Nissan Canada says it’s encouraged by the response to its full-size NV in Canada.
“The data shows it’s doing very well in terms of long-term durability,” Sebastian Defilippi, the automaker’s commercial operations manager explained.
“Nissan is well poised to be the heavy-duty answer to the traditional trades that are used to a certain type of vehicle that is no longer offered by the competition.”
The automaker then followed up with the 12-passenger version, whose sales “exceeded expectations.”
Then in April of this year came the NV 200, the automaker’s player in the compact segment. He sees each truck as a “blank canvas,” an empty vehicle that the buyer customizes according to their needs.
There are 44 Nissan dealers certified to sell and service the automaker’s line.
Each buyer gets a free starter kit with items like partitions and shelving units to start with.
Nissan calls it the Commercial Advantage Program.
“We position our dealers to offer customized versions for the user,” he said. Then with the help of van equipment outfitters, Adrian Steel and Ranger Design, they can equip a vehicle to meet their needs.
The trucks go from the dealership to the outfitters where most can be equipped in a day.
“That’s because the mounting points are factory-installed.”
But don’t look for splashy ads and attention-grabbing marketing efforts, Defilippi said.
“It’s more of a grassroots, guerilla marketing effort.”
That means Nissan dealers will show up at the four-a-year Home Depot Contractor Days.
The automaker is the official vehicle supplier to the chain. Look for Nissan reps at the Home Builders Show in November in Toronto, where the event draws 25,000 trades people.
“These events get us face to face with clients. Our job is to understand their needs.”
But dealers will do much of the marketing when they go out to local trades people and put them at the wheel of the Nissan vehicles under daily work conditions.
“This isn’t the usual retail client. They don’t come to dealerships and shop there. They are too busy. So we go to them and offer them free test drives in a basic unit. It lets them see now the truck will meet their daily needs.”
When it comes to CVs, there should be no down days.
“Reliability is the key. We have the longest-lasting brakes in the market. Going 250,000 km without a brake job is not unheard-of.”
And should the vehicle need service, to minimize down time, dealers will make sure that truck repairs take priority over other work, he said.