By on January 27, 2015

2016 Nissan Titan XDIn the nameplate’s best-ever year, Nissan sold 86,945 Titans in the United States.

Nissan USA wants to sell 100,000 Titans annually when the new model, with its more extensive lineup, arrives for the 2016 model year.


• Titan sales declined 20% in 2014

• Titan volume peaked at 87K in 2005

• F-Series, GM, Ram combined for 1.9M full-size truck sales in 2014


A 15% uptick from that record-setting year – the Titan’s second full year in the U.S., 2005 – doesn’t sound like an insurmountable leap forward. But an increase to 100,000 units would represent a six-fold improvement over the Titan’s U.S. sales average from the last three years.

According to Automotive News, Nissan North America’s chairman, Jose Munoz, told a crowd at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit that their aspirations are “modest,” and that when it comes to the automaker’s expectations for the Titan, “We’re very bullish.”

But is it reasonable to expect that the Titan could penetrate the market with Toyota Tundra-like force?

With 118,493 sales in 2014, Toyota USA reported their best Tundra sales year since 2008 and earned 5.7% market share in the full-size category. Nissan feels that less than 5% market share in the full-size category, “would be considered by us as not very successful.”

2016 Nissan Titan XDIn other words, Nissan needs to sell Titans at a record-setting pace even though the market for full-size trucks, at least in 2014, was down 16% compared with 2005, when Titan volume was at its previous best.

To earn 5% market share in the full-size truck category in 2014, Nissan would have needed to sell 103,000 Titans. Nissan sold 12,527 Titans in 2014.

Recent performances may mean very little aside from the fact that, without so much as a facelift or new powertrain, the first-gen Titan became something of a laughingstock in the truck world. In 2004, Nissan was marketing a 305-horsepower, 5.6L V8-powered truck with a 5-speed automatic and an EPA-rated 17 mpg on the highway at a time when Ford was offering a 231-horsepower, 4.6L V8, a 4-speed automatic, and 17 mpg on the highway. Fair enough.

2016 Nissan Titan XDA decade later, however, Nissan was still selling the same truck (albeit with 12 more ponies), but it was up against gas-fired six and eight-cylinder pickups from Ram with EPA highway ratings between 21 and 23 miles per gallon, 305 or 395 horsepower, and 8-speed automatics. The lack of redevelopment may not have done the Titan nameplate any favours, particularly not in a category where hundreds of thousands of buyers have already attached their loyalty to top-selling trucks.

But the new Titan is most definitely new. There will be an available Cummins diesel, a semi-heavy-duty XD version with a unique frame, and more available configurations across the board. Nissan will therefore be tackling a far larger portion of the pickup market. But will they do so with as much success as they anticipate and apparently require?

Here’s a scenario full of assumptions that would work in the new Titan’s favour. The full-size truck market grows 8% in 2015, just as it did in 2014, and then does so again in 2016, when the Titan is readily available. Now the full-size market is nearly the same size as it was in 2005, when the Titan performed at its best. With 2.41 million sales to split and Nissan needing 100,000 units (equal to 4.1% market share), the competitors must only generate 2.31 million sales. (They generated 2,053,721 sales in 2014.) This would mean that the F-Series, Silverado, Sierra, Ram, and Tundra collectively rose 12.5% over the course of two years, a healthy boost to their own volume which would still, in turn, create space for bigger Titan numbers, too.

2016 Nissan Titan XD interiorIn other words, growth in the overall truck market would allow the Titan to expand its volume without needing to steal sales from the established players, something it didn’t need to do in its 2004 debut year, either. That year, full-size sales jumped by 177,000 units, or 8%, and Nissan added more than 80,000 of those sales.

And if the full-size truck market doesn’t grow? If plans for growth are stalled by the shocking success of a revitalized small/midsize truck segment? If there is substantial growth but consumers don’t take kindly to the Titan’s new face? If Nissan is taken aback by Detroit’s willingness to incentivize their trucks at all cost to avoid losing market share? In those cases, all bets are off.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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107 Comments on “Question Of The Day: Can Nissan Sell 100,000 Titans Annually?...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    The Titan has never been competitive, especially now coming *back* in during the middle of a war between the big three that’s netting some of the best technological offerings that the pickup market has ever seen- all while having nothing in it’s favor other than waving the “I’ve got a diesel, too!” flag. The “Semi-Heavy Duty” schtick has already been covered by all of the big three, mainly the F-150 with the 7700# package and seven lug wheels.

