Nissan to offer more Titan variations in order to boost sales

Article by Anita Panait, on October 15, 2013

Nissan is eyeing to offer more configurations for its redesigned Titan full-sized pickup to heighten its appeal among fleet buyers and basic work truck customers. Rich Miller, Nissan's chief product specialist in charge of the next Titan, remarked that increased variation is important, noting that the current Titan “just didn't hit the work customer as strongly as it should have."

He noted that Nissan only offered one engine -- a premium V-8 – something that work truck customers would find hard to consider. Typically, work truck customers choose pickups according to price and capability, he said.

He noted that if a carmaker cannot offer a “regular-cab, six-cylinder, stripped-down truck” it is out of that market. When it launched the Titan in 2004, Nissan differentiated its full-sized pickup offering with features like factory-installed spray-on bedliners and doors that could open 180 degrees and built-in cargo bed hooks.

For its latest Titan, Nissan is banking on more product differentiations to further penetrate into the full-sized pickup market that is heavily dominated by the Detroit 3. Miller noted that they had a lot of innovations the first time, and they “felt the domestics had left us a lot of low-hanging fruit." He remarked that carmakers competing in the segment have gotten better, noting that “there's not as much low-hanging fruit this time around."

He, however, said that Nissan has “some things up its sleeves that it will be pulling out." The new Titan, which may arrive late 2014, may feature improvements like innovations in cargo lighting, backup visibility, cargo storage and accessorizing. In August, Nissan disclosed that the Titan will offer a Cummins V-8 diesel engine, which may help differentiate the truck in the brand-loyal segment.

The very first Nissan Titan was vaunted for featuring consumer-focused innovations like the Wide-Open rear doors, Utili-track Bed Channel System, factory spray-on bedliner and bedside storage compartment. Now, the next generation of the Titan focuses on commercial strength components, starting from its radiator to the rear axle.

Diaz called the new Titan XD as a truck that employs both technology and strength to confidently complete its daily work tasks. He noted that half of all full-size truck owners tow over 10 times every year and a quarter of these owners employs their trucks to haul tools. This is why Nissan engineered the toughness of the Titan XD from the ground up.

All Nissan Titan XD models employ a distinct frame and chassis to accommodate its powerful Cummins diesel engine and to further its towing and payload capability. The new fully boxed, full-length ladder frame of the new Titan XD is underpinned by a durable, proven chassis from Nissan Commercial Vehicles. This ladder frame has been further reinforced and strengthened for the new Titan XD, allowing it to boast higher levels of stiffness, vertical and lateral bending as well as torsional rigidity. The full-length ladder frame also boasts of an extended 151.6-inch wheelbase that is around 20 inches longer than non-XD Titan models.

Nissan provided the new Titan XD with a new heavy-duty, highly stable suspension design that offers greater levels of stability, handling as well as ride comfort. Nissan also reinforced the double-wishbone with stabilizer bar front suspension, tuning it for hard use. The carmaker also had the rigid rear axle suspension employ large leaf springs and leaf bushings as well as twin-tube shock absorbers.

Interestingly, the rear axle of the new Titan XD is a purpose-built American Axle Manufacturing design. The front differential (4x4 Titan XD models) measures 9.25 inches while the rear differential -- 3.5-inch axle tubes -- measures 13.0 inches with. The new Nissan Titan XD could also be availed with an Electronic Locking Rear Differential.

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