Nissan Titan Set to Leave Canadian Market
The saga of the Nissan Titan will come to an end in Canada next year, with the recently refreshed full-size pickup and its tweener XD sibling leaving that market after 2021 as the automaker changes course on a global scale.
Nissan Canada confirmed the discontinuation to TTAC on Thursday, claiming the automaker, as part of its new four-year plan, will focus more closely on its core strengths. Refreshed for 2020, the Titan line has recently seen a decline in the number of build configurations offered, as well as vehicles sold, making the model’s vanishing act a seeming inevitability.
“The Nissan TITAN pickup truck will not be sold in Canada beyond model year 2021,” said Jennifer McCarthy, Nissan Canada Product Communications Manager, in an email.
“We will focus our resources on existing core models in our crossover and sedan portfolios. Our resources are also being directed to support the market launch of vehicles like the all-new Rogue and Versa which go on sale later this year, as well as the all-new Ariya electric crossover and all-new Frontier mid-size pickup truck, which arrive in Canadian showrooms next year.”
Under the near-term plan released in May, Nissan, reeling from a global sales slump even before the pandemic hit, will streamline its operations, cutting manufacturing capacity by 20 percent and culling the number of models offered. The automaker said it plans to reduce its global lineup from 69 models to less than 55, all the while introducing new stock in the key markets of North America, China, and Japan.
Facing overwhelming competition from the Detroit Three, the Titan struggled in the full-size pickup market ever since its debut. For the current generation, arriving for model year 2016, Nissan sought market penetration with two models, three cab styles, and a wide variety of packages designed to cast a wide net among pickup buyers. As Nissan’s fortunes fell, so too did the Titan’s. Despite the addition of the almost-three-quarter-ton Titan XD, initially offered with an optional Cummins 5.0-liter diesel V8, volume declined.
For 2020, low-volume build configurations fell away, as did the diesel engine. In Canada, the newly powerful (and slightly more fuel efficient) 2020 Titan is offered only as a 4×4 crew cab with 5.5-foot box. A similar lack of choice greets Titan XD buyers.
As stated by Automotive News, the Titan family captured just 1.2 percent of the full-size pickup segment in the U.S. through June, but the take rate is even slimmer north of the border — around half of one percent. It was stronger, albeit slightly, before Nissan embarked on an incentives-slashing campaign designed to shore up its flagging finances.
Last year, Nissan Canada moved 2,807 Titans, a 48.4 percent decline from a year prior. The first half of 2020 saw a 53.9-percent drop. Don’t get the idea that Canadians shy away from pickups, however — full-size trucks are now the country’s top vehicle segment, representing 22.5 percent of all new vehicle sales in the first half of the year.
While Nissan’s decision leaves Canadian pickup customers with only the midsize Frontier after next year, the automaker’s U.S. arm does not plan to vacate the full-size field. The Canton, Mississippi-built Titan will continue to exist in that market.
“TITAN was refreshed for the 2020 model year and offers the most standard power, safety features and technology in its class, and it remains an important part of Nissan’s U.S. product lineup,” said Kevin Raftery, Nissan North America’s communication specialist in charge of SUVs, trucks, and commercial vehicles. “TITAN will continue to be sold in the U.S. beyond model year 2021.”
In the U.S., Titan sales declined 32.3 percent in the first half of the year, with 2019 showing a drop of 37.5 percent.