Nissan Slashes Titan Pickup Truck and NV Van Production Amid Poor Sales

Frontier is a sales success, but NV vans and Titan half-ton trucks are down year-over-year.

Nissan

Facing a slowdown in sales of its NV commercial van and full-size Titan pickup truck, Nissan is reducing production output at its Canton assembly plant in Mississippi starting later this month.

According to a report by Automotive News, Nissan will cut one of the two shifts on Jan. 25, and then cut one of the three shifts that produce Titan and Frontier on Feb 22. 

"When you look at where the market demand is and where we are seeing sales for the next year, particularly on NV and on Titan, we are just trying to make sure our production is aligned," Nissan spokesperson Brian Brockman told Automotive News"

Sales of the Frontier, a truck that hasn't seen a significant refresh since 2004, saw a solid increase in sales in 2017 and 2018. Sales were up 7.1 percent, totaling 79,646 units. Despite that success, Titan sales were down 4.7 percent with 50,459 trucks sold while the NV dropped 5.4 percent to 16,902 units. Automotive News reports that 700 employees could be affected by the output reduction, and it's worth mentioning that Nissan's Canton plant also builds the Murano crossover and Altima midsize sedan.

"We feel with the single-shift pattern on vans and the two-shift pattern on the trucks that we can satisfy the market demand that's there," Brockman added.

The Drive's Kyle Cheromcha recently spent some time in the 2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve, and he lauded the comfortable seats and standard power. Though for the sticker price, he considers the truck underwhelming. Our chief auto critic Lawrence Ulrich recently adventured in Morocco with the Titan and was happy with the raw performance, although value was not discussed.

A few updates have come along for the 2019 model year for Titan, including an all-new infotainment head unit that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a new Fender audio system replaces the old Rockford Fosgate unit. Not a full-blown refresh, but the updates address some of the issues that reviewers and buyers alike have had about with previous models.

Pickup trucks are some of the most competitive vehicles in the United States, and with Ford selling over a million of them globally last year, they have strong motivation to keep putting out better and better products. Is it possible for any manufacturer that isn't the Big 3 to break into the strong full-size truck market with significant success? Only time will tell.