Owners of large pickups are among the most loyal to GM, Ford and Chrysler. Nissan hired Diaz, 47, earlier this year after the executive headed Chrysler's Ram brand and Mexican unit.
Toyota, which is readying a revamped Tundra, has no plans to add a diesel powertrain at this time, said Bill Fay, the company's group vice president for U.S. sales, in an interview in San Diego.
Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said fuel efficiency requirements continue to push automakers to consider new, alternative drivetrain solutions.
"By offering a Cummins turbo diesel in the next Titan, Nissan is increasing both performance and fuel efficiency for its truck just as the segment is seeing rapid growth," he said in a statement. "Customer loyalty among truck buyers remains a barrier to brands like Nissan and Toyota, but a 5.0-liter turbo diesel, offering approximately 550 pound-feet of torque, could change truck buyers' consideration list when the next Titan hits showrooms next year."
The diesel engines will be built at a Cummins factory in Columbus, Ind., for installation at Nissan's Canton, Miss., plant. Nissan didn't provide investment figures or say whether additional U.S. manufacturing jobs would result from the project.
Cummins is also based in Columbus, south of Indianapolis. Nissan's North American unit is based near Nashville, Tenn.
Bloomberg contributed to this report