Next Titan Will Go After Commerical Buyers

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Rich Miller, Nissan's chief product specialist in charge of the next-gen Nissan Titan, says its next full-size pickup truck will have to have broad appeal, meaning Nissan will need to offer more de-contented truck configurations to appeal to fleet and commercial buyers.

According to Automotive News, Miller said the current Titan does not resonate well with work customers, and if Nissan wants to increase its sales numbers (and profits) it will need to offer a regular-cab version, several powertrain options (which need to include a V-6 gas engine) and improved technologies.

Nissan has already announced the next Titan will include an ISV 5.0-liter Cummins V-8, which has industry experts expecting Nissan to offer a heavy-duty version of the next Titan as well, if not a full-blown one-ton dualie. There's no reason why Nissan shouldn't make some serious changes to its lineup. And if it decided to emulate some of its competition, Nissan could look to either Ford or Ram for direction. Both manufacturers offer plenty of trim package diversity and segment-first technology in their pickup lines, as well as a strong foundation in the fleet and commercial segments. 

It's worth noting Nissan has been trying to build up its commercial truck credibility for the last several years with new offerings such as the NV1500, NV2500, and NV3500 fullsize van and the compact NV200 van. Several pickup truck and powertrain offerings would certainly help bolster that position.  

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A high risk gamble, for the following reasons.

1. This is a discussion of products that focus on the US and North American market.

2. US economy is in its fifth year of slow/no growth posture

3. commercial vehicle buyers are a brand-loyal group if there ever was one.

4. The Big 3 are all over this. If Toyota couldn't make a splash in commercial vehicles, what makes Nissan think they can

At papa jim
"4. The Big 3 are all over this. If Toyota couldn't make a splash in commercial vehicles, what makes Nissan think they can"
PRICE and quality, along with the right specs. My dad used to only buy Datsun/Nissan trucks for his business ... then again, mini-trucks were very "in" and economical at the time. I used the Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger untill the price point/availability made them obsolete. Problem is, I have yet to upgrade my aging fleet ... I don't need a supersized F150 that only carries 2 people. Actually, carrying 3 to 4 people with "opps, we forgot some tools" is more important/cost effective in my business

If they could achieve better fuel economy loaded and unloaded with decent interiors and towing and hauling but without trying to turn a 1/2 ton into a 3/4 ton. then it might just work.

Since the chassis is largely shared with the NV van, a heavier duty version seems obvious. the ISV5.0 will require a beefier driveline anyway. They already have an 8-lug front hub. Other parts could come straight from the small end of Nissan MD trucks.

@Papa Jim: I'm not gonna say you're wrong, because what you've said has some validity. But here's my take on things:

1. The Nissan Titan is a NA-only product, so it makes sense to try and increase its market share any way possible, since there's nowhere else it's being sold.

2. I'll give you that one: I'm not an economist, I can't predict where we're going from here, and I don't put much stock in those who claim to know the future.

3. Yes, brand loyalty is a concern, but so are dependability and up-front cost. If Nissan can prove that their trucks will require less maintenance and repairs, while at the same time costing less than, say, Ford (who currently holds the market), they will stand to make a profit.

4. The reason Toyota can't make it is because they have no heavy-duty models, and a base-model Tundra is more expensive than a comparable F-150 XL, Ram 1500 Tradesman, or Silverado 1500 WT. Like I said in 3, as long as Nissan can provide the same for less money (a cheaper base-model half-ton), or more for the same money (a cheaper heavy-duty), they just might make it.

Yes, definitely a high risk gamble, but if it pays off...! For the first time since International Harvester bowed out in 1975, there might be a "Big Four" in the commercial market. Very exciting, even if I don't really care for imports vs. domestic brands.

Okay, looking over what I just said, I should have said "fourth player" rather than "Big Four." I don't think Nissan would ever "make it" to the level of Ford, GM, and Dodge/Ram.

