On the same day that the New York Times editorializes that the best way to save the Big Three is to force them to stop producing S.U.V.s and vans, Nissan announced today a new commercial van, to be built in Mississippi, that will compete head to head against the U.S. companies:
Nissan plans to invest $118 million in its Mississippi plant to handle commercial products ranging up to Class 5, which are trucks that weigh up to 19,500 pounds and handle a variety of work such as heavy-duty hauling and towing. It has announced partnerships with Cummins Inc. for diesel engines and ZF Friedrichshafen AG for transmissions. The company formed its North American Commercial Vehicle Business Unit in April and continues to fill positions in the group as it also talks to dealerships interested in taking on the commercial market.
Nissan spokesman Alan Buddendeck said the company also would offer gasoline-engine models as well.
While the commercial vehicle market has remained stagnate along with the light vehicle sales, Nissan anticipates the slump to end in the coming years. Having a new commercial vehicle available in 18 to 24 months could bode well for the automaker.
“If we were coming out today, it would be tough,” Castelli said. “Our timing may work out to our advantage.”
Nissan certainly hopes Congress listens to the New York Times.