Nissan Titan still has a futureMon, 18 Jan 2010 00:00:00 -0800
Even without a deal to team up with Chrysler Group on a new pickup, Nissan Motor Co. plans to keep the Titan truck in its lineup and develop a new range of models on its own.
"We will do the next-generation Titan in-house," Larry Dominique, Nissan North America Inc.'s vice president for product planning, told Automotive News last week at the Detroit auto show.
In August, Chrysler and Italian partner Fiat scrapped plans to share vehicles with Nissan, including a pickup. At that time, a Nissan spokesman said the company was exploring options, including finding another automaker as a partner.
The next-generation Titan was going to be based on the Dodge Ram pickup and was scheduled to go on sale for the 2012 model year. Dominique said the next-generation Titan "obviously will be later than what it would have been with Chrysler." He didn't offer a timetable.
One thing that Nissan must emphasize is better fuel economy, Dominique said.
Titan sales plunged to 19,042 trucks last year, down 44 percent from 2008. Ram sales fell 28 percent to 177,268, the Ford F series fell 20 percent to 413,625, and the Chevrolet Silverado dropped 32 percent to 316,544.
Last year, total U.S. light-truck sales plunged 24 percent to 4.7 million vehicles as the entire U.S. market dropped 21 percent to 10.4 million vehicles.
By Rick Kranz- Automotive News