It’s no secret Nissan has to do something dramatic to get its full-size Titan pickup truck back on the consideration list for new-truck consumers. According to Automotive News, product planners have decided to crack this nut by making the next-generation Titan more appealing to buyers who use their vehicle for work — specifically, the journeyman tradesman.
“We don’t have a single cab … we don’t have a V-6 engine … as far as the commercial guy goes, I don’t really think he is considering a Titan because it doesn’t have a work image,” said Joe Castelli, vice president of commercial vehicles and fleet.
Reports in 2009 had the redesigned Titan based off the Ram 1500 platform, but that deal fell through because of the Chrysler bankruptcy and subsequent Chrysler/Fiat merger. That new Titan was originally scheduled to debut as a 2012 model.
As you might expect, when the Titan/Ram project was canceled, the Nissan design and engineering teams had to scramble. Now the reports say a new Titan is likely to come to market as a 2014 model and will have many significant changes, not the least of which includes an assortment of powertrains, wheelbases, and cab configuration options.
We reported earlier this year that Cummins and Nissan were doing preliminary background research regarding a four-cylinder turbo-diesel, in a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Energy. Although we’re working on getting more up-to-date info, we believe the project is still advancing.
During a recent outing with Nissan engineers, we took note of the many questions the Titan marketing and product planners asked about the width and breadth of the Ford F-150 lineup. And they seemed particularly interested in the number of wheelbases, cab configurations and specific bed lengths they offered. Of course, they didn’t give us any specifics, but we did take note of the questions.
Whether or not this means we’ll see the new Titan coming to market in much the same way the Toyota Tundra burst out of the gates, trying to appeal to construction and contractor consumers certainly would require more than two cabs, one wheelbase and one engine option. More to come.