Clash of the Titan

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Despite indications that Chrysler was moving towards a contract manufacturing business model, Automotive News [sub] reports that ChryCo’s Italian masters are considering not building Nissan’s next-generation Titan pickup on the Dodge Ram platform. And this surprising news has Nissan scrambling to look for other options. “My team is spending a lot of time looking at different scenarios of what we can do,” says the father of the Titan, Nissan VP for Product Planning Larry Dominique. One of the options is a mild in-house refresh and continued production. Another is approaching other automakers for a quick fix. Analysts tell AN that Ford, GM and Toyota are unlikely to help out, although Toyota’s excess Tundra capacity indicates that it might be a leading candidate for a Nissan rebadge. The only problem? “I doubt sharing a full-sized pickup with Nissan is in their corporate DNA,” says Michael Robinet of CSM Worldwide. “Nissan is in a precarious position, as their options are few.” Should Nissan abandon full-size pickups, or is there an option that actually makes sense?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • The Luigiian The Luigiian on Aug 26, 2009

    I'm not interested in a Titan. If I want a full size I'll buy American, because Ford, Dodge and Chevy have superior product in this segment. On the other hand, I would be interested in a lighter, more fuel-efficient Nissan Frontier. It's a damn good truck that's just too heavy and doesn't get good enough mileage. For 2011 MY, Nissan should focus on the Frontier and make it a true champ. It needs a more powerful four-cylinder and a lighter frame, and a regular cab for those who want it.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Aug 26, 2009

    What about Armada? Any knock-off effects?

  • Rspaight Rspaight on Aug 26, 2009

    +1 to the requests for a good small truck. We have a '93 Toyota that does everything we need it to do while getting 25 MPG and not requiring a ground crew to park. The Frontier and Tacoma are far too big, the Ranger is far too old. When the Toyota inevitably gives it up (it was nearly totaled several years ago), I'd like to be able to get something similar.

  • Rusted Source Rusted Source on Aug 26, 2009

    I agree with repositioning their lineup. Make the Frontier their 'big' truck (i.e. leave it as it is) and then introduce a toy pickup with the 2.5 as the base engine and the 4.0 as an option. Not sure how R&D goes but perhaps they could recycle the FX chassis for this purpose. I read once upon a time that the reason Toyota would succeed and Nissan would fail was due to lack of options and engines. Whether it's warranted or not, having shortbox, longbox, extracab, clubcab, smallV8, bigV8 seems to be the base requirement to compete in the segment. Nissan came out with a one-size fits all truck with a too-large base engine.