As Nissan exits full-size trucks, it considers a new segment


Nissan Motor Co. plans to ditch the full-size pickup market after failing to gain traction in the Detroit-dominated segment. The Japanese automaker could pull the plug on its low-volume full-size Titan pickup as soon as this year, Automotive News reported last summer.

“There’s no plan engineering’s working on for replacing it, updating it,” a source briefed on the matter said at the time. “It’s dead.”

But Nissan Dealer Advisory Board Chairman Tyler Slade thinks giving up the segment is a terrible idea. Full-size trucks drive revenue and profits to the service and parts business, said Slade, operating partner at Tim Dahle Nissan Southtowne in suburban Salt Lake City.

A full-size pickup offers an upgrade path to Nissan’s Frontier pickup customers who need more capability.

Having products in multiple segments is essential for commercial customers. Businesses “prefer to source their fleets from the same brand for maintenance reasons,” Slade said.

But while Nissan appears ready to walk away from one truck segment, it hopes to carve a niche in a new market corner.

Nissan is said to be exploring a lightweight electric pickup for the U.S.

Dealers are asking for a midsize electric pickup, Slade said.

“The Frontier Hardbody has been a part of Nissan’s brand for decades,” he said. “It’s logical to bring an electric version.”

Chatter about a Nissan electric pickup comes as segment leaders — General Motors and Ford — electrify their iconic pickup marques.

While electric trucks might fall short in range and towing capability compared to their gasoline-powered cousins, they offer an attractive benefit.

“Trucks typically get the worst gas mileage,” Slade said. “So, making them electric will reduce operating costs.”