Chrysler and Nissan Considering Vehicle Tie-up
Bloomberg and the Detroit Free Press are reporting that Chrysler LLC and Nissan Motor Company are in discussions to share each other's expertise building small cars and sedans (Nissan's specialty) and pickup trucks (Chrysler's specialty). An agreement between the two auto manufacturers could lead to the exchanging of vehicles and engines with each other.
For over a year it's been reported that Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn has been interested in a tie-up with a U.S. vehicle manufacturer, to split supplier and production costs. Last year Mr. Ghosn held resource sharing discussions with General Motors that didn't pan out.
Nissan introduced the Titan in 2004. It's the only U.S. full size truck with fewer than 100,000 sales a year. Titan sales are about about one-third the volume of its next-biggest rival, Toyota's Tundra.
The Dodge Ram is ranked third in sales, behind Ford's F-Series and GM's Chevrolet Silverado. An all new 2009 Dodge Ram will debut next month at the North American International Auto Show and is expected to go on sale in late 2008.
By the end of 2008, the Nissan Titan will be the oldest full size truck in the segment, with all other models having undergone major revisions or received all new designs. A new Titan is expected for the 2010 model year.
Leveraging production economies of scale, similar to Nissan's agreement with Suzuki to produce the upcoming Equator midsize pickup, leads to speculation that the next Titan could be based on the all new Ram.