut.

Cupcakes to go?  How about some macaroni and cheese?  The food truck at the corner of the Nissan stand suggested just one of the reasons why the Japanese maker is optimistic about the opportunities for its new NV 200 van, which is getting its U.S. preview at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

Even after loading in a mobile kitchen, 4-wheel restaurants can be put on the road for less than $75,000, a company spokesman told, potentially positioning Nissan to take advantage of the food truck boom sweeping the U.S. market.

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Of course, there are plenty of other applications the maker hopes to take advantage of, said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America Inc., including New York’s huge cab fleet as a result of the maker winning the city’s Taxi of Tomorrow competition.

The Nissan NV 200 won NY's hotly contested Taxi of Tomorrow competition.

The market for vans of the size of the NV200 is booming, said Castignetti, in part because of fuel economy issues that have led many users to shift away from larger, less fuel efficient vans.

The Nissan NV200 provides a new entry point for current cargo van and small pickup buyers looking for a compact, efficient alternative to those larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles. It is set to join the growing lineup of Nissan Commercial Vehicles in early 2013 – which will be sold through 300 Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealerships nationwide.

The NV200 follows the Nissan NV Cargo, introduced in spring 2011, and the recently announced Nissan NV Passenger Van that goes on sale this spring.

While new to North America, the Nissan NV compact van is already sold in more than 40 countries around the world. The compact NV200 offers a large cargo capacity with a small exterior footprint, making it highly maneuverable in traffic or for negotiating city parking spaces. Yet its proven compact commercial platform also allows for a 1,500-pound (estimated) maximum payload.

The roomy cargo area also allows for loading standard U.S. 40×48-inch pallets. Added utility is provided by the standard integrated mounting points, which allow installation of racks and shelves without drilling into the sidewalls.

The power train destined for the 2013 Nissan NV200 features an efficient 2.0 liter 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder engine. The engine is matched with a next-generation version of Nissan’s Xtronic CVT.


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