Mumbai: Nissan North America Inc, a unit of Nissan Motor Corporation, is gearing up to expand its business in North America with the introduction of three new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) to be launched in early 2010, the company announced.
The new LCV range will remain within the limit of 8-ton gross vehicle weigh (GVW), focussing on maintaining the highest standard of quality and will compete with Ford Econoline, the Chevrolet Express and the Dodge Sprinter from Chrysler LLC.
The auto maker, which already has major operations in Japan, China and Europe will invest $118 million to expand the production facility of it's manufacturing plant in Canton, Mississippi, which will roll-out the the three new vehicles.
The LCV business unit, which will include all aspects of the LCV value chain at Nissan North America, will be led by Joe Castelli, who recently switched over to Nissan North America from Ford Motor Company, the Japanese auto maker stated.
Nissan said Cummins Inc, one of the largest engine makers for heavy trucks, would develop and supply two diesel engines for the Nissan LCVs while the German firm ZF Friedrichshafen AG will supply transmissions.
Nissan's light commercial vehicle business unit accounts for a substantial part of Nissan's sales and profitability globally and has sold more than 518,000 units worldwide in fiscal 2007, up from 490,000 in fiscal 2006.
''LCVs will become a major contributor to the future success of Nissan in North America,'' said Bill Krueger, senior vice president, manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management and total customer satisfaction, Nissan North America.
In order to manufacture the LCVs, Nissan will stop production of the next-generation Nissan Quest minivan and Infiniti QX56 luxury SUV at Canton. Further details of the production shift will be announced at a later time, the company said.
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