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Nissan unveils a new commercial van, the NV, for North America

Wed, 10 Mar 2010

Sensing an opportunity to bring an all-new model to a sometimes stagnant segment, Nissan unveiled its first commercial vehicle for North America, the NV, on Wednesday at a work-truck show in St. Louis.

The NV, or Nissan Van, will come with two engines: a 4.0-liter V6 or a 5.6-liter V8. Both are paired with five-speed automatic transmissions. The NV will come in 1500, 2500 and 3500 configurations. It launches this fall as a 2011 model.

Nissan showed an exterior model in St. Louis with a separate model of the interior. The tallest version, which provides 76.5 inches of cargo height, was on display, and it was easy for an average-size adult to stand up in. It also offers a more modest version with 55.4 inches of vertical cargo space. There's also 120.7 inches in length of cargo space on the floor, and it has a fully boxed ladder frame and heavy-duty suspension.

Nissan North America chairman Carlos Tavares called the NV “a vehicle designed to help businesses run better.”

Though the NV is Nissan's first foray in the commercial sector in North America, it's been offering work products for 75 years and made the decision to launch the van four years ago. Nissan also is planning to bring the NV200 vehicle--and considering an all-electric version of that--to the United States.

Functionality features include overhead storage, rear doors that swing open wide, under-seat drawers, extra-durable seats and available Bluetooth and hands-free mobility.

Tavares also spoke with AutoWeek about a number of products Nissan is set to launch in the coming months.

-- On the Juke's quirky styling: "You need to make a difference against your competitors. We like to stretch out. We like to be different.”

-- On what's next for Nissan's sports cars, the GT-R and the 370Z: "Those two pillars are really the heart of everybody [at the company]."

By Greg Migliore