Nissan Execs Want Titan to Go Global

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Speaking before the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan executives seemed to be saying they want to bring U.S.-designed and built Nissan Titan half-ton pickup trucks to foreign markets.

According to Automotive News, Nissan is looking to take its newly redesigned full-size pickups to commercial markets around the globe, such as China, Australia and the Middle East.

On the surface, this seems to make sense given that U.S. sales of the Titan, which also includes the stronger Titan XD, are up several hundred percent over last year. But let's not forget that most of 2016 did not see the half-ton version of the Titan. Let's also not forget that we're only talking about 35,000 units to date, with a realistic possibility of settling at less than 50,000 units by year's end. Not spectacular when compared with any of its competitors.

No doubt, the new pickup has many challenges it is confronting — not the least of which is a dealer body still learning how to sell this new full-size pickup, along with a buying segment that's been known for resistance to change. But they do seem to be finding an audience.

We give Nissan credit for aiming high. By all accounts, the next-generation Nissan Frontier — already debuted in other global markets as the Navara — looks to be impressive, and it will be spinning off both a Renault and Mercedes Benz version (neither of which, unfortunately, will make it to the U.S. marketplace anytime soon). However, we're not sure the success of a global mid-size pickup should be the basis for choosing to sell a very large truck to the rest of the world, which doesn't seem to like very large trucks.

We should also note that even the Ford F-150, likely to sell more than 450,000 units this year in the U.S., will sell relatively few overseas (with the exception of the Raptor, which sells at a considerable premium). To make the Titan a success in the global market, we're guessing Nissan will have to do more than just offer it up for sale.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears; manufacturer image

 

2017_Nissan_TITAN_King_Cab_04 II

 

Comments

Better put a long weekend aside to meet the export demand.

Nissan's timing could not be better. Global economic prospects are better today than they've been in more than 10 years.

It would be good for US jobs and those looks meet third world needs. Go for it!

Good solid truck.

Great truck, i've only had mine a month so far. Went with the gasser over the diesel as the payload capacity (2,230 lbs for my 4x4 crew SL trim) is more important than MPG, which i go get about 16 on the highway btw. The great thing is that you can get an awesome deal on them since they are not a big seller.

Mine is the XD, not the regular titan. Its empty ride is great, compared to the RAM 2500 i had. Only lost ~200 lbs payload and hopefully gained something in reliability. I've had them all, they are all good trucks. Just comes down to personal preference and how you view the manufacturer.

Glad you like your truck. The Titan is a good truck.

The great thing is that you can get an awesome deal on them since they are not a big seller.
Posted by: Northern Dave | Oct 26, 2017

@Northern Dave

Not to mention bumper/bumper warranty for a very long time. Everything is covered. a big factor for a lot of shoppers I bet.

Dear Nissan - try redesigning the Frontier for the north American market before doing this.....

Coming from one of those markets where they are aiming the poor selling Titan. Dramatic failure would be appropriate response. Where the last F150 was assembled in Australia in 1992 because of poor demand.
Do not forget not only the Titan is a poor seller, but the
Navara is struggling . Currently the 17th best selling vehicle in Australia
It is an attempt by the Indian Director of Sales for FCA to try and get bew markets for the struggling Titan.

I guess this is what you have to do when you can't give them away in North America.

Damn..but it's so ugly!

The Titan pickup business folks are kick the can down the road planners. They see an mostly unused inefficient diesel engine and decide to create a biz plan around the mythical 1/2 to 3/4 ton tweeners. Now they have a pickup that isn't meeting sale goals so they decide to sell it to the world. Brilliant!

Honestly I don't care who sells what where as long as American jobs and money aren't going overseas. The rest of the world can suck it.

I think there's a market in Australia. They would get interest from 70 Series ute buyers, Patrol ute, F250, and low-volume import buyers. Nissan could dominate that with factory RHD diesel Titans. Also, a 5L diesel isn't class-leading in the US, but it could be seen as a monster in Australia for the equestrian, marine, and caravan markets. Smart move IMO.

