It might be hard to imagine, considering that it sold just 40,727 of them last year, but when you add up the totals over the last 14 years Nissan has actually built one million Frontier pickups at it’s Smyrna, Tennessee assembly plant, spanning two generations.
Nevetheless, the compact truck market is not the popular segment it once was. The only true compact truck left, the Ford Ranger, bows out after this year, leaving so-called ‘mid-size,’ rigs, the Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon and Dodge Dakota to pickup up the pieces, even though, the remaining domestic brand trucks are not long for this world either.
It’s a far cry from the late 1970s and 1980s, when compact trucks were one of the hottest things going and individual models, like Nissan’s own Hardbody regularly sold in excess of 100,000 units.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if Nissan sells another million small trucks over the next 14 years. Given that many manufacturers who peddle vehicles stateside have either abandoned the concept of smaller pickups, or at the very least not chosen to really update existing models, as it stands, that might be a hard goal to achieve.
Time and again it’s been revealed that there still is a substantial market for small pickups, especially with higher fuel prices currently a reality, only there’s very little choice. Perhaps it’s about time the automakers changed that.