Ram has used Cummins engines in its heavy duty trucks since 1989, and it is the only pickup truck brand to use products from the Indiana-based engine maker. With the announcement that the next Nissan Titan will also use a Cummins powerplant, and a Nissan spokesman having already said "We will definitely leverage the Cummins brand name," a piece in Automotive News wonders whether the deal will affect the way Ram markets its tie-up with Cummins.

The question really is, how intense is this competition? While it is the first time that trucks from two different brands have used Cummins engines, they'll be two different engines in two different kinds of trucks; Nissan is going to put a 5.0-liter turbodiesel in a non-heavy-duty Titan, Ram only uses its 6.7-liter, inline six-cylinder turbodiesel in heavy-duty offerings. The diesel that Ram will offer in its light-duty, half-ton 1500 is a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque - compared to about 300 hp and 550 lb-ft expected from the Titan's Cummins - and its marketing so far has focused on the fuel economy gains.

If Nissan was going to prove its commitment to the segment, it had to do something compelling. If we're talking about sales competition between Ram and Nissan, Ram has sold 201,633 trucks as of July this year, up 24.2 percent, 31,314 of those sales coming last month; Nissan has sold 10,020 Titans through the end of July, down 21.1 percent, and just 1,168 in July itself. Nissan's new truck boss - who hopped there from Ram - said that buyers have asked for a powerful turbodiesel in something other than a heavy duty pickup, and from what we've read on various comment boards, the pickup truck crowd is excited about Nissan's move.

As to what Ram might do in response, the only comment provided by a company spokesman was, "People buy heavy-duty trucks for their capability, and that's what we deliver." Have a say yourself in our unscientific poll below.

Will Nissan's use of Cummins diesel engines cause problems for Ram?
Yes, I think so. 2609 (38.4%)
No, I don't see why it should. 3583 (52.7%)
I have no idea. 606 (8.9%)