    Too little, too late. The Titan will forever be a truck that’s mainly purchased by flat-brimmed bro-yo’s and unfortunately never be a real contender… so, no.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      One note on the “semi-heavy-duty XD version.” One of the Nissan press releases said that the XD frame comes from a commercial platform. The obvious candidate is the NV2500 commercial van. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but the NV2500 isn’t anything special.

      I know a guy who services a fleet, and he absolutely hates them, but that has nothing to do with the frame itself.

    • 0 avatar
      JWC0808

      The biggest hurdle for Nissan will be overcoming buyer ignorance, negative public perception and American truck loyalty.

      The Titan has always been a capable truck at a decent price. However, since Nissan never offered a V6 or small V8 in a regular cab work truck, they overshot the low starting MSRP price hook. In the truck world, the multitude of options are what drives consumer appeal. Unfortunately, Nissan has always packaged their trucks in limited configurations, taking away the buyer empowerment of choice.

      I for one, love my 2011 Pro-4x King Cab. When I bought it new, it was apples to apples the best value for my needs. Of course, I also purchased it with an open mind and without the prejudice of a Ford, Chevy or Dodge fan boy. When the XD comes out, I’ll be looking seriously at trading up for one (contrary to what cgjeep said).

      Nissan is going after a small niche with the XD. The Cummins alone will sale a big number right out the gate. Toyota is really who should be concerned right now, not Ford, GM or Ram. Five percent is an attainable number if the price is right and they market the snot out of it. Otherwise, the general truck driving public will just go on thinking Nissan trucks suck because their grand pappy didn’t drive one back in the 60s!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Titan AND all other pickups may have just gained a huge competitive advantage against the new “aluminum body panel” Ford F Series:

      Published on Jan 26, 2015
      Is the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 more expensive to repair? Edmunds.com Editors hit it with a sledgehammer to find out (SPOILER: IT COATS 4x AS MUCH TO REPAIR VS STEEL BODY PANELS):

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDQZu8K51ZY

      “Edmund’s reports the dealer bills aluminum-related labor at $120 per hour, where steel work is $60. That was cross-referenced with “their local independent shop” who quoted them at $50 an hour for steel, $105 an hour for aluminum.

      By the time these guys got their truck back, the Ford dealership had slugged them $4,138.44 to replace the dents, do a nice job blending paint, replace the taillight (which is the fancy LED-accented, blind-spot monitoring unit worth $887), and put the “SPORT 4X4″ sticker back (allegedly in the wrong place).

      Breaking it down; the body repair for those sledgehammer slugs would have taken ten hours at $60 an hour on steel truck for a bill of $600. On aluminum, it’s twenty hours at $120 for a total of $2,400.”

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        …as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be…

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        That was expected with the new fords, which also makes them a terrible choice for rental companies. I believe Ram will have another great year, Ford will stay flat as they lose a few longtime customers but gain sales from being a new model, and GM will make incremental improvements with increasing rebates.
        The styling on the New ford has only incrementally been changed since the 2004 introduction. Ford bet all their chickens on small cars and expensive yet nominal increases in MPG. The profits on the new generation F150 are going to only be a portion of the old trucks once the rebates start piling on.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        At least the replacement aluminium part cost the same as last year’s steel part.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        And yet, it doesn’t seem to matter. As I have pointed out before, my aluminum bodied Range Rover costs exactly the same amount to insure as the steel bodied Jeep it replaced. Collision and Comp insurance is only a small part of the total cost of insurance anyway. Nor are insurance rates for other aluminum bodied cars any higher than their steel bodied equivalents in my experience. Audi A8 vs. BMW 7 for example.

        I’d buy one for the simple reason that steel body trucks around my neck of the woods usually have significant rust at 5 years old. Not that the new ones are likely to be any better for frame and accessory rot, since those parts are still steel. But at least it wouldn’t have holes in the cab and bed.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          1) Aluminum does oxidize, especially when mated in large swaths of surface areas with ferrous metals.

          2) Look at condition of aluminum hoods, whether paint condition or otherwise, on 6 to 12 year old vehicles.

