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Pickup Trucks: Nissan Titan Sales Finally Gain Traction

The Nissan Titan full-size pickup had one of its strongest sales months in its history — going back to its 2003 introduction — posting 7,679 new-truck sales for November. That number sets a sales record for the new-generation Titan that's available in half-ton and heavier-duty Titan XD versions, beating its previous best monthly sales number by several thousand units. Nissan says there are reasons for that.

Nissan's strategyfor this generation of the pickup was to roll out the plus-sized diesel Titan XD first, then roll out the lighter-duty model in key markets such Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Salt Lake City before making it available nationwide. That strategy seems to be working.

"We are pleased with the Titan's performance in November. The momentum in our dealer network is just beginning as we now have the full lineup of trucks available, with the right mix, trained sales personnel, and correct marketing plan to grow. We expect the momentum to continue in December," Billy Hayes, vice president of Nissan North America trucks and light commercial vehicles, said in a statement.

A few factors contributed to this profound boost in monthly sales, including getting the right mix of Titans to dealer lots, educating sales staff about the pickups and providing a selection of Titan trim levels for showroom floors, and two successful ad campaigns.

The lighthearted "No Lazy Horses" commercial pokes fun at traditional pickup advertising messaging and targets younger, less-traditional buyers. Nissan says that ad is paying off. The automaker also offered extra incentives on Titans during its October Truck Month. Finally, Nissan has partnered with the upcoming new "Star Wars" movie, "The Last Jedi,"and Nissan expects that to increase interest in the Titan when the movie debuts Dec. 15.

Only time will tell if Nissan can maintain this momentum or if Titan sales numbers will settle back to normal levels. photos by Evan Sears, Christian Lantry

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