February 9, 2023

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Exquisite Automotive

Why the Nissan Titan pickup is on the chopping block

Nissan made multiple efforts at the U.S. segment. The Titan, introduced at the 2003 Detroit auto show, went on sale later that year, with pricing $2,600 to $4,200 below comparable Detroit 3 trucks. Nissan hoped to eventually sell 100,000 a year in the U.S. but sales peaked at 86,945 in 2005.

After some years of uncertainty about the product, complicated by the 2008-2009 economic crisis and a shift at that time to fuel-efficient vehicles, Nissan’s then-CEO Carlos Ghosn approved a plan to give it a second try and to go big this time.

Company executives said that this time, Nissan would cover a fuller spectrum of full-size trim levels. The automaker also trained its retailers in the unique arts of marketing, selling and servicing full-size pickups like their Detroit 3 competitors.

Nissan reentered the market with a remake in late 2015, selling a richly appointed Titan XD version that came with a Cummins V-8 diesel engine, retailing for $36,485 including shipping.

But the efforts still fell short.

Last year, U.S. Titan sales fell to 27,406, down nearly half from 2017. In the first quarter of this year, sales tallied 6,415, accounting for just 1.4 percent of the segment.

“Conquesting a brand-loyal Ford customer to come to a Nissan Titan has proven to be extremely difficult,” according to a Nissan dealer who requested not to be identified. “Because of their volume, the Detroit 3 have the budget to freshen and bring out new pickup product and technologies a lot faster than Nissan.”

Unlike the Detroit 3, which has zeroed in on pickups and crossovers, Nissan continues to also bet on marketing sedans.

“Nissan cannot be everything to everybody,” the dealer said.