The Truth About Cars » Trucks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:20:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Trucks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/trucks-news-blog/ What If Jeep’s Mid-size Pickup Was a Ram Instead? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/jeeps-mid-size-pickup-ram-instead/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/jeeps-mid-size-pickup-ram-instead/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:16:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157666 Like an NFL expansion team in Los Angeles, music in the hallways during passing periods, “welfare queens” and the full-time McRib, Jeep’s mid-sized Wrangler-based pickup might be the only thing we ever talk about. Guess which one may happen now? According to Automotive News, the Wrangler-based pickup may make an appearance in 2018-ish, after the […]

The post What If Jeep’s Mid-size Pickup Was a Ram Instead? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jeep Wrangler Eliminator

Like an NFL expansion team in Los Angeles, music in the hallways during passing periods, “welfare queens” and the full-time McRib, Jeep’s mid-sized Wrangler-based pickup might be the only thing we ever talk about. Guess which one may happen now?

According to Automotive News, the Wrangler-based pickup may make an appearance in 2018-ish, after the iconic Jeep platform gets is overdue overhaul, moves to an 8-speed automatic (maybe diesel, too) and incorporates more aluminum into its structure.

The General Motors twins prove there’s room in the segment for something not called a Tacoma or Frontier, so a mid-size makes sense — but a seven-slot grille up front may not.

According to the 2014 long-range plan for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ram doesn’t have a mid-size on its radar until beyond 2018, at least, to replace its defunct Dakota. And Ram doesn’t have what it needs right now to make it happen — officially, at least.

“The formula hasn’t changed. The (North American) customer expects four elements in a compact or midsize pickup truck: the right size, right capability, right fuel efficiency and right price. We have yet to find a way to build a truck that meets all four of those criteria,” a Ram spokesman told us.

(Fiat will have a new mid-size pickup in 2016, but we’re more likely to get Elvis back from the dead than that car.)

The minute you start talking about a Wrangler-based pickup, Grandad’s fishing truck comes to mind; an upright-grille, standard cab and probably two-tone red and white paint with flannel-colored interiors. In other words: nothing like what mid-size pickups need to be today to satisfy fuel economy standards and expectations.

Ram has more flexibility with its design language to sculpt a body that makes more sense than a Jeep pickup ever would. Ram is also the caretaker of FCA’s trucks last I checked.

And in the words of Jack Baruth, “You really don’t want a Jeep pickup, you pansy.”

The post What If Jeep’s Mid-size Pickup Was a Ram Instead? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/jeeps-mid-size-pickup-ram-instead/feed/ 41
Report: Toledo Plant Gains a Jeep Pickup, Loses a Cherokee http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/report-toledo-plant-gains-jeep-pickup-loses-cherokee/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/report-toledo-plant-gains-jeep-pickup-loses-cherokee/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157850 Automotive News is reporting that Jeep will produce a Wrangler-based pickup at its Toledo, Ohio plant and shift production of its Cherokee to another site. The details were reported by the outlet as part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ ongoing negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. Officials from FCA didn’t comment on the report.  According […]

The post Report: Toledo Plant Gains a Jeep Pickup, Loses a Cherokee appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jeep Wranglers Coming Down The Line In Toledo

Automotive News is reporting that Jeep will produce a Wrangler-based pickup at its Toledo, Ohio plant and shift production of its Cherokee to another site.

The details were reported by the outlet as part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ ongoing negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.

Officials from FCA didn’t comment on the report. 

According to the story, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne addressed the plan in vague details.

“We found a solution that accommodates a variety of other interests to us because of the way in which we can move some product around,” Marchionne told Automotive News. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (to know) that the only way I can move around the Wrangler is to move it into the other Toledo plant.”

Union officials said they would have liked to have kept Cherokee production in Ohio, however the plant’s unique supply structure, production requirements and Wrangler sales required Cherokee to move, according to the report.

Production of the Wrangler and its associated pickup could reach up to 350,000 units per year.

The post Report: Toledo Plant Gains a Jeep Pickup, Loses a Cherokee appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/report-toledo-plant-gains-jeep-pickup-loses-cherokee/feed/ 26
Marchionne: “To Be Perfectly Honest, We’ve All Fucked with the UAW, Right? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/marchionne-to-be-perfectly-honest-weve-all-fucked-with-the-uaw-right/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/marchionne-to-be-perfectly-honest-weve-all-fucked-with-the-uaw-right/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 15:15:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1155986 Sergio Marchionne seems to be taking a different tactic in this year’s UAW negotiations. Instead of threatening to take product out of North America and send it to China, the head of FCA is playing to the hearts and minds of the union membership, even going so far as to admit all automakers have screwed workers […]

The post Marchionne: “To Be Perfectly Honest, We’ve All Fucked with the UAW, Right? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
marchionne

Sergio Marchionne seems to be taking a different tactic in this year’s UAW negotiations. Instead of threatening to take product out of North America and send it to China, the head of FCA is playing to the hearts and minds of the union membership, even going so far as to admit all automakers have screwed workers in the past.

