Our huge appetite for equally huge utes hasn’t gone unnoticed internationally, and Nissan all-but confirmed a Titan launch in Australia was not a matter of if, but when.
Buoyed by record sales in the USA, where the new-gen Titan shifted a record 52,924 units last year (up an impressive 141.9 per cent), Nissan’s executive team is now actively investigating other markets it believes could prove equally successful for the full-size pickup.
And Australia, where converted left-hand-drive Titan models sold through importers are fetching six-figure sums, is at the top of its wish list.
“We are seeing significant evolution in the full-size pick-up market. In the US, we never anticipated that within eight months of launching the last version, we’d already be at three-per-cent market share,” said Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s global vice president of LCVs.
“We are growing there, month over month… and we see the other markets that also have an appetite for a full-size pick-up.
“The question is, when we will be able to do it? And the answer to that is, we are able to do it for Australia, because we have Thailand and the UK as right-hand-drive markets. So from a business point of view, it makes sense.
“Now the challenge we are facing in doing the study for Australia is that Thailand is not yet matured to accept a full-size pick-up, and neither is the UK.
“We are studying it, but we are not ready yet.“
At almost 5.8m long and more than two-metres wide, the American-spec Titan is powered by either a 5.0-litre turbo-diesel, or a thumping 5.6-litre petrol engine, both of which are V8s. It also serves up maximum towing capacity of around 5.2 tonnes, and a maximum payload capacity of around 900kg, depending on the configuration.
Speaking at the local launch of the updated Nissan Navara, Mr Gupta told CarsGuide the Titan would make its way Down Under, it was simply a matter of how soon it would happen, even hinting that he would like to see the current-generation launched locally.
“For us to to convert left-hand drive to right-hand drive is not a big technical challenge, it is just a question of market size,” he said.
“If Thailand and the UK were following, we would have already gone for it very quickly. We're just waiting for the right space. We are seeing very significantly that it will change. Markets are going more toward the lifestyle off-road.
“It’s going to change. How fast it’s going to change, we can’t predict.”
This article originally appeared on CarsGuide.