By on June 5, 2011

At the end of May, GM had no fewer than 288,000 pickup trucks sitting on its dealers’ lots (up from 275k in April). With gas prices on a short-term dip, but in the midst of a long-term increase, and with the season of traditional gas price spikes upon us, that could give The General cause for concern. After all, even a short-term spike in gas prices could cause a sharp falloff in truck sales, stranding huge numbers of trucks on dealer lots. But, GM North American boss Mark Reuss tells Bloomberg,

We’re not going to run big incentives to clear inventory. We’ll adjust inventory on a production basis.

That’s good news for GM’s financial position, and a promising sign of a new spirit of responsible pricing. But in an industry as complex as this, even good decisions could have troubling consequences. If GM “adjusts inventory on a production basis,” the “Tier One Gypsies” who fled Orion Township to avoid a 50% pay cut could find their temporary refuge at Flint Truck drying up, as HD pickups are likely the first to undergo “adjustments on a production basis.” And though that’s not explicitly GM’s problem, it could ratchet up the pressure to roll back the two-tier system in the upcoming negotiation session, and generally fire up the UAW’s dissidents and hard-liners. Meanwhile, with CAFE and gas prices converging on Detroit’s BOF bread-and-butter, we’ll be watching for signs of trouble as GM adjusts to the larger issue of likely long-term declines in truck demand.

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51 Comments on “GM: 100 Days Of Truck Inventory Ain’t No Thang...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Thanks to recent CAFE adjustments, there is no scenario that lets GM profit on big trucks. Even if lightning strikes the evil traitor in the oval office and Biden gets religion and allows US oil production to expand, crashing the artificially high oil prices, CAFE means that GM won’t be able to sell big numbers of usefully powerful trucks. They’ll have to price them ‘off scale,’ so that only people who absolutely need a real truck or are on the receiving end of ‘clean energy’ corruption will be able to afford buy one. Otherwise, GM won’t be able to make their corporate fuel economy target.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It isn’t just that. I think more buyers are looking for some finesse under the hood of their half-ton trucks these days. Current engines from Ford are state-of-the-art, like their bi-turbo V6 and their OHC engines. Good stuff! All GM offers truck buyers is dinosaur-era push-rod engines. Those are fine in 3/4-ton and heavier trucks, but the DOHC V8 engines of the Titan and the Tundra set the platinum-standard in the half-ton class. Don’t get me started – I own a magnificent all-aluminum 32-valve DOHC 5.7-liter Tundra engine… and life is good. Hell, it’s grrrrrrreat!!!

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Seriously dude you need start looking past the tunnel-vision USA media brainwashing, and look to a more world-wide array of news and viewpoints. Its all available right there on your computer.
        An open mind is a peaceful accepting one. A closed mind is deceived, defensive and suffering.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I haven’t driven the 5.7 liter Toyota, but I do go to the track with a friend that uses a 4.6 liter Sequoia as a tow vehicle. It does a very good job, even with over 100K miles and a car trailer close to its published limits. Mileage rarely drops out of the teens. On the other hand, I’ve met early Titan adopters who dumped them in less than a year because the mileage was so dramatically terrible when towing heavy loads. They went back to Chevy or Ford, and the Chevy V8s actually get better mileage than Fords while working hard for the most part. I know there are brand new Ford engines, but I also know that every new Ford engine is supposed to have cured the previous ones’ tragic flaws without incorporating new ones. Believe me, I am no potential GM customer. Their pushrod V8s are fantastic engines though. They’re light. They’re smooth. They’re very good on a hp/hr per gram of fuel basis. If I needed a truck I would buy the same one you did, but I wouldn’t buy it for the valve count. I’d buy it for the superior quality.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Hey, I’ve owned a Silverado with a 350 and just recently retired both the Silverado and my 2006 F150 with the 5.4 in favor of the 2011 Tundra DC SR5 5.7 I bought on the 12th of January, this year. I’ll take the Tundra any day. That’s why I bought it. It was the best of the bunch. If people have to worry about mpg they should not buy a truck. The mileage on my Tundra is no better and no worse than on any of my previous trucks. It’s just plain bad. But who cares? I don’t. I’ll pay whatever gas costs now, or later. It’s that simple.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Nissan’s 5.6 liter used in the Titan and Armada is very thirsty and underpowered compared to Toyota or Ford’s new engines. The version of the 5.6 they use in the Infiniti QX56 solves the power problem, but I wonder what the efficiency would be like without the 7 speed tranny. The Titan in general is now a very dated design, but I can’t really fault Nissan for not wanting to invest heavily in a truck that sells in such low volume.

