When Nissan introduced the Titan pickup truck earlier this decade, they became the first Japanese Automaker to directly challenge the U.S. manufacturers in the full-size truck segment. Unfortunately for Nissan, the gamble didn't pay off, but the company knows when to stop throwing good money after bad. With sales of only 65,000 a year and no sales outside of North America, it didn't make sense for Nissan to spend money developing a new generation vehicle. The capper on the deal were new fuel economy regulations. Nissan has been trying unsuccessfully for months to line up a supplier of diesel engines for the Titan. The announcement yesterday of the deal between Nissan and Chrysler to swap cars and trucks means the next-generation Nissan pickup will be built off the Ram platform.
It's not known yet if the Nissans will get the hybrid or light duty diesel engines that will debut in the Ram in 2010. Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa told ABG that GM, Daimler and BMW would have to agree before Nissan could be included in the hybrid program. Since Daimler and BMW don't compete in the segment, and GM and Chrysler could certainly use the extra volume to bring costs down, it seems likely that the Nissan truck will eventually be found with a hybrid system. For the new light duty Cummins diesel, Dodge will probably get a period of exclusivity, but it seems likely that Nissan wouldn't even bother with a truck if they couldn't get a diesel, since everyone else in the segment will have one by 2010.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]