          3) Your RR is far less likely to incur the type of body damage in the hands of an average owner than a “work truck” is over its service life.

          4) You take care of your vehicles to an extent that average vehicle owner do not.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            1. Dissimilar metal corrosion is an issue that hopefully Ford worked around at the design stage. Aluminum will not have holes rotted though it just from road salt exposure like steel will.

            2. That is a paint bonding issue, not an aluminum issue per se.

            3. In my experience, damage to work trucks simply doesn’t get fixed more than minimally. It’s a work truck, dents add character. And as others pointed out, what is actually going to happen in most cases it the panel will just get replaced.

            4. Thank-you, yes I probably do, but irrelevant to why the insurance on my Rover is the same as the insurance cost on the all steel Jeep Grand Cherokee it replaced – and the Rover is worth more, so they are on the hook for a lot more fixing before it is a write-off. As I previously pointed out, the portion of your insurance premium that goes towards coverage of at-fault and act-of-God damage is a relatively small portion of the total anyway. I pay 2X as much for liability as I do for comp and collision. Insurance for a Ford will be insignificantly more expensive than for a Chevy or a Dodge. Prove it otherwise for a given situation and I will gladly eat my words.

            And to really make the point that cost of repairs is a pretty insignificant portion of insurance costs, the cost for me to insure that 10yo Jeep that I paid $5K for was more than the cost to insure my then year-old BMW worth $45K, by about 15% per year. What determines the rate is how frequently a car model gets in accidents above all else. The cost to fix a dent is pocket change compared to the cost to fix a human, even on an all-aluminum truck.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    How come you compared the small Ford V8 to the Titan? The 5.4l is a much better match.
    Half this truck is a copied from other designs, the rest of it is incoherent, it truly looks worse everytime I look at it. And what is with the tiny side view mirrors sticking a foot off of the side of the truck, either make them closer to the truck for leisure driving or make them large for towing.

    That Gold color is ridiculously ugly. I will say, it follows the new GM truck line of approach, it looks to be built by young guys in there twenties holding art degrees that have never worked a day in there life, probably in some committee meeting at a Starbucks.

    There is one part of the market that lacks serious competitions, and it’s hungry for product. That is the lower end of the market, that’s where business is needed and money is to be made. The only contender now is the Ram, at 21k for a Express with a 5.7l, this should be able to undercut that with its gas engine. If they can’t capture the lower end of the market they will never have a large and loyal base.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      Guys like you describe wouldn’t be caught dead in Starbucks. Too Main St. USA.

      • 0 avatar
        kovakp

        Hummer,
        I grew up with real work trucks, too, but nowadays a pickup is as much about the trades as camo clothes are about being a vet. Mostly just fashion.

        But even so, the Big 3 *earned* the right to sell these boutique-dozers through 80 years of providing tough and dependable work trucks. Nissan can’t just jump right in no matter how garishly they paint theirs.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Not everyone that goes to Starbucks buys frappuccinos and cappuccinos. Those of us who like real coffee that is strong, drink it black. Typical midwest coffee is watered down, weak, and taste like the coffee grounds were reused. I don’t like the color on this Titan it brings back frightful memories of the late 70’s and mid 80’s (Chrysler used this awful gold on the 85 Chrysler 5th Avenue. I do think this Nissan Titan will do decently with a Cummins diesel but 100k might be a little optimistic.

        Nissan’s problems with the full size truck market are similar to Toyota with the Tundra which are the intense loyalty of buyers to individual brands from the Big 3 and the competitive price cutting among the Big 3 to retain and grow market share. Also agree with Denver Mike that Nissan needs to offer a fleet/work truck version of the Titan and market directly to the fleet buyers. I don’t always agree with DM but he is spot on with this accessment.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Comparing the 5.6 to the 4.6 is, I think, their way of saying how outmatched the original Titan was to the F-150 straight out the gate. Or maybe they just made a mistake.

      And I dunno, Hank, I saw quite a few young artsy-fartsy types (no offense to them) in the two times I’ve been to Starbucks (not that I’ve got anything against Starbucks; I just don’t drink coffee).

