Unfazed by dour economic news, Nissan launched the NV2500 concept vehicle today, a work van designed for the American market. Although they lack the glamour of private cars, commercial vehicles can become a substantial revenue source for automakers. Nissan currently sells commercial vehicles in other markets around the world, but the NV2500 serves as an announcement of its intention to compete in North America. Ford showed a similar interest in buffing up its North American commercial offerings when it brought its European to the New York Auto Show.
But where the Transit Connect is meant for urban environments, the NV2500 concept works as a light construction vehicle. Nissan dressed the concept with a Habitat for Humanity sign, at once showing its partnership with the non-profit and that the NV2500 could work as a contractor's vehicle for home construction. Probably realizing that home construction won't exactly be booming next year, Nissan slates its entry into the North American commercial market for 2010.
The NV2500 is built on the Nissan Titan pick-up platform, giving it a body on ladder frame with a solid rear axle. Not the kind of construction for a comfortable ride, but rugged enough to be beat on in job sites. Nissan also specifies a V-8 engine and five speed automatic for the drivetrain. The interior is designed for flexilibity, so the vehicle can be adapted to different uses, but in its initial showing, Nissan fitted it as a mobile office, with a computer and conference table.
Nissan seems to be timing its commercial vehicle effort just in time for expected new infrastructure projects around the country.