Nissan reportedly to build diesel pickup trucks

2013 Nissan Titan

 (© 2012 Nissan)

Cummins Inc. plans to disclose on Tuesday an agreement to supply Nissan Motor with a diesel engine for its Titan pickup trucks, people familiar with the matter said.

The Columbus, Ind.-based company earlier said it would announce a job-creating engine project. A spokeswoman for the company declined to provide details.

Cummins currently supplies diesel engines for some Chrysler Group LLC pickup trucks.

Nissan last year sold 21,576 Titan full-size pickups in the U.S. and a handful in Canada and the Middle East. The truck has struggled against models from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, which dominate the full-size pickup market. In 2012, the Detroit companies sold just over 1.5 million full-size pickups in the U.S.

The decision to use a Cummins diesel engine in the Titan line comes a few months after Nissan hired former Chrysler Ram brand chief Fred Diaz to be Nissan's U.S. sales chief.

The deal also marks a new effort by Nissan to expand in the truck market. In early 2008, Nissan had said Chrysler would let it buy its RAM truck platform for the next version of the Titan in exchange for allowing Chrysler to use a compact car design. However, that agreement fell apart when Chrysler slid toward bankruptcy.

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