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      The Titan was fitted as standard equipment with the 5.6L V8, which seemed quite powerful at the time given that the base V8 in the F-150, remember, was an optional powerplant. Was more power available? Yes, but at that time, Nissan didn’t make you option up for more power. Eventually, the powerplant wasnt’t sufficiently powerful to compare favourably with optional powertrains, certainly not in efficiency either, but early on, it was a beast by standard equipment, er… standards.

    • 0 avatar
      JWC0808

      Hummer,

      The Titan has always come standard with 5.6 V8… the 4.6 was the standard motor in the F150 back in 2004 so it is a fair comparison. Yes, the 5.4 was optional, but still a dog compared to the 5.6.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I don’t see it. New offerings from Ford and Chevy seem stronger than ever. Nissan may be a hot brand, but not in trucks. I would have said the look and lines are better, but I’m thrown by that odd front fender line and drop of the side mirror. The two together look odd to me.

  • avatar
    kovakp

    So funny Nissan. With a *base* MSRP over 29K in the land of 25K W/Ts with enough accessories to look like ’90s luxury vehicles?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      There’s just no way they can make serious business with that starting price. They have to offer trucks in the low 20s, that brings people in, who start adding more things until it’s eventually a 30k truck. They won’t even be able to attract serious buyers if the truck starts that high.

      • 0 avatar
        kovakp

        Exactly. Customers may upsell themselves, but it has to be volitional.
        Given its history, Nissan is being just plain uppity.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Exactly.
          I hate to be the one to say this, please forgive me….
          … But this is no different than cadillac trying to get into the high end luxury market, they have an extremely small following yet they expect to just randomly price their products as high as they do and own a significant portion over night.

          The 5.6l better be pushing out 420+ HP
          As long is Ram is next door selling 4 door 395HP 5.7L trucks for 25k, V6 two doors for less than 20k, and V8 express trucks that look amazing for 21k; this has no chance.

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            Nobody is going to horn-in on the Germans for the S-klasse market and nobody is going to displace Americans for pickups.

            Ironically, pickups are steadily moving into the luxury class while the Germans are going Walmart.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        They’re obviously ignoring the low end fleet and cheapskate buyer in favor of high margin sales. Conquesting fleet sales would be a difficult and expensive proposition.

      • 0 avatar

        Nissan has a habit of rebating the heck out of stuff. I bet they will have rebates on the Titan pretty quickly.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I bet they don’t get any old Titans as trade ins. Never met anyone that was happy with owning old one.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      My experience has been just the opposite. Granted I’m in a corner of NM where % wise trucks outsold cars back when John Wayne was a movie star but the Titan owners I know have been very pleased. One of my third grade teachers has owned one for almost 10 years.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        One of my uncles has had three of them. This is the uncle who’s wife and kids love Lexus too. So since the Titan debuted, they have had the truck, and ES or LS, and a Corvette in the garage. A new one of each every so often.

        My buddy with the Leaf traded a Titan in for it, but he loved the truck too. I’ve never heard a bad word about them, and they seem to sell around here to some extent.

        • 0 avatar
          cgjeep

          Know 3 people that had one (small sample). All liked truck very much at first. 2 had serious engine problems, 1 got rid of his early because he saw what happened to other 2.

  • avatar
    DukeMantee

    After spending the summer of 2014 looking for a good,fullsize pickup, no question in my mind that the Asians would OWN the pickup market IF they offered fullsize 8′ plus beds and FULLSIZE cabs and NO STUPID CONSOLES OR BUCKET SEATS.

    As you can tell,I spent way too much time looking at $60,000 “trucklettes” with leather seats and touch control radios,heater, although they were “fullsize” ,there was no room up front for more than 2.1 people,and in back,plywood,sheetrock etc. are dragging on the ground.
    AS I said forty years ago, Toyota,Datsun,Honda would have put GM,Ford,Chrysler and Jeep out of their misery if,IF they had built a plain jane BIG pickup.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Answer Of The Day: No.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Yes absolutely 100,000+. For those that do not want an American branded pickup. Nissan’s Titan will be a great option over the floppy rear ended Tundra. The V8 Cummins will also bring some buyers over that question purchasing an American branded pickup.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I struggle to think who has decided ‘American pickups suck’. Seems to me this is the one segment the domestic manufactures have mastered with high quality, ridiculously durable offerings.

