US: automakers prepare the “age of the truck” image

With auto sales on the rise and oil prices falling, carmakers are getting ready to deliver what the US customer wants – a full compliment of pickup trucks in all shapes and sizes, even ones equipped with diesel engines.

The truck market was forecast to be on the verge of extinction immediately after the last Great Recession, since they usually came in just one flavor – full-size with a gasoline V8 engine (diesel V8 for heavy commercial applications). Now, the best-selling and top-profit provider segment is brewing a battle royal: there are all-new or updated introductions from each of the Big Three Detroit automakers and their rivals are not standing still either. Naturally, the most notable introduction is the 2015 Ford F-150, complete with all-aluminum body. They even upped the ante in Detroit’s NAIAS – unveiling the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. In a somewhat similar trend comes the updated Ram 1500 rebel – which has numerous “cosmetic” tweaks to make it more aggressive and off-road capable. Even Japanese automakers now have a worthy contender – the Titan XD, which has been equipped with a Cummins turbo-diesel V8 to blur the lines between “light duty” and “heavy duty” pickups.

The frying pan is being stirred up in the mid-size truck segment as well – thanks to the introduction of the all-new Toyota Tacoma, developed primarily at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The decade-long dominance of the Toyota model is currently being threatened by none other then General Motors – which has decided to make a comeback in the segment with the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon duet.

Via Forbes