With the future of the Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck in flux for months, it seems like we’re finally getting some closure. An internal production memo claims that the Nissan Titan will take a bow after the 2024 model year, leaving Nissan with a single-truck lineup. Nissan recently confirmed that the memo is real, stating:
Production of the Nissan TITAN is scheduled to end summer 2024 at our Canton plant in Mississippi. Under Nissan’s Ambition 2030 vision of an electrified future, we are accelerating the process of transforming the Canton plant with the latest in EV manufacturing technology. This will support production of two all-new, all-electric vehicles.
That’s the way the cookie crumbles, a complete shift to something new capping off a moderately disappointing 21-year, two-generation model run that failed to live up to sales expectations. As Auto123 reports, Nissan targeted 100,000 annual sales back when the original Titan launched. However, that number was never hit. The Titan was a relatively reliable truck, but it was glued to the showroom floor, especially as first-generation production dragged on through the Great Recession. It had relatively innovative features from launch like factory-installed spray-in bedliner, an available tracked tie-down system in the bed, and an available rear-seat entertainment system, but pickup truck buyers never quite took to Nissan’s biggest offering.
See, in America, pickup trucks are a religion, a bit like beer and football. If your father bought pickup trucks from a particular domestic brand, chances are his father bought from the same brand and you will too. An S&P Global report claims that the Ford F-Series enjoyed 59.7 percent brand loyalty in 2022, and the Chevrolet Silverado wasn’t far behind at 55.4 percent. Attempting to crack the American full-size pickup market on product alone and ignoring the massive culture surrounding these vehicles can be a perilous enterprise.
A redesign for 2016 saw Nissan double down on the Titan with both a new light-duty model and something called the XD, which sat mid-way between a half-ton and three-quarter-ton truck while offering the fuel economy of the latter and capability closer to the former. Gee, I wonder why the market never took to it? The best-selling year of second-generation Titan production resulted in just 52,924 full-size Nissan trucks making it into driveways. A facelift for 2020 brought updated styling and a substantially more modern interior, but it was too little, too late. With Ram, Ford, and GM all having recently introduced new generations of their full-size trucks, Nissan was fighting a losing war.
The first front to fall? Why, the Northern front, of course. The Titan left the Canadian market after the 2021 model year due to low sales volume, with the aged Leaf electric car outselling the Titan in that market. Nissan figured that the Frontier was all the Nissan truck that the Canadian market wanted, and that bet seems to be proving itself correct. Keep in mind, Canada loves full-size trucks as much as America, with the most popular new vehicle in the country being the Ford F-Series line of pickup trucks. Canada’s also chock-full of import cars, a land where Mazda cracks the top-15 in the sales charts. It’s the sort of environment where the Titan theoretically could’ve succeeded, but it didn’t.
Going into 2024, the Nissan Titan receives some slight trim and package changes. The base fleet-spec S model is gone, but that seemed inevitable. When was the last time a contractor rolled up to your house in a new Titan? The new entry-point SV trim gets an optional Bronze Edition Package with bronze wheels, a black grille, a sport bar in the bed (not to be confused with a sports bar), and special floor mats. Otherwise, the Titan carries through to its final model year essentially unchanged. Could the Titan eventually return in some alternate form? It’s possible, but don’t get your hopes up.
The good news amid all the doom and gloom is that nobody’s paycheck is on the line. The memo claims that “There will be no job reductions in Decherd or Canton, the U.S. plants that currently support Titan production,” and Nissan has confirmed via statement that “There will be no workforce reductions due to this action.” Clearly, Nissan has big expectations for these two new electric models set to be built in America, so everyone’s coming along for the ride.
Oh, and if you still want a Nissan pickup truck after mid-2024, there’s always the midsize Frontier, one of the last midsizers standing with a standard naturally-aspirated V6. The Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon have all shifted to turbocharged four-bangers as their base motors, leaving Nissan and Jeep to carry the six-cylinder torch.
(Photo credits: Nissan, hat tip to Gary!)
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