Nissan dumps vans in U.S. and Canada, eyes new commercial sales

Vehicles across the Nissan product portfolio are already being purchased for commercial purposes, Moser said.

“Home health care workers like to drive Sentra, insurance agents love to drive Altima, pharmaceutical reps love to drive Rogue and Murano,” she said.

The Business Advantage Program will offer volume discounts, commercial financing and perks such as priority service. It will require a minimum two-vehicle purchase to quality for volume-based incentives.

Nissan’s commercial business previously required customers to order at least five vehicles to qualify for fleetail incentives.

The expanded approach is timed to the brand’s product offensive. Nissan will bring six new or updated vehicles to dealerships by the end of 2021.

Moser said many of the updated models, including the redesigned Rogue compact crossover and Sentra sedan, will be well received by the small-business market.

“Those segments do very well from a volume perspective in the commercial segment,” she said. “Sedans are certainly an advantage for us that we want to market commercially.”

Nissan’s exit from the van business will have ramifications for many of the brand’s dealers. About a fourth of Nissan’s 1,074 U.S. dealers made the necessary store investments to enter the commercial vehicle business in 2011, installing heavy-duty lifts capable of raising 30,000 pounds of loaded vans, extending business hours to accommodate contractor needs and hiring a sales staff dedicated to fleet issues.

Those dealers are going to have to reallocate capital and personnel to find replacement business for lost van sales, Nissan National Dealer Advisory Board Chairman Scott Smith said.

“They are going to have to reinvent themselves,” he said. “It’s unfortunate.”

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