We could be in for a big push from Nissan in the manufacturing realm if Vice President of US Sales and Marketing Fred Diaz has anything to say about it. Speaking to the Automotive Press Association recently, Diaz (above) expressed a desire to build some 85 percent of the vehicles Nissan sells to Americans in the US, claiming it will happen "in the very near future." Nissan has already moved to increase exports of its US-built products, and in 2013, it built just over 76 percent of the models it
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.
Toyota might be content to eke out an existence in the fullsize pickup market with its lightly refreshed Tundra, but Nissan looks like it'll be a bit more aggressive with its next-generation Titan. The next Titan will make use of a 5.0-liter, turbodiesel V8 from Cummins, the Japanese company announced at the start of its Nissan 360 industry showcase.
Chrysler is busy shuffling executives around in the wake of Ram head Fred Diaz's departure. The automaker has named Reid Bigland (pictured, right) as Diaz's successor in the role of president and CEO of Ram, though Bigland will continue his duties as the head of US sales and the president and CEO of Chrysler Canada. Bigland first came to Chrysler in 2006 from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, so the guy knows a thing or two about trucks.
Nissan has announced that it has hired Fred Diaz as its new divisional vice president of sales and marketing. With the appointment, Diaz unexpectedly exits his post as president and CEO of Chrysler's Ram brand, a position he has held since 2009 when the brand was created as a separate entity from Dodge. He was also president and CEO of Chrysler de Mexico.
After a rather successful foray with a Red Wings edition of the Ram 1500 last year – some 3,000 units sold – the truck brand is both re-upping its relationship with Detroit's hockey powerhouse and considering expansion into other sport franchises.
Auto enthusiasts often point to the pony car wars as the last bastion of one-upsmanship among Detroit's automakers, but the truth is, the pickup wars are every bit as competitive – if not more so. Auburn Hills keeps a ready eye on what their rivals in Dearborn and Detroit are doing, and vice-versa. Today, that battle is renewed with the introduction of Ram's 2013 Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab lines at the State Fair of Texas. Why a state fair? The Banner State is the perfect battleground for
Chrysler has announced a rash of personnel changes. Ralph Gilles will now serve as the President and CEO of the company's Street and Racing Technology brand, which be responsible for crafting performance products across the various Chrysler camps. The SRT brand will also take charge of the company's various motorsports activities. Gilles will still hold onto his duties as head honcho of exterior and interior design.