Nissan On Titan Pickup: ‘It’s Dead’
Nissan has confirmed that there are no plans for its full-size Titan pickup past 2024. And there will be no major changes or updates between now and then. Rumors have heavily pointed to this conclusion for a while. But this is the first time that a confirmation from an Automotive News source commented one way or the other on Titan’s fate.
“No Nissan Titan replacement or updates”
According to its source, Automotive News was told, “There’s no plan engineering’s working on for replacing it or updating it. It’s dead.” This confirms what seemed like the inevitable. Though being in one of the hottest segments over the past couple of decades, the Titan was never able to penetrate very far into it.
The only question now is if it will happen in 2024 or 2025. Nissan North America has only said the Titan “remains in Nissan’s truck lineup for 2022 model year and beyond. Titan is an important part of Nissan’s showroom.”
Countering those tepid responses, forecasters LMC Automotive and AutoForecast Solutions say late 2024 will be when production ends. Since its attractive $230 million update in 2019, Titan sales have steadily declined. Sales went from 50,459 in 2018 to 31,514 in 2019. Last year it sold only 27,406 units.
How does Nissan do in the midsize truck segment?
Nissan has had a lot of success with its Frontier midsize pickups. Its first product introduced in the U.S. in 1958, the Frontier has sold a steady 70,000 to 80,000 trucks every year for the past 10. Nissan had hoped to have similar success with the Titan full-size pickup when introduced in late 2003. Expectations were for 100,000 sales a year. The closest it came to seeing that number was 87,000 in 2005.
Most experts agree that the main reason for its failure to increase sales was its limited engines, along with few body and bed configurations. That ability to customize trucks for specific needs is part of what has made the full-size truck segment so popular. Also, truck brands have very loyal followings, so it was hard to get pickup buyers to break from the Chevy/GMC, Ford, and Ram heritage.
All of these circumstances convinced Nissan to offer more choices and trims. In 2015 the upscale Titan XD appeared, with a Cummins V8 diesel option. But even that didn’t break the spell.
What are Nissan’s future truck plans?
“Conquesting a brand-loyal Ford customer to come to a Nissan Titan has proven to be extremely difficult,” a Nissan dealer who requested not to be identified told Automotive News. “Because of their volume, the Detroit 3 have the budget to freshen and bring out new pickup products and technologies a lot faster than Nissan. It can’t be everything to everybody.”
So while it is exiting the full-size truck market, there is another truck segment that would seem much more in Nissan’s wheelhouse, small pickups. Rumors suggest that Nissan is working on a smaller EV pickup that would slot below the Frontier. So as they say, when one door closes…