Nissan Diesel Unveils Three Models

NISSAN Diesel America revealed three new chassis that will expand the company's lineup of commercial trucks from Class 3 to Class 7.

The new models will be introduced in detail October 8-11. However, Nissan dealers got a sneak preview of the 1999 offerings at a dealer meeting July 31 in Colorado Springs.

Among the new chassis in 1999 will be the Class 3 UD1200 rated at 12,000 pounds GVW and the Class 7 UD3300 rated just below 33,000 pounds GVW-the lightest and heaviest models in the Nissan lineup. The company also unveiled the UD1800CS, a chassis designed specifically for city operations.

Nissan Diesel America will not offer a light-duty truck or a heavy-duty Class 8 in the coming model year, but the expanded lineup of cabovers enables the company to fill a wide range of niches, with 10 different models in Classes 3 through 7.

The new UD3300, rated at 32,900 pounds GVW, is the heaviest model Nissan offers. It will be available with a choice of four wheelbases ranging from 177.2" to 238.2" and CA dimensions of 143.9" to 204.9". The UD3300 can be equipped with truck bodies as long as 24 feet. The cabover configuration of the UD3300 provides a tight turning radius-25.2 feet for the 177.2" wheelbase and 32.8 feet for the 238.2" model.

The front axle has a capacity of 11,900 lb. The rear axle is rated at 21,000 lb.

Powering the UD3300 will be the Nissan FE6TA turbocharged and intercooled diesel. The 24-valve in-line six-cylinder generates 225 horsepower at 2,600 rpm and 492 ft-lb of torque at 1,600 rpm. The engine is coupled to a Nissan MPS62T six-speed manual transmission. The 50-gallon fuel tank is mounted on the left frame rail.

Bridging Class 4 and 5 The UD1800CS (city spec) is another new model coming from Nissan Diesel-a hybrid between Class 4 and Class 5.

"The UD1800CS will give customers the option of selecting a truck with the payload capacity and performance of a Class 5 truck with the economy and initial purchase price more commonly associated with a Class 4," says Bill Snyder, vice-president of sales.

Nissan Diesel will offer two models with the same GVW rating. The UD1800CS and the UD1800HD will be rated at 17,995 pounds GVW, but the engines, performance, and purchase price will be different. The UD1800CS comes standard with Nissan MHS61A six-speed transmission (Aisin A450-43LE electronic automatic is optional) and the Nissan FD46TA turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder diesel.

The four available wheelbases range from 137.4" to 191.7", providing CA dimensions from 110.2" to 164.6". The UD1800CS can be equipped with 16-ft to 24-ft bodies.

The established UD1800HD will be available at the same GVWR, but it will be equipped with the more powerful FE6TA engine and a beefier six-speed manual or the Allison AT542/545 automatic.

UD Trucks Lite The lightest model in the UD lineup is the UD1200, a 70.2"-BBC cabover rated at 12,000 pounds GVW. It comes standard with a four-cylinder diesel that generates 145 horsepower and 275 ft-lb of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but Nissan also offers the UD1200 with an Aisin A5043L electronic automatic.

"We expect 70% of these trucks will be equipped with automatic transmissions," says Dave Trussell, manager of fleet sales. As is the case with the larger automatics, the Aisin A5043L has a PTO opening.

Offered in either a 108.9", 131.9", or 149.4" wheelbase, the UD1200 can handle 10-ft to 18-ft truck bodies. These models have a turning radius of 17.4 to 23 feet.

Other Action Nissan Diesel has expanded more than its model offerings. According to Tetsuma Nieda, president of Nissan Diesel America, the company has:

* Improved its price competitiveness. * Increased the number of sales districts from six to 10. * Introduced new finance and lease programs. * Increased the UD dealer base from 86 127 dealers in two years. * Even with more dealers, the average sales per UD dealership increased 25% last year. * Expanded the engineering base in the United States to a staff of five.

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