Everyone wants a pickup truck these days, but fewer of them want a Nissan Titan pickup, so Nissan has a plan. Instead of appealing to the truck buyers like farmers, ranchers, and utility workers-those that need a truck, they’ll appeal to another group in 2020. The group that wants it as a lifestyle choice.
Nissan wants to start marketing the 2020 Titan to those who don’t need a pickup, but want one just because. “We think we can appeal to people who want a pickup that offers advanced technology, safety, and comfort, as well as capability in power and towing,” Tiago Castro, who is head of Nissan North American light commercial vehicle business unit, told Automotive News. “Thirty percent of the people who buy a Titan don’t currently own a pickup.”
Nissan Will Combine Options For Titan
One way Nissan is putting its plan into action is by offering different trim packages that combine options. It is also adding better options like a dual-panel panoramic moonroof, 485-watt Fender audio system, nine-inch high-def touch screen displays, and Wi-Fi. Its new 400 hp V8 engine hooked to a nine-speed automatic transmission is hoped to appeal to buyers still wanting eight-cylinders under the hood with some ponies.
Nissan feels it can appeal better to those who want a cool truck by limiting the myriad of options normally involved in buying a truck. It wants to simplify the process by combining options to almost unlimited combinations bogging down purchasing a pickup.
Regular- and King-Cabs Gone
One way Nissan is doing this is by doing away with both the regular cab and King Cab bodies. It has also killed the Cummins turbocharged diesel engine that only a few years ago it said was an integral cog to selling pickup trucks.
“It took quite a bit of conversation with our dealers to arrive at this decision,” says Castro. “We’re taking the step of simplifying the buying process-not just for the customer but also for our dealers. You really don’t want to have to go through a catalog of 20 million options to make a customer happy.”
Some Nissan Dealers Can Sell Cars Not Titans
Castro says that many of Nissan’s franchisees don’t have the experience to market trucks or to communicate well with commercial buyers. Now, it will put more effort into connecting its message with suburban families and younger “hipsters” which will help retailers to sell packages instead of options.
Now, only five versions of Titan will be available, all with bundled options. They are S, SV, PRO-4x, SL, and Platinum Reserve.
So far in 2019, Nissan has sold only 25,000 Titans. That figure represents a 33% drop from 2018. Nissan wants to staunch the bleeding with the bundled options, and a tweak of its logo to help it stand out from previous years and it’s all-black grilles. The new logo’s red accents it hopes will do that.
Together all of the truck manufacturers from Chevy to Toyota have sold 1.8-million trucks last year. That was a growth of 2.9%. So Nissan’s truck sales are falling in a segment that is increasing. Nissan has looked deep within itself to try and reverse those numbers.