While the auto market is welcoming the introduction of 2008 mode year vehicles, Nissan is reported to be working on a 2009 model year version of the full-size pickup Nissan Titan. According to Japanese publication Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Nissan is developing a diesel version of the Titan which will be introduced in the United States auto market for the 2009 model year.
According to the report, Nissan is partnering with truck and engine manufacturer Navistar International Corp. to bring a diesel-powered Titan in the North American market. Navistar is also the company which provided Ford with the diesel engines for their Super Duty trucks until the relationship soured.
Currently, Nissan is not offering any diesel-powered vehicle in the United States. One reason for this maybe is caution. The company, of course, knows that diesel engines have left a bitter taste in the tongue of American car buyers. It was in the 1980s that diesel engines made an appearance in the country. The noisy engine though did not endear itself to Americans. Aside from the noisy operation, diesel engines of old are also known for the black soot that they produce.
The new generation of diesel engines from Navistar though is more environment-friendly than its predecessors. It uses emission filter technologies which reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Not only that, thanks to advanced engine acoustics technology, new generation diesel engines produces less noise which can be even compared to a gasoline engine.
After the report though, a Nissan spokesperson said that the company cannot comment on future product development. John Schilling, speaking for Nissan, has this to say: “We haven’t announced anything about a diesel engine for the Titan. This news is speculation at this point, but we are continuing to study this technology for potential future use. The only vehicle we’ve said that will have a diesel engine is the Maxima in 2010.”
This statement though did not dispel speculations surrounding the development of a Nissan radiator hose-equipped Titan Diesel. One reason pointed out why it makes sense that Nissan will be coming up with a diesel truck is the skyrocketing price of gasoline. Diesel is cheaper than gasoline therefore it would be an obvious choice for light truck buyers to purchase a diesel-engined pickup truck.
The Titan pickup truck was introduced by the Japanese automaker in 2004. The Titan is the only full-size pickup truck in the auto manufacturer’s lineup. It was introduced in the United States auto market in the hope that it will carve a niche in the profitable segment in the US auto market. Unfortunately though, Americans tend to go for American light trucks with proven track record.
Last month, Nissan reported that sales of the Titan went down by 18 percent when they only sold 4,899 units of the Titan. For the first five months of the year, Nissan saw a declining sale for the Titan. So far, Nissan has sold 28,668 units of the Titan from January through May. This is 15 percent lower than Nissan Titan sale for the first five months of 2006.
The 2008 model year version of the Titan went on sale in the country in April. Aside from Ford’s F-Series and General Motors’ Chevrolet Silverado, the Titan is facing competition from the redesigned Tundra, Toyota’s “most important product launch to date”.
About the Author
Ryan Thomas is a native of Denver, Colorado. He grew up in a family of car afficionados. He now resides in Detroit where he owns a service shop and works part time as a consultant for a local automotive magazine.