Nissan announced earlier today that its Titan pickup will get a Cummins turbodiesel in the 2015 calendar year. “We will definitely leverage the Cummins brand name,” said Nissan spokesman Dan Bedore.
Cummins has been the sole supplier of diesel engines for Chrysler’s Ram pickup since 1989 — and the Cummins name is seen as a key reason why many customers buy the truck. The Cummins diesel engine has a reputation for long life, low maintenance and good fuel economy while towing heavy loads.
The Ram with a Cummins diesel is rated at 850 pounds-feet of torque and can tow an industry-best 30,000 pounds. Silver Cummins Turbo Diesel badges are attached to the fenders of Ram trucks with the engine. Chrysler officials would not comment on Nissan’s deal with Cummins or whether the name on a competitor’s truck could hurt Ram’s sales or dilute the brand’s exclusivity.
Ram spokesman Nick Cappa said buyers associate the Cummins engine with ability to tow and haul huge loads. “People buy heavy-duty trucks for their capability, and that’s what we deliver,” he said.
The Cummins engine Chrysler uses in the Ram is a 6.7-liter inline-six, while Nissan’s Cummins diesel is a 5.0-liter V8 based on a different design. Chrysler uses the Cummins engine only in heavy-duty versions of the Ram. Nissan doesn’t offer a heavy-duty version of the Titan, and the Cummins engine will provide greater towing ability and higher fuel economy than the Titan’s gasoline V8.
Later this year, Ram will offer a V6 turbodiesel from VM Motori in the light-duty or 1500 versions of the Ram.