The HD market is locked up by the domestic Big Three Period! Good luck Datsun cause you gonna need it! LOL

Len, Nissan it not planning on taking over the HD truck market, they are planning on gaining some sales in an otherwise untapped area, that the level inbetween a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton, many people have been asking for a truck in this range that gets decent fuel economy.

@Rich - I have to agree. GMC has increased their 1/2 ton towing to 12,000 lb and they even offer heavier duty rear ends based on capacity.
If Nissan targets the "too big for a 1/2 ton but don't really need a full time 3/4 ton" product demographic - they would have a good chance at gaining market share.
Most buyers that are towing in the 10K range upsize to 3/4 tons. That is because most with a brain do not buy into the domestic tow ratings and like having reserve capacity.

I would take one of these over my sorry F-series any day. It sucks to be a Ford guy these days and I do not know why it is taking me so long to get this thing traded off.

One of my sons has a Titan and has over 80k trouble free miles on it.It's big enough to take the whole family including their big dog,and they all love it.When not hauling the family it serves as his work truck.His only complaint is that for it's size,it is 'thirsty'...

All good, but what I called it is a big gamble. I did not say they can't win, but to me their definition of success needs to be clear.

Are they happy to gain a sliver of share in the US truck market? Brand loyalty amongst tradesmen and technicians is very solid, hard to shake.

When I got Baptized, I told my brother that I wondered what my late father would think of me becoming a Catholic. My brother replied, don't worry about that. It's that Chevy you drive that would really piss him off!

I agree that to commercial buyers, brand loyalty is not as important as cost of ownership and upfront cost. It’s the fan boys that ride or die brand X that are the annoying brand loyal people. I ask people that are contractors around this town why they have new 2500hd 6.0 Silverado’s as fleet trucks, they respond that it was the cheapest deal they got.

Toyota already tried the heavy half approach in 2007, the half-ton with a huge rear end (11.5" ring gear), highest hp engine (higher than the 6.0 Vmax in 07), and highest tq engine. And honestly I can't see the Titan doing any better than 100,000 unit sales per year.

Don't heavy duty sales only make up something like 20% of the truck market? I doubt the truck campaign is very profitable for Nissan currently, I highly doubt we will see a full blown HD line up (3/4, and a 1 ton dually).

@ FordtTrUcks1, if you are that tired of your F series truck then why haven't you gotten rid of it already?? Sound like a women complaining over nothing. GET RID OF IT ALREADY AND SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!

It seems they'd want to meet the retail consumer's needs before trying to tackle the commercial buyer.

Nissan is making little sense these days.

It is hard to see gaps in the product offerings of the Big 3 that Nissan could exploit. So their work is cut out for them.

But I do think we the consumer can only gain by Nissan's striving to come up with something different. (Look at their bed utility package with the movable cleats and movable bed extender-great innovation-great utility).

I also think they have deep experience internationally in designing and building tough truck-based vehicles.

But I am getting tired of reading about the "up-coming new Titan." It has been "up-coming for four years now...

I wish them luck.

Most arguments I've read so far have some validity to them.

Nissan is a very experienced company with commercial vehicles outside of NA.

Nissan's foray into a new segment, so to speak can only become a positive.

As Lou pointed out if you are required to haul or tow 10 000lbs you sure wouldn't buy a 1/2 ton pickup. Pickups are not engineered like 'real' trucks. I do know here in Australia if you haul 8 tons on the back of a truck any truck rated to haul 8 tons is mechanically strong enough to do the job 24/7.

Pickups can't haul to their maximum rated limit on a continuing basis. They aren't designed to do so.

One area that no one has mentioned is the effect CAFE has on 1/2 ton pickups. I think Nissan have taken this into account as well.

Also, Nissan has done extensive testing with the 2.8 litre ISF Cummins diesel and we haven't heard much on this testing.

A V8 Cummins Titan will be a good vehicle for Nissan. No other manufacturer has anything like it. The only other manufacturer that can compete would be the Tundra if they drop the 4.5 V8 into it.

Nissan have nothing to lose and can only gain, look at their current sales numbers.

