Nissan: Despite a truck glut, Titan gets no more incentives

Nissan has parked a number of unsold Titans in a vacant field next to a driving range near its factory in Canton, Miss. Photo credit: BILL JACKSON
NASHVILLE — Nissan North America will resist putting still more incentives onto its Titan pickup trucks, even though there is a huge unsold supply of them.

Nissan is already offering a cash rebate of $5,000 on 2008 models or 0 percent financing for 60 months.

Al Castignetti, Nissan Division general manager, vows that's enough: "We're not going to play that crazy game. We're holding the line."

Instead, Nissan will launch a truck-oriented TV and print marketing campaign this month to lure more shoppers into showrooms. At the same time, the automaker has slowed factory production in Canton, Miss.

Castignetti thinks the combination of lower output and increased marketing will thin the inventory. But the Titan is a tough sell with gasoline north of $4 a gallon.

As of June 26, Nissan said it had 25,926 unsold Titans in inventory, which amounts to more than a year's supply at June's average selling rate.

Last month, Nissan sold 1,260 Titans, down 71.4 percent from June 2007.

The automaker has parked an unspecified number of them in a vacant field next to an employee driving range near the Canton factory.

Low sales led Nissan to decide this year to halt production of the Titan in 2010 in Canton. For the 2011 model year, Nisan will rely on Chrysler LLC to produce a new Titan in Mexico on the Dodge Ram platform.

Castignetti says the July marketing effort will focus on Nissan's primary truck markets: Texas, Florida, California, the Southeast and the Southwest.

"My dealers aren't telling me not to send them any more trucks," Castignetti says.

"They're saying: 'Just send us more floor traffic.' So that's what we're going to focus on." 

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at lchappell@crain.com

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