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  • 62 Comments
      Brewman15
      • 1 Year Ago
      Personally, I think the V8 diesel in the Titan is a bit of an overkill. Now, I will admit I am biased as a Mopar guy, but the V6 diesel in the Ram seems to be the right size for towing and hauling in a half-ton pick-up while getting good fuel economy. The Titan on the other hand seems like the engine will be putting out power figures that would allow hauling and towing way outside what the chassis, suspension, and brakes could handle. If you need that much torque why aren't you looking at a 3/4 or 1-ton truck anyways?
        car-a-holic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brewman15
        Well ford does think 11,300 lbs in a half ton is quite fine. That is also quite clearly 3/4 ton territory. Gotta love that 11k trailer driving that PU around a corner while braking...EH?
        Sanchez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brewman15
        There is no V6 diesel available in the Ram. It's an I6.
          Brewman15
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sanchez
          Actually, there is both. I guess I didn't clearly state in my original post. I meant the new 3.0L V6 Ecodiesel in the Ram 1500. I wasn't talking about the Cummins ISB in the 2500/3500 Rams.
        macutty
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brewman15
        How do you know what the chassis suspension and brakes are going to be on a truck that isn't scheduled to be released for another 18 months? I see a lot of fans commenting out of insecurity..."its too much power for the frame" and "it cant compete with a 1 tonne" and "import trucks suck". All these comments have one thing in common: they lack any credible evidence or facts. Just fanbois dissing the competitor that at least for now seems to be poised to embarrass them in the power rankings of half tonnes.
      Gordon Chen
      • 1 Year Ago
      Doesn't this stuff happen all the time? Definitely won't hurt anything. People don't buy trucks for their engine anyway. It's the entire package they are shopping for.
        car-a-holic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        You are correct. Ford alone must offer thousands (if not maybe a million possible) variations of its F150. Sales prove response is well received.
        FutureDoc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        You assume buyers are educated... otherwise the "HEMI" marketing campaign would not work.
        mdrieling
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        When the package is relatively the same the durability of an engine does matter. When I bought my diesel I knew that I needed the motor to last a long time (to recoup the cost). With a newcomer to the market using a well established brand comforts people. Most manufacturers at one time or another have used another companies motor (Powerstroke = Navistar (until 2010); Duramax = GM&Izuzu) to build confidence. All three diesels have relatively the same towing ability, same interiors, so it comes down to motor and transmission. That is what matters when towing (at least to me).
      RCinAZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      I researched the Titan extensively (and test drove a few) before buying my Ram - diesel option wouldn't have swayed me regardless because Ram didn't have a diesel in the 1500 yet, but Nissan is going to need more than a Cummins engine to compete. Good looking trucks for sure, but a lack of trim level selection has really hurt them.
      car-a-holic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh by the way... GM had a ready to drop diesel motor before the 2008 eco-implosion. Just give them........ see that it probably already just happened!
      Street King
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its not going to be very successful at all. First reason is import trucks ...uhh, suck. Their frames, bodies and suspensions haven't been up to snuff, and now seeing as this will have 350lb-ft of torque LESS than the HD Ram Cummins and only 80 more than the Ram 1500 diesel it falls somewhere in the middle with regards to power, but WAY behind in regards to everything else. I just don't see this thing being very successful at all, sorry.
        vince
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Street King
        Terrible math skills on display here...
        Joe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Street King
        Not an import, built in Mississippi.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      itguy08
      • 1 Year Ago
      "As to what Ram might do in response, the only comment provided by a company spokesman was, "People buy heavy-duty trucks for their capability, and that's what we deliver." Have a say yourself in our unscientific poll below." Then why do people buy Ram? They are by far the least capable trucks of the big 3.
      Walt
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Titan will generate some buzz, but once Ford and Chevy introduce their half-ton diesel engines, they'll fade into obscurity and be discontinued along with the Tundra.
        macutty
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Walt
        except only Ram is going to release a half tonne diesel and only in a V6. The Big Three dont want to make their half tonnes too powerful or capable because there is far more profit margin on the 3/4 and 1 tonne models. Same reason they wont introduce utes and many small trucks available globally. There's margin in the half tonnes. And same reason we dont get most of the wagons produced globally: too much margin in the SUV/CUV's. It's funny to watch all the fanbois clamor to defend the domestic manufacturers that limit their choice so they can be raped for overpriced vehicles. Merica!!! Fack Ya!!!
      car-a-holic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nissan has not been a serious contender in the full size truck market, lately or ever. Theres many Nissan machines that I would buy;none of which are a truck. Now the drivetrain will be the only competitive point? The big three own that crowd, that market and defend it as well the BMW defends the 3 series territory. "Johnny come lately" will still be several year years behind Ford, GM and RAM (just like the Tundra). Ask Toyota how hard its been.......
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @car-a-holic
        When the titan first came out it was highly competitive. The problem comes from Nissan completely forgeting about the truck. It hasn't has any real updates since 2004. I honestly can't believe how far south they've gone considering how aggressive they were from the get go.
        Sanchez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @car-a-holic
        This relates to the next generation Titan, so all of your assumptions will be moot if Nissan addresses concerns. As referenced in another comment, Titan was quite competitive at launch, although volume was always going to limited vs. domestics due to it offering only high-level trims, one engine and fewer cab/body styles. Finally, remember also that Nissan was at one time working with Chrysler to offer a Ram-based truck - a deal that quickly ended when Fiat bought Chrysler. Nissan lost years of development timing to that ill-fated deal. That's the risk you take tying up operations with competitors...so, here they are with a ten year old Titan. The question is...will they get it right this time and will they target more of the market? A good diesel is a step on the path toward being taken seriously.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @car-a-holic
        Most of the non competitiveness comes from perception that isn't really all that accurate. That's not to say the import trucks are class leading by any means, but when it comes down to it all the full sizers on the market will do the same things. It comes down to personal preference, features, styling, etc. People say it's not a contender, but can't really point out a thing that truck A can do that truck B can't. Their only real knock is fuel economy. The Tundra has the power to compete but they need a little more refined powerplant with improved fuel economy. And I'm sure the Titan will get a bump in power. Sure they don't have the same amount of configurations as trim levels, especially when compared to Ford. But when you sell as many trucks as Ford, it makes sense to have models that appeal to all different types. Whereas with the imports, they kinda have to pick and choose what will appeal to the most people with a few different configurations. For all the people who say how uncompetitive they are, at the end of the day most of those still wouldn't buy them even if Toyota or Nissan released a truck that was class leading in features, horsepower, fuel economy, reliability, good styling, and price.
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jtav2002
          You're right that a lot of people won't buy a Nissan or Toyota full size truck, even if they are objectively equal to the other 3. That's why Nissan and Toyota need to show that their trucks are clearly better in some way. They have failed to do that. You (a Titan owner) think Nissan's truck is equal to the others -- but it's not. It has limited drivetrain options, cab configurations, terrible fuel mileage, high starting price, outdated... When you're the newcomer (or humble journeyman, in Nissan's case), equal isn't good enough to get many sales.
      Hazdaz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its a smart move for Nissan. They need to do something, and using a well-known name like Cummings can only help them. Plus, because they plan on using it in a non-Heavy Duty truck, I could definitely see Nissan salesmen tell prospective buyers that "yeah, the engine in this Nissan is also being used in the heavy duty Dodge Ram truck" (even if its not the same engine).
      SquareFour
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've been waiting for someone to make this sort of move (a diesel in a half-ton), and while Ram (better known as Dodge) was 1st, Nissan may have just trumped them; but realistically, the only company the diesel Titan is gonna hurt is Toyota. Seems like the product planners over at Toyota really whiffed it here, but then again, Toyota is incredibly talented at keeping things under wraps. Could be something big is on the horizon and the latest cosmetic-only refresh of the Tundra is actually indicative of that. Could also be that Toyota is allocating resources to sporty offerings now and are content to let the Tundra wither and lose market share. Anyway, good move Nissan. I hope it pays off for them. As ancient as it is (relatively speaking), the current Titan is still a damn good pickup.
      Radioactive Flea
      • 1 Year Ago
      It’s a Nissan truck. Does anyone really care?
        paqza
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Radioactive Flea
        If it's good, it's worth noting. Dodge was the best minivan when it came out and now I'd frankly drive anything else. Not saying that it's the same with modern pickups, but the truth is Nissan has in its history made decent trucks. Our entire fleet is made up of D22/NP300 and D40 trucks, and they've been rock solid.
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