Nissan will soon build its light-duty commercial trucks in North America
Nissan will soon build its light-duty commercial trucks in North America. Click image to enlarge

Canton, Mississippi – Nissan North America has announced it is entering the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment through a significant investment in North America. The company will introduce three light commercial vehicles in three years, and forge partnerships with Cummins Inc. for the engines and ZF Friedrichshafen AG for the transmissions. The company’s plant in Canton, Mississippi will become the manufacturing centre for a range of new LCV products aimed at the North American market.

The first of the three products will be launched in the first half of 2010. In the midterm, Nissan will expand is LCV business in North America, resulting in the creation of a multi-segment product range of vehicles below gross vehicle weight of eight tons.

“Globally, the LCV business is now a substantial part of Nissan’s sales and profitability, representing a significant part of Nissan total vehicle sales,” said Andy Palmer, Corporate Vice President and head of the LCV global business unit. “We already have major operations in Japan, China and Europe, and so it is natural that we are now ready to expand our business in North America.”

The dealer network will be selected from existing Nissan dealers, which will become specialized centres for sales and servicing of the new LCV product range. In addition to the investment made for the tooling and development of the three vehicles themselves, Nissan will also invest US$118 million to expand Canton’s production facilities to manufacture the vehicles.

In order to accommodate the LCV capacity, Nissan will not produce the next-generation Quest minivan and Infiniti QX56 SUV at Canton. Further details of the production shift will be announced at a later time.

“LCVs will become a major contributor to the future success of Nissan in North America,” said Bill Krueger, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Purchasing & Supply Chain Management and Total Customer Satisfaction. “It is a tribute to our employees in Canton that it will be the manufacturing hub for these important new products, key to our sustainable growth in the U.S.”

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