Saying trucks are important in the U.S. is like calling Les Paul a guy who knew about guitars.
Ford’s F-Series half tons are traditionally the best selling vehicle within the market. Nissan has sat on the other side of that spectrum since shortly after it introduced the Titan for the 2014 model year. It came close to counting 100,000 sales in its first year, but those figures have generally been on a downslope since then. Last year, the company sold 21,576 units.
Nissan will introduce the second generation of its Titan pickup truck for the 2015 model year, and sales will need to stay north of 100,000 units a year for selling it to be worthwhile. That’s nearly five times the units Nissan’s truck currently moves.
Changing that will mean breaking into one of the most loyal segments in the automotive industry. That’s a battle Nissan is going into with guns blazing. The brand poached former Ram boss Fred Diaz, and will offer a 5.0-liter Cummins diesel engine in its powertrain lineup.
The company hopes those factors along with the truck being designed and built in the U.S. will be enough to win a piece of the market from the Detroit 3. NIssan executive vice president Andy Palmer also told Ward’s Auto that the truck has some other “disruptive” parts that haven’t been revealed yet.
Ram will also offer a diesel in its light-duty pickups, although it will be a six-cylinder rather than the V8 Nissan and Cummins are collaborating on. General Motors has expresses plans in the past to offer a 4.5-liter diesel V8 in its Silverado and Sierra pickups, although the oil burner was reportedly shelved in early 2009 because of economic uncertainty.