By on October 24, 2017

2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab - Image: Nissan

In terms of monthly U.S. sales, Nissan’s line of Titan pickups ended September in the number nine spot, ahead of the midsize GMC Canyon but behind its own paleolithic Frontier. While the 3,773 Titan and Titan XDs sold last month represent a tiny fraction of the 82,302 Ford F-Series models sold in the same time frame, it’s still a 52-percent increase from the same month in 2016.

Year-to-date, however, Titan sales are up 224 percent in the United States. That’s enough to get Nissan thinking about the pickup’s potential in markets not dominated by tried-and-true nameplates from the Detroit Three.

It seems Nissan’s planning to seize some ground for itself on fertile — but traditionally unfriendly — terrain. Looking back, the looming push was obvious.

According to Automotive News, the Titan will travel overseas as part of Nissan’s attempt to infiltrate new markets. If it pulls it off, Nissan just might make the word “Titan” resonate with some of the same authority as “Silverado” and “F-150.”

2017 Nissan Titan SV Single Cab - Image: Nissan

Among the possible new markets for the Titan line are China (always a favorite), Russia, Australia, and the Middle East — each a vastly different market where American truckmakers are hesitant to tread. Certainly, the full-size Titan and its almost-but-not-quite heavy duty sibling appear to have been shaped for exactly this role. If Nissan just wanted an also-ran in a hot segment, why bother offering a Single Cab configuration on both models?

Why offer an extended King Cab with a rear-seat delete option? Why make a 5.6-liter V8 standard in the Titan and offer a 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel V8 in the XD? It’s obvious Nissan wants customers to put these trucks to work, and it’s making it as enticing as possible.

“We are now looking at other markets where we can introduce the full-size pickup,” said Ashwani Gupta, senior vice president of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s light-commercial business unit, ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show. “That market is really growing.”

2017 Nissan Titan King Cab Doors Open, Image: Nissan

Still, overseas markets are used to smaller trucks. That’s why Nissan seems prepared to pitch the Titan at fleets and construction crews  — customers that might soon become addicted to the extra capacity and power. While Gupta didn’t come right out and say this, it’s telling that the model is now grouped under the automaker’s global light-commercial business unit.

Alongside the Titan push, Nissan also plans to woo more customers with its midsize Navara pickup, as well as a Renault variant. (Recall that the Mercedes-Benz X-Class also uses the Navara as a starting point.) Nissan recently introduced the Navara in China. Just to ensure the lower end of the pickup market is completely covered, the slightly smaller Triton — built by newly acquired Alliance partner Mitsubishi — is tapped to serve in the emerging market product deluge.

[Images: Nissan]

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28 Comments on “Made for America, the Nissan Titan Expands Its Horizons...”

  • avatar

    “Russia, Australia, and the Middle East”

    An uncorked Cummins 5.0L might be popular internationally.

    • 0 avatar

      Honestly, in Russia and ME, the big gasser motors are what they like in brash “toys” like this. Tundras and Rams are the two American half tons most commonly seen in Russia, exclusively full tilt crew cab models, most often with caps.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I hope make a RH drive Titan. It would be nice to have the XD, with a little more grunt from the diesel.

    Pricing is key. If Nissan can sell a dual cab V8 full of bullsh!t and bling $75-80k AUD should move some metal for them.

    I know here in the Emirates there are quite a few US 1/2 ton pickups, mostly single cabs. They are used in a similar fashion as the US. They don’t carry a load or work. Hiluxes and other midsizers are the working pickups. Sort of tells you something.

    • 0 avatar

      the XD seems to me like so much of a swing-and-a-miss. the Cummins ISV is the only (only!) reason to consider it. Other than that it doesn’t really deliver; it’s a “7/8ths size” HD pickup which is just as heavy as the full sizers from Detroit.

      • 0 avatar

        And gets similar mileage while having less towing and hauling capacity. Plus, its barely any smaller, which is the reason it’s supposed to exist (to be easier to live with than a 3/4 ton truck). Like one inch smaller in some configurations.