        Toyota’s old 4.6 was a smooth reliable engine, and the new 5.7 has tons of power, but is down on fuel economy compared to (admittedly slightly less powerful) engines from Ford and GM (the new Ford 5.0 and GM’s 5.3). Of course, Ford and GM both offer 6.2 liter V8s in their top end trims that are more powerful than the Toyota 5.7, and only lose 1mpg to it. The new EcoBoost 3.5 has been selling like hotcakes because it feels just as powerful from the driver’s seat as the 6.2 V8 (as it should with the torque curve it has) but gives better fuel economy than the 5.0 V8. Overall the Tundra is a far more compelling truck than the Titan, but it still falls short of Ford and GM’s offerings when you look under the skin at the frame design or when you start getting into nitty gritty details of rear axle availability across various configurations and business use upfit options. The Tundra isn’t a bad truck, and if Toyota addresses the frame issues to reduce flex and axle hop, finds a way to bump fuel economy, and rearranges the dash to make all of the controls easy to reach from the driver’s seat it could be a real competitor to Ford and GM when the next version rolls out.

        CJ –

        The only Ford engine in recent history that I’d say had tragic flaws was the 6.0 Powerstroke. The 6.4 Powerstroke that followed it wasn’t perfect, and came with poor fuel economy due to the aggressive particulate filter burnoff requirements to meet emissions specs, but it was a lot better. The new 6.7 so far seems to be very solid, with far greater fuel economy, quieter operation, and none of the reliability woes, but of course, time will be the ultimate judge. Some of the early 5.4 V8s and 6.8 V10s had spark plug issues, which were all solved in time, but the basic design of the engine and the way the plugs had to be installed did lead to plenty of do-it-yourselfes and untrained technicians causing further engine problems by not following the (admittedly rather exacting) instructions on how to replace the plugs.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Nullo,

        I doubt you even realize when you’re doing it, but just the other day you were describing Ford 3.0 liter V6s of 4 years ago having issues that were supposedly addressed in an extensive revision while also saying, ‘but the new 3.5 and 3.7s are great engines!’ Ford has been at this for over 100 years. You shouldn’t still have to distance the ones they’re making now from the last ones. Do you think Toyota dealers have to do that? I had some sympathy for you in the past, because you do a good job of not personalizing people’s opinions of what you’re selling. At the end of the day though, you’ve got a dirty job that you do with zeal. I pitty your victims.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        CJ –

        I take some offense at the use of ‘victims’. I wouldn’t sell the Ford line if I didn’t believe the products were good. I’m also not trying to sell anything to anyone here.

        With regard to the 3.0 my comments were that the older 3.0 engines (non VVT and to a certain extent the first generation of 3.0s with VVT) were coarse and a bit underpowered. The 2nd gen VVT 3.0s that came out with the ’09 Escape/Mariner/Tribute and then the ’10 Fusion/Milan took a great leap forward in reduction of NVH, seeming willingness to rev, and power curves. The older 3.0s were reliable engines for the most part, they just didn’t feel as smooth, make as much power, or achieve the same levels of fuel economy as did the V6s from Honda and Toyota at the time.

        A big problem Detroit had in the past was releasing a product with flaws, and then never addressing them. One of the reasons that Ford is now considered by many to be in the same range of reliability and quality as Toyota and Honda is that they have chosen to address the flaws in the products and to continually revise them making each new version of the model better than the last.

