Truck veteran Diaz tinkered with Titan styling

Diaz: Let me show you how ...

Fred Diaz, Nissan's top sales exec in North America, figured he knew a thing or two about full-sized pickups when he joined the company last April. After all, he came from Chrysler, where he had been CEO of Ram.

At the time, Nissan's styling studio was putting the finishing touches on the redesigned Titan, which will be unveiled next January at the Detroit auto show with a turbocharged Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 diesel.

"Within two weeks of me being here, I was chomping at the bit" to see the truck, Diaz said during a recent visit to Automotive News. "When I saw it ... I said: "OK, all right, we've got some good stuff to work with. I think they expected me to be there for about an hour. I ended up crawling through the inside and walking all around the outside of that truck for the better part of 3 1/2 hours."

Diaz admits he "probably hurt a few feelings and stepped on a few toes."

"But as diplomatically as possible," he said, "I made some suggestions on styling cues that I thought would really help the truck look much more bold and rugged. ...I probably asked for the stars and moon, and I couldn't get everything I asked for, but it couldn't hurt to ask."