Nissan shot itself in the 'commercial foot' when they cancelled the reg cabs. Fleet customers want a mix of multi-cabs and reg cabs, strippers and well equipped. *But* they don't wan't fleets of 2 or 3 different brands. And fleet sales of trucks leads to fleet sales of sedans for their sales team, company cars and group (employee's families) purchases. And not just stripper cars/trucks, but well equipped.

" And if it decided to emulate some of its competition, Nissan could look to either Ford or Ram for direction"

Why not chevrolet?

With all this talk it better be a 2015 model. Can't wait.

Why not chevrolet?

-I think GM has all but killed Chevrolet when it comes to trucks. Hell, cars too except for the Vette and Camaro. Gotta love Govt Motors. Ford and Dodge are the leaders now. I'd expect Nissan to follow suit.

Like most of the commercial buyers I know (small business owners), I don't care a lick about brand loyalty. Give me a good truck that my business can rely on, and don't force me to pay through the nose for content I don't need. Give me a truck that I can work hard, and that won't turn into an anchor dragging my business down with breakdowns and expenses.

The Ford 6.0 taught a lot of us to grow up, leave the school yard "mine is better than yours" stuff behind and focus on what matters. Trucks are a tool, not a bragging point.

Build a reliable truck with a strong power train and keep the costs down and Nissan will earn a nice slice of the pie.

It's not loyalty. It is common sense. Last time around Nissan launched a rotten truck with a decent motor.

They completely and totally misjudged the market. They had the most unrealistic sales expectations, they had a most unrealistic range of cab/bed configurations, and they completely underestimated their competition.

I don't know how you can consider the Titan to be anything other than a failure. It did not live up to Nissan's sales expectations in its first year, and it hasn't come anywhere near them ever since.

Furthermore, revenue from the Titan has not funded its ongoing development, Nissan has had to once again take money from elsewhere in the company to basically relaunch the Titan.

Will it be any better?

Why would anyone think it would be? What evidence is there? What demonstrated level of competence has Nissan shown in this market? They misjudged the market in '04, and have done nothing since then. How could anyone look at that and think, "Hey, it's very likely that the next Titan will be much more successful"?

Give me a 3/4ton 4x4 Titan King Cab with long bed and diesel.

Done deal!

Nissan USA!

If Nissan can build, sell and gain market share as has Ram then watch out truck world. The game is on.

If Nissan can produce a basic no-frills 1/2ton 4x4 extended cab with a decent rear axle for under $30k, you've got my attention. The same configuration in a 3/4ton with a gas engine for under $35k and you've really got my attention.

@Jerry and BD You got it right! I want to see the second-tier guys like Nissan and Ram give Ford and GM a run for their money. Consumers will directly benefit from that kind of kick ass competition!

Now, if Nissan dealers start selling a no frills 3/4 ton with a 5.0, or even a half ton with a 3/4 ton RATED rear axle, that will be a major player. Sell the diesel at the same price that GM and Ford sell the 3/4 ton gasser!!!

It won't replace the HD GMC or the HD Super Duty but it will really bite into their sales.

@Rich. Take a breath, man!

The first Titan had issues with the rear ends but it's stretching it a lot to say they had a "rotten" truck with a good motor.

The original Titan had 4 wheel discs when ford and GM were just starting to on their half ton trucks. It had an all alloy V8 standard, mind you, back when GM and Ford had funky old V6s like the Essex and the 90 degree Chevy six. The Titan had a 5 speed auto standard, when GM, Ram and Ford were still offering old stick shifts with a 4spd Auto upgrade.

The Titan, aside from issues with the early rear ends, was a pretty nice truck compared to the 2004 trucks from Dodge, Chevy and Ford.

I think Nissan can pull this off. Otherwise, we wouldn't be seeing the NV vans. They just need to focus more on marketing and advertising than in the pass. Oh, and quality issues, too.

