Earthquake in Japan delays the redesigned Nissan Titan until 2014MY

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 23, 2011

The revived Nissan Titan pickup was supposed to arrive this year as a 2013 model but because of the disaster in Japan last March, its introduction has been put off until the 2014 model year. At the Los Angeles auto show, Andy Palmer, Nissan Motor Co.'s executive vice president for vehicle planning and program management, spoke to Automotive News. He said that Nissan had to redeploy some of its engineers so that production could resume after the quake.

Palmer said that he made the decision because Nissan’s supply chain was disrupted and this hampered the global output of Nissan plants. Nissan was forced to marshal engineering groups just so its system could be back up as soon as possible.

The downside is that the Titan’s launch had to be postponed. Palmer wouldn’t say the exact sale date of the new generation of the full-sized truck.

In 2008, Nissan decided to outsource the next Titan’s output to Chrysler Corp., which agreed to produce a Nissan-designed truck in its plant in Mexico. However, this arrangement faced insurmountable difficulties during the economic crisis in 2009. This prompted Nissan to bring the project in-house.

Titan was designed to compete with Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, Toyota Tundra, and GMC Sierra. It seeks to take advantage of the fact that Japanese rival Toyota has not been able to get into the fullsize truck market in North America since 1993’s T100 and that Tundra sales in the region are not as good as Ford’s and GM’s.

The Tundra sold a little more than 100,000 units in sales per year when Titan was launched. Dodge Ram sold 400,000 units while the F-Series and Sierra sold 900,000 every year. From December 2003 to December 2004, close to 86,000 Titan units were sold, while F-150 sales continued to improve and the Ram declined. In 2005, 86,945 Titan units were sold, compared to more than 126,000 Tundras sold.

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