The traditional commercial delivery vehicle market is changing rapidly. The normal choice for deliveries; namely the bakkie, panel van or larger vehicle is being challenged as urban environments become more crowded.

Owners and fleet operators are taking a new look at their vehicles and their capabilities. Coming under the microscope are congested city streets, the difficulties of using some vehicles in urban areas, vehicle task suitability, load security, versatility and driver ergonomics.

Enter vehicles like the Datsun GO+ Panel Van, which are changing the ‘dashboard’ of individual and fleet operator needs. When compared to other commercial options, and the strict criteria applied to the acquisition of a major business cost item, vehicles like the Datsun GO+ Panel Van are increasingly being favoured. This is because they are ‘fit for purpose’.

The advantages they offer include:

  • Being built and developed on well-known compact sedan bodies and therefore sharing the low-cost characteristics associated with sedans. Compact and fuel efficient, they are easier to drive on busy city streets and easier to park.

  • More efficient use of load space. It doesn’t make sense to deliver items in a bakkie or larger vehicle. In most cases, the operator pays for the costs of carrying around a heavy canopy above an almost empty load.

    The more a panel van can carry in its more efficient body, the more cost effective deliveries become. For the Datsun GO+ Panel Van, this means a carrying capacity of 542kgs - about 267kgs more than its closest priced competitor.

    Allied to carrying capacity is load volume. These volumes may vary from vehicle to vehicle, but the Datsun offers an impressive 3.4m3

  • Maintenance costs offered by sedan-based delivery vans are lower than larger vehicles. The 2016 Kinsey Report reveals, for instance, that the costs for the Datsun GO+ Panel Van, because it shares the same running gear as the Datsun GO, make it the undisputed South African leader in its segment.

    The major plus is that because maintenance and repair costs are lower, so is the cost of insurance.

  • Running costs are where new-style delivery vehicles really earn their stripes. They do it kilometre by kilometre through great fuel consumption. In the case of the Datsun, this is less than 5.2 per 100km.

  • Instead of goods lying visible under a canopy, a solid partition separates the cargo area from the driving compartment in the modern version of a panel van. The divider is topped with a sturdy mesh grille which keeps loads where they should be. Dark tinted smash and grab protected rear windows add a further layer of protection.

Car-like comfort, ergonomic seating and air conditioning ensure that the new generation of commercial vehicles reduces driver fatigue. Safety and productivity levels therefore increase - a great return on investment for a business person who may rely on a single, or a few vans to get products to market.

Picking up and dropping off packages and products have also become simpler and safer. Access to the loading bay is through a rear hatch and two rear doors. The driver can always position himself away from the primary traffic flow when working from the loading bay.

Cosmetically, because of being derived from sedans, the new generation panel vans are also more appealing, especially when they undergo the full ‘wrap’ treatment which transforms the vans into affordable travelling advertising billboards.

And so, we return to vans in the 21st century, becoming tools that are purchased because they are ‘fit for purpose’. The advents of electronic monitoring systems now allow fleet managers to examine all aspects of their transport requirements and costs. The result is that a delivery vehicle is being selected to undertake specific tasks.

Selecting a van on its purpose, how efficiently it will perform and how affordably it will complete tasks are becoming the criteria on which successful operations are analysed.


Datsun originated in Japan as DAT-GO (the DAT-car) almost a century ago in 1914. The word DAT means ‘lightning-fast’ in Japanese but is also a reference to the three financiers who supported the business at the time – namely Mssrs. Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi – an acronym of the first letter of each name. Using the same logic, it was promoted as Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy, or DAT for short.

In 1933, Nissan’s founding father Yoshisuke Aikawa took over the business with a vision of “mobility for all”. The introduction of a light-weight, economical yet resilient car to meet the aspirations of young Japanese people in the early 1930s was named the ‘son of DAT’ – Datson - which later changed to Datsun. Local engineering and mass-production made the founder’s dream a reality.


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan's third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti, in March 2012. Datsun will provide a sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese car-making expertise and is an important part of Nissan's DNA. Datsun already started sales in India and Indonesia, while sales in Russia and South Africa will commence later in 2014.


Nissan South Africa is the operational hub for Regional Business Unit South, serving Nissan’s key South Africa market and 42 other countries in Sub Saharan Africa, including Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. In South Africa, the company offers a range of 28 vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, including the popular locally-produced Nissan light commercial vehicles - the NP200 half ton pickup and NP300 one-ton Hardbody – produced at the company’s Rosslyn plant, north west of Pretoria. In 2013, the company made history with the introduction of South Africa’s first electric vehicle, Nissan’s flagship Nissan LEAF. This will be followed in 2014 by the reintroduction of the iconic Datsun brand, as well as the launch of the new Qashqai crossover and new X-Trail sports utility vehicle. Nissan South Africa is one of the top five automotive companies in South Africa. For more information visit our website at