In all of 2019, Nissan sold just 20,022 examples of its large, Titan-based NV commercial van, as well as 18,768 versions of its smaller NV200 model. Compare that to the Ford Transit alone (153,868 sold), and sales may be a metric determining Nissan’s reported decision to drop the NV van lineup in the near future. According to an Automotive News piece, the question is not if the Japanese automaker will exit the segment, but when.
As Nissan navigates through the ongoing crisis and streamlines its operations, it announced a plan that would involve axing slow sellers in favor of focusing on strong sellers. Per CEO Makoto Uchida, “We are prioritizing product segments and core markets to bring Nissan back on track toward sustainable growth.” In pursuit of that goal, the company plans to cut back 20 percent of its global model lineup.
Apart from Ford’s own presence in the market, where it commands more than 50 percent of U.S. sales, Nissan also has to compete against General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz in this space. The aging Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana still prove popular, selling more than 100,000 units in 2019. Ram accounts for 78,000 sales with the Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City, while Mercedes-Benz pulled in over 41,000 sales last year with its Sprinter and Metris vans.
For now, Nissan may just be planning a temporary retreat from commercial vans. As its alliance with French automaker Renault continues, and the larger alliance moves toward a proposed merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it’s possible we will see a new crop of Nissan vans in the future.