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Following the lead of Japan's other two big-time automakers, Toyota and Honda, Nissan has just announced that it too will be cutting truck production to focus on cars. At its Canton, Mississippi plant, Nissan will cut in half the number of shifts for workers assembling Titan pickup trucks and Armada full-size SUVs. On the flip-side, the automaker will add a third shift for production of the Altima mid-size sedan, which should allow it to keep its workers on the job. This move is not surprising, as passenger cars have been outselling their truck brethren handily in these days of record high gasoline prices. Ford, which has a new F-150 set to go on sale shortly, has offered employee pricing for its trucks, while General Motors recently announced that it would be idling four plants that produce trucks and SUVs and may rid itself of the HUMMER brand entirely. Dodge, for its part, is offering cheap gas and big incentives as a ploy to get consumers interested in its pickups. Unfortunately, it's not as easy for our domestic automakers to switch plants from producing trucks to passenger cars as many are older facilities that weren't built with flexible production in mind.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thank the oil speculators for this.

      i don't see how GM, Ford, and Chrysler execs could foresee a 100% rise in oil prices in just over a year.

      As for the flexible plants, Toyota and Nissan don't have to enter into binding contracts with the UAW to produce what, where, and for how long.
        • 7 Years Ago
        So, a 50% rise in gas prices the year or two before apparently wasn't enough to cause them to change their auto/truck offerings.

        The difference between the foreign and domestic car companies is that the foreign ones, for the most part don't rely on truck/suv sales. Where here, the 'big 3' live and die on truck and suv sales, since their huge profit margins helped buoy the union pension/wage crisis.

        One can only wish that now auto makers will be forced by us, the consumer, to bring more efficient engines on all model ranges, regardless of horsepower.

        On the governments end, it would be great to see diesel regs slacked for 5 years so we can get euro engines immediately (they'll be fine now with our ULSD fuel). It would also help the trucking industry (which affects the prices of just about everything) if the price of diesel was pegged to the price of premium gasoline.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Brilliant point to bring up when critics blast the suppossed lack of flexibility of US manufacturing.Powerful unions are killing US productivity.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess when the trucks you build suck, stop building them. Stick to your blandly designed sedans that all the automotive journalists fawn over. Stupid consumers seem to want them anyway. Give me more Camrys and Accords and Altimas and name them all Car Of The Year. I apologize for the sarcasm.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No surprise here. I don't think the Armada and Titan made the impact that Nissan was expecting the US.