Nissan has eye on hulking Titan pick-up for Australia
THE hulking Nissan Titan could be coming to Australia.
The big brother of the Navara ute has only been built in left-hand drive and focussed on the USA, but Nissan has hatched a global expansion plan that is intended to put it into many more of the 133 countries where the Navara is already sold.
Australia is a clear target for Nissan and the right-hand drive ambition is confirmed by the head of light-commercial vehicle operations for the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Ashwani Gupta, speaking after the Tokyo Motor Show late last year and this week at the launch of the Series 3 Navara at Victoria's Yarra Valley.
"Truck lovers love trucks. We are studying the expansion of the Titan full-sized pick-up in other markets outside the US," said Gupta.
He confirms that Australia is a potential destination for the Titan, which competes against the Ford F150 around the world, and sees an opportunity in a country where utes have becoming a dominant force in showrooms.
"Everywhere we sell Navara we do the study. Truck lovers love trucks," he said.
"Truck customers are passionate. They are buying functionality but they want emotional functionality."
Gupta says Nissan is aiming to be worldwide number one in light-commercial vehicles, which is one of the reasons why Mitsubishi was brought into the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 2016.
"We formed this business to complement each other. So we can have the maximum results," he said.
"One out of four or five vehicles in the world is an LCV. We are the fastest growing pick-up brand in the world."
Nissan's benchmark is the Navara, which has just been spun off into the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and will soon become the Renault Alaskan, while Mitsubishi relies on the Triton.
The Titan sits well above the one-tonne utes that sell so well in Australia, in a space where limited numbers of the Dodge Ram - converted by Walkinshaw automotive in a partnership with Ateco called American Special Vehicles - are currently the only mainstream choice.
Nissan believes there is a definite opportunity in Australia, despite the Titan program being in its early stages.
"When you have a passion for a one-tonne ute you also have a passion for a full-sized pick-up," Gupta said.
But he is light on detail and said nothing is confirmed, either on right-hand drive or a date for potential sales in Australia.
"We don't give the timing," he said.