Nissan Still Hoping To Link With Chrysler On Pickup

Nissan Still Hoping To Link With Chrysler On Pickup
By Paul Eisenstein, TheDetroitBureau

There's still much haziness around the long-term future of the Nissan Titan since our last update in April during the 2009 New York Auto Show. A senior Nissan official says the Japanese maker is still open to partnering with the post-bankruptcy Chrysler on its next-generation Titan pickup, but is looking at other alternatives if that alliance doesn’t materialize.

Nissan launched its full-size truck to much acclaim, six years ago, but sales have never lived up to expectations, and with the need to update the offering, the company had hoped to reduce development and production costs by partnering with Chrysler on a new version of Titan that would be based upon the American maker’s light-duty Dodge Ram 1500. With sales of just over 10,000 Titans to date in 2009, or off 50%, the program volumes are challenging.

Though that deal appeared to be sealed, everything was put back up in the air by Chrysler’s forced bankruptcy, earlier in the year. The automaker has re-emerged under the control of Italy’s Fiat, but Larry Dominique, Nissan North America’s vice president of product and advanced planning, told TheDetroitBureau there has been no answer from Chrysler yet as to whether it will want to move ahead on the Ram-Titan project.

That appears to reflect what other industry sources have observed, that the Fiat-dominated Chrysler is in the midst of turmoil, as its new Italian masters shake up the organization. A number of Chrysler executives have left the company and others are being repositioned, but for the moment, it’s not completely clear who is in charge of what.

Nissan is hoping to get an indication of Chrysler’s willingness to proceed, but even then, cautioned Dominique, it will need to work back over the details of the program to ensure that it can still prove a successful alternative to building a next-generation Titan in-house.

There are other options, Dominique explained, stressing that the number of potential partners who might be willing to work with Nissan, “has grown exponentially.” On the other hand, only a relative handful of manufacturers actually have experience specifically producing full-size pickups. Besides Chrysler, that includes General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Toyota, and while the executive didn’t specifically refer to them by name, it seems unlikely, he hinted, that any of those would want to partner with Nissan on a product that might give them competition.

If Nissan did go with a partner other than Chrysler, it would look to do more than just buy a replacement for its Titan. “We have our own V-8,” said Dominique, which a partner might want to use in its own products.

Nissan is hoping to get an answer from Chrysler soon, but it is beginning to look at other alternatives, rather than wait.

[Source: Story Courtesy of TheDetroitBureau]


Nissan Trucks, like Toyota Trucks, just need to go away and leave the truck making to the big boys who know what they're doing. We all know their trucks suck and are overpriced junk. They need to stick to making their rice burning vehicles and be happy.

The Suzuki Equator is kind of cool, because the Nissan Frontier isn't that pretty and the Equator takes a more interesting tack in terms of styling. It also has a longer warranty than the Nissan.

The Titan wouldn't even have basic stuff like *that* to justify its existence. The Ram is a beautiful truck with very clean, attractive styling, and the warranty wouldn't be substantially better.

In order for a Titan to work with Dodge underpinnings, they would need something special. They could add the Frontier 4.0 V6 to replace the Dodge's 3.7 liter, but I personally think they should do something else.

I think Nissan should forget the Titan if they can't build it themselves. They should take the Dodge Ram platform, shrink it, and give it a good strong trucklike I4 like the Chevrolet Colorado's 185 hp mill. Package that with a V6 that gets better mileage, and keep some of the Dodge Ram's styling cues in a smaller, more fuel-efficient, economical package.

I guarantee you they will make more sales designing a Ram-based Frontier then they would with a full-size Ram clone.

Come on Nissan, The Titan is already a great truck, why not build the new model yourselves. Just build upon what you've already got, maybe fifty more horsepower, a few more miles per gallon, and an upgraded interior. Oh and a bigger rearend. And I'll have a great vehicle to trade my 05 in on.

Tom, I agree with you my 06, has been awesome!

