2016 Nissan Titan XD: Playing Your Cards Right

The pickup truck segment is very different from other vehicle categories. In fact, through the years, it has become a North-American cult product.

Even if a large portion of consumers who buy this type of truck needs it for work, a more modest pickup would do the job in most cases. And that doesn’t include people who swing for a pickup, but whose needs could honestly be satisfied with a Toyota Yaris.

This is partly explained by the very low price of oil, but also, and especially because the pickup truck is part of our collective imagination. It’s become a desirable product for many, if not the majority of people. After all, the F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in North America.

That being said, if you pay attention to the sales charts, you’ll notice that Nissan only has a microscopic slice of the cake in the full-size pickup truck segment.

Even if domestic-brand trucks are generally more substantial than Japanese ones in regards to trim levels, luxury features and powertrain choices, the difference isn’t that important to justify such a domination. In my opinion, this perfectly illustrates the cultural aspect of the pickup truck. It’s a love affair between pickups and the U.S. population, in which Canadians like to join in.

Analyzing the situation, Nissan knows it will be difficult to break through such a market with its 2016 Titan, which hasn’t yet been unveiled. Remember, it’s the Titan XD that saw and drove so far.

And yet the Japanese manufacturer carefully hid its Samurai sabre, and is proudly wearing a Stetson instead. Everywhere during the media launch we could read “The new American Titan.” Nissan reminded us countless times that the Titan is built in USA, and even gave its name to the stadium where NFL team Tennessee Titans play.

For now, let’s see how the Titan fares before criticizing or applauding it, but meanwhile, we can nonetheless review the Titan XD’s case. While developing its heavy-duty truck, Nissan realized that trying to rival the Ford F-250 was suicidal, if we rely on its market share in the “regular” full-size pickup truck segment.

Actually, when the folks at Nissan say that customers ask for a pickup that can tow more than 9,000 pounds, but less than 19,000, they make a good point. The Titan XD slides right in between two categories in which the Japanese brand has little chance to shine, not because of the quality of its products, but because of the market segment’s buying habits.

In short, offering a vehicle that has no direct competitors is probably Nissan’s best strategy.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

NewsNew V8 For The Nissan Titan
Nissan's new truck, the Titan (and its heavy-duty variant, the Titan XD) received a lot of publicity in the last few weeks: the Japanese automaker went with the bold decision of stuffing in a Cummins turbo-diesel V8 engine displacing 5.0 litres and generating 555 pound-feet of torque. But Nissan knows …
News2016 Nissan Titan XD: Affordable?
Even though the 2016 Nissan Titan XD got a lot of good comments on its style, its off-road performance and its towing capabilities, a question remained: how pricy would it be? Would it be affordable, or would its price be so high that only the wealthiest could afford it? It …
DetroitNissan Titan Warrior Concept: The Warrior Of NAIAS
What do you get by crossing a race truck, a spaceship and a diesel engine? The Nissan Titan Warrior. Shown at the Detroit Auto Show, the aggressively styled truck looks like what would happen if the Japanese automaker would develop a rival to the Ford F-150 Raptor. Based on the …
NewsNext Nissan Armada: Will we Get the Patrol?
While North America is a big consumer of SUVs, some of these segments' most iconic members are not sold here. For example, the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Land Rover Defender and the Nissan Patrol are excellent trucks that, for one reason or another, are not offered on our market. The …
New ModelsHere Is The 2017 Nissan Armada
In response to rumours circling around the Web in the last few days, Nissan just unveiled the 2017 Armada. First things first: we were right, this is an Americanized version of the legendary Patrol (or you can see it as a less-expensive version of the Infiniti QX80, which also shares …
NewsThe 2017 Nissan Titan lineup grows
In order to be a player in the pickup segment, customization is a must. In other words, a buyer of said truck must be able to “build” a pickup in his or her image. Nissan’s working hard at convincing picky and loyal truck buyers to look their way. The addition …