Nissan "Design Your Ride" Contest Winners Unlock Their Own Dreams


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Nissan Commercial Vehicles Announces Winners For "Design Your Ride" Contest - Five winning companies and entrepreneurs presented with NV200s and the keys to unlocking their dream specs at NISSAN360

IRVINE, CA--Aug. 24, 2013: Today at NISSAN360, Nissan Commercial Vehicles announced the five winners of its "Design Your Ride" contest: Robyn Hass of Core Mechanical LLC, Wiley and Tiffanie Saccheri and Jackie New of Sublime Cake Design, Jeff Wheeler of Wanna Go? Pet Transport, Oscar Buonafina of Buonafina Plumbing & Heating LLC and Craig Davis of SafetyZone Systems.

This contest, which ran from March 27th through July 1st, asked entrants to provide modification ideas for a Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo van to make it the perfect vehicle for their business. The entries were judged based on the following criteria with weighting of criteria listed as a percentage in parentheses: creativity (35%), originality (25%), content (25%) and usefulness (15%).

"Vocationally, these custom NV200s run the gamut from pet transportation to custom cake design, demonstrating that no matter what sort of business you run, the NV200 is an ideal partner for you," said Joe Castelli, vice president, Nissan Commercial Vehicles and Fleet. "The NV200's configurability, fuel economy and functionality make it a viable vehicle across the entire spectrum of independent businesses in the US."

The five winners were presented with NV200s, each wrapped to their individual specifications, along with a check for $20,000 to assist in the modification of the vehicles or to help their businesses. This ceremony took place during NISSAN360, a comprehensive, global look at the Nissan Motor Company held for limited VIP attendees. More information on the winners and their companies can be found below.

Core Mechanical LLC Core Mechanical LLC is a woman-owned, multi-service company that provides repairs and replacement of commercial and industrial HVAC, refrigeration and kitchen equipment in Houston, Texas. The NV200 will allow them to hire an extra technician and increase their business by as much as 30%.

Core Mechanical's NV200 will feature the Nissan Technology Package option (Nissan ConnectSM with Navigation System, RearView Monitor and Sirius XM Satellite Radio) along with floor mats and a GPS tracking system.

Sublime Cake Design Husband and wife team Wiley and Tiffanie Saccheri, along with Tiffanie's mother Jackie New, run a custom cake and cupcake shop, Sublime Cake Design, out of Redding, CA. They currently use a Nissan Murano for their deliveries, which "has all the main features we need to deliver basic orders," but is ill-equipped to handle those that are "bigger, more fragile and complex."

As is the case for many small businesses working with stock or slightly modified vehicles not intended for commercial purposes, Sublime Cake Design recognizes the value that the NV200 will bring to its work: "many of the features we could want (in our custom van) are already in the NV200!"

Wanna Go? Pet Transport Wanna Go? Pet Transport provides reliable, safe, clean and comfortable transportation of household pets and rescue animals throughout the country. Even though they work regularly with show animals, the core of their business is pet rescue. This Hampton Roads, VA-based company is based around a full-size van that fits up to 15 animals, although this vehicle is clumsy to drive, gets poor fuel economy and requires a full load of animals in order to break even on transport costs.

Fuel economy is of particular concern to proprietor Jeff Wheeler, who admits "at 14 mpg, our current vehicle makes it hard for us to have a successful business, let alone be able to provide enough income to allow for more charity work. With the NV200's 25 mpg highway fuel economy, our fuel costs would nearly be halved."

Wheeler expects to make good use of the NV200's configurability, noting, "variety and flexibility are the keys to success and saving more shelter animals." To help market his business, Wheeler's van features a striking graphic intended to educate the public as to the options available in regards to animal transportation.

Buonafina Plumbing & Heating LLC Oscar Buonafina has had to shutter his plumbing and heating business twice during separate military deployments as a United States Army Staff Sergeant to Iraq and Afghanistan, but he's now back in business with an old pickup that guzzles gas and barely contains enough space for inventory.

His Clifton, NJ-based business will be able to put the more fuel-efficient NV200 to use on a variety of mostly residential projects, likely upfitting the vehicle with custom shelves and a roof rack, along with a wrap featuring the Buonafina Plumbing & Heating company lettering and logo.

SafetyZone Systems This five employee company based in Warner Robins, GA is a licensed installer of security systems, home theaters, data systems, phone systems, intercoms, CCTV, access control and, in the words of its proprietor Craig Davis, "basically anything low voltage."

The company sought a second vehicle to increase its business but the expense of opening a brand-new store prevented it from doing so. Davis' vision for SafetyZone Systems' NV200 includes a custom wrap featuring a montage of the various products that the company commonly installs, along with their corporate logo.

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