US: NAIAS shows where the money is – in the trucks image

This year’s edition of the Detroit motor show is as contrasting as ever – with Ford and Honda/Acura revealing dream-like supercars, General Motors complementing its Volt plug-in hybrid with the concept of an affordable electric car and all the automakers playing the strength of the US auto market.

Setting aside all the small, large, fast passenger cars, the end idea is that US customers have reasons to celebrate their renewed love affair with the profit generating segment – pickup trucks. That’s because, for example, next to its GT supercar, Ford was showcasing for the public a 400-plus-horsepower pickup truck – the F-150 Raptor – that looks very suited for a day at the drag strip. And actually most of the pickup trucks on display look better suited at burning rubber than hauling construction equipment or hay.

The all-new F-150 Raptor comes equipped with racing shock absorbers and a 10-speed transmission while just a few feet away, Nissan was also boasting its redesigned Titan pickup, coming also in the XD range-topping declination that makes use of a Cummins V8 diesel that churns out 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque in order to take on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Speaking of the latter, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a refreshed Ram series on display as well – keeping up interest for the company’s best-selling US line.

Big trucks, big SUVs and large crossovers are once more the object of passionate affection of US buyers as the “American way” is getting an unprecedented boost due to the falling price of gasoline.