“To be perfectly honest, we’ve all fucked with the UAW, right? We were threatened by them, so we took all the pickup trucks that we sell — and 90 percent of those pickup trucks are sold in this country, right — we took it away, and then we delocalized them” Marchionne told Automotive News’ Larry P. Vellequette.

Marchionne believes he and UAW President Dennis Williams “share a view about the fact that, in some fashion, to the extent that we are successful in creating wealth out of these car companies, real wealth, then we should be able to distribute that,” he said.

Bringing Mexican pickup production back to the United States would be a massive win for the UAW. Since March 2014, Ram has sold fewer than 30,000 pickups only once (January 2015).

Ram pickups are built at FCA’s Warren Assembly Plant in Michigan and Saltillo Truck Assembly.

“What a wonderful idea, distributing cash when you have it,” Marchionne said.

The post Marchionne: “To Be Perfectly Honest, We’ve All Fucked with the UAW, Right? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/marchionne-to-be-perfectly-honest-weve-all-fucked-with-the-uaw-right/feed/ 85
Union Leader Blasts Obama on Pacific Trade Talks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/union-leader-blasts-obama-pacific-trade-talks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/union-leader-blasts-obama-pacific-trade-talks/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153377 The head of the AFL-CIO in the United States is criticizing the current presidential administration for its pursuit of a trade zone in the Pacific that could open up Asian markets to America and vice versa, the Detroit News is reporting. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote the administration a letter saying that a free-trade agreement with […]

The post Union Leader Blasts Obama on Pacific Trade Talks appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Trans-Pacific Partnership Circa 2010

The head of the AFL-CIO in the United States is criticizing the current presidential administration for its pursuit of a trade zone in the Pacific that could open up Asian markets to America and vice versa, the Detroit News is reporting.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote the administration a letter saying that a free-trade agreement with countries such as Japan jeopardizes American jobs because those countries may be able to source cheaper parts from outside the negotiated area, according to the report.

“I hope it is not the case that the Canadian and Mexican negotiators are actually holding a harder line than our own government on this issue. But due to the unaccountable lack of transparency from USTR, absolutely critical decisions are being made without our input or voice. Thousands of good American jobs and an iconic American industry are at risk, and we don’t even know what our government’s negotiating position is.”

According to the Detroit News, a free-trade agreement with Asia would be high on Obama’s priorities before his administration ends.

Trumka said there would be no guarantee for American automakers to gain a foothold in Japan if the Trans Pacific Partnership were created.

Instead, he said, the deal would make it easier for American automakers to source cheaper parts from China and Thailand, or other developing nations, which would come at the expense of American auto workers. Under current free trade rules in North America, 62.5 percent of a car or light truck must originate within the trade zone to be tariff free. Mexico, which is currently building nearly 4 million cars a year, would like to increase that to 65 percent. Japan is proposing a 45-percent threshold for vehicles and 30 percent for parts.

The agreement could also end the 25-percent import tax on light pickups, commonly called the “Chicken Tax.”

Automakers have said they’d prefer to renew the Chicken Tax or slowly roll the tax back after years — or even decades.

According to the story, Japan doesn’t place any import tax on American-built cars, and has said they’ve spent billions building production facilities in America — which American automakers haven’t yet done in Japan.

The post Union Leader Blasts Obama on Pacific Trade Talks appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/union-leader-blasts-obama-pacific-trade-talks/feed/ 23
Add Bronco To Today’s Ranger Return Rumor http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/add-bronco-todays-ranger-return-rumor/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/add-bronco-todays-ranger-return-rumor/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153329 Ford may bring back the Bronco name as a Ranger-based SUV if production returns to the U.S. in 2018, Bloomberg is reporting. The Bronco would be based on a mid-sized pickup frame, unlike the current Explorer. A Bronco could be targeted at Jeep, either Grand Cherokee — or Wrangler. Ford ended production of its Bronco in 1996. […]

The post Add Bronco To Today’s Ranger Return Rumor appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Classic 1966 Bronco Body Shell Available Soon

Ford may bring back the Bronco name as a Ranger-based SUV if production returns to the U.S. in 2018, Bloomberg is reporting.

