When Nissan introduced its line of NV-series full-size vans to the U.S. market for the 2012 model year, some observers thought it was a strange move to jump into what was considered a fairly moribund market segment, dominated on the one hand by aging designs from General Motors and Ford and the expensive, high-roof Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. But Nissan has persisted and grown its line of commercial vehicles to include a passenger version of the NV3500 full-size van, as well as a U.S.-specific version of its popular NV200 cargo van.
The volumes of those two models in the U.S. may pale in comparison with Altima and Versa sales, but globally, commercial vehicles are a huge part of Nissan's business, accounting for 20 percent of Nissan's total sales worldwide.
Although the company is already ahead of targets for commercial vehicle sales, it's not letting off the throttle, aiming for global sales leadership in the segment by fiscal-year 2016. Nissan's localization strategy can be seen in the differentiation between the U.S. and global versions of the NV200, as well as different strategies for its larger vans, with the NV1500/2500/3500-series being North America-specific, and the rest of the world getting the NV350 and 400 models.