        At the end of the day, each new engine should be better than the last, so I don’t see what the problem is in pointing that out.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Maybe some people think that the quality gap is being addressed, but the most problematic car is now the Fiesta. That is remarkable, as the last time an econobox had that title it was the Yugo or the first Hyundai Excel. Typically, the worst car on the market is something like the VW Toareg or BMW 7-series. Somehow, Ford has managed to release a product so deeply flawed and badly built that it has more problems than cars of far greater complexity.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The Fiesta is actually incredibly well built, and as far as complexity goes, offers more technology than you find in many larger and more expensive cars.

        Yes, there was a problem with some about the transmissions ground wire or a bad fuel gauge, but those are easily corrected problems and don’t diminish that the car overall is very solid and should have no problem lasting as long with as few problems as any Yaris or Fit.

        To equate a the Fiesta to a Yugo just because one car in a thousand might need to be brought in to have a ground contact improved, a quick and minor adjustment, is hyperbole bordering on libel. Cars have warranties so that minor defects like these can be quickly addressed at no cost to the owner.

        I also wouldn’t call it a dirty job. When someone comes onto my lot looking for a car I find out what there needs and wants are, and show them the best vehicle I have to meet those needs, the same as the guy at the Toyota dealership or VW dealership will do. Do I feel that the Fusion is a superior car to the Camry and would be a better fit for any one of my customers looking for a midsize sedan? Of course, just like the guy at Honda will think the same about the Accord. At the end of the day the customer is going to buy the car that is strongest in what they feel is most important. I can be confident with the Ford lineup because I know it’s built well, I know the reliability is there, and I know the features are there. I don’t have to take advantage of anyone to sell them a Ford – I just show them how it is better than a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc, and hope my pitch works better than the guy at Nissan who is showing how the Altima is better than than the Fusion, Camry, or Accord. It’s not like I’m selling Yugos, anyone who buys a modern Ford has just as great a chance to have an enjoyable and satisfying ownership experience as someone buying a Toyota, GM, Honda, Nissan etc.

        Every one of my customers gets my card with my personal cell phone number on it slipped in with their books. I let them know that they should call me if anything goes wrong with the car and it needs service. Somehow with all of the F-150s I’ve sold, I haven’t been called about sparkplugs. With all of the Fiestas I’ve sold, I haven’t been called about a transmission refusing to shift or a faulty gas gauge. With all of the manual Mustangs I’ve sold, I haven’t been called about a transmission hesitating to go into 2nd, and in fact I even talked to one of my service writers about that and he told me at the time we hadn’t had any customers at all come in with that problem. I have had a guy call me once because while flat towing his ’09 Escape the transmission went out, and another where the headliner in his ’09 Flex was starting to droop and needed to be reglued, as well as a couple minor Sirius and Sync related things that required a software update, but for the hundreds of cars I’ve sold, I’d say that the Ford product is holding up pretty darn well.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Guys, we all have our druthers. I have owned both GM and Ford trucks in the past and I have arrived at the point in my life where I want to buy the best available for my money. IMO Ford makes a better truck than GM. That’s been my experience. But when it came time to put my money where my mouth is I checked them all out and the Tundra 5.7 blows away anything Ford can muster. This is purely subjective, of course. But that’s what it is all about. You buy what works best for you. If Nullo wants to push Ford, that’s OK with me. I owned them before. I would have bought another F150 had the Tundra not blown me away with its ride, handling, smoothness, but most importantly of all, its serenely quiet power. After test-driving a 2010 Tundra and failing to make the deal on my 2006 F150, I had to drive home 90+ miles in my old F150 up US54. I wish I had been driving home in that 2010 Tundra. But my break came in January of this year. They got the 2011 Tundra I wanted, at the price I wanted to pay. No regrets. If you want a run-of-the-mill truck, buy an F150. If you want something with finesse, buy a Tundra, any Tundra. Hey, it’s made in America, don’t you know? BTW, don’t expect good gas mileage. On a recent trip to Littleton, CO, I got overall mileage of 15.73mpg, total roundtrip, all driving included. That was less than 1mpg better than my 2006 F150 5.4 on the same identical trip, when gas cost a lot less.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Yeah those Titans are really screaming off the lots.
        I would guess they run that assy line about 3 days a month based on their retail volume.

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        Nullo: “Nissan’s 5.6 liter used in the Titan and Armada is very thirsty and underpowered compared to Toyota or Ford’s new engines.”