The Bronco would be based on a mid-sized pickup frame, unlike the current Explorer. A Bronco could be targeted at Jeep, either Grand Cherokee — or Wrangler.

Ford ended production of its Bronco in 1996.

According to the Bloomberg report, both Ranger and Bronco could be built at Ford’s plant in Wayne, Michigan, which will lose production of the C-Max and Focus to Mexico in 2018. Adding the production of those trucks to that plant would replace production to appease the United Auto Workers during contract negotiations.

It’s unclear how the addition of a Bronco would fit into the Ford lineup, but I’m guessing Mark Stevenson has a good idea.

The post Add Bronco To Today’s Ranger Return Rumor appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/add-bronco-todays-ranger-return-rumor/feed/ 27
Ford May Bring Ranger Back To US in 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-may-bring-ranger-back-us-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-may-bring-ranger-back-us-2018/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152977 Ford is reportedly discussing bringing back the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup to America and Canada in its bargaining negotiations with the United Auto Workers, the Detroit News is reporting. Ford may be assembling the truck, which could be brought back as early as 2018, at its Wayne, Michigan plant. The truck would replace the outgoing C-Max and Focus […]

The post Ford May Bring Ranger Back To US in 2018 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
xNew-Ford-Ranger-1_Front-3qtr.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jFsDbCT0gvbowdRxGcgr

Ford is reportedly discussing bringing back the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup to America and Canada in its bargaining negotiations with the United Auto Workers, the Detroit News is reporting.

Ford may be assembling the truck, which could be brought back as early as 2018, at its Wayne, Michigan plant. The truck would replace the outgoing C-Max and Focus at the plant. Ford announced production of those two products would move to Mexico in 2018.

The last U.S.-spec Ranger was most recently produced at Ford’s St. Paul, Minnesota plant, which shuttered in 2011.

According to sources, the formal decision would need to be ratified by Ford executives and the union’s board.

According to the report, Ford was enticed by the small, but growing, mid-size pickup segment. Although the segment only accounted for 227,000 sales in 2013, it is expected to grow in coming years. Toyota’s Tacoma dominates the segment, accounting for more than half of the segment’s sales, but General Motors’ Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon could slowly gain a higher market share.

Ford produces the Ranger in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for 180 global markets including Mexico. Recently, Ford announced it would produce the Ranger in Nigeria.

It’s unlikely that Ford would would bring the global Ranger to America without significant modifications for safety and fuel economy. The Ranger’s size and classification places it firmly in the CAFE “dead zone,” which could make it difficult for Ford to find a suitable (read: efficient) powertrain.

The Ranger was last redesigned in 2011 and facelifted in 2015. A redesign for the Ranger would align with the 2018 production start date in Wayne. The C-Max and Focus are scheduled to leave that plant in 2018 as well.

The post Ford May Bring Ranger Back To US in 2018 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-may-bring-ranger-back-us-2018/feed/ 117
F-150 Raptor Runs Off Road, Ford Offers Pictures to Prove It http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-f-150-raptor-runs-off-road-ford-offers-pictures-prove/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-f-150-raptor-runs-off-road-ford-offers-pictures-prove/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1149633 Ford released photos and video Friday of its newest Raptor off-road testing in Northern Michigan. The truck, which will go on sale next fall, has better ground clearance than the outgoing Raptor, although Ford isn’t giving us official specs yet. We know the last generation’s fording depth was officially 30 inches up to 4 mph and […]

The post F-150 Raptor Runs Off Road, Ford Offers Pictures to Prove It appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Raptor Prototype Testing

Ford released photos and video Friday of its newest Raptor off-road testing in Northern Michigan.

The truck, which will go on sale next fall, has better ground clearance than the outgoing Raptor, although Ford isn’t giving us official specs yet. We know the last generation’s fording depth was officially 30 inches up to 4 mph and that capability likely won’t decrease — but we don’t know if it’ll go up.

“The all-new Ford Raptor will be more capable than the previous Raptor, including improved wheel travel and ground clearance,” Ford spokesman Mike Levine told us.

Ford said today that the newest-generation Raptor will have new Fox racing shocks with internal bypass to adjust and stiffen suspension off road, and an all-new four-wheel-drive transfer case in the back.

In other words: Specs for the official truck are slowly coming out. We’ll stay tuned for official horsepower figures from the twin-turbo V-6 under the hood.

