Nissan Takes Aim at American Pick-Up Market – Do They Stand a Chance?

For years, the “chicken tax” has been an outdated import tariff imposed by the United States on European vehicle manufacturers of light-duty pick-up trucks.  It’s largely kept BMW and Mercedes and many other producers from making a real competitor to GMC, Chevy, and Ford – the industry leaders of pick-up truck manufacturing. However, in this most recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2016 line-up for Japanese manufacturers – namely Nissan and Toyota – seem to show an increased pressure to beat out their American counterparts in the light-duty department. 

The real question – do they stand a chance of actually doing it? Below we see an older model 2008 Nissan Titan 2WD go head-to-head with a much newer 2012 6.2 L Ford Raptor.  The race, set against the backdrop of a dry lake basin somewhere in Southern California, highlights how Japanese manufacturers have managed to fight their way into the competition.

Battle of the Light-Duty Pick-up – Titan Versus Titan

In the United States, we expect a lot out of our pick-up trucks.  The Ford Raptor is a great example of what happens when industry leaders finally listen to what the consumer demands – fast speeds, great handling, and upgradeable options for a variety of uses.  We want to take our trucks through treacherous mountain passes, deep mud bogs, and still haul out our fellow neighbor when he gets stuck. Can a Nissan Titan really deliver in those departments?  Well, if this is any indication – Nissan is beginning to get close.  And with the new 2016 line-up expected to feature engine improvements for greater handling and performance, perhaps the Ford Raptor now has some serious competition. The new Nissan Titan series has two different frame sizes.

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We’ll consider the premier XD model which is looking to usurp such greats as the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-350.  Those are certainly big shoes to fill in the half-ton truck