        Nissan’s V8 trucks are definitely thirsty but I wouldn’t jump to blame the motor since everything else is working against it too. With stock 33″ tires, and a short overdrive, and an aggressive approach angle instead of a chin spoiler, and big tow mirrors, and a responsive throttle and transmission that reward getting on it, mileage is going to suck no matter what’s under the hood.

        As far as underpowered, not a chance. Nissan’s V8 gives up past 5K where the spectacular iForce doesn’t but the bottom end is still strong enough to run low 15s. Ford’s 5.0 pulls strong all the way to 6K, claims 45 more paper horses, has the help of a 6 speed box with a much deeper 1st, and still won’t do any better than that.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        The Nissan Armada, and the Titan, are the best-looking cars with that Nissan Motor sells. Pity they’re gas-eating monsters.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “Even if lightning strikes the evil traitor in the oval office … ”

      Really, you have to use inflammatory language like that to make your point?

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    It is amazing how vehicle sales are affected by the gas prices of the day. Short sightedness is a hallmark of our culture. If gas prices fell by $1-$2 per gallon tomorrow, most certainly big pickup sales would turn around tomorrow as well.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      I dunno dude. The last time prices went through the roof, the people who claimed to be smart said we’d be paying 10/gallon by now. There are rumbles to that effect now.

      It might not be short sighted at all to say “Hey, I’m not an expert, and the experts sure seem like they aren’t any better at predicting the future than I am. I guess I should base my car buying decision on my estimate of what fuel prices will be doing over the next 6 months, since that’s all I can reasonably predict. I’ll just have to cope with whatever the future throws at me, or maybe hedge a bit by getting an ecoboost F-150.”

    • 0 avatar
      sushytom

      +1 This amazes me, too. If you need a big truck because you need it for work, that’s one thing. But if sales are affected this much by montly fuel prices, it says that a lot of people are still looking at big trucks for personal transportation and other light duty.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        Trucks are a status symbols for lots of people. The bigger the engine, the bigger the man. Hell, friends will randomly tell me I should get a truck, even though my lifestyle has no use for one and I’m not a fan of driving them.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Toxicroach –

        I have coworkers who tell me the same thing when they see me ogling the new Focus Titaniums. I will say that I do like driving the trucks though, at least the short periods where I do – test drives, too and from the accessory store to get caps put on, or to off-site events. I don’t think I would like having one as much come time to fill up the tank. Plus, the ’08 Taurus and Sable redesigns with the 3.5 liter V6 are starting to pop up pre-owned for pretty reasonable money now, a couple more years and Taurus SHOs and EcoBoost Flexes will be popping up as well, and still, there’s that new Focus and the ST coming out later in the year… I also took around a Buick Lucerne recently that impressed me a bit, low mileage Town Car Cartiers are showing up from time to time as trades, I took in a really peachy Avalon myself last week, and it’s only a matter of time before an orange or purple Challenger with my name on it shows up on the trade line. My problem is I spend too much time around all of this stuff and I end up wanting all of it, but I also appreciate having a minimal or non-existent car payment. Decisions, decisions, decisions…

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Too much inventory and not enough buyers while gas creeps upward in the background. Does anyone really believe the long-term outlook for gasoline prices is down? A practical reason to ditch GMC altogether and move Buick and Cadillac into the same stores. Should have done this during bankruptcy.

  • avatar
    mikey

    As far as laying off people goes,it works like this. Maybe GM figures that the lull in truck sales is short term. So what they do is pull a week or two out of the schedule. It a cheap fix,everybody gets SUB and Unemployment. However slowing the line down from say, 60 jph to maybe 45 is a logistical nightmare. To say nothing of the expense.

    @NulloModo +1…Great job of defending yourself.

    @highdesertcat….Your spend your cash anyway you want. The F 150 and the Silverado and to some degree the Ram are the choice of the folks that really do know what thier talking about. Just look at the sales figures.

