Nissan Deathwatch 1 – Nissan Ram to Debut

Well, Nissan has had a good run.  Really they have – the last 5 or 6 years have been great for them.  However, with their announcement yesterday I fear it’s all coming to an end.  The announcement, made jointly by Nissan and Chrysler, involves to parts.  The first part is not so bad – Nissan will supply Chrysler with small cars – built a platform yet to be named.  Supposedly it’s not the Versa platform… so I guess that leaves the Sentra platform.  This small Chrysler will be sold in North America and Europe.  Since Chrysler has complete garbage for small cars, they come away with a huge win there.  Nissan has extra manufacturing capacity for small cars, so they come away with a win as well.

The part that strikes me as ridiculous is the truck side.  Starting in the 2011 model year, Chrysler will be building trucks with the Nissan badge.  Basically a Dodge Ram in hardware, with Nissan sheetmetal and badging.  The current Titan will die, and this new Nissan Ram will replace it.  No word on if Nissan will retain the Titan name, or if they’ll get the Hemi.  I wouldn’t count on the Hemi, as that’s strongly a Chrysler / Dodge brand.

The Titan isn’t so bad

Pickup trucks aren’t my thing… never have been.  But as far as pickup trucks go, the Titan is pretty decent.  Personally I don’t think Nissan needs a full-size truck, but that’s just me.  If they’re not going to build one, going the rebadging route is simply foolish.  Choosing the least reliable truck on the market as your supplier is even more foolish.  Nissan’s reliability reputation has been tested lately, and is faltering compared to how it used to be.  Having a horrificly unreliable truck in the stable isn’t going to help at all.  Few will even realize it’s a Dodge underneath – they just see Nissan on the hood.  Bad truck, bad reputation, bad choice.  If you want to kill the Titan, fine.  But don’t build a Nissan Ram.

Published on April 15, 2008 in Chrysler,Nissan

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