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.
|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%)|