Nissan’s global boss of commercial vehicles, Ashwani Gupta, says the company is looking at producing the Titan full-size pickup truck for markets outside of North America, including right-hand drive (RHD) countries such as Australia.
Sales of Nissan’s Ford F-Series rival are up more than 200 per cent this year, with more than 40,000 units sold. Some of these buyers are apparently pinched from the Ford, or other rivals such as the Ram 1500/2500, Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra, but some are also existing Nissan SUV owners or those upsizing from the Navara.
And it’s this latter trend that has led the company to explore the business case for the bigger Titan in all 133 markets around the world where the NP300 Navara is sold — a major region for which is ute-crazy Australia, where the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger are the top-two-selling new vehicles.
Aside from prohibitively expensive local converters such as American Special Vehicles (which has sold a few hundred $140,000 Rams since 2016) and Performax (which actually already sells Titans here) there are no full-size pickups available to Australians, despite demand. And none moved through official channels, with scale to keep costs down.
Could Nissan be the first to wade in since Ford sold the F-250 through its dealers between 2001 and 2006? We know that FCA is pondering the Ram 1500 already.
“We are studying the markets for the global application, for sure there’s a market, they're growing, not just in the US but outside,” Gupta told Australian media in Tokyo tonight.
“What we are seeing clearly is that the full-size pickup market was only in the US, but now we clearly see customers are evolving in other markets from the one-tonne to the full-size, this we can already see from our market intelligence. Now we are studying when and how [to expand its reach]."
In other words, if the company can crunch the numbers on a viable business case for the Titan, Nissan claims it will export it. And Gupta suggested it need not wait for a next-generation model to do so, either.
Pictured: Nissan Titan Warrior Concept
“For us, RHD and LHD is just a question of business, because the customers exist. There’s no challenge on the technological side,” he said.
The Titan features a US-made Cummins 5.0-litre V8 diesel engine with a hefty 750Nm of torque that Nissan claims can enable the Titan XD to tow up to 5440 kilograms.