        • 0 avatar

          The XD with the Cummins tows its rated capacity with less fuss than the other half tons do. And probably tows twice as much in similar comfort and safety, as a similar rated halfton if you’re a lazy bum (aka regular, non anal American) who doesn’t want to mess around with weight distributing hitches and the like. And it has thicker sections anywhere, from bed sheets to frames, for less worry about DIY “upfits.”

          Of course, those who care about that, can get a Big3 3/4 ton, which does it even more effortlessly, for no more money than the Nissan. The XD has a “nice” front suspension, rather than one designed for a 1000lb snowplow, but the Big3 has gotten so good at making even the HDs ride acceptably now, that this isn’t the selling point it was even 10 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I don’t need to compensate and I don’t need to tow 10000lbs.

    • 0 avatar

      Sure! It says a smaller truck built in Thailand is far more wonderful than a truck that can haul more, tow more and that gets similar mileage. Duh! We already knew that!

      If they’re all personal pavement pounders, why are they “mostly single cabs”?

      It doesn’t have to make sense. Its a BAFOon post!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        You are showing you limited knowledge. Why are they single cabs?

        Because over here they are a “man’s” vehicle. Maybe you should travel a little. The world is not the USA.

        There are multitudes of pickups, GMCs are quite popular and there seems to be a much higher ratio of Raptors per capita than the US. Armadas, Tahoes and a few GMC cousins.

        There are quite a few US SUVs as well. Escalades are not common, but why would you buy one when you have other better options?

        I have an aluminium F150 with a Coyote in it. Chinese like cheap interior. Sucks fuel almost as bad as the EcoThirst Expedition I have here as well. I don’t have much choice in vehicles since I’m not paying. Oh the Sorento is not much chop as well, but it’s a base model FWD.

  • avatar

    How does the Titan pricing compare vs the Detroit three on actual out the door cost?
    Do they have all the substantial discounts that are constantly advertised?
    I was in Florida last week and the Dodge adverts were truly like carpet bombing.

    • 0 avatar

      My local Nissan dealer is also a Ford dealer…which is a real problem for them. They don’t have to discount F-150’s, but almost every Titan Crew Cab on the lot has a “dealer discount” of $7500. That said, he seems to have no problem moving Rogues…

      Meanwhile, down the street at the Ram dealership, you can get a ’17 1500 Crew Cab Laramie 4WD for $36K (in various colors). And that’s w/out any special rebate hijinks (ie, recent college grad, active duty military, farm bureau, etc.). I’m thinking about spending my Halloween afternoon down at the dealership, working to get that to around $34K; if so, I pull the trigger.

      • 0 avatar

        Rams of that configuration (Laramie, 4×4, Crew Cab, V8) sticker for about the same around here. I don’t know how much I’d use it’s truck capabilities considering I have an SUV, but I have considered picking one up. It’s really kind of hard to pass up on that deal.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    6yr/100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty will gather attention. It might gain a few fleet sales but will strike a deeper chord in the ” I haul my lunchbox” crowd.

    • 0 avatar

      Anecdote alert! My cousin picked up a new ’17 Pro4X Titan a few weeks ago, dealer up here chopped almost $17K(!) off a sticker price of $66K (CAD) along with a trade of his ’14 Pro4X as long as it was a cash deal. He just cut a cheque from his low interest line of credit and saved a ton!

  • avatar

    The Titan XD towing capacity is lower because they gave it a softer suspension for a smoother ride. The rest of the truck is all HD….a fully boxed 3/4-ton frame, 1-ton rear axle, 1-ton transmission, a school bus diesel engine and recirculating ball steering like you see in the F-350. Put a set of Firestone air bags on it and you can tow as much weight as you want.

    • 0 avatar

      “Put a set of Firestone air bags on it and you can tow as much weight as you want.”

