Preview by Mark Stevenson. Photos by Mark Stevenson and courtesy of Nissan.
“There’s a difference between a man who has everything to gain and a man who has nothing to lose. If you have nothing to lose, you’re dangerous in a bad way. If you have everything to gain, you’re dangerous in a good way.”
Those words are as fitting to the Nissan Titan, the perennial backmarker in North American pickup sales, as they are to the person who recently uttered those words, rocker Brian Warner.
In order to gain any traction in the automotive industry, or entertainment industry in the case of Warner, you must be bold. You must take risks others are not willing to take. But, you also must fit a certain mould so the buying public knows how to size you up.
Sitting at the back of the sales charts, outsold by even the Honda Ridgeline in the United States (in Canada, Titan sits ahead of Ridgeline), Nissan needs to decide: are we dangerous in a good way or bad way?
During the media preview days at the North American International Auto Show, Nissan took the wraps off their all-new “American” Titan. The new truck will be assembled in Canton, Mississippi with engines supplied by facilities in Indiana and Tennessee.
Made to perform like the best to take on the rest
Ford, the leader in pickup sales worldwide, has a winning formula year after year. With each generation F-Series truck, the Blue Oval brings new innovations and features to pickup buyers.
Nissan isn’t Ford.
The first-generation Titan was nary a fully thought-out competitor to the best the Detroit Three could offer. Instead, it was a test run to see if buyers would warm up to a Japanese branded pickup. In the early days of the first-generation truck, people marvelled at its handsome, chiseled, and aggressive looks. Yet, with a limited offering of body styles and engines, the Titan soon lost its charm as buyers sought the choice offered elsewhere.
This time around, Nissan is not pulling any punches. Using a combination of Ford and Ram DNA (thanks to poaching Ram’s former truck guru, Fred Dias), the new second-generation Titan looks to use the same formula as the domestics along with some added features not found anywhere else.
But, the domestics aren’t the target. Nissan’s true competitor sits at its new American headquarters in Texas — Toyota.