Nissan Motor will open a dedicated truck conversion centre adjacent to its manufacturing plant in Avila, Spain, in summer 2008.

The integration of a dedicated facility at Avila will allow European Cabstar and Atleon buyers to benefit from high quality conversions and reduced delivery times, the automaker said. Among the conversions on offer at the Avila centre will be the drop-side, tipper and closed box (Spanish and Portuguese markets only) configurations. The UK market will be using a locally based converter, however.

Management of conversions will be integrated into the existing logistics process, meaning that the dealer will be the only point of contact for both the vehicle purchase and the conversion order. The combined vehicle and conversion cost to the customer will be reduced, while customer satisfaction will be maximised, Nissan claimed.

In its first full year of operation, Nissan anticipates more than 2,000 conversions will take place, a figure that will rise in subsequent years.

"We are dedicated to maximising the level of quality, service and efficiency we provide to our Cabstar and Atleon customers. By integrating the manufacturing and conversion processes, we will achieve those objectives, which in turn will support our global ambitions for growth in the LCV sectors," said Dominique Correze, vice president, LCV business unit, Nissan Europe.

The LCV business is one of the breakthrough areas of Nissan's on-going business plan. In calendar year 2006, Nissan sold 489,579 LCVs globally, generating a consolidated operating profit of more than 8%, achieving its objective a year ahead of plan.

Within Europe, Nissan is working to strengthen its dealer network by creating a dedicated sales channel for light-duty vehicles and by continuing to promote network partnerships, such as the one it has with Volvo Trucks, in markets where the Nissan truck network is not sufficiently developed. Under a series of franchise agreements with Volvo Trucks' dealer networks signed earlier this year, Volvo Trucks dealers in Germany, UK, North and East Europe can now sell the Interstar, Cabstar and Atleon.