Contraction Coming in the Van Market?

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?

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.