Nissan Titan: “Let’s get it going” says Nissan Australia boss
It’s looking likely that Nissan Australia will locally convert the Titan pickup truck through its partnership with Melbourne engineering group Premcar.
The Nissan Titan is a US pickup truck built in Canton, Mississippi and it seems likely that it will make its way onto the Australian market.
Speaking with Practical Motoring at a Nissan event earlier today, Nissan Australia CEO Stephen Lester said that the business case for the Titan was now strong given the success of similar factory-supported rivals, such as the RAM 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado through American Special Vehicles (ASV).
“I’m very bullish on the business case for Titan and have been for some time,” said Lester.
“We’ve seen more and more success from some other marques bringing these style of vehicles – trucks – to the market [here].
“So that continues to validate all the data in the thesis we had from the beginning, and I just keep looking at it going tick-tock, tick-tock, let’s get it going.”
Unlike vehicles such as the RAM 1500 which has been hugely popular and is converted by ASV, the Nissan Titan seems likely to be converted by Epping-based Premcar, which Nissan has a relationship with. It seems that a factory-based conversion in the US is unlikely, and Nissan Australia is now seeking approval for the conversions to happen locally.
“There are two options, one where the factory would do a factory right-hand drive conversion and a local conversion, which is two ways to get it in right-hand drive.
“We’ve worked out the process whether the factory would do plant homologation and conversion, and it’s sort of in the ether, let’s say.
“My hope is through the support we have of Premcar and the potential that already exists in the market if that [RHD factory conversion] isn’t going to work then we go, ‘look, we can still do this by local conversion and the market is still there and it is still growing,’” Lester said.
So what does an Australian-converted, Nissan factory-backed Titan look like? It won’t have diesel, which means it will not come with the 5.0-litre Cummins diesel motor cancelled in the US market. Instead, it will get Nissan’s 5.6-litre V8 petrol engine, also found in the Nissan Patrol here.
“Despite decisions like discontinuing diesel, which will happen shortly, the market still exists for petrol and by and large the volume is actually in petrol.
“It’s not a case that I’m going, ‘Oh shoot, we’ve lost 75 percent of our market,’ actually, we’ll lose only a little bit and the reality is that I think and feel that the Australian consumer mindset is perhaps questioning more diesel, and whether or not that will be a requirement or not for them and that’s built on a whole variety of reason.”
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