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With or Without Chrysler, Nissan Truck Production Will Continue

Despite Titan's near-death experience, Nissan intends to keep on trucking.

by on Apr.09, 2009

Better days: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn smiles as he debuts the original Titan pickup truck.

Better days: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn smiles as he debuts the original Titan pickup truck.

Regardless of whether or not Chrysler and Nissan restart shelved plans to swap a small car and a full-size truck with each other, Nissan says it will continue to produce and sell the Titan half-ton pickup.

Last year, the two companies announced that the next-generation Nissan Titan would be built at Chrysler’s Saltillo, Mexico, assembly plant starting in early 2011, based on the Dodge Ram 1500 light-duty pickup. Current Titan production at Nissan’s Canton, Miss., plant was scheduled to end in late 2010, to make room for Nissan’s all-new lineup of light commercial vehicles.

The indefinitely postponed project raised questions about Nissan’s short and long-term plans for the Titan if the Dodge Ram-based version isn’t built.

Click Here to Subscribe to TDB“Our goal is to stay in the full-size market, even if Chrysler doesn’t build the (next-generation) Titan for us,” said Larry Dominique, Nissan North America’s vice president of product and advanced planning, on Wednesday at the New York Auto Show.  “[Light-duty] trucks sell about 1.1 million [units] annually right now. That’s important to us. We could potentially extend Titan production [beyond 2010] to stay in the market.”

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Chrysler Diesel Exhaust Fluid System Previews NOx Reduction Solutions for 2010

Come 2010, new diesel-powered pickups will have to meet tougher emission standards.

by on Mar.19, 2009

Another fluid to worry about in a complicated and expensive system.

Another fluid to worry about in a complicated and expensive emission control system.

It’s been said that heavy-duty pickup truck owners who haul and tow frequently have diesel running through their veins. They crave diesel’s high torque at low rpms and extended driving range between fill-ups. Soon, many will have to think about making pitstops for another fluid: urea.

Urea is the same organic compound found in urine, which has forced drivers (at least most drivers) to pause for bio-breaks ever since the car was invented. It turns out that urea, which is being sold under the more marketable name “diesel exhaust fluid,” is also a chemically efficient way to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions produced by diesel engines.

NOx is a major air pollutant that contributes to smog, asthma, and respiratory and heart diseases. It’s a byproduct of diesel’s high combustion temperatures, which results from the high frictional heat levels created by compressing air in the cylinders to the point where it can ignite diesel fuel without using a spark. This is unlike a gas engine, which uses spark ignition to burn petrol.

Come 2010, all new diesel-powered pickups will have to meet tougher federal diesel emission standards that will reduce allowable nitrogen oxide levels by 90 percent from today and by 96 percent from 1994. (more…)