Realizing it has a hot product in its compact NV200 van, Nissan has decided to offer it to all 1,100 of its U.S. dealers.
The van, created as part of Nissan's entry into the light commercial vehicle business in North America, originally was intended to be sold only by its approximately 300 certified Nissan LCV dealerships.
But Nissan has changed the plan, says Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan's North American region.
"We've come to the conclusion that we want to sell this vehicle through the entire network because it's like a passenger car," says Munoz, who began his career with Nissan in Europe. "That's the way we do it in Europe."
The distribution plan will become more complex this fall. Nissan has an agreement to begin supplying the NV200 to Chevrolet at that time.
"It's selling way beyond our expectations -- to the point that we are asking ourselves, why are we going to produce this for our competitor?" Munoz says, referring to Chevrolet.
He said there is no consideration of backing out of that arrangement.
The change of plans will go into effect soon, he says.
"We're going to expand it very quickly, because you don't need any special equipment to sell it," he says. "Nissan's LCV dealers are more focused on commercial vehicles. This vehicle is more of a city vehicle than a workhorse vehicle."
Retail sales of the van began last March, and sales have been limited by factory capacity in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Nissan sold 4,619 in its first 10 months and 793 in December.
But Munoz says Nissan is selling every van it can get. He said other models are currently in the works for Nissan's LCV dealers.