Nissan has confirmed its long-awaited successor to the Primastar medium van will arrive in the second half of 2016.
The brand has not confirmed what the model, which will be based on Nissan’s alliance partner Renault’s Trafic, will be called but it is likely to be the NV300, with the NV standing for Nissan Van, in line with the firm’s established nomenclature.
Nissan’s head of LCVs in Europe, Ponz Pandikuthira, admitted the manufacturer had delayed launching the van because it did not want it to clash with January’s introduction of the new NP300 Navara pick-up.
“We’ve been out of that market with a vehicle we had been successful with,” he said of the medium van.
“When we did the rejuvenation of the LCV brand we couldn’t afford to do new Primastar and Navara in the same year and do both justice.”
He also said Nissan wanted to establish a distinction between the NV300 and the Renault Trafic.
Pandikuthira hinted that the replacement for the NV200, which is due in 2019/20, could be smaller than the current model (the largest light van in the segment)
in order to meet customer demand, and made in conjunction with Renault.
Nissan is restructuring its LCV retail operation into three levels.
The first tier (three quarters of the 200-strong network) focuses mainly on passenger cars but will now include a designated LCV area on the forecourt and a technician and sales assistant able to deal with LCVs on site.
Tier two covers the brand’s 54 Business Centres and, according to Pandikuthira, gives equal focus to cars and LCVs with separate showrooms for both and demonstrator models available. These centres house sales and service staff just for LCVs. “This is where the B2B customers come.” Pandikuthira said.
The third tier will focus exclusively on LCVs with a pilot centre, that Pandikuthira describes as a “palace”, opening in the first quarter of 2016 in Birmingham.
He says these dealerships will include only businesses that can sell up to 300 vehicles a year.
Nissan expects 60% of the network to be upgraded by March 2016 with most of the remainder completed within the following year.