    Toyota made one of thier rare mistakes thinking they could play trucks with the big boys.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Mikey, your bias against the foreign brands comes through loud and clear. I have owned GM and Ford trucks in the past, as have many other people who have since switched to a Toyota or Nissan product. Unlike you, I don’t push any brand, or any country, but choose to look at everything that’s out there before I buy. Then I buy what’s best IMO. The F150 remains the best selling truck in America. It’s a good truck. I have owned them before. I have owned Silverado before. Now I own two Toyota products, a 2008 Highlander Limited AWD and a 2011 Tundra DC SR5 5.7. I own them because I chose to buy them. I chose to buy them because, after comparisons, these two products were clearly superior to everything else out there. I urge everyone looking to buy a new car or truck to look around at everything that’s available out there and then decide for yourself. If more people could afford the premium you have to pay for Toyota products, more people would buy them. If you are shopping price, buy anything Chrysler. They are the price leaders. Next comes GM. If you want something decent, buy Ford. If you want something truly great, buy anything foreign. The foreigners have the largest market share in the US. The reason is that their products have been consistently better than the domestics, over decades. That’s why GM and Chrysler died. That’s why Ford is hocked up to its Blue Oval. They couldn’t sell enough of their second-rate products to make ends meet. I experienced them first hand! Look at the hard facts of the real world. The US auto industry is in a major shake out. Things will be completely different by the time all the shaking is done. Chrysler is not even an American company. That’s why no one except you brings them up. Chrysler in America is now Fiatsler, run from Italy, just like Toyota in America is run from Japan. Give it a rest, man.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ Your telling ME to give it a rest?…Forget it, I don’t want to get into trouble with TTAC. Its Sunday afternoon, the sun is warm and the beer is cold.

        Have a good day.

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        When it comes to Trucks the market has spoken.

        The perception is that the US builds better full size trucks than the Japanese.

        Not sure I agree, but most of the truly “work” trucks seem to be domestic brands even here on the west coast where import cars abound.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Brit, I’m sure you are right, and more people who buy trucks choose to buy the domestic brand trucks. I have no problem with that. I have owned them myself. It is the cache factor that I have come to appreciate, and the fine engineering. If you drive up in an F150 or Silverado, no one takes notice. But I have noticed myself that if I drive up in my Tundra, EVERYBODY sits up and takes notice. No kidding! It’s like having your choice of a Timex watch and a Rolex Oyster. They both do the job. But if given a choice I’ll take door number three please, the Rolex, with all the refinement, bling and glitz. Certain people on these comments boards do not allow for individual choices if it does not match theirs. I believe that people should buy what works best for them. I buy what works best for me, and I do it after much evaluation and forethought, something that the Buy American zealots do not want us to do. And since I have owned both GM and Ford trucks in the past, I base my buying on what I think is best at the time that I’m buying it. Maybe that will change when I get ready to trade my current vehicles, although I am eager to find out how Ford and GM can improve on what I have now. Maybe an all-aluminum 6.2, 32-valve DOHC with twin turbos and an eight-speed, double clutch automatic, with shift paddles?

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Highdesertcat –

        I can see the appeal of buying something different just because it’s different. The ubiquity of Camrys and Corollas are good reasons in my mind not to buy either – who wants to have the same thing that everyone else has?

        The Tundra has some nice features, and really, at the end of the day, you’re the one making the payments, so you should drive what works for you. When the new Tundra came out it was certainly a major leap forward in terms of interior and exterior style as well as engine power compared to the Ford and GM trucks available at the time. The ’09 redesign on the F-150 did a lot to address the interior concerns of the previous model, and the new engines in ’11 combined with other tweaks like the electric power steering took the truck up to a whole new level. I still think the styling on the Tundra is handsome, and the interior sort of has a big sedan feel to it that I could see being appealing.

        From an engineering standpoint the Ford and GM trucks are built to a heavier duty standard, and since the same frames and ‘bones’ so to speak are used on every model from the XL workman’s special to the oil baronesque Ford Platinum and GM Denali models every one of them is built to take a ton of abuse and be used at or beyond the stated payload/tow limits for many years. Those heavier duty frames and super-stiff springs also lend a rougher more truck-like ride compared to the Tundra or the new coil-spring Ram, and of your needs and use don’t include towing 10,000 lbs or putting 3,000 lbs in the bed with any kind of regularity, it might be the smart trade off to choose the truck that drives a bit more car-like.

