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The Nissan Titan went on sale in the U.S. in 2003 for the 2004 model year. It was Japan’s second attempt to build a full-size pickup truck to sway the American-made crowd away from General Motors (GM), Ford, and Dodge (now Ram). While Toyota got the hang of it over the years, Nissan has struggled, with some offering commentary that it wasn’t “American” enough. However, naysayers will be surprised to hear that there’s nothing Japanese about the Titan, except for just one component.

Where are Nissan Titans built?

Like many other Nissans, including the midsize Frontier, the Titan is assembled at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi. But where do all those parts come from? Some come front the Canton plant and other Nissan facilities across the country, even from Canada. Yet, the Titan isn’t just built in America; all steps before production were done stateside, too.

The Titan was designed by Nissan Design America, located in sunny San Diego, California. Yet, the company went halfway across the country for engineering. According to Nissan, their full-size pickup was engineered in Michigan. After its Mississippi build, it was taken for testing in the Arizona desert.

What engine is in the Nissan Titan?

Since its 2004 debut, the Nissan Titan has featured a ruggedly-dependable 5.6-liter V8. In its latest configuration, drivers can put down 400 horsepower and 413 pounds-feet of torque. It’s also the only full-size truck available with a V8 in the base model. But it’s not Japanese like Lexus V8s, it’s star-spangled born and bred.

Nissan has a big plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. This is where thousands of workers fulfill orders for the gasoline-powered V8 engines. But the now-defunct 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 is made elsewhere, at another plant about four hours north up Interstate 65.

The engine plant in Columbus, Indiana, isn’t owned by Nissan; they only sourced their medium-duty pickup truck engine from there. Columbus is the headquarters of Cummins, a diesel engine company dating back well over 100 years, mainly known for their six-cylinder units for heavy-duty Ram trucks.

Who makes the Nissan Titan transmission?

The only Japanese part of the Nissan Titan is its nine-speed automatic gearbox. The company called on a long-time subsidiary, Fuji-based Jatco, to build the unit. Jatco is also one of the world’s biggest suppliers of continuously variable transmission.

For the diesel-powered Titan XD, Nissan picked Aisin, a Toyota subsidiary. The six-speed automatic was developed exclusively for the medium-duty pickup truck.

Is Nissan dropping the Titan?

The Nissan Titan isn't Japanese, only its transmission is
2023 Nissan Titan XD | Nissan

Sales of the Nissan Titan have dwindled over the past few years. Unfortunately, it could never break into the pack dominated by GM, Ford, Ram, and Toyota. It was even dropped from the Canadian market in 2021.

Nissan asserts there are no plans for its full-size pickup past the 2024 model year. Since there haven’t been any major changes since the first of its second-generation model in 2016, it’s likely the company is done trying to compete with Toyota and Detroit’s Big Three. Nevertheless, the Titan has served an interesting role as the only alternative to the only Japanese full-size truck. It may have never enjoyed popularity, but at least it never dropped the standard V8 in the face of climate initiatives.


How Soon Will Nissan Kill Off the Titan?