With Or Without Chrysler, Nissan Titan Production Will Continue

With or Without Chrysler, Nissan Titan Production Will Continue

Update #1 May-10-2009 11:03 PDT:
Automotive News reports that Brian Carolin, Nissan North America's senior vice president for sales and marketing, is confident that the next-generation Nissan Titan light-duty pickup will be built by Chrysler off the 2009 Dodge Ram half-ton platform despite Chrysler entering a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and partnering with Fiat, a rival to Nissan's European ally, Renault.

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Regardless of whether or not Chrysler and Nissan restart shelved plans to swap a small car and a full-size truck with each other, Nissan says it will continue to produce and sell the Titan half-ton pickup.

Last year, the two announced that the next-generation Titan would be built at Chrysler's Saltillo, Mexico, assembly plant starting in early 2011, and would be based on the Dodge Ram 1500 light-duty pickup. Current Titan production at Nissan's Canton, Miss., plant was scheduled to end in late 2010, to make room for a new product line of light-commercial vehicles.

The postponed project raised questions about Nissan’s short and long-term plans for the Titan if it wasn’t built on the Ram platform.

“Our goal is to stay in the full-size market, even if Chrysler doesn’t build the Titan for us,” said Larry Dominique, Nissan North America’s vice president of product and advanced planning, on Wednesday at the New York Auto Show. Light-duty “trucks sell about 1.1 million [units] annually right now. That’s important to us. We could potentially extend Titan production [beyond 2010] to stay in the market.”

Dominique also said that while design work on the next-generation Titan was nearly complete, Nissan could design and build a new Titan on its own, if necessary.

Big trucks, like the Titan, have been hit hard by the poor U.S. economy. Total light- and heavy-duty sales in 2008 were 1.61 million units, down 27.1 percent from 2007's 2.21 million full-size trucks sold and the 2004 peak of 2.56 million.

Nissan Titan sales have faced the stiffest headwinds. The Titan — the oldest half-ton pickup on the market in its current design — saw sales fall by almost 50 percent last year. 2009 year-to-date sales have buffeted the Titan even harder, with sales off almost 60 percent, at 4,582 units sold.

In response to slowing sales, Nissan has dramatically curtailed Titan production. According to manufacturing data from Automotive News, Nissan produced 11,790 Titans during the first quarter of 2008 but only 374 have been made during the same period this year — a drop of 96.8 percent.

“We’ve realigned production for all of our vehicles based on sales performance,” said Dominique. “By reducing [Titan] production we’re making sure we’re doing what’s right for Nissan. Our dealers have worked down inventory to low levels. We’re prepared now to turn on manufacturing volume quite rapidly if the demand is there.”

In contrast, the all-new Dodge Ram 1500 has done well compared to the Titan. Though Ram sales are off 32 percent year-to-date, its sales increased 34 percent in March compared to February.

But Chrysler has financial and viability concerns that continue to keep the next-generation Titan project with Nissan on the backburner.

“We’re still in discussions with Nissan but right now we’re focusing all of our energy in our [strategic partnership] discussions with Fiat and the government,” said Jim Press, Chrysler’s vice chairman and president, on Wednesday at the New York Auto Show.

Comments

Maybe Nissan can figure out how to make regular cabs with short beds and long beds instead of the extra cabs and crew cabs whose sales are the ones that tanked most , since this is Nissan so I doubt that will happen .

Nissan makes great trucks internationally, though not as famous as Toyota's Tacoma or Hilux. They do have quite a few diesels up their sleeve since they are in cahoots with Renault, and have made vehicles and trucks for the Asia/Oceania markets. I'd love to see a Diesel Titan or Frontier. I don't get why the Big 2 abandoned Diesels in a light duty truck.... I mean the Hybrid Silverado does crappy when doing work trucks were made for... HAULING!!! A light duty Diesel could get close to the new Cafe standards and haul crap more economically. I don't think Ecoboost will do so well as gas engines traditionally have to rev more to generate the horsepower needed to haul stuff. I thought that Nissan had a good chance at a Diesel Titan when working with Dodge (who hasn't announced any shelving of a Diesel ram). I just hope that they still consider this.

First of all the regular cab trucks DON'T sell, that's why Nissan chose to not enter that market. When trucks were selling, the Crew Cab Titans were selling better than the extended cab. The Titan offers a short bed as well as a long bed, so educate yourself before you start bashing.

I think Nissan should just come out with their own Titan pickup. Dodge has a good product but I wouldn't want a Nissan branded Dodge pickup.

Actually KC , Titan crew cabs and extra cabs don't sell that well if that were the case Nissan Titan sales would not have tanked so much , GM probably sells more regular cab trucks every month than Nissan sells Titans every year so maybe you should do some research and stop preaching your sissy boy crew cab extra cab family trucksters . from people who actually put stuff in the beds and don't cringe if it gets scratched or dented .

