Nissan could be bringing an electrified lightweight pickup to U.S. shores, a new report states. The vehicle would serve two purposes: First, it would maintain Nissan’s truck portfolio as it pulls out of the full-size market and, second, it would expand the company’s offerings in the electric vehicle segment.
The report comes from Automotive News, who spoke with Nissan’s head of global product strategy and product planning, Ivan Espinosa. “One thing you can be sure about is we’re going to keep investing in the truck segment,” Espinosa told AN. “How do we evolve … is the question that we are discussing internally. Eventually, we will have to electrify the truck.”
“They don’t want to be in the Rivian or the Cybertruck space,” Tyler Slade, Nissan’s U.S. dealer board chairman told Automotive News in a separate interview. “They want to be in the affordable $40,000 range.”
However, Nissan is prioritizing the electrification of medium- and full-size SUVs. “The demand for electrification is concentrating today much more on the C-SUV and D-SUV [segments],” Espinoza told AN. “I see trucks a little bit on the later stage,” he continued.
Espinoza also said, “The key here is to read the customer requirements accurately and jump on the wave at the right moment.”
The news comes as Nissan is getting ready to wind down production of the full-size Titan. The pickup is scheduled to for a line stop at its Canton, Mississippi, plant in summer 2024. The original Titan debuted in 2003, and after two decades on the market Nissan was not able to put a sizable dent in the full-size truck segment held by the Big Three.
As part of its electrification plan, Nissan debuted four battery-electric concepts in 2021. One of them, called the Surf-Out, looks like a compact unibody pickup that would fit in nicely alongside the Frontier. With car-based “utes” like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz gaining popularity, Nissan would be wise to look into a segment it once dominated with offerings like the Hardbody.�
Automotive News believes that if it comes to fruition, the electrified pickup could come to market in the early 2030s. Nissan has pledged that all of its new models in key markets introduced in 2030 or later will be electrified.