FRANKLIN, Tenn. – As the full-size truck segment, representing more than 1.6 million sales per year, heats up with new models from key competitors over the next 24 months, Nissan is preparing to field an all-new model of its own.
On the heels of an ambitious new model introduction program that includes launching five new passenger models – beginning with last summer’s introduction of its best-seller, the 2013 Altima mid-size sedan – Nissan continues to keep a keen focus on the truck market. The original Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck launched in 2003 and the company is preparing a redesign of its next-generation pickup model as a major part of an upcoming product onslaught.
“As a full-line manufacturer, Nissan aims to be a player in every part of the truck business,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan Americas. “Our truck teams in Michigan, Arizona, Tennessee and Mississippi are hard at work on a next generation full-size truck line that will expand Titan’s appeal to a broader spectrum of truck buyers, including the all-important skilled trades-buyers. Our new truck will be filled with Nissan innovation and expertise without compromise.”
Nissan Titan was the company’s first foray into the full-size truck market. Known for its contemporary style, convenience features such as the first in-class lockable bedside storage compartment and roomy King Cab and Crew Cab models, the truck was designed to appeal primarily to personal-use customers. For the next-generation Titan, Nissan’s truck team is looking at broadening the product portfolio to reach more personal-use buyers while also appealing to commercial owners and fleets.
“Our truck engineers and designers have very clear marching orders,” said Loing. “Deliver a winner. Nothing is off the table. Many of our team have lived and studied the truck market and lifestyle most of their careers. They know the stakes.”
For competitive reasons, Nissan is not providing a timeline for introduction of the next- generation truck.
Meanwhile, as other OEMs have exited the compact truck segment, Nissan continues to experience strong consumer demand for its popular Frontier pickup. Frontier sales have been on the rise for the past two years, up more than 35 percent. Frontier, which had been built at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn. assembly plant, is now built alongside the Titan in Canton, Miss. Nissan is not signaling anything but optimism for the compact truck segment.
“We could not be much happier with the success of Frontier,” said Loing. “The truck is a performer and has room for more growth and success, especially as we expand our presence in the truck marketplace.”
Nissan is also very active in the commercial vehicle business. In 2011, Nissan launched a new line of full-sized commercial vans featuring rugged ladder frames, standard and high-roof versions, and a choice of 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines to meet the needs of commercial customers. The NV1500, NV2500 and NV3500 vans are built alongside Titan at Nissan’s Canton, Miss. assembly plant.
This spring, Nissan introduces the NV200, a small commercial van designed to meet the growing needs of small business owners who need maneuverability, utility and the fuel economy offered by the lightweight cargo hauler featuring a 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. NV200 is the basis for Nissan’s New York Taxi of Tomorrow, the exclusive taxi of New York City, which launches this fall.