Both Nissan and Toyota say they have ceased plans to enter the heavy-duty market.

Nissan says that it plans to suspend, and possibly stop all together, the development of its heavy-duty pickup program, according to a recent Automotive News article. The article also mentions that Nissan will stop production on some of its larger body-on-frame SUVs, including the Pathfinder and Armada, and shift to smaller and more fuel-efficient crossovers when the SUV product cycles end.

According to Automotive News, Nissan's Executive Vice President Carlos Tavares said, “We suspended our heavy-duty truck program because, from a business perspective, we thought that the risk was too high.” By heavy-duty they mean a larger version of the Titan that would compete with three-quarter and 1-ton pickups offered by domestic OEMs. Sales of the now-cancelled heavy-duty Titans, which were to sit on the next-generation Titan platform, was set to begin in 2009 or 2010.

According to Nissan, a heavy-duty pickup requires a dedicated frame, suspension and transmission in order to handle higher weight loads. A diesel engine would be mandatory since the majority of fullsize pickup owners opt for a diesel engine, according to SEMA research. 

Nissan is not the only automaker to cease plans to build a heavy-duty pickup. Toyota was expected to launch a heavy-duty pickup in 2009 using a vehicle developed by its Hino Motors Ltd. affiliate, but that project has been halted indefinitely, according to Automotive News.

Source: “Nissan May Dump Heavy-Duty Pickup,” Automotive News, www.autonews.com.