Contraction Coming in the Van Market?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
contraction coming in the van market

No, not the minivan market. We’ve covered that at length. We’re talking van vans — the slow-moving ones that used to terrorize your author as a child. (Turns out that media-driven social panic was mostly nothing, but I digress…)

Word comes to us that, as automakers recede from the commercial van segment, Nissan might be prepared to do the same.

Per Automotive News, sources who claim knowledge of Nissan’s product plans say the aging NV family of commercial vans is due for the chopping block. Built in the U.S. and based on the Titan, the NV Cargo and Passenger vans appeared for the 2012 model year.

Positioned against the top-selling Ford Transit and challenged by alternatives from Mercedes-Benz and Ram (rebadged Fiats developed jointly with PSA Group, to be exact), the NV has a smaller sibling in the Mexican-built NV200. A variant of that model once carried a Chevy bowtie badge, but no more.

Nissan, which was on the ropes even before the coronavirus pandemic reared its head, plans to move forward with a reduced global lineup. Under its new four-year plan, both models and factories will be pared down, along with production volume. The only products to survive will be those that make sense in a given region.

The days of trying to compete in every segment, at the risk of business bloat and unnecessary overhead, are over. While Nissan did not confirm the potentially looming discontinuation, it did tell Autoblog it was “considering a number of opportunities to streamline the product portfolio” in order to realize efficiencies.

NV full-size van sales actually rose over the course of the model’s lifespan, hitting just above 20,000 units in the U.S. last year, though this volume pales in comparison to the Transit’s popularity. Ford sold nearly 154,000 of the versatile rigs in 2019, with General Motors’s positively ancient Chevrolet Express pulling in more than 77,000 customers. Ram’s Promaster saw more than 56,000 takers.

[Image: Nissan]

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2 of 16 comments
  • Akear Akear on Jun 09, 2020

    About a decade ago GM vehicles were not half bad looking. Why are GM's current trucks such eyesores? What a disgrace!

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Jun 29, 2020

    Nissan realized year over year increases in sales of NV with best year 2019 total over 20K. It's been an expensive effort and it's generated success for the dealers that put the work in. Renault has expansive lineup of vans from small to large. Why not sell these in North America and stay in the commercial game?

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.