On the eve of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan Americas has confirmed that it is sticking with the Nissan Titan, its full-size truck. The timing of Nissans announcement is important as the next generation Toyota Tundra is itself slated for introduction at the Chicago show on Thursday. Nissans announcement also puts to rest the notion that it will quit the segment.
Nissan Titan Resolve
Nissan’s commitment to the full-size pickup truck segment has been questioned in recent years for a few reasons. First, the current model is old, now in its tenth model year. Second, sales of the Nissan Titan are small with just 21,576 units sold in 2012. That number is far behind its Frontier pickup, a small truck that recorded 55,345 US sales in 2012. Comparatively, Ford, Chevrolet and Ram sales are measured in the hundreds of thousands annually.
Pierre Loing, vice president, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan Americas noted that Nissan is a full-line manufacturer and that it …aims to be a player in every part of the truck business. Said Loing, Our truck teams in Michigan, Arizona, Tennessee and Mississippi are hard at work on a next generation full-size truck line that will expand Titans appeal to a broader spectrum of truck buyers, including the all-important skilled trades-buyers. Our new truck will be filled with Nissan innovation and expertise without compromise.
New Models Planned
The current Nissan Titan is built in King Cab and Crew Cab body styles. Nissan promises that it will expand its product portfolio, hinting that a standard wheelbase model will also be offered. Nissan is also working with Cummins to supply it with a diesel engine. Cummins has been working with Chrysler for the past 25 years as exclusive supplies of six cylinder turbo-diesel engines for its Ram trucks. At present, Nissan offers a 5.6-liter V-8 engine and no other choices.
If you are looking for the arrival date for the next generation NIssan Titan, Nissan isnt saying. The company says that it is withholding that information for competitive reasons while also reiterating its support for other products including its Frontier truck line and its family of commercial vans.
Pickup Truck Production
Nissan recently shifted Frontier production from its Smryna, Tenn. manufacturing plant to Canton, Miss. where the Nissan Titan is built. The Nissan Frontier is the second best selling small truck in America, behind the Toyota Tacoma. Indeed, the Tacoma and Frontier are currently the only small trucks sold in America, although Chevrolet will soon reenter the market.
While Nissan is vague on matters of product release, its message to truck enthusiasts is a clear one. Our best guess is that a new truck will arrive next year, enabling Nissan to compete for the 1.6 million buyers of today and the projected 2.5 million buyers that may jump in when the economy is operating at full tilt again.
Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.