    I would be more than willing to wager Nissan will find their latest offering to be too little too late.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Also, truck owners would have to burn through Ford, GM, RAM, and possibly Toyota in order to give Nissan a try. Statistically speaking, the people that have bad experiences with a Ford, GM, or RAM truck just go to another domestic.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        I would agree with your sentiment of moving to another domestic.

        For the most part, that I have known who had poor things To say about their truck were due to mechanical failures etc. In the same conversation they would speak to what activity they we’re participating in that caused said failure. With out fail 99% of the time, said activity could be best described as abuse, not use.

        I broke my 3/4 ton dodge in mountains pulling a trailer on a logging trail. Trailer was loaded, lots of mud and a berm to traverse. The front end came off the ground momentarily and…..a front u joint snapped. Hard to fault the factory for what amounted to a lack of patience and thought on my end.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I’ve owned trucks from all of the Big Three. I cannot envision a senario that I choose a Titan over an F150.

          If I went out and bought a truck with my own money today, it would be an F150 XLT Supercab 4×4 with the FX4 package and either the 5.0L or 3.5EB. I could possibly be swayed by a lower priced RAM with a Hemi. In order for me to consider the Titan, it would have to be a few thousand less than the RAM. Even then, I don’t know if I could get past the styling.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Sooo…are we gonna see the standard, non-XD Titan anytime soon? I realize the XD is the halo model, but still.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      That’s what I’ve been thinking. Nissan had said that they had to put that massive front end on the XD for the Cummins wonder if it will be smaller on the non XD models.

  • avatar
    John R

    Maybe Nissan is better suited to take on the Tacoma and focus on small trucks. Do they even still make the Frontier?

    I feel like in the hearts and minds of North Americans the small pick up is the province of the Asian brands and the large pick up is that of the American brands.

    I understand the margins of large pick ups are appealing, but can one ignore that the Tacoma is unrivaled (in spite of GM’s new offering)?

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      The Frontier is still around, soldiering along mostly unchanged since 2005. There’s supposed to be a new one coming soon but nothing has been even so much as teased yet. The Frontier’s only saving grace so far is that currently it is the only small truck that you can get with a 4cyl and still row your own. The ‘Yota axed its 4/M combination for this new model.

      So yes, the Tacoma is pretty much unrivaled unless the GM twins conjure up some magic.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      Had a 2014 Frontier rental recently. I went in for a car and all they had left were minivans and the Frontier – easy decision.

      I was regretting that decision about 20 minutes later though – the thing has the turning radius of a dump truck and a weirdo powerband where it all comes in low and then there’s barely enough power to pass at 1/2+ throttle.

      I use to have a 2003 Maxima and you could tell the interiors were made at the same time, by the same crew.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    No, I highly doubt that Nissan will pull it off.

    Why?
    1) Truck buyer mentality. Few think Nissan when considering a truck.
    2) Distribution. Too few Nissan dealers. Too few with true truck people on staff.
    3) Advertising. Remember how much money Toyota spent promoting their plus-sized Tundra? TV ads were constantly in front of buyers and Toyota couldn’t achieve 120K.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I agree with point 2. If Nissan could match Toyota’s dealer network, then they might eat into the Tundra’s sales, but I don’t see this vehicle really hurting the big boys. Maybe in 2008 when the Ram was a weaker offering, but now Ram is arguably building a better truck than the market leaders.

      • 0 avatar

        That probably depends on the location. Here in Baltimore they have a ton of dealerships, including a Carmax with a Nissan franchise. I see a decent amount of Titans around, and a surprising number of Armadas as well.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      To be fair, Toyota sold almost 200k Tundras when the big redesign came, but sales then cratered.

      • 0 avatar
        EquipmentJunkie

        Thanks, Danio. After rereading the article, those Tundra numbers were 2014 numbers. My gut reaction was that the best plus-sized Tundra year was up around 180K. Shame on me for not doing the research.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Mildly related: I see no Nissan Frontiers in MN or SD, but I go down to visit my sister in NE and see them everywhere. Lincoln and Omaha must have more competent dealerships, or Toyota’s are less competent.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        The Woodhouse family dealerships rule eastern NE and western IA. They recently built a new Nissan dealership south of Omaha and that dealer usually has a couple of GTRs in stock, so they must be moving a decent amount of metal.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    sacrifice some of the humungous profit margin trucks provide to lower the price and they’d probably be able to do it.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “Can Nissan Sell 100,000 Titans Annually?”

