By on February 28, 2014

Fred Diaz with Cummins Diesel For Nissan Titan

Nissan North America sales boss Fred Diaz expects his employer will gain more mind and market share in 2014 in the run-up to the 2016 Titan’s debut in showrooms, a truck promised to be more competitive than the current model.

Automotive News and WardsAuto report Nissan’s market share in 2013 nudged upward to 8 percent from 2012’s 7.9 percent share. Meanwhile, January 2014 sales rose 12 percent while overall industry sales fell 3 percent, and slashed sticker prices on a number of Nissan’s most popular models helped to to lower incentives by $375 while raising average transaction prices to $95 per unit sold.

Finally, Diaz himself met with the dealer advisory board monthly, as well as held discussions with all 1,167 dealerships in the United States, to learn about and adopt necessary product changes needed to bring more profits back to his employer.

One of the products in question is the 2016 Titan, where Diaz took those suggestions to heart during his visit to Nissan’s design studio in La Jolla, Calif.:

I was pleasantly surprised, but I also saw some things that could be improved significantly. No doubt I hurt some feelings and stepped on a few toes. I was pretty tough with the suggestions I made. We just needed to do a few things with the lines and the front of the vehicle.

The upcoming Titan is expected to match 90 percent of the competition’s various features and configurations in terms of cabs and engines, including a Cummins 5-liter turbodiesel V8. Nissan is also betting on the all-American soul that the newly designed pickup will bring to the table, having been engineered in Farmington Hills, Mich, designed in California, and assembled in Canton, Miss. with the aforementioned Cummins coming down from Columbus, Ind.

Diaz expects his employer will source 85 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. to come from plants in the U.S. and Mexico. Nissan is also in the early stages of revamping its ordering system so dealers can order and receive inventory at a faster clip than current.

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7 Comments on “Diaz Promises Profitable Share Gains, More Competitive Titan For Nissan...”

  • avatar

    Looks like Diaz has brought over his playbook from Ram and borrowed some PR from Toyota.

    Put a Cummins in it and say that rest of the truck is American too.

    That recipe worked for Ram but not so well for Toyota (The American made part anyway).

    Most seem to think that the 5.0 Cummins is too big for a 1/2 ton. Does that mean Nissan will make a 3/4 ton truck?

    That engine should go into their large vans. They would sell well with that engine.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s no real reason not to build a 3/4 ton Titan. Big Cummins and 3/4 NV upgrade parts sitting on the shelf. But there’s no real reason to think sales of a new 3/4 ton Titan would be any less disappointing than 1/2 ton Titan sales. Their biggest opportunity/market is with 1/2 ton Titans and how badly does that suck?

  • avatar

    I’m not really sure Americanizing the trucks as much as possible is actually going to help sales. It sure hasn’t helped the Tundra much.

    I wonder if the Japanese companies would be better served creating their own spin on the half ton pickup rather than trying to copy an America one.

    • 0 avatar

      Nissan pretty much did create their own spin on the 1/2 ton when the Titan originally came out in late ’03. The high-utility bed featuring the channels for practically inifinite tie-down arrangements and accessory mounts as well as a 12V outlet, the fender storage box, wide-open rear doors on the king cab, locking rear diff and even 5-speed autos were no where to be found on other 1/2 tons at the time, now they all have them available as either standard or options, and have even moved beyond (adjustible ride height on the Ram comes to mind, more gears in the trans, etc…)

      Hopefully they will surprise us again with clever innovations like that and have it not just turn out to be an updated also-ran with a fancy diesel.

    • 0 avatar

      They need to capture the commercial market more. The Titan never had a single cab stripped down model to appeal to the contractor market, etc.

  • avatar

    Employee has one of the Titan 4×2 crew cabs from the first few years of production and it has been rock solid for her. She’s one of those people who thinks maintenance is oil changes and tires. Seems a decent quality to me just hasn’t been a standout for any reason.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, rock solid has been my impression as well since I know a few retired GI’s who bought the Titan.

      The 5.6 Endurance engine may not be as fancy as the Tundra 5.7, but it keeps running without any problems. Gas mileage is no better and no worse than anything similarly equipped and put to the same use, i.e. towing, hauling, commuting or driving around town.

      Biggest selling factor is price since a Titan of any version sells for a lot less than a Tundra, F150, Silverado or RAM similarly equipped.

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