By on August 13, 2020

nissan

The saga of the Nissan Titan will come to an end in Canada next year, with the recently refreshed full-size pickup and its tweener XD sibling leaving that market after 2021 as the automaker changes course on a global scale.

Nissan Canada confirmed the discontinuation to TTAC on Thursday, claiming the automaker, as part of its new four-year plan, will focus more closely on its core strengths. Refreshed for 2020, the Titan line has recently seen a decline in the number of build configurations offered, as well as vehicles sold, making the model’s vanishing act a seeming inevitability.

“The Nissan TITAN pickup truck will not be sold in Canada beyond model year 2021,” said Jennifer McCarthy, Nissan Canada Product Communications Manager, in an email.

“We will focus our resources on existing core models in our crossover and sedan portfolios. Our resources are also being directed to support the market launch of vehicles like the all-new Rogue and Versa which go on sale later this year, as well as the all-new Ariya electric crossover and all-new Frontier mid-size pickup truck, which arrive in Canadian showrooms next year.”

Under the near-term plan released in May, Nissan, reeling from a global sales slump even before the pandemic hit, will streamline its operations, cutting manufacturing capacity by 20 percent and culling the number of models offered. The automaker said it plans to reduce its global lineup from 69 models to less than 55, all the while introducing new stock in the key markets of North America, China, and Japan.

Image: Nissan

Facing overwhelming competition from the Detroit Three, the Titan struggled in the full-size pickup market ever since its debut. For the current generation, arriving for model year 2016, Nissan sought market penetration with two models, three cab styles, and a wide variety of packages designed to cast a wide net among pickup buyers. As Nissan’s fortunes fell, so too did the Titan’s. Despite the addition of the almost-three-quarter-ton Titan XD, initially offered with an optional Cummins 5.0-liter diesel V8, volume declined.

For 2020, low-volume build configurations fell away, as did the diesel engine. In Canada, the newly powerful (and slightly more fuel efficient) 2020 Titan is offered only as a 4×4 crew cab with 5.5-foot box. A similar lack of choice greets Titan XD buyers.

As stated by Automotive News, the Titan family captured just 1.2 percent of the full-size pickup segment in the U.S. through June, but the take rate is even slimmer north of the border — around half of one percent. It was stronger, albeit slightly, before Nissan embarked on an incentives-slashing campaign designed to shore up its flagging finances.

Last year, Nissan Canada moved 2,807 Titans, a 48.4 percent decline from a year prior. The first half of 2020 saw a 53.9-percent drop. Don’t get the idea that Canadians shy away from pickups, however — full-size trucks are now the country’s top vehicle segment, representing 22.5 percent of all new vehicle sales in the first half of the year.

Image: Nissan

While Nissan’s decision leaves Canadian pickup customers with only the midsize Frontier after next year, the automaker’s U.S. arm does not plan to vacate the full-size field. The Canton, Mississippi-built Titan will continue to exist in that market.

“TITAN was refreshed for the 2020 model year and offers the most standard power, safety features and technology in its class, and it remains an important part of Nissan’s U.S. product lineup,” said Kevin Raftery, Nissan North America’s communication specialist in charge of SUVs, trucks, and commercial vehicles. “TITAN will continue to be sold in the U.S. beyond model year 2021.”

In the U.S., Titan sales declined 32.3 percent in the first half of the year, with 2019 showing a drop of 37.5 percent.

[Images: Nissan]

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19 Comments on “Nissan Titan Set to Leave Canadian Market...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Titan is better than it’s reputation & outmatched by F-150, RAM, and GM full size pickups.
    Good enough for a Nissan buyer.
    It’s tough to find a winning strategy with this vehicle. As part of overall commercial strategy there was at least a foundation of a plan. Without a commercial strategy there is only failure.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    Probably won’t be long until the Titan-based full size van follows it.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I wonder how much incremental cost there is to take a vehicle that’s sold in the US and make it legal for sale in Canada? I assume enough to make selling a couple thousand Titans up there a losing proposition.

    Does Nissan sell Infiniti in Canada? I’m thinking that would be a potential place to downsize the biz also.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      For purposes of this post, assume I know nothing about the automotive industry, not much about pickup trucks, and very little about Canada (although at one point I could accurately sing O Canada from memory).

      Homologation (U.S./Canada) from a *parts* perspective is pretty minimal: Change the speedometer (miles to kilometers), the fuel gauge (gallons to liters) and maybe add an engine block heater (possibly already available in the U.S. as an accessory).

      There are some other administrative costs. For example, translating the owner’s manual into French.

