• Apr 16, 2008
We just got off the phone with Frédérique Le Grèves, Nissan's VP of Corporate Communications, and had a chance to ask her some more questions about the Japanese automaker's recently announced partnership with Chrysler LLC. The partnership involves Chrysler building a full-size truck for Nissan at its Saltillo, Mexico plant and Nissan building a small car for Chrysler at its Oppama plant in Japan. While Le Grèves wasn't able to offer many specific details because the car won't arrive until 2010 and the truck a year later in 2011, she did shed some light on a few things.

For one, when asked about what engines the next-gen Titan (we're not sure if Nissan will rename the truck) would use, Le Grèves remarked that partnering with Chrysler would allow Nissan to offer more options to its customers. Thus, the Titan may be powered by not only the company's venerable VK56 V8, but also a selection of engines from Chrysler. She indicated that the partnership would at least give Nissan the opportunity to expand the features, options and configurations it currently offers in the Titan. We also asked how unique the next-gen Titan's design would be compared to the Ram, and were assured it would be 100% recognizable as a Nissan. Based on that, we're expecting more differentiation that we got with Volkswagen's version of Chrysler's minivans, the Routan.

As for the small car, since most of the decisions involving its development will be made by Chrysler, there wasn't too much news from Nissan on it. Since all official commentary on the small car has not specified whether it will be front-wheel-drive or not, we asked if there were at least the possibility that it could be rear-wheel-drive. Being that the Oppama plant currently builds a number of front-wheel-drive vehicles like the Cube, March, Tiida/Versa and Note, one would expect Chrysler's small car to fall in line and be front-wheel-drive as well, but no one's been able to confirm this small point yet.

It appears that we all have to wait for each automaker to get further along on their development of these vehicles before we get any more solid details than this.

Thanks to Mike Levine from Pickuptruck.com for setting up the interview!


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  • 15 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This won't interest most people but I wanted to tell autoblog. I just wanted to say I am happy to see Mrs. Le Grèves' name properly spelled with the accents.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The next Titan or whatever they call it will be a restyled Ram. Just like the Mitsubishi Raider is a restyled Dakota. They can't radically change the Ram's design or engineering for Nissan as the same plant has to build both flavors of the truck for each brand.

      I would expect the Nissan flavor to carry Nissan's own V8. Chrysler's HEMI is a potent brand name that's unique to Chrysler's brands and it won't be shared with anyone else. You can bet Chrysler's 4.7L and other engines will be in the Nissan though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're right --- assuming it is economical for them to continue to manufacture that V8, in the face of lower sales than originally projected, and the lack of need for an Armada.
      • 6 Years Ago
      what would happen to the armada?
        • 6 Years Ago
        They intimated the Armada, QX56, Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra, all of which share components with the Titan believe it or not, would continue on after the Titan is switched over to the Ram platform.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Check all of the Titan sites and you'll see none of use are happy about this. Nissan just gave Toyota a whole new batch of customers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What?

        That is absolutely ridiculous...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lord have mercy. Havent you nuts heard! The HEMI is set to be axed in the next couple of years! And good ridence! The engine was horrible on gas and created a great deal of air pollution!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The titan and armada were nice, but like most Nissan products, full of factory defects especially brakes and with dealers that are especially of no help and do not have the right personnel to fix cars, I doubt Nissan will be as successful as they were in the mid 2000's.

      I am just scared for those that will buy GT-Rs and have to get them serviced at a Nissan Dealer. That is a scary thought (that's the only reason I will not buy one)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Probably the only ChryCo powertrain to make it into the new truck would be the Cummins Turbo Diesel. The Nissan VK is solid enough that I doubt they'd abandon it for the Hemi.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How closely they look to each other really depends on the level of flex manufacturing capability the plant has. The Caliber/Compass/Patriot look markedly different and yet are not just built at the same plant, but on the same line, all mixed together. I would expect a newer plant would have even greater flexibility.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Just as an FYI - The Saltillo plant is not new..they have been making vehicles there for many years. I believe it is where the Mexican Ramchargers were made prior to the Gen III Rams. I agree the vehicles would not need to look THAT similar. Being full frame they could literally put a different body on it (not that they would).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ram truck is nice, one of the few Dodges I like. I never liked Nissan and I wanted to. The new Toyota as well, friend was over today, he is getting around 10 MPG and having tranny problems that he claims is widespread, I dont know... Not that Dodge didnt have their tranny problems. If the 2 team up with Dodge styling and Nissan quality, it could FINALLY make a truck worth looking at.
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