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Nissan is struggling with disappointing sales for three models built at its 1-year-old plant in Canton, Miss.

Dealers are having trouble meeting sales projections for the full-sized Titan pickup and Armada SUV. And Nissan already has backed down from aggressive sales projections for its restyled Quest minivan launched last summer.

Nissan committed $1.4 billion to construct a multivehicle assembly plant in Canton to produce the Titan pickup, Quest minivan, Armada SUV and its QX56 Infiniti version, as well as the Altima sedan.

"More marketing is needed," says Jed Connelly, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan North America Inc.

He says Nissan will begin a round of regional advertising for the Titan beginning this month and for the Armada in June.

Up - selectively

Overall, Nissan sales rose 32.8 percent through the first three months of the year compared with 2003. But its Altima sedan - in one of the United States' most competitive and low-margin segments - is carrying the weight.

Nissan launched its first full-sized pickup in December. It predicted sales of 100,000 Titans during its first full year on the market. The Armada went on sale in October with expectations of 40,000 sales in 2004.

In the first quarter, Nissan sold just 14,207 Titans and 7,633 Armadas. When Nissan introduced the Quest in July, executives predicted sales of 80,000 to 85,000 in 2004. But volume has been between 3,000 and 4,000 a month.

The Armada "has the right hardware and pricing, but the name Armada is new to the industry," Connelly says. "You can't overestimate the time it takes to seed a new name in the marketplace."

Swollen inventories

Meanwhile, inventory is piling up for the three Nissan trucks. The company had a 110-day supply of Armadas on April 1, a 97-day supply of Quests and a 95-day supply of Titans.

"We're ramping up on Titan," Connelly says. "Trucks are unlike cars. We like to run a 50-day supply of cars. But we found out days' supply of trucks need to be higher - about 75 days. That's because truck buyers like to see a lot more models."

Nissan says the lower-than-expected factory volumes are not a problem. Canton's total capacity of 400,000 vehicles a year is divided among five products and two brands. Workers there can move from one product to another.

Production of the Quest and Altima are expected to total 250,000 units a year. That leaves 150,000 units of annual production for the three big body-on-frame trucks.

After the launch, Nissan heavily advertised both the Titan and Armada for several weeks, then pulled back.

But the Titan faces powerfully entrenched competition. It is up against the redesigned Ford F series as well as the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram. And Toyota will be in the market soon with a successor to its Tundra full-sized pickup. The Armada competes against the Ford Expediti


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Im sorry but im glad that means that gives GM time to bging out their new truck without fallinh sales before then. I was afriad that gm's truck might slip due to the f-150 and titan but this is good news for gm.
 

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I don't think the Titan is ugly, but instead very brute. Great truck coming from a company who's never built a full-size pickup before. But yes, it's true, they do need more advertising. All the truck advertisements in Dallas (where there's so many fricken pickups!!!) are Ford and GM.
 

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It is easy to see why these three are failures:

1. They are all the ugliest vehicles in their respective classes
2. The Titan and the Armada are woefully inadequate in the ****pit. The quality of materials is horrible and the overall impression is of cheapness.
3. They are competing in an area they know nothing about.
4. Their domestic competition isn't content on allowing this segment to go (unlike the car market) and the buyers of full-sized trucks aren't fooled into thinking that if it is Japanese, it is good.
5. The Titan is profoundly limited in its appeal. It has a narrow product offering and has been introduced with a mentality by Nissan that they know all that they need to know about our truck market. This is the same company that has managed to destroy their compact truck which once was a fairly decent product.
6. The advertising campaign for the Titan followed the failed approach of Infiniti by shedding convention and going with the out of the ordinary. Save for cats, the moving pictures and no sound didn't find a home. The cats were bored after the first showing.

Nissan is offering inferior products in these segments. Big engines and horsepower does not a truck make. Once you sit in a Nissan product you are always reminded how little they spent on the inside.
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Apr 12 2004, 08:12 AM
Nissan is offering inferior products in these segments.  Big engines and horsepower does not a truck make.    Once you sit in a Nissan product you are always reminded how little they spent on the inside.
This on a GM website. How funny. Have you sat in a Silverado lately? At least you know Nissan spent the $$$ to make the mechanical bits good. Makes you wonder where GM spends ANY of its money, sometimes.
 

