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Nissan Plant Might Kick It Up a Notch with Heavy-Duty Titan

A heavy-duty Titan with a diesel engine could be in the works for Nissan Motor Co.'s Canton plant. Between 450,000 and 500,000 heavy-duty pickups are built in the U.S. yearly. "It's a significant part of the truck segment and profitable, and it's continuing to grow," said Jed Connelly, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan North America Inc. If a heavy-duty Titan were launched, it would compete against General Motor's Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2,500 and 3,500, Ford's F-250 and F-350 and the heavy-duty Dodge Ram. The role of the company's Canton plant, which has a capacity to build 400,000 vehicles a year, or a timeframe on when the company would launch such a product has not been decided. Having a stake in the heavy-duty segment validates an automaker's presence in the truck segment as a whole, Connelly said. Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, an advocacy group for diesel use, said this year will be the first time in many years four new diesel models are introduced to the U.S. market. The diesel vehicles are the Mercedes E-class sedan, Volkswagen Passat and Toureg and Chrysler Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicle.
 

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Cat and Detroit Diesel don't have pickup truck tie ins with any manufacturer, maybe one of them would be interested in getting aboard with Nissan. Cat does engineer the HEUI system used by Navistar and Ford on the PowerStroke. Perhaps they would have a suitable light truck engine.
 

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* RUMOR * I heard from friends at the Smyrna plant is that CAT has a "light duty" engine that Nissan is interested in. It has the same cool ability to shut down cylinders based on load and gas peddle mash. Turbo of course. And the number being put with it is 2007 ... not sure if that means model year 2007 or available in calendar year 2007 (as a 2008). Power seems to be there with the neighbor hood of 475hp and 675#ft tq. And the ability to get around 27mpg on the highway.

There was also some design issues we crossed while doing some mock up for my straight axle conversion ... the upper spring perches align with in a 1/4" of where they should when a Dodge front axle was put under it ... makes me thing Nissan may go straight axle on the HD.

Only real concern I have is where are they going to get a GOOD tranny to mount up the power ?
 

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mikegronholz said:
Only real concern I have is where are they going to get a GOOD tranny to mount up the power ?
If GM doesn't have them locked up, I'd say they should go to Allison.
 

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If I remember correctly, General Motors owns Detroit Diesel and
Allison transmissions. I think I saw a GMC commercial advertising
one of their trucks with an Allison.

I think Caterpillar would be the most likely choice for Nissan, since
Cummins already has the deal with Dodge, and Detroit is a GM product.

I remember in my youth, working at truck stops, Cat was the engine
that had a reputation for pulling power. If they make one small enough
to go in a pickup now, that would be great. Could you imagine some of
the commercials we could watch on TV about a heavy duty Titan with
a Cat going up against the Dodge with Cummins?

Steve
 
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