Nissan Frontier Wants Ranger Sales

Nissan is hoping to gain marketshare in the midsize pickup truck segment now that the Ford Ranger finished its triple decade production run last month, closing the St. Paul, MN, Twin City Assembly Plant.

In a recent interview with Lindsay Chappell of the Automotive News, Al Castignetti, Nissan Division's U.S. sales boss, said "We're really the beneficiary of Ford pulling out of the segment...We felt it was an opportunity to capture market share and we went after it last year, and we went after it without increasing incentives."

Nissan sold 51,700 Frontier midsize pickups in 2011--up 28 percent from 2010. "We got our dealers reinvigorated on the truck and got our marketing out there," Castignetti says. "We're having great success with it."

To step up awareness for the Frontier, Nissan created the truck's first ad campaign in four years, the sales boss said. The campaign promotes the Frontier as a less expensive alternative to full-sized pickups, and makes the vehicle very attractive to young buyers. 

Despite Ford's lack of enthusiasm for compact pickups, they outsold Nissan in the segment last year, selling 70,832 Rangers, also a 28 percent uptick from 2010. 

But unlike Nissan, Ford remains king of the full-sized pickup segment with its top-selling F-Series. Last year, Ford sold nearly 585,000 full-sized pickups, while Nissan's full-sized Titan pickup sold fewer than 22,000 units.


hope nissan does well with toyota still having a good hold in this market

They need to offer big incentives to people trading in a ranger. Actually, Ford needs to offer even BIGGER incentives to people trading in a ranger if they plan on keeping any of those customers.

When will we get a small truck that gets 30 MPG ? We are overdue.

How will the 2013 Chevrolet Colorado sell ? I hear that it will be out June 1, 2012.

Nissan should focus on small trucks and not the full size market. My 1985 720 was bulletproof. The need to bring the 4dr, 4X4, Diesel that can pull #6,000 , and get 30+ MPG like the Mitsubishi. If they do that, they will corner the market.

2013 Chevrolet Colorado sell. I do not know? how if price at 16,000 dollars and gets 27 to 28 mpg they sell like 100,000 to 200,000 of them. If get 27 mpg I think about buying one.

^^^ This is why you shouldn't drop out of school. ^^^

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one...

Frontier is definitely the best mid-sizer out there IMO. If I didn't step up to a full size (no regrets at all!) after I sold my Ranger the Frontier would have been the top of my list.

@Wow lolol times 100

@toycrusher that would be a brilliant marketing plan

Little guys....Big Dogs.......Liitle Guys....Big Trucks. 95% of what I see are empty gas-guzzlers.

Agree with Oxymoron. Frontier is the best (for now). Tacoma loses stacked up to frontier.

I agree with George...

As Barack Obama once said....

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek!

Tacoma loses?

2011 Toyota Tacoma TX Pro takes on the Colorado Rockies!

2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor vs 2012 tacoma trd T/X Baja...

I was kinda afraid they'd shrink down the Frontier back to it's earlier "compact" size, as I might end up driving one some day due to the increasingly more expensive and increasingly growing in size full size trucks.
So to me, this is more good news.
It's been a good news week here on this site.

Nissan has some incredible deals out there now. Their prices and incentives are very competitive on everything in their entire lineup. And that's coming from a Toyo guy.

Toyo priced me out of the market with the new tundras and their tacos are even more expensive. (what's up with that?)

If I got in a wreck today and my tundra was totalled, I'd end up with a Nissan if I were to buy a new truck. Mostly because of price.
I'd like to see them bring back the supercharged Frontiers! Those things HAULED A$$.

i know all trucks can have problems, but Frontiers have been recalled for oil coolers coming loose. Way to go nissan

sorry, i meant to say oil FILTERS.

Those supercharged Frontiers were dogs, they whistled along the way but still ran in the 17s. Even a I5 Colorado is quicker.

I like the frontiers myself, solid little trucks and the perfect size truck for me. When I was buying my Jeep, I checked out a Titan, that was a very nice truck. With the deals going on at the time in my area, a Pro-4x could've been had for about the same price as an STX 4x4 with a 3.7L V6. Killer deal on the titans, and for what people say about the power being down on them, the one I test drove had a "big tow" package and would flat lay rubber to the pavement, dead stop or rolling. I have always liked Nissans, and if my 2011 Wrangler was to crap out on me (working excellent so far, fingers crossed), I would have NO problem going to a Frontier or Titan!

They wont be selling these trucks with those stupid commericals they're showing now. Nissan Frontier commericals are the worst on TV right now.

Any compact truck on the market now is better than that ancient fossil-like Rump Ranger.

Ford stops production of the Ranger, Nissan and others look to capitalize on the with their own small trucks. If I want a small truck I guess that means.... Ill just have to buy a slightly older/used Ranger! el-o-el

Nissan frontier needs a minor interior update, and a 6 speed transmission to be successful.

The interior is cheap feeling and outdated. The V6 has plenty of power but could use a bump in fuel economy. Sadly Nissan has the parts to make this changes laying around; they just need to get off their butts and act.

"el-o-el" ?