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thed titan came out in 2003, the silverado has been out sense 1999 with a small facelift last year. the interior has good ergonomics (S?) i drove a GMC uhaul a few weeks ago for about 3 days, i normally drive a nissan sentra, the truck performed better than my nissan which shocked the hell out of me. although ive driven in new GM trucks, and the competition respectivly, i havent driven them for more than mins at a time, until the uhaul. the truck was a long bed and i found it just as easy to park as my car, as long as the space was bigger, it was just as easy to move in there. the handling was great, body roll was nothing like my stepdads '94. im not saying it was perfact, but i can see where the comp. would have a hard time agianst it, i left it wishing my car felt like that, something a person normally wouldnt think about with a truck. also i found the dash to be fine, i could find every button easily and ever single thing was in reach, one thing did make me mad though, they took out the fuse for the fan so it got REALLY hot in there a few times (still cant figure out why the would do it)

still wait until next year and we should be seeing the all new trucks, the interior will be up to standard like the rest of the new GM modles, and hopefully they dont forget to keep moveing forward like everything else.
 

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Originally posted by xellow@Apr 12 2004, 09:57 AM
I think they will catch on adventually...
They said that about the Frontier.

Nissan's trucks, by specs and looks alone, should have by all rational means been chosen above 20-year old vehicles like the S-10.

The Titan has some hefty competition from the new Ford F-150 -- Ford loyalists who have kept that vehicle on top won't likely be hopping over to the Nissan any time soon.

Truck buyers are a lot more brand loyal than sedan or grocery getter buyers. Give them a reason to stay with their brand - even a small one - and they will.

Which is why I think Chevy desperately needs a refreshening of the interior and new tech introduced to its engines if it wants to keep sales high. Give the customers what they want - something to brag about. Sometimes image is everything. No one wants a dowdy rubbermaid interior or a typical engine that falls behind the competition. Offer that hybrid assist tech not just to fleet, and spruce up the interiors, and Chevy should have a new lease for life on its trucks until the redesign in 2007 -- which is too far away for resting on laurels and rebates.
 

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Originally posted by Smilingoat@Apr 12 2004, 09:58 AM
thed titan came out in 2003, the silverado has been out sense 1999 with a small facelift last year. the interior has good ergonomics (S?) i drove a GMC uhaul a few weeks ago for about 3 days, i normally drive a nissan sentra, the truck performed better than my nissan which shocked the hell out of me. although ive driven in new GM trucks, and the competition respectivly, i havent driven them for more than mins at a time, until the uhaul. the truck was a long bed and i found it just as easy to park as my car, as long as the space was bigger, it was just as easy to move in there. the handling was great, body roll was nothing like my stepdads '94. im not saying it was perfact, but i can see where the comp. would have a hard time agianst it, i left it wishing my car felt like that, something a person normally wouldnt think about with a truck. also i found the dash to be fine, i could find every button easily and ever single thing was in reach, one thing did make me mad though, they took out the fuse for the fan so it got REALLY hot in there a few times (still cant figure out why the would do it)

still wait until next year and we should be seeing the all new trucks, the interior will be up to standard like the rest of the new GM modles, and hopefully they dont forget to keep moveing forward like everything else.
Yup the Silverado interior is 5 years older than the Titan (Silverado came out in 1998 as a 99 model). For '05 the Silverado will have 310HP in the 5.3L, more than the Titan 5.6L (305hp) and F-150 5.4L (300hp).
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Apr 12 2004, 07:12 AM
It is easy to see why these three are failures:

1. They are all the ugliest vehicles in their respective classes
2. The Titan and the Armada are woefully inadequate in the ****pit. The quality of materials is horrible and the overall impression is of cheapness.
3. They are competing in an area they know nothing about.
4. Their domestic competition isn't content on allowing this segment to go (unlike the car market) and the buyers of full-sized trucks aren't fooled into thinking that if it is Japanese, it is good.
5. The Titan is profoundly limited in its appeal. It has a narrow product offering and has been introduced with a mentality by Nissan that they know all that they need to know about our truck market. This is the same company that has managed to destroy their compact truck which once was a fairly decent product.
6. The advertising campaign for the Titan followed the failed approach of Infiniti by shedding convention and going with the out of the ordinary. Save for cats, the moving pictures and no sound didn't find a home. The cats were bored after the first showing.

Nissan is offering inferior products in these segments. Big engines and horsepower does not a truck make. Once you sit in a Nissan product you are always reminded how little they spent on the inside.
Well, I can see how the Armada is ugly but the Titan!?! At least it looks proportionate in as a truck...well, to each his own I guess.

"They are competing in an area they know nothing about." Hmm....DUH! That's why they're entering that segment so they can learn! BTW, how'd the ruin the Frontier? It's still a good product and the upcoming one should be great, if not the best.

"Big engines and horsepower does not a truck make. Once you sit in a Nissan product you are always reminded how little they spent on the inside."