The new Nissan Titan would sell like hotcakes in the Middle East particularly in the Arabian Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, etc.). Keep in mind the new Nissan Armada is the Patrol Y62 in that market and was originally designed and developed specifically for it, and was introduced way back in 2010; a whole six years prior to landing stateside! The roads are plagued with them and a staple in every local households fleet. I totally see them switching from the GM Sierra/Silverado (current reigning champ here for American full-size pickup). However, most kids here go with the Regular/Single Cab Shortbed and use it a Sport/Offroad lifestyle truck use and not for doing actual work application like they do in the US. Also the fact that the fuel subsidy has been abolished recently and given fuel prices are rising could inhibit sales.

Americans long ago became immune to concerns about "country of origin," at least compared to the ideals folks seem to have in many of our partner countries.

Britains are very interested in knowing if something was made there. For years it was a requirement that manufactured goods from outside the UK were marked Not English Make. Ditto in Japan. New generations of consumers seem to be less concerned on this stuff, but it's a fairly new change.

Trade barriers are still very real. Perhaps Nissan has the key to opening those doors, so to speak.

Every single Titan and Tundra sold is a Fiat, Ford, Chevy, or GMC that wasn't.

There are ALOT of people that have been burned by the big 3 minus 1. Some of them are even tired of being repeatedly burned to that have finally found the courage or common sense to finally go elsewhere. The Ts are competent alternatives that are slowly improving with refinement.

The big 3 minus 1 laughed at those silly little foreign cars 35 years ago and eventually gave up on that market. Because of that DEFEAT now they teeter on ruin with every increase in fuel price and recession because of their reliance on big expensive vehicles. Its a strategy that has lead to bankruptcy bailout or sell/giveoff (for 2 so far) and eventually (in a capitalist market) ruin no matter how good their trucks are. They cannot afford to take this lightly and they need to get back to making, building, selling in mass small and mid sized cars at a profit. Or its all for nothing.

Every single Titan and Tundra sold is a Fiat, Ford, Chevy, or GMC that wasn't.

There are ALOT of people that have been burned by the big 3 minus 1. Some of them are even tired of being repeatedly burned to that have finally found the courage or common sense to finally go elsewhere. The Ts are competent alternatives that are slowly improving with refinement.

The big 3 minus 1 laughed at those silly little foreign cars 35 years ago and eventually gave up on that market. Because of that DEFEAT now they teeter on ruin with every increase in fuel price and recession because of their reliance on big expensive vehicles. Its a strategy that has lead to bankruptcy bailout or sell/giveoff (for 2 so far) and eventually (in a capitalist market) ruin no matter how good their trucks are. They cannot afford to take this lightly and they need to get back to making, building, selling in mass small and mid sized cars at a profit. Or its all for nothing.

Because of that DEFEAT now they teeter

@Clint

Seriously Clint, take a breath. GM's in record territory. Ford just announced a very profitable 3rd Q.

All large manufacturing firms face challenges from time to time, but most of hassles that GM and Ford faced during the last 50 years were actually caused by our government. Ridiculous EPA and CAFE figures for a start. Some of the highest corporate taxes in the world is another. Highest labor costs another.

Nice deep breaths. 1-2-3

I'm seeing more and more Titans on the road here in strong Chevy/GM truck territory.

Overseas they appear to use mostly vans and flatbed medium duty trucks for commercial purposes. And they have smaller and more efficient (and less powerful) diesel engines.

China, Australia and the middle east are countries that would conceivably go for a Murrican sized truck but I don't think it would sell in Europe.

I don't think it would sell in Europe.

@Maxx

Europe isn't a single country Maxx, as much as the EU politicians would like to think otherwise.

In fact, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland and even Italy and Spain are places that love the rural lifestyle and pickups are perfect for that.

Just imagine taking an afternoon off the grid to cruise the Italian (or Spanish, or French) wine country in a nice new Titan!

