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Can Nissan Tackle the Big 3? Speak out in
Detroit has dodged bullets before – in the full-size truck market, that is. The high-profit domain of the Big Three has seen the likes of the Toyota T100 come and go, and the Toyota Tundra come very close and take a significant piece of business away from their mainstays. But not until now has a Japanese maker taken on the full-size market so directly, in size, mission, even in country of origin.
Nissan’s new 2004 Titan, which made its debut at the Detroit show, is a full-frontal assault on Detroit’s profitable big pickups. It’s built on a new platform dubbed ZW, which also will spawn a new Frontier/Xterra in the not-too-distant future. The Titan spans the same rough critical dimensions as the Ram, Silverado and F-150. It sports a 300-plus horsepower V-8, standard King Cab configuration with two rear-hinged and two front-hinged doors, and high towing capacity. And Nissan is betting its heavy nod to flexibility, especially in the Titan’s bed, will win it some buyers from the more conventional trucks from Chevy, Ford and Dodge.
2004 Nissan TitanEnlarge Photo
Nissan pegged plenty of performance benchmarks with the Titan because they knew the Titan had to be good to enough show up on the radar of domestic truck shoppers. “We don’t have a lot of credibility in this segment,” said Larry Dominque, Chief Product Specialist, Nissan Titan. Their goals for building the Titan were to make an expressive shape that had the best in class power, fuel economy and driving range.