The clock has officially begun ticking as Chrysler and Nissan begin work on the details surrounding the plans to modify the Dodge Ram architecture to accommodate Nissan’s next-generation Titan. While the truck will not arrive until 2011, Nissan engineers and designers are busy developing detailed specifications that will have to be met by the Chrysler team.
“We’re not doing any of the actual design of the components, Chrysler is responsible for that. We will be responsible for validating that Chrysler actually achieved what we asked them to do,” says Bob Sump, vice president of component engineering for Nissan North America, noting the specifications must be completed and validated by the end of this year. While there was some uncertainty as to whether Nissan would use Chrysler’s HEMI engine in its truck, Chrysler vice chairman Jim Press confirmed the hallmark engine will be tucked under the hood of the Titan.
Nissan’s interior and exterior designs are being finalized by teams at the automaker’s San Diego, CA, studio where design freeze, which is also expected to be complete by the end of the year.
Sump confirms there is “no plan B” if Chrysler and Nissan do not see eye-to-eye on the specification issues: “I am sure Chrysler would give us anything we want, but the question is: If we ask for too much, are they are going to want more money? That will result in the cost of the vehicle going up.”
Nissan and Chrysler have no plans as of yet to extend their truck sharing arrangement to include the Nissan Frontier and Dodge Dakota, according to Sump, who cautions: “everything and anything is on the table.”—KMK