The Caravan sourced VW Routan didnt work,the Dakota sourced Mitsubishi Raider didnt work,a RAM based Nissan pickup wont work either.

i wonder the pricing is gonna be on it? bc the only way for it to be a clone and succeed itd have to be cheaper

it's nice to know that slanderous comments still have a place on boards about cars and trucks.

i'm sure you wouldn't disagree that 5 years ago when that titan was released it didn't knock the big 3 back on their heels. i would say they seem higher priced because they don't have stripped down basic models, which could be a bane yes, but there are smarter people than you or i making decisions as to what to produce.

nissan as a whole does not produce the number of vehicles world wide that gm or ford does, so selling over 100K trucks on one continent doesn't necessary make sense in their business model.

there are plenty of stats i can post stating that the titan is a fantastic truck, and the truth is that all the trucks are so similar it comes down to brand sensitivity and advocacy. but i'm sure you know all there is to know about that.

in my biased opinion, i would take my pro-4x over any z71 or fx4 on the road. i get compliments everywhere i go, it hauls a**, faster than any chevy i've come across. it hauls loads of sand/gravel/stone, whatever with ease and its as solid as a rock at 160km/hr or going 40 km/hr over a rut riddled gravel parking lot. and i've driven chevys, fords and dodges. i'll admit it has faults, gas mileage, break feel and the rear axle could use some attention, but it has never caused me a problem. i'd like a bigger stereo and a sunroof on the kingcab, but those are glamour items and dont affect the mechanics of the truck. fact is that engine/tranny combo will drive circles around ANYTHING built by the big 3.

jealousy isn't pretty colour on any of your faces

Dan, your comments are funny, at best......especially this one: "fact is that engine/tranny combo will drive circles around ANYTHING built by the big 3." Seriously, that is the most asinine comment I've ever read. Really??? It will drive circles around a Chevy 1/2 ton with the 6.2L, 6 speed transmission and 3.73 rear end?? Really? You see how dumb your comment is? Will it run circles around the 3/4 ton Chevy with the Duramax diesel and Allison Transmission? Your comment gets even dumber every time you put it to the test. Please refrain from posting your drivel on here!

Dan, that was a great troll right there. That said, if you are serious, you should know that so far the discussion is not whether the current Titan sucks (most here agree that it doesn't), the current discussion is whether Nissan should rebadge a Dodge Ram as their next Titan, and the response is overwhelmingly NO, because it would have very little reason to exist.

I would like to reiterate once more: If Dodge isn't going to build a new Dakota, they should give Nissan the right to shrink the Dodge Ram platform into its new Nissan Frontier. I want a Dodge Ram in a more compact and economical package. The styling is great, the coil springs are nifty, the design is fundamentally sound but it's too big for my tastes. Make it smaller, add a turbodiesel and big block four-cylinder option, and get around 19/25 mpg. That's gonna be a winner.

I have a 2004 Titan with 92,000 miles and it has been a great truck. I still like it a lot. Other than the early break problems the Titans had, I have had no problems. I wish Nissan would continue to build the Titan. If I wanted a Dodge I would buy it from Dodge.

I bought a new Titan in 2006. I got lured in by the lower price, fancier features and a bigger base engine than the Ford. After 28K miles here's a list of my problems.
Rear end went at 17K miles; Engine oil leaks 18K, 22K, 25K and still leaking despite dealer resealing engine 3 times; Steering gear failed 23K miles, Trans failed 25K miles, Brakes replaced at 27K.

The only left is for the body to rust out. BTW my buddy (the smart one) bought a Ford at the same time. He's at 40K miles (because his truck doesn't sit in the shop) and done nothing but change the oil and rotate the tires.

I'm in the market for a new truck and I won't be looking at a Nissan, I don't care who builds it.

I'd have to say that a Mississippi built automobile of any type
starts out with two strikes against it 1/Labor force education
2/Not being in any way casino related.
I have not owned a Titan, thank God. All the good ole boys
down here jumped on them when they first came out, but you just don't see them much anymore. It's mostly back to Chevy and Ford, with the odd Dodge or Tundra.
People don't like being charged to replace the rear axle in a
nearly new truck. None of the other full-size pickups have a chronic history of rear end and brake problems like Nissan,
where do they get the rear axles? Are they not the same
Dana/Spicer units everyone else uses? Are they imported
from some far away place? Nissan sure does have a nice, huge plant alongside I-55 in Mississippi, shame they can't make it work

While the rearends have been an issue for some, most Titan owners have not had any problems. Thier are three Titan owners in my neighborhood, and all three of them, who trade ever few years, have gone on to buy a second Titan because thier such great trucks.

I love any kind of conversation that is related to Nissan. I drive a 2007 nissan frontier SE CC and I love it. I have always been a fan of nissan and all that they do. I thought the Titan was a sexy truck and a fair competitor. I am also a dodge guy. My family has had a 93, 98, 02, and 06 dodge ram diesel manual tranny 4wd trucks and I love them all. That said I 100% agree with the fact that selling a dodge ram with the nissan badging is a horrible idea. Nissan does great stuff on their own (look at the utilitrak system) and they do not need Dodge to help them out. When my truck wears out in a few years I am either going to buy another Frontier or if the Titan is built by Nissan I am going to upgrade my pickup to a full size. I hope Nissan reads this and understands how we feel....

p.s. The big three are good but please stop the crappy comments about how Toyota and nissan don't know how to compete. It is not polite. Thanks

Just an FYI for all of you "buy American folks" screaming. The rearend on the Titan is a DANA unit. Built guess where? Guess what has been the most failure prone item on the Titan? The DANA built rearend.

