Japan Giants Aim to Be Big in Pickups
Today at Nissan dealers in 17 cities across the US, the carmaker's first full-size pick-up truck, the Titan, goes on sale. The vehicle - one of the largest pick-ups ever built - comes with a 5.6-litre, V8 engine and, as Car and Driver magazine puts it, "enough fake chrome on its nose to outfit a Roppongi sushi bar".
The Titan marks a bold move by Nissan into one of the last redoubts of the Detroit carmakers. Pick-up trucks, the essence of the rugged American outdoors, have been the domain of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler since Ford built a pick-up version of its legendary Model T in the early 1900s.
Ford sold 800,000 of its F-150 pick-ups last year, making it the bestselling vehicle in the world, as well as Ford's most profitable. Every year about 2.2m large pick-ups are sold in the US, with GM's Chevrolet Silverado and Chrysler's Dodge Ram brands among top sellers. Small and medium-sized pick-ups are also sold.
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