I have had a Titan since they came out, 2004. It was 4x4 of the year then. My truck was 5 years old in March. It's a great truck and has plenty of scratches Taylor. Been through 4 hurricanes (outside), flooding this past summer, beach sand and snow 4x4ing, trail riding and has hauled enough to sink a battleship.
Don' t care what the other truck makers or drivers think. I have a great truck that works everyday and plays hard when I want it too. The only reason all the other trucks from Toyota to Dodge have gotten better is because they got slapped awake by Nissan in 2004. They scrambled to catch up and the Titan is still in upper levels of all trucks stock for stock.
I don't care who sells more, that is not a sign of quality. McDonalds sells more meat than my butcher does steaks, guess which one is better quality.

Your butcher analogy is OK but the truth is Nissan is selling Fillet Mignon when all people want or need is right now is hamburgers and if the butcher doesn't want to invest in a meat grinder then others will take his business

Taylor seems pretty committed to the big 3. If you want hamburgers, nissan has those too. You can get a 4 banger frontier or base model titan with the longbed (still has the 5.6) for cheap. This way you don't have to worry about scratching or denting a nice vehicle.

I bet if you test drove all of the big 3s, toyotas, and nissans trucks out there, I garantee you would agree that there is no such thing as a bad truck anymore. It's all comestic and features appeal now.

Nissan has stated countless times that it's all about business. What sells, stays and what doesn't, goes. If you think you know how to run a car manufacturing company better than Nissan, then go apply for a job. Don't think you know the market better than a large corporation because I garantee you don't.

Actually Nissan was pretty high on my list because my Grandpa had an 87 Nissan Hardbody now owned by my Mom that wont die but since Nissan didn't make regular cabs and more specifically regular cab long bed 4x4s they lost a sale and there are surely hundreds more like me every year that Nissan lost sales to because GM , Ford and Dodge make RCLB trucks .

So, selling tons more trucks than Nissan has really got the Big 3 in a great financial position huh?

Kurt, you said "gas engines traditionally have to rev more to generate the horsepower needed to haul stuff."
I don't think there is anything "traditional" in the EcoBoost design at all, and the Taurus SHO torque curve shows to be completely flat from under 1800 rpm all the way to 4500 rpm.
It took a while for a lot of people to become convinced of the advantages of a turbo diesel. I am sure it will be no different to EcoBoost - which is being done by GM also, just not by that name.

I happen to own a gas engine that has Direct Injection and turbo power as well (Sky Redline). I love the torque down low, but I don't think it will hit the efficiencies of a diesel engine. I still get nearly 30mpg and have 260 hp and torque on tap. I'm sure Ecoboost will have more torque than the traditional gas motor, but I feel that the ecoboost will still be turning more revs to haul a 5000 lb boat at 60mph versus a traditional diesel. Other than greater energy content per gallon of fuel, Diesels run extremely lean at lower revs (theoretically fewer injection events). I'm hoping to find an 05/06 CTD as I think that would be the perfect rig to keep for 10 years. Now the tech that I think may actually rival a diesel that Ford is working on is that Ethanol Boost motor. Where Ethanol and Petrol are injected from different injectors and running extremely lean, taking advantage of Ethanol's very high octane and using turbo's to greatly increase compression.

Nissan was nice when it was fresh but the big 3 own this segment because they are always pushing the pedal. Just ask Toyota they hit the market like a storm but the new F150 and ram are better trucks. I drive a 09 ram its the best truch i have ever had by far when I drive to work It gives me a big smile .

I loved the Titan when it first came out. Lots of motor, nice styling, but I also had to pass because they did not offer a regular cab. I want a truck, not a bus.

FLfinfan- Just to correct you, the 2003 Ram with the HEMI is what changed the entire truck market. Until then, nothing was rated over 300HP. Plus there is nothing "Segment Changing" about a revised Dana44 for a rear end in a half ton.

All I'm going to say is I own a 2007 Titan and its the best truck I've owned....Nothing even comes close! I perviously owned a 2008 Ford F-150 and I like ford, but compared to Nissan those trucks are gutless, Chevy doesn't even deserve a mention but since I made the mistake of buying one I will tell you I had an 03' Silverado and that truck was a piece of s##t totally gutless and weak rear axle! I won't buy a dodge for obvious reasons...(its a dodge) the reason people dont like Nissan has nothing to do with quality it's because the don't want to change and feel by buying a Nissan they are somehow unamerican! Well news flash Nissan is just as if not more American the Ford, Chevy, or Dodge! All parts are made manufactured and assembled right here in the good ol' USA!! Well there's my two cents!!

ok chevy will pass for the USA but dodge sucks! point blank. and nissan is going to have such a huge grow in sells in two years reasoning because of their diesel motor they are going to put in which has equal torque as a conventional V8 suck it!

I own a 2008 Nissan Texas Titan
There is not a better truck made period
I have owned. Ford. Chevy. Dodge ,they don't come close
Never drove a Toyota tundra so I don't want to say anything
About them
It is true , There are more. Americans working due to the. Nissan. Titan ,than GM, Ford ,or Dodge
It's time we wake up to the big threes junk made in Mexico and China

They all make a good truck with features that we choose to our liking. Ive owned all Toyota, Ford, Dodge, and Chevy. But put all up on rack and survey under carriage you will definitely see better craftsmanship on Nissan and Toyota.



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