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28 August, 2008

With the replacement for its Titan full-sized pick-up confirmed to be outsourced to Chrysler LLC, a Nissan North America (NNA) executive has now reportedly stated that the vehicle's engines will not be Nissan, which interviewed Bob Sump, the vice president of the Nissan Technical Center North America, has quotes which state that the Japanese OEM's US-built 5.6-litre V8 will not be used in the next Titan. The portal has also now added a statement from John Schilling of NNA's press relations department claiming that no decision has been made on the next-generation Titan's engine.

Both NNA and Chrysler LLC have been clear that the replacement for today's half-ton Titan pick-up will be built at Chrysler's plant in Saltillo, Mexico. It will be based upon the next Dodge Ram 1500. The current Titan, which has only ever been available with a 5.6-litre version of Nissan's 'Endurance' gasoline V8, has been built at NNA's Canton plant in Mississippi since October 2003. It is due for replacement in 2010 or 2011.

According to, normally a highly reliable source, NNA engineers will be responsible for defining and evaluating the Titan's performance criteria, not delivering it.

"Our engineering will get involved setting performance targets and evaluating whether (Chrysler) is achieving them or not, but we don't have any direct design responsibility for it," NNA's Sump told the portal at a media event. "It will all be done by Chrysler, including the powertrain. Nissan management will evaluate the prototypes to make sure they meet requirements."

The NNA vice president reportedly goes on to say that the OEM wishes to see a Chrysler Hemi V8 in the next Titan as this would keep costs down, the very reason for the decision not to redesign the vehicle itself.

"It would be a huge cost to try to put our engine in that vehicle," he adds. "The idea is to stay as common as we can (with the Dodge Ram) and change the styling. The Hemi would make the most sense, assuming Chrysler will sell us the Hemi."

Should the deal to use the V8 go ahead, speculates that this would also mean Chrysler's existing 3.7-litre V6 would also feature in the Titan replacement, as may a Cummins turbodiesel. Chrysler uses Hemi sub-branding on its 5.7- and 6.1-litre gasoline V8s.

Taking up the Titan's place at the Canton plant will be a new range of commercial vehicles, Nissan having taken a strategic decision to enter this segment of the North American market. The current market leaders, which are thought to be extremely profitable, include such vehicles as the Ford E-Series (Econoline) and GM's twins, the Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana vans.

LINK:Automotive World - US: Next Nissan Titan said to be Chrysler V6 and V8-powered
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