The Nissan Titan is a tantalising prospect for Australian customers. If demand for right-hand-drive versions of its American rivals – the RAM 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – is anything to go by, there's space in the market for another seriously huge pick-up.
At the tail end of last year, we talked to Nissan Australia's managing director, Stephen Lester, about the obstacles that needed to be overcome in order to bring the Titan to market here with the steering wheel on the correct side.
“This [Premcar partnership] affords us an opportunity to demonstrate just how successful and capable we can be in what would be a potential local conversion of Titan,” he said. “That’s more than likely the way the plan looks if it were to happen – the only way it would happen," he noted.
Well, that was then and, as you might have noticed, things have changed rather markedly in the interim. COVID lockdowns have iced many of Nissan's discussions with Premcar on getting the big ute to these shores.
Wheels spoke to Karla Leach, Nissan’s director of corporate communications, to discover the state of play with the Titan, and it seems that those looking to squeeze one into their garage will just have to exercise a little patience.
"Plans haven't really progressed because of COVID," she admitted. There were still a number of issues that needed to be worked through with Premcar. While the quality of work isn't in doubt, there were still a number of procedures that needed to be established in order to gain head office's endorsement to guarantee a 100 percent consistent standard of safety, durability and capability. When Titan does finally arrive, Nissan wants the right-hand-drive cars to be absolutely indistinguishable in terms of all of these standards from factory left-hookers.
There's certainly no shortage of enthusiasm for the product from the Australian arm.
"We absolutely love it, we think it would work here and we've asked for it," confirmed Leach.
Until we get a clear roadmap out of coronavirus delays, it seems that we may just have to wait. Thrashing out the details in order guarantee a factory-consistent product will take time, but the Titan may well be worth the wait.