Nissan has no plans to follow in the wheel-tracks of Fiat Chrysler and import heavy duty US-market pickups to Australia — because it thinks it may have too many cars in its range as it is.
The Nissan Titan, a behemoth that tackles the Ford F-Series in the US, is definitely not on the radar here — at least, not Nissan’s radar. That doesn't preclude a third-party importer from trying its hand.
In fact, Nissan Australia managing director Richard Emery considers the idea of bringing full-size pick-ups here an “oddity” with diminishing returns.
Last week, Fiat Chrysler’s New Zealand importer announced a deal — backed by head office in the US — to import and convert to right-hand-drive unlimited numbers of RAM 2500 and 3500 pick-ups.
The news followed clear signals from upper management at Fiat Chrysler Australia that it was keen to import factory-backed, and locally, converted versions of the smaller RAM 1500.
The news marks a return of factory-backed plus-sized US utes to Australia, about a decade after the Ford F-Series was axed after some decent sales success (you can still buy versions imported by third parties such as Performax, however).
We asked Emery if Nissan could look at bringing the US-made and left-hand-drive-only Titan here, and converting it locally.
“Im not sure there is [a point], I think it’s an oddity,” he answered. “I think there might be some early interest, but in terms of being a long-term product offering, I doubt it.
“I think adding a model that adds 1500 cars a year here and there, that’s not the way the business needs to run in Australia… it’s not a very economic way.
“Any new product would have to provide substantial extra volume, because we may be guilty of offering too many models and derivatives [as it is],” he said.
The all-new large pick-up for North America features a US-made 5.0-litre diesel unit with a hefty 750Nm of torque that Nissan claims can enable the Titan XD to tow up to 5440 kilograms and cart a payload of 900kg.