Nissan found out what full-size cargo van buyers wanted in a van, then created the NV to satisfy their requests. It's one thing to get a consumer to tell you what he wants, however, and another to get him to actually buy what you make for him. That's the issue Nissan faces. Dealers are sitting on a 205-day inventory of NVs as of the end of September.

Everyone knew there'd be more to this than just "If you build it...", since the NV is the "new guy" in the segment, going against titans like Ford and General Motors as well as the runaway success of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. NV sales this year are less than a tenth of the Chevy Express and less than one-twentieth of the Ford E-Series. In addition to market share and momentum, those other offerings have fully developed dealer networks. Nissan is still working to complete its own.

It's still early enough in the game that it's not worth trying to predict the NV's future. It has some help on the way, with a passenger version and the NV200 New York City taxi rolling out next year.