Nissan Motor Co Ltd will start selling light commercial vehicles in North America soon, aiming for a market share at least as great as taken by the Japanese group's passenger cars.
It is within sight. We'll start dipping a toe in the water relatively soon, but in the medium term we will be there with a proper offering, Andy Palmer, head of Nissan's light commercial vehicle business, told Reuters at the IAA trucks trade fair on Wednesday.
Palmer has already established a team of a dozen people to start developing a business strategy for a launch in North America, which would pitch Nissan against global groups led by General Motors Corp and Ford Motor Co which are the big players in light commercial vehicles.
Asked about its goal for market share, he said: We would expect to play at least at the level Nissan plays at passenger vehicles and probably a little more. In the United States Nissan's passenger cars have around 6 percent of the market.
Palmer said Nissan would have no choice other than to manufacture products in the Americas for sale there. There is no other way. Importing from Japan, importing from Europe doesn't work.
He said Nissan was not at all adverse to partners when it comes to manufacturing. It also cooperates with French alliance partner Renault and Volvo unit Renault Trucks.
He was coy when asked about potential products he had in mind for North America.
If we are hypothesising then you could say ... that a van and a pickup are a kind of basic requirement, he said. Nissan already sells the Titan pickup truck in the United States, but as a passenger car rather than a commercial vehicle.