At least they are showing more ambition than Toyota.

what ever happened to the 2.8 4 cyl cummins that was suppose to go in the titan? the v8 diesel should sell well but the smaller diesel would be more efficient, less expensive, and appeal more to commercial and those buyers (like myself) who don't need 500 lb ft of torque.

@ Mike you are dead on. The 2.8 would be a hit amongst many. Commuters and fleet sales will go for it and for Those who just want a truck as an everyday driver. Keep the V8 for those who prefer gas and those who need/want tones of torque there is the V8 cummins. No real need for a V6 with the other options as they don't sell really well for most truck companies.

@rich you are dead wrong.

The competition will be awesome for consumers. We'll have a lot more choices coming soon and I can't wait to buy my first truck.

My sienna has worked like a truck for me for 8 years but it's getting up there..337,000km though my roommates has 465,000 so I guess I can wait if this is a 2016.

As a commercial fleet buyer, I can tell you what commercial buyers want. Better MPG, alternative fuel, lower prices and lower cost of ownership.

What nissan is doing absolutely boggles my mind. I will say this again, they need to do some drug screenings at their corporate offices because it's clean there is some serious crack smoking going on.

This is the same company that came out with the shoebox on wheels (aka the NV vans) and said that was going to revolutionize the industry and fleet buyers were going to be lining up around to block to buy one. And look at the sales numbers. It was a failure.

Most fleet buyers I know that use Nissan and Toyota trucks, like pest control and couriers do not need 5 liter diesels. A few simple phone calls could have cleared that up.

After reading all the post, I have to say this now, and that is ALL trucks built today are great , and there is very little difference in quality between them all, and the biggest difference I have found in my purchases is in price! as Chevys have always given me the best deal as far a price goes, and quality? has been NO problem either, and Ford? has been higher in price, to me anyway around here, and Toyota? has always been the most expensive! and has the least choice available at the dealer, and never have I been able to even talk to a dealer about ordering what I wanted! but numerous times I have been able to order exactly what I wanted from Chevy, Ford and Dodge for that mater, and as far as the price of Dodge/Ram? there has always been deals either from the factory or dealers or both, just like with Chevy/GMC! and as far a Nissan? only recently IF you fine a full size truck on the lot is there any deals to be had, when they first came out I was very curious and went to look and drive one, and I liked it, until I found out I could not order one, and get a rear end with any type of lmt/slp or locker, or color or body style choice at the time, and only now, you have to buy on at the very top of the line price and equipment to get it, the same with the tundra! So with all that said, it has to be the style of all the trucks that SELLS them! as they are all good-great, and have their good and bad points being price and availability, that has to compete with style, and it is style first to loose out, with availability and price to come in second! so there you have it, Ford sells the most (style, price and model availability) and Chevy/GMC (the same) and Ram, in the same boat, and then we have Toyota tundra and Nissan titan 3-4th because of ? style and availability issues! as far as style and availability, it would have to be the biggest problem with the Nissan full size truck, and style and price for tundra's! how else can any one explain the sales numbers?

Style.. The Titan may be dated but it still turns heads with its great style. I just hope Nissan doesn't ruin the style or change it too much. They have a great selling feature with the new Cummins deal but their 5.6 is not far off the others in terms of real mpg and comfort. Drive one and you will see.
You also can get a fully loaded pro 4 x which is an excellent truck for much less than the competition with the same features. Bugs as far as manifold and rear problems have been ironed out so you have model that competes in reliability especially with its motor with the other 4.

I have a Nissan Titan 2012. YES, the design is outdated but it is still a very capable truck. The 5.6 v8 is awesome. The cost of the new trucks are becoming stratospheric and outrageous. Nissan needs 2.8 diesel with the 5.0 diesel so as to cover all the bases. At least a 7 speed transmission is needed for fuel economy and they will have a winning package.

@david Agree re: Titan. I've got a lot of respect for that model even if the styling or interiors have gotten a little outdated. The Nissan powertrains are awesome, apart from the problem they had years ago with the rear ends in these trucks. they were ahead of their time ten yrs ago.

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