They also love anything that's American but they won't say it out loud. Pickups are VERY American, as we know.

@papajim
Rural lifestyle or otherwise, Europeans shun Pickups.
There were 80,000 Pickups sold last year in Europe , most were Japanese in origin.
Sounds good, but their are 500milion Europeans. 16 Million cars/ SUV's were sold in Europe last year.
@Maxx I agree with Mark Williams article , very few would be interested outside NA
@Alex
Titan Is a pretty poor substitute for a L70. poor payload non existent Off Road performance

@Humpty Dumpty
Ducal States ( UAE, Kuwait, Qatar etc) could be small markets for the TItan. Even there, inhabitants will stick with the Status Quo. They do not use Diesels unlike many parts of the ME. Lack of a fuel subsidy could crimp sales

Sounds good, but their are 500milion Europeans. Posted by: Robert Ryan | Oct 27, 2017

@Robert

the average guy in Europe doesn't own a car at all. Many millions of them live in economically distressed places like Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain. Not reasonable to include that population for our discussion of half ton pickups.

In my comment I referenced places like Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Poland. Different populations entirely.

@papajim
Portugal, Spain, Greece and especially Greece buy Pickups not northern Europe. I saw seven including several Rams in 10 different
Countries
80,000 a year spread over 500 million is not mahy and as a percentage of the 16 million sold a very very small percentage.

the average guy in Europe doesn't own a car at all.

@robert

please cite some sources. You speak about these places as if you live there.

@papajim,
I have been to all of these countries . You? As I said in my first post this desperate attempt to get more volume for the Titan by FCA will be total failure.

Can add they only sold 50,000 Pickups for the whole continent of Europe. Bulk of them are Japanese. Pickups are dead in the water in Europe, even the. VW Amarok, is primarily sold in South America,South Africa, Middle East and Aust/ New Zealand.Try Upmarket SUV's if you want to make a mark in Europe.

I have been to all of these countries. Posted by: Robert Ryan | Oct 27, 2017

@Robert Ryan

Unsubstantiated opinion. No sources.

Just watched new video on The Fast Lane Trucks"
New Titan XD vs Ford F150 with 10 spd.

They picked the Titan over the Ford. Great win for Nissan

Really good video!

Just watched new video on The Fast Lane Trucks"
New Titan XD vs Ford F150 with 10 spd.

They picked the Titan over the Ford. Great win for Nissan

Really good video!

@RR, the 70 has such a high payload because the body and chassis are so light. The GAWRs are going to be less, you have simplicity and robustness, but at the cost of comfort, seating capacity, and safety. So, the Titan would offer a better modern alternative, though at the cost of purchase price. Nissan just needs to offer a single cab version and C/C option with aluminum tray. It will sell well in Australia, as long as the price is reasonable. The Pro 4X package is plenty enough capable for most farmers and workers. It's not a rock crawler like a lifted CJ7 on 37s, but nobody is pretend it is.

*is pretending

@Alex
The Titan does not go Off Road,simple as that and the payload is tiny. L70 is great Off Road with a considerable payload.

@Papajim
Europe only sold 80,000 Pickups all up last year.So by statistics they are rare

@Alex
Potential sales in Australia would be tiny. This whole exercise is a desperate attempt by FCA to try and get sales for the very poor selling Titan, if they do not sell in the US a market they were designed for, not much hope in markets they were not.

Europe only sold 80,000 Pickups all up last year.So by statistics they are rare. Posted by: Robert Ryan | Oct 28, 2017

Good lord Robert, you are still citing numbers with no source given. Since we're this far along, let's assume your figure is correct. As I noted earlier, Europe was late to the dance with re autos and trucks. They were all about cabs, buses and trains. For decades.

American cities were, were with a few notable exceptions, built with the automobile in mind.

Europeans tend not to be so identified with owning their own cars. In America you're kind of odd if you don't own a car, unless you live in some congested place like San Fran or NYC.

