Ford will certainly agree.
The all-new Nissan Frontier midsize truck is a big deal for the automaker. Its predecessor was sold relatively unchanged for 16 years. And just as that new Frontier hits the market, the Japanese automaker is already having discussions about adding another new truck to its lineup. Only this time Nissan is thinking small. Automotive News reports the carmaker is studying a proposed business model for a new compact and electrified truck. In other words, a Ford Maverick rival.
A Nissan official did admit they "could see [a Maverick rival] coming. The pickup area is kind of interesting. There will be a consumer that's looking more for a lifestyle vehicle that they can put all their gear in and go off-roading."
The phenomenal pre-order Maverick success Ford is experiencing clearly has Nissan's attention and the success of the so-called "lifestyle truck", the new Hyundai Santa Cruz, shows there's great potential in the segment. Both trucks share platforms with crossovers, meaning they lack the traditional body-on-frame construction. But that's what makes them so appealing. Nissan's case is further advanced thanks to its long history with small pickups, specifically those Datsuns from the 1960s. There's a certain nostalgia there.
Electrification technology, whether it's hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full-blown battery-electric has come a very long way in just the past few years where installing such a system into a small truck is more feasible than ever. Industry analysts also see a small electrified truck as a perfect fit for Nissan, especially as a way to better leverage its overall truck lineup.
The full-size Titan has not been an especially strong seller, which should come as no surprise given the Detroit Three's tight grip on the segment in which Toyota's Tundra is the exception. It seems various Nissan stakeholders are on board with the idea of a new model, too, as the early word from Nissan dealerships is that they're fully on board with a compact electrified truck. It'd fit a growing consumer niche that "own small properties that don't need full-size pickup trucks and are looking for fuel-efficient and costs-effective pickups." Even midsize options like the Frontier are simply too much truck for their daily needs.
Nissan hasn't committed to anything just yet but we have a strong feeling this discussion is far from over.