Nissan, in its struggle to win over U.S. buyers of large pickups said it plans to introduce a diesel engine in its redesigned Titan truck, a first for a Japan-based automaker.
Cummins Inc. will supply the 5-liter, V-8 turbo diesel according to a statement issued yesterday by Nissan. Details of the next Mississippi-built Titan, which hasn’t been fully revamped since its 2003 introduction, aren’t being disclosed at this time, the company also said.
“Truck owners told us there’s a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn’t require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup,” Fred Diaz, vice president for North American Nissan sales and marketing, said in yesterday’s statement. “There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads.”
Nissan never met an initial target of selling 100,000 Titans a year, and delivered just 10,020 this year through July, a sixth the volume of Toyota Motor Corp.’s Tundra, and a fraction of the sales of Ford’s F-Series, GM’s Silverado and Chrysler’s Ram pickups.
Meanwhile, U.S. full-size pickup sales jumped 23% this year through July, according to Autodata Corp., as an improving economy encourages buyers to replace their aging trucks. Large pickups account for a majority of earnings for U.S. automakers, according to Morgan Stanley.