So your 80k stat is not surprising but it's out of context to compare.

Europe's smaller adoption of pickups or cars cannot be observed thoughtfully without some consideration given to the points I'm making about cultural and physical differences.

@Papajim
You agree with me This article includes US and Japanese Pickups sold in Europe they are giving a figure slightly over 100,000 vehicles
https://www.trucks.com/2016/10/24/europe-pickup-trucks-mercedes-fiat/

" Europe was late to the dance re autos and trucks"
They actually originated in Europe and the US followed suit.

" Europeans very much like to be identified by the cars they own"
They sell 16million as against 17 million in the US

"your 80k stat is not surprising but it's out of context to compare."
What do you mean?

"Europe's smaller adoption of pickups or cars cannot be observed thoughtfully without some consideration given to the points I'm making about cultural and physical differences."

What I think you mean, is the smaller physical area of Europe has influenced vehicle ownership and types of vehicles.

@RR, these aren't designed to go proper off-roading. But it will tow a Jeep on a car hauler to get to the trails. I got my Duramax Z71 into some pretty interesting places when hunting though. For real off-road, you buy a Jeep Rubicon. This is a towing and hauling vehicle with decent enough off-roading ability.

FCA has nothing to do with the Nissan Titan. Nissan was once going to offer a rebadged Ram 1500. Then Fiat bought Chrysler. FCA fired Fred Diaz and dropped the order for a small Cummins diesel. Fred went to work for Nissan, started a new Titan program. Used many of the same suppliers FCA uses. The rest is history. FCA used its own Italian Diesel engine for the 1500.

Lastly and @Mark Williams can note, these are statistics for Global Pickup Sales for 2016. It includes US production.
Yes the Hilux is no surprise as the 5th best selling Pickup Globally ( 524,000)but what surprised me was sales for the Isuzu DMAX at close.to 300,000. I know Isuzu had several factories producing it. It is not in the top ten in Australia, but dramatically,y increasing it's sales
https://www.statista.com/statistics/348631/best-selling-pickup-trucks-worldwide/

Alex
" RR, these aren't designed to go proper off-roading. But it will tow a Jeep on a car hauler to get to the trails."
So will basically anything else

GVWR: 70 series 3,400Kg; Titan XD 4,050 Kg (bigger frame and axles)
Towing: 70 Series 3,500 Kg; Titan XD 5,750 Kg (probably derated to 4,500 Kg for Aus).

As I said, nobody rock crawls these things. When complain that it can't do something it doesn't pretend to do? I can't rock crawl my wife's Sorento either lol

Nissan should do a serious off-road version though. The Warrior.

@Alex
You are confirming what I said. The Titan cannot go Off Road but the L70 does it easily
https://www.4x4australia.com.au/reviews/custom-4x4s/1609/toyota-landcruiser-79-custom-4x4
Bit of custom prep it rock crawls, not the Titan
The towing figures are not derated in Australia, it is how you tow it. You can have a derated GCM though

RR, Aus seems to restrict vehicles on car licenses to 3500kg on 50mm balls, 4500 Kg on 70mm balls.

@Alex
That is correct. All it reqires is the proper hitch . Trying to tow with the wrong hitch is basically dangerous. It applies to all vehicles. To get the maximum towing from a 1 tton RAM you need a pintle hitch. 5th wheel and Gooseneck hitches are the nextcup ftom that.

@Alex
The towing restrictions are nothing to do with licences. Weight of the Vehiicle GVWR is .

"Europe's smaller adoption of pickups or cars cannot be observed thoughtfully without some consideration given to the points I'm making about cultural and physical differences."

What I think you mean, is the smaller physical area of Europe has influenced vehicle ownership and types of vehicles. Posted by: Robert Ryan | Oct 28, 2017

@Robert

Human population (of auto or truck owners), Robert, not physical dimensions.

In my previous comment I noted that many of Europe's urban areas are not auto friendly and the population does not have a tradition of personal ownership, not unlike some urban areas in the US.



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