With Mitsubishi returning to the Australian van segment after a seven-year absence by leveraging its Alliance partnership with Renault, the question had to be asked if fellow member Nissan would do the same thing.
The answer? “There are no current plans to add vans to the line-up in Australia,” a Nissan spokesperson told CarsGuide. In the past, the company indicated building a business case for them was challenging, especially with its LCV focus on the Navara ute.
Either way, Renault is an expert when it comes to vans, so it comes as no surprise that Mitsubishi tapped it to rebadge the mid-size Trafic and therefore bring back the Express.
However, Mitsubishi wasn’t the first Alliance partner to do so, as Nissan revealed its version of the Trafic, the NV300, in September 2016. Three-and-a-half years on, though, it still hasn’t made it to Australia despite the availability of right-hand drive.
The Trafic was also rebadged as the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro in Europe, and at one point, the latter was in contention to wear Holden badges in Australia, prior to GM's 2017 sale of the Opel and Vauxhall brands to PSA Group.
But the NV300 isn’t the only European-market Nissan van Australian buyers might be interested in, as Renault also rebadged the small Kangoo and large Master to create the NV250 and NV400, which were revealed in May 2019 and September 2010 respectively.
That said, don’t make the mistake of assuming Nissan’s European-market van range is entirely comprised of rebadged Renault models, as the small NV200 is an in-house product. In fact, it kicked off the NV series altogether upon its reveal in March 2009.
The NV200 is particularly special because its available with an all-electric variant, dubbed e-NV200, which was revealed in March 2014. However, just like its siblings, we won’t be seeing it in Australia for the foreseeable future.