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Nissan to Price Full-Size Pickup Lower

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Nissan Motor Co.'s first full-size pickup, which goes on sale in the United States next month, will be priced $2,600 to $3,000 less than comparable models from Detroit's Big Three, the Japanese automaker said.

Nissan began production of the Titan pickup at its Canton, Miss., manufacturing facility in October. It is scheduled to reach showrooms the first week of December.

The truck is available in two body styles, a King Cab and larger Crew Cab. The price will range from $22,400 for the base model to nearly $40,000 depending on the trim level and other options, the company said Thursday.

Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models will be available.

Nissan officials said they expect the highest-volume models to sell for between $27,500 and $29,800. The automaker hopes to sell 100,000 Titans in the United States next year.

"We're pricing Titan with realistic MSRPs that we believe will be closer to the actual prices consumers will pay rather than pricing higher with room factored in for heavy incentives and discounting," said Jed Connelly, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan's North American affiliate.

Nissan will compete in a market long dominated by domestic pickups from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge. The first foreign challenger, the Toyota Tundra, entered the mix a few years ago.

In a price comparison, Nissan said the $24,400 base price for its two-wheel drive Titan King Cab SE is between $2,600 and $3,000 less than the MSRP for comparable models from General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group.

That difference does not account for rebates and other discounts offered by the Big Three.

Earlier this week, Ford increased the incentives on its new F-150 pickup, offering more attractive financing rates. Ford also is offering $1,000 to owners of Dodge Ram and Chevrolet Silverado pickups who trade in their vehicles for a new F-150.

The Titan's debut is the final stage in Nissan's attempt to be perceived as a full-line U.S automaker. The Japanese company's Canton plant also produces a revived Quest minivan and its first full-size SUV.

Industry analysts say the Titan's massive proportions _ 9,500 pounds of towing capacity and 5.6-liter V-8 _ and sleek design should ensure Nissan meets its first-year sales target.

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