17RaptorGIF2

17RaptorGIF1

The post F-150 Raptor Runs Off Road, Ford Offers Pictures to Prove It appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-f-150-raptor-runs-off-road-ford-offers-pictures-prove/feed/ 37
2016 Toyota Tacoma Still Has Rear Drum Brakes and Here’s Why (Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2016-toyota-tacoma-still-rear-drum-brakes-heres-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2016-toyota-tacoma-still-rear-drum-brakes-heres-video/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 22:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1138770 That screeching noise you’re hearing around the 20-second mark in the video below? That’s the 2016 Toyota Tacoma’s front brakes screaming through sand as the Tacoma digs itself out of a self-inflicted pit using its clever crawl control. We asked Tacoma Chief Engineer Mike Sweers last week why the new Tacoma didn’t have discs in […]

The post 2016 Toyota Tacoma Still Has Rear Drum Brakes and Here’s Why (Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

That screeching noise you’re hearing around the 20-second mark in the video below? That’s the 2016 Toyota Tacoma’s front brakes screaming through sand as the Tacoma digs itself out of a self-inflicted pit using its clever crawl control.

We asked Tacoma Chief Engineer Mike Sweers last week why the new Tacoma didn’t have discs in the back (unlike the new Tundra) and he pointed specifically to that piercing wail — and that most owners don’t need them anyhow.

“Towing is No. 22 on the reasons why Tacoma buyers are looking for a new truck. Discs are great when it comes to ventilating heat from heavy towing, but we’re not hearing that need from Tacoma owners,” Sweers said.

Fair enough.

Sweers pointed further to heat retention, cost and that gawd-awful sound as reasons why engineers kept the drum brakes on the rear of the Tacoma.

We’ll have a full review of the Tacoma’s stopping power — and going power — next week.

The post 2016 Toyota Tacoma Still Has Rear Drum Brakes and Here’s Why (Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2016-toyota-tacoma-still-rear-drum-brakes-heres-video/feed/ 84
This Year Could Be the Biggest Car-buying Year in 15 Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/year-biggest-car-buying-year-15-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/year-biggest-car-buying-year-15-years/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 20:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137538 Automakers could sell more than 17 million new cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, approaching the sales record set in 2000 of 17.4 million, Automotive News is reporting. Analysts raised their forecasts after a strong July for automakers and new cars that will be reaching showrooms in high-selling segments by the end of the […]

The post This Year Could Be the Biggest Car-buying Year in 15 Years appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
dealership2

Automakers could sell more than 17 million new cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, approaching the sales record set in 2000 of 17.4 million, Automotive News is reporting.

Analysts raised their forecasts after a strong July for automakers and new cars that will be reaching showrooms in high-selling segments by the end of the year. Last month was the 18th consecutive month for increasing sales.

Our own Timothy Cain thinks that regardless of the final number, 2015 will be a very, very, very good year for automakers.

Cain writes:

It’s been 18 months since monthly auto sales volume last decreased. That decrease, mind you, was brought about by a slight decline in the lowest-volume month of the year, January. In other words, growth in America’s auto industry is notable both for its rapidity and its consistency. It’s that consistency that makes it hard to believe the current pace won’t continue. Regardless of the outright volume attained by manufacturers competing in the U.S., 2015 will undoubtedly be better than 2014. Already, through just seven months, an additional 434,000 new vehicles have been sold compared with the same period one year ago.

Spurred by cheap gas prices, trucks are pacing the overall market as the fastest-selling segment in the U.S. this year. Sales of trucks grew 13 percent this year.

Automakers such as Honda and Chevrolet will introduce newer versions of their Accord and Malibu respectively in the coming months, and that should further stoke car sales, Automotive News points out.

The Wall Street Journal notes that while new car purchases are happening more frequently, and at higher prices, used car prices are finally starting to dip, which may be a relief to low-cost and entry buyers.

The post This Year Could Be the Biggest Car-buying Year in 15 Years appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/year-biggest-car-buying-year-15-years/feed/ 27
Chart Of The Day: GM’s Pickup Truck Market Share Soars In July http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-gms-pickup-truck-market-share-soars-july/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-gms-pickup-truck-market-share-soars-july/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1133353 General Motors reported 86,051 U.S. pickup truck sales in July 2015, the highest figure for a seventh month of the year since 2006, GM says. It does not appear as though the advent of new midsize GM trucks – Colorado and Canyon – have had any measurably negative impact on their full-size siblings. Combined, the […]

The post Chart Of The Day: GM’s Pickup Truck Market Share Soars In July appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
TTAC COTD Truck Market Share July 2015 YTD

General Motors reported 86,051 U.S. pickup truck sales in July 2015, the highest figure for a seventh month of the year since 2006, GM says.

It does not appear as though the advent of new midsize GM trucks – Colorado and Canyon – have had any measurably negative impact on their full-size siblings. Combined, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra outsold the class-leading Ford F-Series by 9,900 copies in July. They lead the F-Series by more than 29,000 units heading into August.

