Nissan will introduce a new and improved Cabstar in during October as part of an aggressive product strategy in the European light commercial vehicle and truck market.

The redesigned Cabstar, like its predecessor, will be made at Nissan's plant at Avila, near Madrid, Spain. Europe will be the first region to launch the Cabstar.

Designed and developed in Japan by Nissan as a global product, the new Cabstar is claimed to provide best in class payload combined with compactness, manoeuvrability and best in class cargo length.

Nissan also claims cost of ownership will be among the lowest available, thanks to quicker and easier maintenance, longer service intervals and reduced fuel consumption.

The new Cabstar remains true to the 'cabin over engine' concept popular in Asia, even though most of the trucks sold in this area of the market in Europe are traditionally 'semi-forward cabs', where the engine is in front of the cabin.

Nissan says putting the engine under the cabin allows more of the length of the truck to be used as load-carrying space, which means that the Cabstar is more manoeuvrable in towns.

Three new engines will be available. A 2.5-litre common rail diesel engine in two levels of tune provides 110 and 130PS (81 and 95kW respectively) and 250 and 270Nm of torque. The third new engine option is the ZD30 3.0-litre. Power is 150PS (110kW) and torque is 350Nm.

There are three wheelbase options: 2500mm, 2900mm and 3400mm and two different cab configurations, Single Tilt and Double Cab.

The current Cabstar went on sale in 1998 and is the fourth best-selling model in the chassis cab segment of the LCV market and for full year 2005 achieved a market share of 8% in western Europe. Last year, Nissan sold 14,193 Cabstars in western Europe.

Sales start on 2 January.

Nissan is also following partners Renault and General Motors Europe by introducing updated Primastar and Interstar van lines in October as part of a commercial vehicle offensive beginning this autumn.

The improvements to the Primastar and Interstar are similar to those made to the Opel/Vauxhall and Renault versions and were focused on upgrading the engine, equipment levels and gearbox plus cosmetic changes to distinguish the updated models.

The Primastar/Trafic/Vivaro compact van lines for all four brands are manufactured at the GM plant in Luton (UK) and at the Nissan plant in Barcelona (Spain). The Interstar/Master/Movano are built at the Renault Batilly plant in France.

"Following the launch of the all new Cabstar, the upgrades to Primastar and Interstar epitomise Nissan LCV business unit's commitment to long-term growth in Europe.

"Our focus in Europe is to contribute to the ambitious objectives of Nissan's performance during the Value Up period, during which one of the primary areas of breakthrough is the global LCV business," said Dominique Correze, vice president and head of Nissan Europe's light commercial vehicles business unit.

The key commitments for Nissan's global LCV business as part of the Nissan Value Up plan will see an increase in consolidated operating profit to 8% in financial year 2007, double that of FY2004. And global LCV sales will reach 434,000 for FY2007, an increase of 40% compared with FY2004.