Nissan exec: Pickup deal is too good to drop
Brian Carolin: Having Chrysler build Nissan’s next full-sized pickup is “profitable for both parties.”
"The project is progressing," Brian Carolin, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan North America, said of the pickup-sharing plan. "We've signed off on the final styling of the vehicle.
"It's a project that is beneficial to both parties and profitable for both parties."
Nissan Motor Co. was to build a small car in Japan for Chrysler to sell in North America. In turn, Chrysler LLC agreed to build Nissan's next-generation Titan alongside the Dodge Ram pickup, starting in 2011.
But in February, with Chrysler's future uncertain, the automakers temporarily halted the projects.
Nissan is nearing the end of the current Titan's product cycle and is converting the truck's production home in Canton, Miss., into a light-commercial-vehicle factory.
The Titan has struggled against its U.S. rivals: the Ram, Ford F-150 and Chevrolet and GMC pickups. Shortly after the Titan debuted, a new and larger Toyota Tundra followed.
In 2008, the segment collapsed, prompting Nissan to outsource future production of the pickup to Chrysler.
Nissan sold just 34,053 Titans in 2008, down from 65,746 in 2007. Chrysler sold 245,840 Rams in 2008 and 358,295 in 2007.
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