Nissan may not have a display at the 2010 Detroit auto show, but the Japanese automaker still managed to drop a little trucknews at the show.
With the mid-size truck segment suffering from dimensional creep, the Nissan Frontier (pictured above) is no exception. While Nissan recognizes its fault, it plans to correct the issue in the next-generation pickup. The company says it will return itssmallest truck to its roots: a small and inexpensive hauler. “We think if we can get that equation back in line — and that’s a big if — we think there’s clearly a market opportunity,” said Larry Dominique, vice president of product planning for Nissan North America. Dominique confirmed that the new Frontier wouldn’t shrink too much and would remain a body-on-frame setup.
As for its full size Titan, Nissan may be ready to replace the aging truck in 2014 (it debuted as a 2004 model). The full-size pickup is due for a complete overhaul as it tries to compete with the Detroit pickups. Nissan ended 2009 with a measly 2-percent share of the U.S. truck market. Dominique is currently trying to convince the decision makers at Nissan to fund a heavy-duty version of the Titan, which would be built on a unique frame but share several parts with the current Titan. A heavy-duty version of the Titan may arrive before model changes occur for 2014.
Before the manufacturing agreement with Chrysler ended, the next Titan would’ve been equipped with coil springs on its rear axle, just like the current Ram. Now that the two have parted, the Titan will continue to utilize leaf springs. “We chose leafs primarily because we were trying to build the credibility of the truck,” said Dominique. “I don’t think we’re going to gain much more for the amount of money and energy spent to redesign the platform. It would be too expensive.”