        From what you’ve said you bought before the EcoBoost model hit the lots, so when it comes time to trade again, do yourself a favor and drive one of those trucks, you’ll forget all about the big 6.2 liter V8. Fuel economy might not be a big deal for you, but I’ve never met anyone who wouldn’t be happy to save a few bucks if it didn’t mean giving up any of the power or capability.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Nullo, I have a brother in the business who, along with several partners, sells a multitude of both domestic and foreign brands on six lots in three different states, in partnership with the largest automotive retailer in the nation. I get a lot of good feedback on the industry from him. Interestingly enough, I have never bought from him. Call it respect for an older brother, or maybe just not wanting it to appear that I’m looking for a hand out from him. Maybe I just don’t want to owe him any favors.

        This time around I chose to buy a Tundra not because it was different but because it was better IMO. If you are in the business you know about that seat-of-the-pants feeling that compels a person to buy that particular new car or truck without suffering buyers remorse. And so it was with me. Until I test drove a 2010 Tundra I never experienced the confidently smooth, quiet power that a Tundra serves in mass quantity (and I have a lead foot!)

        The next time around, we’ll look at everything that’s out there, both when we get ready to trade my wife’s Jap-built 2008 Highlander Limited AWD in 2013, and when I get ready to trade my 2011 Tundra in 2016. Just like we did before we bought them. We buy what we like best without prejudice to any brand or nation. Most people who compare do that, you know?

        And as far as financing is concerned? I finance through my local credit union and then usually pay it off after 90 days, letting my social security retirement check replenish my share account. This is what works best for me. Plus my wife gets to write off her car because she owns a real estate business and after a five-year depreciation she has to trade because all the deductions are used up.

        I am sure that the extra sturdiness of the F150 and the Silverado mean a lot to some people but what matters to me is that my truck does what I need it to do. Here’s an example. I recently had to haul a 9X14 Haulmark dual-tandem enclosed trailer with a Formula V racecar to Dallas and back for my nephew. This is the same load I used to tow with my 2006 F150 with a 5.4. I made the trip with my Tundra and it had no problem towing this load. I felt much more comfortable towing in the Tundra than in my old F150 and I had more gears to play with up the long grades. Gas mileage was about the same (atrocious!). The load was the same at roughly 8000lbs combined trailer weight with all the spares and the tool boxes, and a tongue load of about 800-1000lbs (depending on the status of the gas cans on the trailer). I used the same Draw-Tite hitch model, modded and gusseted to match the Tundra’s frame (by the professional towing retailer Installation Center in El Paso, TX.)

        Fuel economy or the cost of gas doesn’t matter to me, and it doesn’t to anyone who chooses to drive an uneconomical vehicle. You either buy it or you don’t. I live out in the middle of nowhere and I keep a 55-gallon drum of Shell Premium at the house to power my AC generators in case of power outages. I spend the money until it is gone and once it is gone I lay low until all my next checks from Uncle Sam roll in on the first of each month. My wife and I still have to eat out at least once a day but instead of going to Applebee’s or Chili’s we may go to Golden Corral or even McDonalds, Burger King or Wendy’s. That’s how we have cut back to live within our means.

        Rest assured that your precious Fords will get an equal shot at me next time we trade.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Highdesertcat –

        Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean to knock your purchase. Like I said, at the end of the day, you’re the one paying for it, so you should buy what you like the best. I’m not surprised that the Tundra felt a lot better towing that load vs. the older F-150. The nice thing about trucks is that since they’ve been such a major part of the auto business in the US for so long everybody pulls out all the stops to outdo everyone else each time a new version of the model comes out. If you look at the ‘truck of the year’ awards, whoever has the most recent new model usually seems to get crowned the king of all pickups.

        I’m sure the offerings from all of the manufacturers will be very different by the time you’re ready in ’16. It probably doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that fuel economy will be the big driving force behind future developments. GM might find a way to bring the costs down on their two mode hybrid, Toyota with all of their hybrid experience could probably work something out as well, and from what I’ve heard Ford has been spending a lot of time and money researching all or predominantly aluminum frames to save weight.