    Nah, they might do half that. It’s a tough market to crack as even Toyota has found out. They barely make it over that bar with the Tundra.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    Hey Nissan, stop believing your own press releases. They might do 100K in year one due to cheap gas, but it ain’t going to be sustainable. They will satisfy the market for an non-American truck and then we can all wait 10 years for them to do another redesign and repeat.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “Can Nissan Sell 100,000 Titans Annually?”

    I’ve been losing a lot of sleep over this very question of late.

  • avatar
    udman

    So, most of the comments seem to fall into the “not a chance” collumn, but I wouldn’t bet against Nissan as of late… They seem to be running on all cylinders when it comes to what the American Consumer wants, and it is all in the marketing…

    Remember, not too long ago, Nissan was an “also ran” in the mid-sized car sector before the US built Altima debuted in the early 2000’s. Their Versa is among the best sellers in the cheap car arena, even if it has nothing to really recommend over the competition. The Rogue is simply killing it in the small CUV sector, and they have five distinct sized of CUV SUV vehicles in this sector.

    But none of that matters more than their venture into the Commercial Truck and Van sectors that is the blueprint for how the Titan should perform. Virtually overnight (well, from 2011 at least) the Nissan NV full sized Van has been steadily moving the metal, becoming the choice of contractors and small businesses who were tired of the old Ford and GM vans on the market, while not quite adopting the “Euro” offerings from Mercedes-Benz or Chrysler (and now Ford). Remember, the NV can still be equipped with a V-8, something you can’t get in the Transit, Promaster, or Sprinter.

    Not only that, but they have a smaller van in the NV-200, a vehicle that people mostly remember as the “Taxi of Tomorrow” in NYC. They are now being sold as Commercial Vans in ever increasing numbers, as well as being sold as the Chevrolet City Express!

    Nissan won’t have a burst of Titan Sales when introduced, but will build over a relatively short period of time. The “Cummins” Diesel will help, but pricing will be the real key here, and I would expect Nissan to severely undercut the three domestic trucks in the near term to grab market share…

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      “Nissan won’t have a burst of Titan Sales when introduced, but will build over a relatively short period of time.”

      Yeah, I read that too in 2007 when the new Tundra was introduced.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      At 29k the only thing they’re undercutting is BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      kovakp

      Great comment. Nissan is making a strategically impressive push into the commercial van market, yes, but they are using a difference in technological kind, not degree, to take the smaller vehicle portion of it away from the traditional American Fords and Chevys. And the CUV-sized FWD florist van was pioneered in the US by Ford.

      However with V-8/6 BOF pickups, they’re up against the past, present and future masters who know pickups are their respective corporations’ lifeblood in the US. So I’m staying in the “not a chance” camp.

      • 0 avatar
        JWC0808

        kovakp,

        Your comment illustrates a point I’ve been trying to make regarding American trucks. The consumer trusts them because of their reputation It’s the same reason why someone buys a Camry or Accord over a Fusion or Malibu. Are they hands down better, more capable cars today? Not really, but the Toyota/Honda name blows a breeze up peoples’ skirts convincing them the other options are junk based on reputation alone.

        Nissan isn’t planning a global takeover of the truck market… just trying to get a small sliver of a growing and profitable pie. I think the XD will be just niche enough to draw a decent base of interested buyers away from the Tundra and some 3/4 ton shoppers; even if it is short lived.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Udman, I think your comment was very insightful. I too have noted their very aggresive improvements in various segments lately (the Sentra sticks out in my mind, especially). No reason to think they can’t move 100,000 of these especially offering the much ballyhooed Cummins diesel. I wouldn’t bet against them right now.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @UD – Nissan may have let all their other successes go to its head. And there’s clearly more money to be made in fullsize pickups, than most of Nissan’s other successful ventures combined. The Titan should be their #1 to not screw up. Yet it’s been a low man on the totem pole. Below the 350zx somewhere.

      And fleet sales are key here.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Cracking the sedan market is a different game as the “imports” were already well established once Nissan got their game together. The truck market has much more fierce loyalty. Nissan may carve out a niche with their in between pickup, but I don’t see this truck challenging even Toyota for the time being.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Along those lines is that most US automotive trends begin in California — automotive tastes are more adventurous there, so it’s a good market for new ideas, products and brands to be tested and promoted.

