Nissan to Bring Diesel Titan to the U.s

by : Iver Penn

Nissan Motor Co. is preparing a diesel-powered version of its Titan full-sized pickup truck by 2009 for the United States, to be equipped with engines built by local truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp., according to a report by industrial daily Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Friday.

Japan's third-biggest automaker, held 44 percent by Renault SA, currently does not offer any diesel vehicle in the United States, where the fuel-efficient powertrain is used mostly on commercial vehicles including large pickup trucks.

A spokeswoman at Nissan said the company is mum on future product plans.

In May, Nissan sold 4,899 Titans, a drop of 18 percent from last year's figures. So far this year, sales are down 15 percent at 28,668 units.

The Titan, Nissan's first and only full-sized pick-up, was launched by the automaker in 2004 with the hope of breaking into the lucrative, U.S.-dominated segment. Sales however have failed to live up to expectations. In April Nissan's 2008 model year Titan went on sale.

The U.S. pickup market has long been and still is dominated by Ford Motor Co.'s F-Series and General Motors Corp.'s (also maker of top of the line ) Chevy Silverado, the two best-selling vehicles in the world's biggest auto market.

Competition has also gotten tougher with Toyota Motor Corp.'s introduction of its remodeled Tundra - which Japan's top automaker is hailing as its most important product to date. Toyota has also hinted that it would eventually offer a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Tundra.

International Truck and Engine Corp., Navistar's principal operating company and the exclusive supplier of diesel engines to Ford's Super Duty pickups, will supply Nissan with the V8 diesel engines, the Nikkan Kogyo reported.

The Titan is now powered by a 5.6-litre V8 gasoline engine.

Nissan is due to launch a diesel version of its Maxima sedan in the United States in 2010 with engines produced by Renault.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese automobile manufacturer which formerly marketed vehicles under the Datsun brand name. The company's main offices are located in the Ginza area of ChÅ?Å?-ku, Tokyo but Nissan plans to move their headquarters to Yokohama, Kanagawa by 2010, with construction starting in 2007.

In 1999, Nissan entered an alliance with Renault S.A. of France. Nissan is among the top three Asian rivals of the "big three" in the U.S. Currently they are the third largest japanese car manufacturer.

The Nissan VQ engines, of V6 configuration, have featured among Ward's 10 Best Engines for 12 straight years, since the award's inception. A new generation VQ series engine premiered on the 2007 Infiniti G35, and the 2007 Nissan 350Z. A larger 3.7 will be used in the G37 coupe and possibly a twin turbocharged version on the Skyline.