My goodness...While on the Outer Banks I could not swing a dead crab without bumping into a Nissan Titan/Frontier. Seriously...I would put them up at something near 20% or higher of the trucks that I saw down there which is WAY above their national sales averages.
They were being used in all sorts of ways from towing small boats or campers to hauling fishing gear to just being used as general contractor/recreation vehicles.
I was shocked at their numbers and was trying to mull over the reason during my week and 1/2 there and I came up with one major reason: They are the perfect "light duty" vehicles.
If you want to tow a whopping 30 foot center console boat capable of hitting up the gulf stream or pulling a stable full of horses or trailer full of I-beams, you go get yourself something like a Ford F-350 diesel or the like. But...the majority of buyers in the coastal Carolina area are instead hauling surfboards, kiteboarding equipment, small inshore boats, lumber and cedar shingles for houses, etc.---"light duty" demands. There are no farms here, no cattle, no hay, little construction equipment. There is only a single major road so there is no real road repair duty, there are no hills...The major stressors requiring REAL heavy duty trucks are largely absent in Coastal Carolina and thus things like reliability, cost of ownership, adaptability, etc. become more important factors than peak torque, HP and hauling capabilities--attributing to the large number of OLD Toyota trucks present but few new Tundras.
Hopefully Nissan can take this info to heart and generate another generation of Titans and Frontiers as good or better than the current generation and market them more appropriately to the American masses. International buyers know the value of the Frontier already as they scoop up the Navara in droves and if Nissan could market the Nissan and Titan to the vast majority of truck buyers who don't haul a broken down cement truck behind them on a regular basis and simply need a reliable, hard working truck into which they can throw their tools and toys, they could make substantial gains...
And it looks like Nissan may WANT to listen...as evidenced by the recent "Nissan Truck Day" held in Texas and attended by numerous engineers and marketing bigwigs from Nissan, they are serious about continuing and improving upon the Nissan truck lineup. Take a gander at the event and understand that Nissan WANTS the consumers input.