Click above for a high-res image gallery of the Nissan NV200

Last month, Nissan unveiled the production compact NV200 minivan (Nissan still refers to the vehicle as a Vanette, seriously) at the Geneva Motor Show, and today, the Japanese automaker has officially announced that sales have begun. The first deliveries in Japan, which is the first market getting access to the van, will happen in mid-May.

Nissan will offer two separate styles of NV200, one for commercial use, called DX, and one to haul people and their belongings called the Wagon 16S. Both machines use the same exterior sheetmetal, featuring an oddly arrayed set of character lines that break up the slab-sided and top-heavy proportions dictated by the van's shape.

Differences between the two models are most apparent inside. The Wagon model offers seating for seven, while the DX can swallow 4.1 cubic meters (145 cubic feet) of stuff. We'd be surprised if the NV200 didn't make it to the U.S. market within the next few years, as Nissan has made it clear that it has global aspirations for this vehicle. Check out our galleries below and see the official press release after the break.

Related GalleryGeneva 2009: Nissan NV200

Related GalleryGeneva 2009: Nissan NV200

[Source: Nissan]


PRESS RELEASE:

NISSAN RELEASES ALL-NEW GLOBAL VAN - NV200 VANETTE

TOKYO (April 2, 2009)-- Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.(NML) today announced the start of the pre-launch sales for the all-new NV200 van in Japan. Following its global debut at the 79th International Geneva Motor Show in March, Japan will be the first market to launch this next generation global van starting mid-May.

The compact NV200 Vanette will be offered in two configurations - the Van DX light commercial van and the Wagon 16S people carrier.

The NV200 Vanette* has been designed to meet the demands of a wide-range of customers for a functional and versatile vehicle that delivers great value-for-money.

The compact van combines intelligent layout and packaging to deliver a class-leading 4.1 cubic of loading space. The wagon is a seven-seater people carrier offering a more spacious interior with car-like comfort and features.

Powered by the 1.6L HR16DE petrol engine, the van also offers excellent driving performance without compromising fuel efficiency, for a low total cost of ownership.

*:The name NV200 is derived from New generation for N, Vehicle for V, and 200 for its Van classification.
Inheriting the current Vannete heritage, the name expresses the concept of the car which is a new-generation LCV that is designed for the needs of modern business.