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No-go for Heavy-Duty Titan


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Larger Titan Trashed
Nissan may dump heavy-duty pickup program
By RICK KRANZ | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek | Updated: 03/12/07, 2:30 pm et
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GENEVA - Nissan Motor Co. has suspended development of its heavy-duty pickup and may scrap the program.

It also will abandon some of its body-on-frame SUVs, replacing them with lighter, more fuel-efficient crossovers when those SUVs are scheduled to be replaced. The Infiniti QX56 and the Nissan Pathfinder and Armada use body-on-frame construction.

"Not all but part of the SUVs are going to shift to monoque, unibody," Carlos Tavares, Nissan's product development boss, said in an interview at the auto show here. No timetable was given.

"We suspended our heavy-duty truck program because, from a business perspective, we thought that the risk was too high," Tavares said.

Sales of heavy-duty versions of the next-generation Titan truck platform were to begin in 2009 or 2010. Three-quarter and one-ton models were slated, say supplier sources.

A heavy-duty pickup requires a dedicated frame, suspension and transmission to handle higher weight loads, Tavares said. A diesel engine would be mandatory.

"If the market is so-so, you could lose a lot of money," he said. "There are a lot of places in the world where we can spend our money."

Maybe, Tavares said, "we don't have to do that one." No timetable was given for a decision.

Toyota had been expected to launch a heavy-duty pickup in 2009, using a vehicle developed by its Hino Motors Ltd. affiliate. But suppliers say the project has been halted indefinitely.
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"We are moving to Uni-body full size SUVs while the domestics remain behind in technology using BOF trucks and SUVs" </nissan press release>

I don't think they said that (this isn't Toyota after all). Besides, GM and Ford have crossovers, Dodge is getting one and, for now at least, there's the Pacifica. Domestics have BOF SUVs because they know how to make them (I think we can all agree the GMT-900s, Expedition, and even Durango are better than the Sequoia and Armada).

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I think the Armada and QX56 will go unibody, not the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder has a strong off-road rep (though not as strong as the Xterra).

As far as the heavy-duty Titan goes, I rather them delay it (or not do it) than half-ass it.

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I don't think they said that (this isn't Toyota after all). Besides, GM and Ford have crossovers, Dodge is getting one and, for now at least, there's the Pacifica. Domestics have BOF SUVs because they know how to make them (I think we can all agree the GMT-900s, Expedition, and even Durango are better than the Sequoia and Armada).

however, the upcoming dodge crossover is Sebring based, so it's not going to be very big. The Pacifica is ugly, underpowered, and has a nasty interior. Chrysler forget about the Compass and Patriot, and just make some real crossovers.

Off topic, why is the Patriot cheaper, but yet the Compass is smaller? a mystery?

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I think the Armada and QX56 will go unibody, not the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder has a strong off-road rep (though not as strong as the Xterra).

I see it the other way around. The next Pathfinder and probably the Xterra will be unibody while the bigger trucks will remain based on the full-sized pickup. The last generation Pathfinder was unibody (as is the Jeep Grand Cherokee) and it didn't hurt the model's off-road reputation.
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I wonder if this will cause Toyota to reconsider its heavy duty program as well?

See the last line in the article:

Toyota had been expected to launch a heavy-duty pickup in 2009, using a vehicle developed by its Hino Motors Ltd. affiliate. But suppliers say the project has been halted indefinitely.

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I understand that... but the characteristics are so similar as to say "why bother"

Well, like Hudson reminded me, the 2nd-gen Pathfinder was a unibody but it could still take on the off-road. (Yes, people do take them off-road.) The Murano will never be made to do that plus I don't see it seating seven like the Pathfinder has recently been made to do.

Here's another twist to this story: I've heard it rumored that the next QX will based off of the Nissan Patrol (or at least its platform).

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This titan news is crushing, absolutely crushing. I was waiting eagerly to see what wonders nissan would be bringing to the table like they did with the reinventing-the-truck titan, to the eye-opening extent that I'd simply HAVE to scrap my 2 Fords and my Chevy.

Would it relieve you if I said I just think they're just waiting until the Titan is better established in the marketplace before jumping into the HD arena?

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however, the upcoming dodge crossover is Sebring based, so it's not going to be very big. The Pacifica is ugly, underpowered, and has a nasty interior. Chrysler forget about the Compass and Patriot, and just make some real crossovers.

Off topic, why is the Patriot cheaper, but yet the Compass is smaller? a mystery?

Wow, this post is hilarious. You know absolutely nothing about Chrysler vehicles.

The new Dodge crossover is not "Sebring based". If anything, it's Avenger based......but really, the whole platform is based on a stretched Caliber/Compass/Patriot (GS) platform(that was originally shared with Mitsubishi, and then tweaked). Here's a quote from Allpar about it's size:

This new model, known internally as the JC49, is based on the new Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger sedans, although it is clearly larger than its platform-mates.

The Pacifica was considered to have adequate power when it first came out with a 250 horsepower (250 lb-ft of torque) 3.5L V6, and a four speed automatic transmission. It is considered to have a very luxurious and upscale interior (read any review), and the best interior of any current Chrysler. The updated Pacifica now has a 4.0L V6 with 255 horspower, but now with 265 lb-ft of torque, and a six speed transmission......upgrading the Pacifica from adequately powered, to downright quick.

I don't know where you got your information from about the sizes of the Compass and Patriot.....but, yet again, you are completely wrong:

Compass:

Length - 173.4"

Width - 69.3"

Height - 64.2"

Patriot:

Length - 173.7"

Width - 69.1"

Height - 64.4"

As you can see, the Patriot and Compass are virtually identical in size.

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Would it relieve you if I said I just think they're just waiting until the Titan is better established in the marketplace before jumping into the HD arena?

Sorry- I wouldn't believe it. nissan would have to start over and bring something new to the segment if they want the titan to be 'better established'. You know the drill; 'they have to exceed their competition, not merely benchmark them (and fall short).
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I understand that... but the characteristics are so similar as to say "why bother"

How many people think that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is "car-based?" How similar are the characteristics between it and a car? Just because it's unibody doesn't mean it has car-like characteristics. You can make a wholly-off-road capable unibody truck just like you can make a very "car-like" body-on-frame sedan. Nobody confuses the Murano for the last-generation Pathfinder just because they're both unibody.

Here's another twist to this story: I've heard it rumored that the next QX will based off of the Nissan Patrol (or at least its platform).

Since the next-generation QX will be built in Japan, basing it on the Patrol would make sense.

The new Dodge crossover is not "Sebring based". If anything, it's Avenger based.

Which is basically a Dodge version of the Sebring. How is it different calling it "Avenger-based" as opposed to "Sebring-based?" How's that different than saying the Pontiac G6 is Malibu-based or 9-3-based?

I would think Nissan would simply use the new cab-forward truck platform, rather than use the same platform for the Frontier and Titan.

Which one would that be?
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How many people think that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is "car-based?" How similar are the characteristics between it and a car? Just because it's unibody doesn't mean it has car-like characteristics. You can make a wholly-off-road capable unibody truck just like you can make a very "car-like" body-on-frame sedan. Nobody confuses the Murano for the last-generation Pathfinder just because they're both unibody.

Since the next-generation QX will be built in Japan, basing it on the Patrol would make sense.

Which is basically a Dodge version of the Sebring. How is it different calling it "Avenger-based" as opposed to "Sebring-based?" How's that different than saying the Pontiac G6 is Malibu-based or 9-3-based?

Which one would that be?

http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/NEWS/2006/...60727-01-e.html
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