Hardcore off-road trucks are extremely popular.
They are also extremely profitable.
Nissan has a number of “real” trucks in other markets.
The Nissan Xterra was pulled from the North American market in 2015. Of the many reasons why this happened were dwindling sales due to poor fuel economy, evolving safety regulations, and the move by consumers to light-duty crossovers. The recent past has shown that buyers are once more very interested in true SUVs given the interest in the all-new Ford Bronco, and the ongoing love the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner are getting.
Nissan dealers would love nothing more than to get back in the tough-SUV game. The Xterra was actually a surprise hit for the Japanese when it first launched just over 20 years ago. Tyler Slade, operating partner at Tim Dahle Nissan Southtowne in suburban Salt Lake City, told Automotive News (subscription required): “The rugged body-on-frame utility segment is on fire, and we’re missing out on key business for the brand.”
The Nissan National Dealer Advisory Board communicated their desire for the return of an Xterra to Nissan Motor Co. COO Ashwani Gupta, the company’s No. 2 executive globally, however, he was noncommittal about the SUV’s return.
Elsewhere in the world, Nissan sells the Terra which looks exactly like what an Xterra would look like had its design evolved over the last seven years or so. For the moment, there seems to be no indication that Nissan will revive the Xterra. Despite the success of the Wrangler and Bronco, they wonder if there’s room for a third player on the market.