Report: Some at Nissan Call for Electrification of Pickups
Nissan has been trying to gain traction in the truck market around here for a few years, with varying degrees of success. Now, a new report from Automotive News suggests some folks at the brand would like an increased focus on a lightweight electric pickup.
Talking heads at AN, who tend to have very well-placed sources, are suggesting voices at Nissan would welcome a doubling down of its presence in the small truck market. Right now, their Frontier midsizer is doing acceptably well in America, attracting buyers with its right-size dimensions and handsome styling. More than 76,000 of the things found homes in 2022, putting it ahead of rigs like the Pathfinder or Kicks and less than 1,000 units behind the Sentra. Not too shabby.
Speculation centers on remarks made by Tyler Slade, who is the Nissan Dealer Advisory Board Chairman, whilst speaking to AN about dealer chatter. He asserts that those on the front lines are asking for a midsize electric truck, citing reduced operating costs for commercial shoppers who tend to have one eye firmly on the bottom line.
"It's logical to bring an electric version," he said to AN, speaking about the Frontier pickup. Interestingly, Slade used the term ‘Hardbody’ when referencing that truck, a name which is surely popular with the masses but appears nowhere in the vehicle’s official nomenclature. Dealers gonna deal, right?
Left unanswered is what’s going to happen to the Titan line of trucks. The model has already been swept out the door in Canada, leaving many in this neck of the woods to openly wonder what Nissan has in store for its player in a segment that’s notoriously tough on newcomers. Slade hopes it doesn’t disappear, citing revenue and profits from all corners of the dealership including service and parts. It’s true that some dealers invested heavily in the Titan, so yoinking that rug out from under their feet would be a deeply unpopular move in some corners.
Still, if Nissan can play to its strengths in the midsize market – and the good juju it has built for itself over several decades in that segment – an electrified truck might be just the thing to placate dealers looking for yet another product with which to capture lucrative commercial customers.
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By the time they're done thinking about it, others will beat them to market by 5 years.
Nissan has been thinking about water cooling its EV batteries for a decade, and now that the Ariya has it, they've only now begun to ship it.
By the way, "lightweight pickup" will be an oxymoron if it's electric. It won't be 3 -5 tons, but it will easily be 2 if it's to have 250+ miles' range.
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