BTW Randy, ever stop to think why the Big 3 and Toyota beefed up their engine line ups? It was because the Titan was dominating them in performance and towing. It still holds its own towing despite being unchanged in 5 years.

Thanks Keith! Narrow minded people like Randy make me furious! There is a reason why Toyota set a goal to have 15 percent of hte market share and GM set a goal to just not go bankrupt. Can you tell me what that reason is Randy? I think it is just important to appreciate the good qualities all the brands bring the the different markets.

Going both on and off topic here. Nissan sheet metal and drive train on a Dodge truck sounds like an instant success. There are two major problems with a Dodge, IMO: Transmission failure and horrible residual value. Nissan would have neither of these problems. But dont expect Fiat to cooperate on a deal. I'd expect the Titan to have a cosmetic face lift and the next gen model will be totally Nissan in house.

Off the subject, but per above -- a Titan OEM rear-end is NOT built by DANA. Never has been. Ever. It is 100% Nissan built. No DANA components whatsoever are used. Not DANA's sub unit Spicer either. 100% of 100% of the Titans rear diff is imported, as Japanese as karate, completely assembled and ready for installation at the Mississippi plant. For those who are concerned about their differentials, consider adding a larger capacity after market diff cover with cooling fins. I am no expert, but most would agree heat is a killer of all things mechanical. Larger fluid capacity + cooling fin seems to make sense to me. PML, Inc. in Calif. made the one on my 05 Titan. 122K miles, maybe 1/3 of those pulling a 5K lb bobcat / skidsteer type construction machinery. I do work my truck hard.

It most certainly is made by Dana. Says so right in the product brochure. It is a version of the Dana 44 tweaked by Nissan to have more splines and a high mount pinion. There is actually a post on by a Dana employee looking for feedback. FWIW the part failing in the diff is the spider gears. These spider gears were made using a powdered metal forming technique by Dana. Common fix is replacing it with a Detroit Tru Track. I have seen no one with a Tru Track report a failure.

The locking rear axles on the Frontier are also built by Dana, FWIW...

These are standard on the Pro 4X (previously called NISMO) off-road trim, and optional on others.

Daves you are correct, it is a Dana made part, and I read the same post as you.

I would like to know how the employees at the assembly plant in Mississippi are supposed to fix design problems on these trucks. Every review I've read about them says build quality is very good, but materials and design issues are the main issues in overall quality. At least the employees in Mississippi are educated enough to stay away from unions that forced other automakers into bankruptcy.

There's always going to some "genius" that's driving a Ford,Chevy or Dodge that has an opinion why Toyota and Nissan shouldn't build trucks.As far as the Toyota's are concerned if you compare, for example, a 5.7 Tundra 4x4 to their GAS powered trucks with roughly the same size motor. Toyota will win hands down. Better engines, better fit and finish, nicer interiors, better resale value, it's ALL there. Now on to the Nissans, I've had a 2wd 2006 king cab and after 75k on the odometer, the only thing that went wrong was the radio. I just purchased an 09 crew cab w/long bed and have 6k on it after only 3 months. It rides great ( like I had expected) and I get 20 mpg on the highway and city and highway average is about 18.5. If Dodge ever builds the Titan, I sure won't buy another one. Who knows when they'll file bankruptcy again, I'll have to get a Toyota.

Nissan would be better off building the Titan on its own, instead of partnering with Dodge or anyone else. However, they need to make a few adjustments:

1. Offer a base 6-cylinder engine.
2. Offer manual transmissions.
3. Build a single cab version! This alone was the main reason why I didn't buy one.
4. Lower the price.
5. Advertise! Print, tv and radio ads for the Titan are nearly non-existent, it's like nobody really knows it exists until they visit the local Nissan store.

toyota and nissan have done alright i guess...but the big 3 still beats em no doubt...everyone i know with a titan has a had a problem with it...and ive heard alotta bad stories about toyotas...

Nissan is one of the best automobile around the world but they need to link to a much bigger company just to widen their market and also to make them more powerful company and for them to boost sales. Used Forklifts

The comments to this entry are closed.