      A massive overgeneralization of the Canadian automotive market:
      • 35 million people live in Canada (2016 census) [More people than Texas, but fewer than California]
      • Roughly 1/3 of Canadian residents live in three ‘population centres’: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver
      • Roughly 1/3 live in areas with fewer than ~50K people

      If I live in a large city, I may not ‘want’ a truck; if I live in a small population centre I may ‘need’ one. About 75% of new light vehicles sold in Canada are ‘trucks’ (including minivans and SUV’s) [2019, Statistics Canada].

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        And then specific to Nissan’s situation with Titan (conjecture):
        – If you need a truck you might need a specialized work truck; Titan offers limited build configurations
        – It is challenging to stock colors and options for pickups (even with limited build configurations) across ~187 dealers when you sell fewer than 3,000 per year
        – Possibly other reasons we may never know about

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Realistically, the incremental Canadian federalization costs were spent once they introduced this generation, so the issue is likely more the cost of keeping a low-demand vehicle in stock.

      Infiniti does sell up here, but sells well enough in urban markets (well, mostly the Q50 and QX60).

  • avatar

    This will accompany a receding offering of Mitsubishi, Nissan, and de-contented Infiniti models as they desperately try to plug holes in the sinking ship.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    That will make for at least 7 seriously disappointed truck buyers.

  • avatar
    Jarred Fitzgerald

    As a long-time Nissan fan, I am looking forward to this.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Wow I didn’t realize it’s already been 4 years since this newer Titan came out and yet I rarely see one on the road. Can’t look around at a stop light without seeing an F-150, Ram, Or GM truck.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Come on TTAC give us that Nissan Deathwatch! It is more than time!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Hardly – Nissan is still a major player in the US and other markets. They’re definitely in a rough patch, but I think they’ll emerge strong.

      I’d certainly buy another Nissan if the time and product was right.

      • 0 avatar

        “…if the time and product was right.”

        Boy I’ve heard of faint praise before, but phew!

        Curious about your level of optimism. They just posted a huge loss, the Mitsubishi cars arm is like K-mart, they’ve got no electric cars plan and not much in the way of hybrids (anything?), and they’re planning a neutering of Infiniti. Rental fleet sales are dead for probably the next 1-2 years, which is their bread and butter.

        Where’s the strength?

    • 0 avatar

      Nissan is still the worlds third largest car company by sales volume. GM is about to drop to fifth place after the PSA/FCA merger happens. No wonder the are suing FCA.

      I would say Nissan is in better shape than GM on the international stage. GM doesn’t even have a pressence in Europe.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Titan is a good truck but it is not selling enough to keep it. Next will be dropping the Titan from the US market. Nissan should offer a more base model of the Frontier with a base price below 20k and offer a rebadged model for Mitsubishi. A base trim with limited options and limited colors such as white, black, and silver with a 4 cylinder, air, automatic, crank windows, rubber floor, cloth and vinyl seats, steel wheels, and rear wheel drive only. Still offer the new Frontier that will be introduced but offer a base model as a more affordable option for fleets and cheap skates like me. Many buyers are looking for affordable trucks and many of the more affordable used trucks are older with high mileage.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    Jeff S-

    That’s an interesting thought. However-all vehicles (including trucks) are selling with more expensive option packages-that’s one item (of several) that drive up the average transaction price.

    So- I think a “base Frontier” may be a good idea for gardeners and the like- but quite unsure how many they would sell as a family hauler-because trucks are indeed being used for that purpose.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Maybe so but Nissan is not going to make it in the truck market by trying to compete with Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Ram. Price is what sold the Frontier in the past and Nissan has lost that advantage with the 2020 Frontier. Take the existing Frontier and offer it with a rear seat delete in the extended cab. The existing crew cab Frontier can be sold to families. Not everyone who buys a truck wants a crew cab especially if the crew cab comes with a short bed. Nissan cannot compete with the Titan even though the Titan is a very good truck. Toyota is competitive in the midsize trucks but the Tundra is not competitive against the Big 2 1/2. Sell a base extended cab Frontier to fleets and any gardeners or anyone else wanting a new truck that they can get dirty. I had the 4×4 crew cab pickup with 31k miles with heated leather seats, tow package, fog lights, and a lot of extras but I never used it for dirty work. I gave it my nephew’s wife and bought a used Ford Ranger that had been a fleet truck. I was going to buy a new truck but spending close to 30k for a new truck was more than I wanted to spend. I would have spent 20k for a new truck in a work trim. I don’t need or want a rear seat nor do I need a lot of electronics.

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