Nissan Motor Light Trucks, a light commercial vehicle (LCV) company owned 85% by Nissan Motor and Volvo Trucks unit Nissan Diesel Motor (15%) has created a new in-house division for the development of diesel engines for light duty trucks.

This investment is aimed at providing NMLT with the resources to support the accelerated growth of Nissan's LCV business, particularly in the light duty truck sector, the automaker said in a statement.

A total of 111 engineers will now work for NMLT in the new division. With these additional resources, it will have 300 employees focused on LCV engineering. Many of the engineers joining from Nissan Diesel have extensive experience working on seconded projects for NMLT. This move will allow NMLT to consolidate the expertise built during the previous development of light duty trucks and engines.

"Nissan aims to become a leading player in the global LCV market, reiterated Nissan Motor's LCV unit chief and NMLT president Andy Palmer, who has said much the same on many previous occasions.

NMLT was established in 2003 and was responsible, in cooperation with Nissan's development divisions in Barcelona, Spain, for the development of the new Atlas F24 (sold as the Cabstar outside Japan).

Nissan's LCV unit sold 492,000 light commercial vehicles globally in fiscal year 2006, 23% up from the previous year.