        But nobody is going to use California as a launching pad for a new kind of full-size pickup. Those gains are going to have to be made in the heartland, where they just aren’t as interested in being early adopters or experimenting. The domestics do well with the segment as is and aren’t providing many reasons to stray.

        • 0 avatar
          clivesl

          @PCH

          Do they have to be made in the heartland though?

          The coasts are where Nissan’s brand and dealer network is strongest. They can’t find 100K in truck sales on the coasts?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The import brands couldn’t really survive without California. That’s actually why they came to the US. The rest of the States are just icing on the cake. It’s the only place the Tacoma is known to outsell the F-150. The Titan and Ridgeline must sell mostly in CA. I see them constantly there.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’ve been everywhere, man. Well, not as many places as JCash, but close.

            Outside of the Midwest, and especially on both coasts (with densely populated cities), and MANY very much non-California places in between, Japanese, German & Korean vehicles outnumber domestics by 3 to 1, easily.

          • 0 avatar
            Shawnski

            DeadWeight; the king of rhetoric. If 3-1 is accurate outside the Midwest, the 2 domestics + FCA would not have 45% U.S. market share.

            You may have been everywhere man, but more than likely metro areas, where even there the import ratio is high in Midwest cities. Rural CA for instance is heavy F series.

  • avatar
    Forgeryfade

    The Tacoma and new Colorado can tow about or over 7,000lbs. The Ram 5.7 can haul almost 10,000lbs and the new F-150 can tow an insane 12,200lbs or 3,300 in the bed. Half ton trucks are more capable and bulletproof than people think or accept now a days. “Active lifestyle” aka first time boat owners and Metal Mulisha types will never demand this much of their truck but they think they will one day need to move Hover dam turbines like in the commercials. Ford advertised by suggesting that the new f150 apparently dug the Barringer Crater impact site by towing in a compact Bobcat rental tractor. Nissan has made an easily digestible diesel for people that may be overwhelmed the massive size of heavy duty trucks and people who can’t quite afford HD. The Built in goose neck hitch my attract people that actually have a demand from a truck. but I personally find it hard to see a Titan towing Midwestern farm equipment and rolls of hay. We will have to see if Nissan can brake American consumers view that bigger equates to capability.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Yes, but Nissan needs to do what Ram is doing to GM and Ford. Undercut them on price. Also some premium interiors.

    And for Pete’s sakes, UPDATE the darn thing periodically. They let the old one die on the vine.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      If I’m not mistaken, the former head of RAM, Fred Diaz, is now the big sales honcho at Nissan. I think that’s EXACTLY what Nissan is doing.

      • 0 avatar
        Shawnski

        Not sure if the “Gaz on the Volga” inspired styling is all that catchy. It’s looks like a Chinese imitation of a full size pickup. Middle of the road duty chassis with Nissans undersized differential, yea it better be cheap.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    All Nissan and Toyota have to do, is do what the big boys are doing. No guarantees, but at least it’s a start.

    If they try to rewrite the rules, and spec/price/option the trucks to whatever best fits Nissan and Toyota’s fullsize preferences, guess what?

    Yes these two are boutique trucks for the alternative and anti truck buyer.

    They have to start with kissing a lot of fleet, cheapskate and bottom feeder A$$. Earn respect/loyalty and watch them return for better optioned upgrades. Every owner/buyer retained here, has to have a cascading effect. Multiple buys and recommendations, down the road.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nissan would have impressed me more with a true small truck (cue the small truck jihad).

  • avatar
    nickoo

    No, they will not. The problem with this truck is the headlights and truck loyalty. Fix the headlights, nothing can be done about the later except aggressive pricing on the Cummins to the point they are losing money.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, it’s pretty obvious what this thing is missing to appeal to a new demographic. A CVT. Why should Nissan cars have all the fun? Let the trucks join in too.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Nissan currently is unable to build 100,000 Titan per year. So the answer is clearly no.

    Could Nissan sell 100,000 Titan per year IF there was capacity to do so? Certainly they could. It all depends on pricing. How much will Nissan discount the truck and where will they position it with MSRP? My prediction is Nissan will be ecstatic if they sell 75K per year and they will not even attempt to enter a price war with RAM, GM, Ford and Toyota. Nissan appears to have a strategy of emulating Ford so they can stay in the pickup market. They are a follower, not a leader in this segment and their new Titan shows they are content to do so. Nothing wrong with this as it keeps their Canton plant at 100% utilization.

