Monday, February 7, 2011

Nissan NV is Good, Does Good

Nissan, which recently unveiled its NV commercial vehicle to journalists in Miami, put the vehicles to good use during the media preview. 

The automaker announced it is donating $35,000 worth of building materials to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami. The materials were carried to the Habitat warehouse in the new vans driven by journalists.

Habitat will build affordable homes for low income families with the materials.

Nissan says the NV comes in three models, NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD, and in two roof configurations – Standard Roof and High Roof.  The NV is the first commercial van to offer rugged body-on-frame construction combined with a High Roof, Nissan says.

That roof is designed to let people as tall as 6'3" walk, stand and work in the cargo area.  The vehicle is built at Nissan's plant in Canton, MS.

The new 146.1-inch-wheelbase chassis rests on 17-inch wheels. 

The front end is styled similarly to Nissan's Titan pickup truck.

Nissan also says it provided wide doors on the vehicle to meet customer demand for roominess, improved visibility and a less-intrusive engine location - many similar vehicles put the engine right between the driver and passenger seats.
For practicality, Nissan included thicker side bolsters on the seats to fight entry/exit wear and tear, predrilled reinforced mounting holes for roof racks or interior shelving, floor-mounted D-rings and 243-degree swing-away rear doors. The center console can serve as a filing cabinet and laptop compartment.
Nissan says it has partnered with vendors to offer shelving and exterior graphics at no charge.
Engines offered include a 4.0-liter, 261-hp, 281-lb-ft V6 and a 5.6-liter, 317-hp, 381 lb-ft V8, both with five-speed automatic transmissions. Nissan says no diesel is planned at this point.
For a commercial vehicle, the NV drives nicely. Speed-sensitive steering and four-wheel, 14-inch disc brakes and a tight turning radius can make driving in urban areas easier than you might expect in this type of vehicle. 
Nissan has priced its NV very competitively against rivals such as the Ford E-series and General Motors' Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo vans.
The NV starts at $24,590, with its highest level 3500 high roof being $30,590.
But the most impressive thing about the NV's unveiling was the mission of helping Habitat. 
“Nissan is helping to put low income families in decent, affordable homes,” said Habitat CEO Mario Artecona. “More than that, Nissan is contributing toward the revitalization of an entire community.”

Nissan’s in-kind donations will be used to construct homes in Liberty City, one of Miami’s most blighted urban areas, under the non-profit’s Liberty City Shine campaign. Miami Habitat is currently working with partners like Nissan to build and refurbish more than 250 homes over three years in this once-thriving neighborhood.

“Nissan values our relationship with Habitat for Humanity,” said David Reuter, a Nissan spokesman, in a news release. “We are proud to partner with them to help revitalize Liberty City and we’re proud that the new Nissan NV2500 can demonstrate its outstanding capabilities.” 

Nissan said its contribution is in addition to the $1 million annual donation to Habitat for Humanity International, a partnership with Habitat begun following the devastation of the 2005 hurricane season.  Nissan said its disaster-relief efforts resulted in the donation of 50 Titan pick-up trucks, with a value totaling more than $1 million, to support rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast region.

 Nissan has provided over $5 million in grant money and in-kind donations to Habitat for Humanity, and over 5,000 Nissan team members have volunteered in more than 25 home builds across the United States. 

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