Nissan Titan might have to soldier on longer that org planned
There was a time when it all seemed like a brilliant idea. Nissan was looking for someone to partner with and Chrysler needed extra volume for its truck manufacturing plant in Mexico. The two star crossed lovers struck a pact: Nissan would build a small car for Chrysler in the USA (there was a separate pact for South America) and Nissan would place its own design on the Dodge Ram platform.
Well, just like my purchase of a new beer tonight, things don't always work out the way you'd hope. First Chrysler and Nissan dissolved their plan to sell small car in the USA and now Nissan may be out of luck with the Titan truck.
Not that long ago, Nissan crowed that the final design for the next generation Titan had been signed off and was still on track, but that was before the Fiat deal became final. Nothing is official, but Fiat has not signed off on the plan to make the next generation Nissan Titan.
I still think that the best case scenario for both companies is to continue with the truck deal. Truck sales are still down compared to 2008 levels and a strong rebound isn't in sight. Why would Fiat/Chrysler want to lose volume for its plants? It would be foolish to turn away Nissan's business.
However, the auto industry hasn't always made the best decisions before, so there is a chance that Nissan might be on its own once again. What are its options? Well, it could choose to refresh the Titan's design as a stopgap but that would take time and it would be doubtful that it could make a 2011 deadline. Nissan could also partner up with GM, Ford or Toyota. Although unlikely, the most logical candidate would be Toyota since it has found itself with a lot of extra capacity. It is an unfortunate position for Nissan, but hopefully Fiat and Chrysler will stand behind the original deal.