      That’s an unbelievably irresponsible advice. For one thing legally you would be in trouble if you tow over the stated capacity on the door jam sticker and get in an accident. You also assume the brakes, driveline can safely handle over the stated limit. They could be, or they could be not.

      Then you have to live with recirculating ball steering which makes no sense unless you need the durability.

      It also costs as much as a real 3/4 ton to maintain, and also to register and insure since its GVWR is over the 1/2 ton limit.

      • 0 avatar

        Ive used Firestone airbags for years and they are a great product for keeping your truck level even if you dont exceed the stated capacity on the door sticker. I shouldnt have written you can tow as much as you want on a public forum and going forward I will my opinions on said subject to myself…my bad.

  • avatar

    @TOTitan – the only way one can tow or haul more with any pickup is to make it lighter i.e. strip any unnecessary components from it. Adding air bags or any suspension modifications does not alter the tow and haul ratings. Its rated GCWR or GVW is set by the company’s engineers.

    I had the same discussion with a fellow on another site years ago. He claimed that his aftermarket Deaver springs increased payload. I emailed Deaver and they said point blank, “suspension mods don’t increase the factory settings”.

  • avatar

    I’m in the market for a light-duty pickup; 75% as a family vehicle and 25% for hauling up to 2000 pounds, light-duty towing, or carrying my ATV. So I’ve spent the last couple weeks on online-truck-builder hell.

    T-Mobile has been making great strides in the cellular market by killing some sacred cows. I’d love to see an underdog like Nissan do the same for the vehicle market. The reality is there’s a 95% chance that I’ll go with Ford or Chevy, and a vanishing chance I’ll go with Nissan. But those odds would improve considerably if they would allow me to buy any individual options I want without the ridiculous package nonsense.

    Yes, there’s money in them thar packages, but there’s even more money in volume sales.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s an interesting and quite professionally produce site.

  • avatar

    I take it Nissan has completely given up trying to compete with “Detroit Three” fullsize pickups. Or even the Tundra. Although BAFO thinks Mahindra and Foton would have a better shot..

    But I can fathom why Nissan insists on sucking. Everything they made in the ’80s was #1 or 2 in its class.

    For sure the rest of the world is a thirsty place, when it comes to fullsize pickups. Nissan should do very well any place they set up. That’s until D3 pickups follow them there. Then what??

  • avatar

    All trucks are pretty much the same, they can all tow the same, they can all haul the same, they all have a powerful V8. The idea that somehow Toyota or Nissan don’t make a “real” truck is silly.
    And I say this as a truck owner.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    I like stuff

    Based on your statements I find it really hard to believe your a truck owner. OR-you are so unfamiliar with what sets trucks apart you must use your as a grocery getter.

    Things that set apart one manufacturer from the others-include payload capacities, maximum rear axle weight, rear end ratio (and what auto transmission those are paired to) and other things.

    For example-it is widely understood RAM has the lowest payload capacities of just about any truck manufacturer.

    This all important when hooking up that bumper pull trailer.

  • avatar

    I have no idea what my GMC truck is rated at, but it has hauled an entire couch AND a coffee table without setting the brakes on fire or flipping over and into a ditch. If it was a Nissan or a RAM RAM, it would probably already be a pile of scrap.

  • avatar

    Predicting success or otherwise for the Titan in Australia is simple. If it is engineered to be built in RHD without extra cost and it is bigger than a Ford Ranger then it is a slam dunk. We would all drive American trucks if they didn’t cost $20,000 or more for local RHD modification.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I don’t think this is the worst idea. There are parts of the world where a Nissan full-sized truck would be at less of a disadvantage with respect to brand loyalty and how buyers use trucks. Unfortunately for them those are much less profitable sales as well but may as well get something from that capacity. I finally got to drive a new F250 and I’d choose it over the Titan I think but Im still firmly in half ton territory though a potential RV upgrade may move me beyond the 2.7s comfort zone.

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