        Do I think the F-150 is in general best truck on the market right now? Sure, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. At the same time, what I’ve always said is that best vehicle for anyone is the one that they like the most after testing everything out, regardless of what CR, MotorTrend, or the other ‘experts’ say. It sounds like for you after you did your shopping and testing the Tundra was the one that spoke to you, so that’s the one that was best for you, and since it makes you happy, you made the right decision going with it.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Nullo, the funny thing about me buying a pickup truck is that until my 1988 Silverado I never owned a V8 pickup truck. All my previous trucks before that were inline six with three on the tree. Never an automatic. But once I got into the habit of starting that 350 on the Silverado and putting it in D I kind of became used to it. So my I started buying V8 trucks with automatics after that. As a matter of experience I have found all American trucks to require a lot of TLC and maintenance. I don’t expect my Tundra to be any different but up to this point I have not had to go in for warranty repair. The same could not be said for my previous trucks, all of which required visits to the dealership for warranty repair, some within the first week! What drove me into the arms of Toyota was the excellent experience we had with my wife’s 2008 Jap-built Highlander Limited AWD. Never any problems. Got my attention. Before then we always bought Detroit. And while we will consider American brands in the future, I hope that by then they will have risen to the standards set by the foreigners. Then again, who knows what this auto industry shake-out will look like when all the crying is done and all the shaking is over?

        I’m going cherry-picking tomorrow in the mountains and will use the bed of the Tundra to haul hundreds of pounds of boxed cherries home for my neighbors and friends (for a small fee, of course…) When I did this last year with my old F150 many of the cherries had been beaten to death by the skittish bed going over gravel county roads. I think my Tundra is going to be better suited to providing a more gentle ride home for these freshly-picked cherries. But, we’ll see!

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Atlas I6 anyone? Oh wait you morons killed that engine to keep building the 3/4 of a 350 4.3V6 for trucks. If the Atlas had been installed in the base model trucks when it was introduced back in 2002, likely there would be a 2004 Chevy 1/2 ton in my driveway instead of the 2004 F150 Heritage that resides there now. (I just LOVE I6 smooooooooooooooooooooothness.)

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Atlas was a great engine. I still entertain thoughts of picking up a Trailblazer/Envoy/Rainier/Bravada when one with that engine gets traded with low miles. I don’t in any way need a SUV right now, and buying one would be at odds with my other goal of saving up enough to pick up an EcoBoost Flex with low miles when they start coming off lease in a couple years, but I do love that I6 smoothness too.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        My daughter has an ’07 Trailblazer she bought new with the Atlas engine. One sweet engine, one sweet ride.

        If I didn’t have a 100-mile R/T commute staring me in the face, I’d be in line to take it off her hands when she gets tired of it. I still might just to keep it in the family, it’s that good.

  • avatar

    since they have no clue how to sell, GM must rely on an overall economic improvement. bunch of rum dummies if you ask me.

    the old saying is as true today as ever…”At General Motors the results don’t change, just the excuses.”

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    While I’m sure it’s possible that the situation will change someday, at the moment we never worry about truck inventory on the lot. Back in February when we still had probably 20 leftover ’10 F-150s we were less worried about finding a way to move those than the two leftover ’10 Town Cars or the one leftover ’10 Explorer. Lo and behold by the end of April the ’10 F-150s were all gone, and one of the Town Cars is still on the lot, the last remaining ’10 model we have.

    Americans by and large love trucks. As the gas prices have shot up people are just moving to more fuel efficient trucks. I’ve had a lot of customers decide to go to 2wd models instead of 4wd, or down to the new V6 offerings instead of the V8s to save on gas, but they still want a truck.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    The US pickup truck market is not going to implode anytime soon.

  • avatar

    Is the new Ranger as some eurobody quarter-ton really ok?

    I am also interested in a Jeep pickup. Rugged. Reminds me of Wrangler jeans.

    • 0 avatar
      ExPatBrit

      Not coming to the US, so we don’t get to decide.