My daughter writes stuff like this, she's 6 years old BTW. :) j/k

Why buy and older used Ranger when I could get a hell of a deal on a Nissan Frontier?

And people actually pay attention to "stupid commercials" to let companies tell them what they need to meet their pickup needs? Kinda like the Ford F150 safety commercial showing you have to buy an F150 with a "safety cage" (my father in law actually bought into this nonsense) to fend off the dangerous "prius" driver munching on a cheeseburger.... Remember about stupid...

Frontier is an awesome truck, except for the base engine.

Not even the power is of concern to me, but if they are going to chase after Ranger buyers the least they could do is make it get comparable fuel economy to the Ranger.

Currently the manual transmission Frontier gets the same mileage as an automatic equipped Ranger, less than any other compact truck on the market.

If they upped that to be competitive with the rest of the trucks the Frontier would sell a lot more.

Oh yes, and don't forget the automatic equipped Frontier with 2.5 I4 gets the same fuel economy as a 3.7 V6 equipped Ford F-150.

My guess is that any manufacturer producing compact trucks would hope to capitalize on the Ranger being out of the market. This is hardly news.

It will be interesting to see where Ranger buyers go. There are many that have purchased Rangers because of the price. Those type of buyers will most likely go with what ever is the cheepest, and that might not be a pickup. Loyal Ford guys will move up to a V6 F150. Buy USA types who want a small truck will wait for the Colorado. Open minded guys who need or want a small truck will have this truck, the Tacoma, and the new Colorado to pick from. I doubt the Colorado will appeal to core Ranger buyers because it will be much bigger, and much more expensive.


Take a good look at the total cost to own a 3.7 liter F150, compared to a Ranger at Edmunds over 4 years.
You also have to be mindful that an F150 does not fit in some older homes garages or park on City streets as easily.

Once you add in all the other related costs the Frontier starts to look more like a value proposition.

I really like these but why do they have to be so heavy? Using the Titan frame was overkill IMO.

Also, why does everyone (at least on this website seem so in love with the Frontier, yet so full of nothing but hatred for Taco. Perhaps they find nissans less threatening to thier manliness for some reason...? Or maybe it's just a simple underdog attraction.

@Red 4x4- Lots of texting leads to things like that. Cant remember the last time I actually called anybody. Also I have a rather odd sense of humor as it made me chuckle whilst I typed it... To answer your question, probably because I would rather have a Ranger.

@Jason H
Talking about "Manliness" this woman who had EIGHT Children took up her Husbands transport operation to the communities in the very Far North of Australia.when he died She would take 8-10 days driving 2,500 miles in an old 1970's conventional MAN truck over rough dirt roads , creek beds, rivers.
She did all the repairs on the truck and waited 3 yrs to get a forklift , prior to that it she used her own methods to get 44 gallon drums, Motorhomes etc on to the bed of the truck.
Definitely no oil painting, she wore a Mu Mu which would be covered in mud/clay She drove with bare feet, no airconditioning in 100 F and humid conditions. She did not expect her eight children to help her as "they had their own lives to live"
Her Truck
Typical load

@Robert Ryan- If only I could find those qualitys (minus the children) in a somewhat more.... attractive woman.

Is Nissan contemplating "cash back" promotions to lure potential Frontier buyers ? Although they are the best truck out there for the size, the purchase price is about $5000 too much - across the board.

@Benchimus. Her life story. Two years ago they had their first Ferrari dealership in Darwin, so the real "outback is changing. The Outback townships of "Toots' time is starting to disappear.

With how ugly that new Colorado is, I'd say they shouldn't have a problem. There is no competition outside of the Tacoma. Toyota will always own the midsize truck market though. The big 3 were never that competitive in the market. This next Colorado looks to be no different. Did I mention how UGLY it is?? The last good looking small truck Chevy had was that ZR2 S-10.

So let me get this right, the Frontier runs a couple commercials and is better than the Tacoma now?

These same people were saying the Tacoma was the best mid-size...

Now it's Frontier because they run a couple commercials?


The Tacoma doesn't need commercials. It sells itself!

Tacoma will be getting most of the Ranger sales. Nissan and the rest of you haters can keep dreaming...

"Frontier is definitely the best mid-sizer out there"

@oxymoron and others,


Maybe if you guys had some ACTUAL experience with the Tacoma, maybe you wouldn't be so convinced that the Frontier is the best mid size truck after you watched a couple commercials!

BUT you guys are just SHEEPLE and buy pickups based off of commercials while some of us have actual experience and have been out there testing to back up what we say!

Any moron can watch a commercial and say they are the best! This proves nothing!

Why wood any buziness what to get rump Ranger moron byers.

Nissan need to advertise the Frontier and offer additional cash off for Ranger owners and anyone who currently has an S-10. They also need to lower their price by a couple of grand and come up with a more efficient power train. I do not think most of the Ranger buyers will migrate to smaller cars (some will but not most). Nissan has always made a good solid small truck and at one time lead the small truck market. Suzuki Equator which is the identical truck, but has a nicer grill, should step up the advertising as well and offer additional cash back as well to Ranger and S-10 owners. Nissan and Suzuki have spent very little on advertising and promotion on both of these twins. And yes Nissan has silly ads and they need a spokesperson like Ford's Mike Rowe and not a Howie.