I remember a time when trucks were about big engines and horsepower.... BTW, you do know the Silverado has the same cheapness inside? I don't mind it because it's a truck...not a luxury truck.
 

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Not only are the trucks extremely unattractive, but let's face facts, there is nothing more reliable than a domestic truck. I can drive down the street everyday and see a 15-20 year old domestic truck roll by me, most of the time with no excess fumes, or sounding like it is going to blow up. On the other hand virtually every honda, nissan, and many toyotas cars of the same vintage pass by me like they are on the verge of self-destructing. So how are these imports suppossed to sell to someone who's had a silveroda for 15 years with little or no problems? They can't, their product would have to be completely off the scale. A difference of 5hp might make a difference to some self-conscience twit who grew up with corollas in the driveway, but a truck buyer knows that his domestic will take everything he can through at it without a complaint.

I knew the Titans weren't selling, living in Miami people go crazy over any import (it's like a different country down here), and I've barely seen five. I've seen like a hundred Scions though, which is amazing to me, I can't believe so many people want to drive slowly in a ugly looking box. The Aveo is moving reasonably well though, which is good news. <_<
 

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I'm not surprised. I stopped by my local Nissan dealer (who also boycotted our regional auto show!) to check them out in person. :unsure:

He's asking a $3,000 profit above MSRP on these trucks. It's posted on the window sticker! :roflmao:

At the urging of a friend, I went by 2 weeks later...it's down to $2,500+ MSRP! :mrt:

After having a poor experience with a previous Nissan (denied warranty claims), I'm not likely to jump again. :argue:
 

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I think one thing they miscalculated is the fierce brand loyalty that alot of pickup truck owners have. My dad just bought a 04 FX4 F150 even though I myself sell Chevy's I have driven all the competition and the F150 is the best. And even the Nissan interior is better than our trucks. But I don't think anyone is going to beat the 800 lb gorilla of the segment Ford and remember even Dodge at one point had a hell of a time moving trucks. It was mainly Ford and Chevy.
 

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Originally posted by germeezy1@Apr 12 2004, 01:37 PM
...It was mainly Ford and Chevy.
BINGO! You get the prize my man! :afro:

I like Dodge as well. But, you'll never see me owning a foreign truck. I'm a Chevy guy myself. I love the new F-150.

Right now, according to general public perception as a function of advertising, it is:
#1 - F-150 (new platform, great interiors, MT ToY, more to come like Lightning)
#2 - Ram (keeping the model fresh, new V-10 500hp model)
#3 - GM (Once MT ToY, the Silverado needs a desperate overall upgrade!)
#4 - Toyota (new Tundra Full size helped them)
#5 - Nissan (Titan is just Butt-Ugly)
 

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The success of the new F-150 (up nearly 20% over last year) shows that if done right it is possible to win converts in this segment. Dodge is up ~10% on the strength of a marketing campaign alone!

Nissan's problem is advertizing (and the complete lack thereof). Nobody's going to buy the Titan if they've never heard of it!

BTW GM is losing a lot of ground in this segment to Dodge and Ford, even with agressive discounting. They need a new truck NOW since the onslaught will only continue with the full F-150 lineup coming out. Ford would have sold over a million F-150s alone this year if they could build them!

The new extended cab also hasn't done anything for Toyota sales, probably because Ford has taken the quality crown.

...anyone who said the Big Three were doomed in this segment is eating their words right now...
 

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im from texas,its like truck motherland here.. and the fullsize pickup market is a difficult one to crack! nissan/toyota dont have a clue what they are getting into. they are under the impression that because they so successfully broke into the midsize and compact car markets that they can do the same with fullsize trucks. but fact is..

titan , althought i think it looks good.. lacks a single cab option, only 1 engine choice. gives the buyer basicly 2 options where other brands give you single cab, extended, 4 doors, short bed, long bed, dually and lets not forget a performance version (ss, ram srt,for lightning) and handfull of engines to choose from. so this whole thing about "buyer likes to see more inventory", doesnt mean crap when you still only have 2 choices. nissan doesnt bring much to the table for fleet use.

the fullsize truck consumer, is a whole different breed, and is one of the most loyal markets there is. when done with one truck, they're at the same dealership buying the same brand over and over again. there is almost never even a thought of buying another brand, and if so it wont be a foreign one. i overheard and conversation the other day bout the titan.. (yes i posted it before, bit this is new thread) "titans are for sissie boys to go antiquing in, or to impress the people at starbucks.. its not a working man's truck" <- thats the kind of thinking that has to be overcome to crack the fullsize market. nissan and toyota have their hands full.

maybe nissan will have to resort to cash back incentives? ha.. im loving this..
 
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