      Apparently Ford expects us to buy F150s or Fiesta hatchbacks instead.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        My local Ford dealer has been advertising a 2011 Ford Ranger Sport 4×4 using the image of a Ranger Quadcab 3.2 Duratorq. I’m really temped to give them a call….

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Mazder –

        If it’s a newspaper ad, the blame could fall on the art staff at the paper (though the dealer should have caught it on the preview image before final approval). My dealer managed to advertise 2011 Focuses using an image of the European Focus before the current Euro-derived 2012 Focus ever hit the market.

    • 0 avatar

      The new Ranger has similar payload ratings (2,500-2,900lbs.) to the F-150. Can’t really be called a 1/4 ton any more. Same for the Hilux. Around 75% of the configurations for the F-150 have payload under 2,000lbs. now.

      http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/payload/

  • avatar
    mdub523

    At the margin maybe some people get pushed out of the pick-up market by gas, but if the difference between $3 and $4 a gallon is keeping you up, maybe you shouldn’t be buying a $35,000 truck. Its easy to say pick-ups are foolishly purchased when you superimpose your values on somebody else’s decision-making process.

    I’m a college student who paid cash for an ’06 Silverado regular cab with the smaller 4.8 vortec. Its nothing compared to this generation of engines, but it enables me to tow a boat, and pick up some extra cash on the weekends during semesters doing casual work. Compared to a car that I might actually want to buy (which is also an important point I’m just NOT buying a subcompact, I would be willing to pay the premium in that comparison), I don’t actually need to work it that much to justify the truck’s fuel bill.

    When I’m driving the thing unloaded and with just myself in the car I feel foolish, but when I pick up a few hundred bucks on the weekend, or don’t need somebody’s help when moving something or take it in the woods or tailgate with it, I feel pretty happy with the purchase. Not to mention that even when I’m getting poor mileage I’m still enjoying the benefits of a larger, V8 powered automobile that cruises just fine on the highway for what it is. You don’t need to be a contractor to justify the thousand or two extra dollars per year in fuel cost, particularly if you’re a professional earning a real salary.

  • avatar
    wsn

    No need to worry about GM. According to its accounting rules, the 100 days’ of trucking on lots are “sold” (to the dealers).

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    Neither GM nor Ford make a full size, regular cab, short bed 1/2 ton with a manual transmission and a 6 cylinder engine…a “farmers truck”. I don’t want to buy a smaller size truck, so i guess I’ll get something used.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Why does GM have such high inventory levels and not Ford or Ram? Ram has been on an uptick lately, and I believe made it into the top 20 in May. In my view, the problem is that GM has the oldest line of trucks out there. Both the Ram and the Ford are fresher products and have more appeal to a lot of buyers. This series of GM truck was pretty conservative when it came out and looks kind of vanilla to me.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    288,000 units in unsold inventory? Jesus wept….

    Housing starts continue in their unabated attempt to reach rock bottom. Farming will take a big economic hit this year due to the weather. Sure, many vehicles were destroyed or damaged beyond repair in the recent spate of tornadoes, but FCOL, just WHO do they think is going to buy these things?

    GM built the crap out of them because production volume ABSORBS fixed cost into inventory, bringing a whiff of artificiality to their recent quarterly profitability numbers.

    This is precisely how the double dip starts….GM will finally realize they have too much inventory. They will be forced into a choice between DEEP DISCOUNTING (hurts profitability and stock price) and idling plants. From there it is a short distance to canceling grandiose hiring plans announced last month…and as the idles workers stop spending, less money goes to walmart and the corner pharmacy….ooooops, there we go again! “Unless lightning strikes the current resident of the White House.”…(I only throw that in because I know it irks some of the more sensitive liberal members of the B & B, who can’t wrap their minds around the fact that this administrations policies are dedicated to destroying the American auto industry as we know it….)

    • 0 avatar
      Bryce

      From this angle the US auto industry is destroying itself no help needed Hasnt GM noticed these pickups arent selling yet they kept on churning them out if the NA market cant absorb them noone else wants trucks like these too long unmanueverable petrol engines not diesel sorry the rest of the world has better options to choose from


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