    Nissan has only one plant to build Titan. Canton assembly builds Altima, Titan, Frontier, Xterra, Armada, NV Cargo, NV Passenger, and Murano. Total capacity is 480K vehicles per year. Nissan sold less than 15k Titan pickups in 2014.
    Nissan built about 300K vehicles at Canton in 2014, they hope to build 95K Murano in 2015 (Murano is new vehicle added to Canton) and Nissan is working to expand capacity to 507K per year by 2017.
    Nissan spent a lot of money developing the Titan when the maximum capacity to build them is less than 85,000 per year now and no more than 110K per year after 2017.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    For what its worth…I bought a new Titan in 04 with 2×4, off road package, and tow package. Ten years later it has 140K on it and Ive replaced the battery twice, the tires twice, and upgraded the front brakes to the 14″ that have been on Titans since 08. I change the oil every 10000 miles and it uses 1/4 quart between changes. The engine is all aluminum, DOHC with 6 bolt mains. Even today no other truck has such a stout engine. Nothing has ever broken and there are no squeaks or rattles. Two years ago I was talking to another Titan owner in a parking lot. At that time he had 375K on his 05 and had replaced only tires, battery’s, and brakes. Previously I had owned International, Dodge, Ford and Chevy trucks. None of them even came close to the reliability and lack of rattles in the Titan. So while many seem to take great pleasure in trashing the Titan I can tell you from 10 years of owning one that they are wrong.

  • avatar
    Point Given

    Here’s an interview with the designer of the truck. Interesting Tidbit midway down

    “We have five grades: Work, SV, SL, Pro4X, and Platinum Reserve.”

    Having a grade called Work would indicate the cheapy fleet truck is going to be a reality as was mentioned above.

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/detroit-auto-show/news/a24744/the-2016-nissan-titans-head-designer-is-here-to-answer-your-questions/

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Nissan is serious about commercial vehicles. NV line of vans is 100% focused on commercial customers. Reasonable to expect Nissan to offer Titan in work focused trim packages with minimal equipment for the fleet/commercial buyers.
      It’s the cowboy cadillac versions that Nissan will make it’s money off of, and this is the market that competitors will defend at all costs. F150 Platinum trim level starts at north of $50,000. It’s no coincidence Titan is offered in copycat Platinum trim level, and I’m willing to bet that Nissan prices a Platinum XD at $50K plus price at a minimum.

  • avatar
    balreadysaid

    Who else offers a cummins diesel in a truck other than RAM? Nissan has the opportunity to sell lots of these trucks just based on the engine. The other half that want them are guys who buy halfton trucks only! Not big HD’s the eco Diesel is selling more than they thought based on the fact that it is the only one available as of now. People like diesel engines as they are different from gas and make you feel like a BOSS! Many things can attribute to the sale of these new Titan. I myself am impressed with the shorter length with 6.5′ bed and crew configuration than a F150. That means it will tow better with a gooseneck hitch. It will also fit a bit less obnoxiously into parking spaces. The look of the truck is BRAWNY! Has a beefy look that whether you like the shape or not works to make it look stronger than other offerings.

    What will kill this truck? A recycled steel frame that can rot out unexpectedly fast. A cummins with more issues coming from exhaust treatment and emissions regulations. A rated towing capacity that isnt better than gas powered halftons. Those are things that commonsense can name. If it doesnt come with a rated to tow more tag on it, People will question it. Personally i wouldnt think for one minute that people who purchase this truck arent going to test its limits right out of the gate. It shouldnt surprise anyone that it tows excellent over 12k lbs. No exhaust brake is also a bad move but i wouldnt be surprised if this was updated to being optional for a hefty fee!

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Answer No: it is not a traditional US brand, many US buyers baulk at diesels , it’s category is a strange one not fitting into any preconceived classification and Nissan itself does not have a strong brand connection in the US

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    They will sell maybe 50K the first year and by the time it is 5 years old it will back under 20K per year unless they do big discounts and I mean really big discounts.

  • avatar
    redav

    I am much more interested in what they do with the Frontier.

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