@Jay and Oliver-You might be right that Tacoma is the best small truck out there but would you rather it be the only small truck? If that happens Toyota will then put little or no investment into Tacoma. Why would you want to spend anything on research and development if you do not have any competition? As a consumer and not a cheerleader for the manufacturer I want there to be more competition not less. Your attitude is like the Ford F-150 loyalist where you want only your product on the market. If that were to happen the price would go up, the quality would go down, and their would be little or no innovation. Maybe that is what you want but that is bad for all consumers including Toyota buyers. Get the Nissan Frontier to increase its sales and quality and have the new Colorado be a much better truck than the old Colorado and competitive pricing. I am cheering for the consumer not the manufacturer and I owe my loyalty to God and My Country not to a corporation. Does't it still say on our currency in "God We Trust". I didn't think they changed it yet to "In Toyota We Trust" or "In Ford We Trust".

@ Oxi - do your relatives care that you keep using their names to post under?

@Jason H I don't think anyone has a particular love for the Nissan, but they're also not having to discuss the Nissan with someone making it out to be the single greatest truck ever built. The Tacoma has that in you and oxi (or should i just say you), so people counter argue your "full size trucks suck" and "tacoma does it better" arguments. No one argues how amazing the Frontier is, so people can casually discuss it like the truck it is.

:) Plus, it's a pretty nice little truck.

I can testify how tough a Nissan mini pickup is. I bought a Nissan D21 (Hardbody) with the 2.4L 4-cyl engine and auto trans brand new in Jan 1991. I am still driving it every day as I have done since I bought it 21 years ago. I paid $9,000 out the door. After 306,000 miles, I can say that it has been a tough little truck that I have not pampered. Besides regular things that wore out, I had to get the auto trans rebuilt after 170,000 miles at a cost of $1,900. And I just had the valve cover gasket replaced after the original blew oil all over the engine last month (December). Would I get another Nissan mini (Frontier)? You bet your bippie (Rowan and Martin's Laugh In) I would. I hope to drive this truck another 2-4 years. I plan to wear it out and scrap it at the junk yard. Insurance, tag, etc. are extremely cheap (like me, but "frugal" is the PC term). Wife said that she plans to bury me in it. If anybody plans to get a mini-pickup, I don't believe that they would be disappointed with the Frontier. But that's just my opinion...

I think advertising should be used to make smaller truck buyers aware that the Nissan Frontier is still in the market. I don't necessarily agree that the advertising is going to make you go out and buy the advertised product, but an informative ad can let the customer know that your product is out there. Nissan has a long history with being the first to sell a compact truck in a sizeable volume (I realize that there was the Crosley and other small manufacturers, but they were not volume) and first to sell a compact truck with an extended cab (King Cab). If you do not make customers aware that you are still out there and if you do not advertise to a younger generation that does not know about Nissan's (was Datsun) history in the compact truck market then it is hard to sell to anyone. I agree that Tacoma is Number One and that they have one of the best if not the best compact truck on the market but Toyota still advertises the Tacoma. Oxi and the rest of your Toyota fans there is still room in the midsize and compact truck market for competition and if not Nissan, Chevy, and Suzuki this void will be filled by the Chinese. I would rather see the others step up to the plate than leave a large void for the Chinese.

@Zach J:

Please don't lump me in with Oxi. I own a Silverado Z71 and a Jeep. And I never said that full size trucks suck...just that they suck offroad. (And anyone telling you differrent is trying to sell you something.)

Let's face it: fullsize trucks are really comfortable to drive down the road and great for towing stuff, but they have gotten too damn big, too heavy, and their suspensions too street-biased to be much good off road any more.

As for this Nissan, it's too big, too heavy, and too street-biased as well...just like the new (2005+) Tacoma...I was just making light of the fact that every body hates Toyotas, but not Nissans. Maybe it is Oxi's fault...He's not exactly the best ambassador Toyota could hope for and often rubs people the wrong way.

Nissan needs to add a STANDARD cab to their line up to appeal to fleets that used to by Rangers like that bug spray company that used to buy the hell out of Rangers. Nissan offers the D40 truck in standard cab in Thailand. Why not here? Fleets bought Rangers because they were CHEAP and it is no secret Ford practically owns the 3 main fleet leasing companies (Penske, Ryder, ARI). With the arrival of the commercial NV4500 van, it is a perfect time to reintroduce the Frontier to prospective commercial customers. Bring a standard cab, stripper model with a manual trans, manual 4x4 would be nice too (no buttons or dials!) and get friendly with the whOres at the leasing companies. That sells trucks to the commercial world! Just ask Ford

@Bigassgas8.1L Quite a few of the overseas manufacturers have models, not just Nissan ,that they do not offer in the US.
Isuzu as an example only offers about half of it's available models in the US and Canada.
Cost of constructing a NA only Cab, meeting Tier regulations , probably does not make much financial sense for them.

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