Nissan may dump heavy-duty pickup program Citing a 'risky business case', Nissan has suspended development of a heavy-duty pickup truck larger than the Titan. By RICK KRANZ | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS AutoWeek | Updated: 03/12/07, 2:30 pm et GENEVA - Nissan Motor Co. has suspended development of its heavy-duty pickup and may scrap the program. It also will abandon some of its body-on-frame SUVs, replacing them with lighter, more fuel-efficient crossovers when those SUVs are scheduled to be replaced. The Infiniti QX56 and the Nissan Pathfinder and Armada use body-on-frame construction. "Not all but part of the SUVs are going to shift to monoque, unibody," Carlos Tavares, Nissan's product development boss, said in an interview at the auto show here. No timetable was given. "We suspended our heavy-duty truck program because, from a business perspective, we thought that the risk was too high," Tavares said. Sales of heavy-duty versions of the next-generation Titan truck platform were to begin in 2009 or 2010. Three-quarter and one-ton models were slated, say supplier sources. A heavy-duty pickup requires a dedicated frame, suspension and transmission to handle higher weight loads, Tavares said. A diesel engine would be mandatory. "If the market is so-so, you could lose a lot of money," he said. "There are a lot of places in the world where we can spend our money." Maybe, Tavares said, "we don't have to do that one." No timetable was given for a decision. Toyota had been expected to launch a heavy-duty pickup in 2009, using a vehicle developed by its Hino Motors Ltd. affiliate. But suppliers say the project has been halted indefinitely.