The GM full-size duo hasn’t outsold the F-Series on a calendar year basis since 2009.

GM’s four truck nameplates owned 39 percent of the overall American truck market in July 2015, up nearly eight points compared with July of last year. Through the first seven months of 2015, GM’s total share of the truck market has risen from 31 percent in 2014 to 37 percent in 2015, nearly seven points greater than Ford’s share of the category.

F-Series sales did, however, improve in July, rising 5 percent to 66,288 units, the first increase for the F-Series since January.

Ram pickup truck sales growth has stalled over the last two months, rising just 1 percent over the course of June and July. Tacoma sales made up 62 percent of the truck sales at Toyota last month, sales of which jumped 29 percent to 17,033 units, 55 percent of the small/midsize pickup category’s volume.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

The post Chart Of The Day: GM’s Pickup Truck Market Share Soars In July appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-gms-pickup-truck-market-share-soars-july/feed/ 16
Toyota Has Limited Tacoma for the First Time and It’s Significant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-limited-tacoma-first-time-significant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-limited-tacoma-first-time-significant/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 19:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1133945 For the first time in the nameplate’s history, Toyota will offer a Limited version of its mid-size Tacoma — which was the fifth-best selling truck of all trucks last month — and that’s probably a big deal. The automaker outlined for us the lineup for the new Tacoma, which will hit dealers in September, and […]

The post Toyota Has Limited Tacoma for the First Time and It’s Significant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

For the first time in the nameplate’s history, Toyota will offer a Limited version of its mid-size Tacoma — which was the fifth-best selling truck of all trucks last month — and that’s probably a big deal.

The automaker outlined for us the lineup for the new Tacoma, which will hit dealers in September, and the walk up to the Limited trim — which is at the top trim, for now — sounded light at the bottom and heavy at the top. We’re not allowed to discuss pricing yet, so that’ll have to wait.

However, a top-end Limited trim means that Tacoma isn’t immune to the immutable First Law of Pickup Trucks: You can charge whatever you want for these things. And product planners probably have more in store for the Tacoma.

According to Toyota spokespeople, the Limited models will only account for 8 to 10 percent of the Tacoma’s overall volume, but at that clip it’ll drive profits just fine.

Last month, Toyota sold more than 17,000 Tacomas, making it the best month for the truck ever, and the fifth best-selling truck in the United States. With roughly one out of every two Tacomas being some sort of off-road or highly equipped trim — opposed to a work truck — the Tacoma has room to grow, profit-wise.

Basically what we’re saying is that instead of a belt-buckle, country-edition full-size, Toyota should make a Green Day-inspired, daddy-punk-rock version of the Tacoma for $50,000 — because that’ll sell like crazy, apparently.

Update: According to Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager Toyota in the U.S., the Limited grade is new for the Tacoma for 2016. Limited has been offered as a package before. For 2016, Toyota is moving to a grade-based, parent-child relationship in the Tacoma.

The post Toyota Has Limited Tacoma for the First Time and It’s Significant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-limited-tacoma-first-time-significant/feed/ 25
GM Investing $877M into Flint Pickup Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/gm-investing-877m-into-flint-pickup-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/gm-investing-877m-into-flint-pickup-plant/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1133409 General Motors will spend $877 million to upgrade its Flint, Michigan pickup plant, the automaker announced Tuesday. The assembly plant, which is the oldest GM factory in North America, will get a new body shop as part of the investment along with general improvements. The plant makes full-size trucks for GM, including heavy duty versions. […]

The post GM Investing $877M into Flint Pickup Plant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
GM Truck Assembly Flint

General Motors will spend $877 million to upgrade its Flint, Michigan pickup plant, the automaker announced Tuesday.

The assembly plant, which is the oldest GM factory in North America, will get a new body shop as part of the investment along with general improvements.

The plant makes full-size trucks for GM, including heavy duty versions.

The $877 million improvement was the final plant improvement announcement for the automaker, who said in April that it was spending more than $5.4 billion at its facilities.

Last month, GM announced it would spend $1.4 billion at its Arlington, Texas SUV plant for a new body shop and paint shop. That plant makes full-size SUVs for several automakers including the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Suburban.

In 2011, GM announced a $1 billion investment for the Flint plant, which included a new paint shop. According to GM, the Flint Truck Assembly plant is a destination for truck buyers who want to watch their trucks roll off the assembly line.

Construction is scheduled to begin on the new facility in 2016 and will be complete in 2018.

The post GM Investing $877M into Flint Pickup Plant appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/gm-investing-877m-into-flint-pickup-plant/feed/ 13
For $58 You May Pass the IIHS Small-overlap Crash http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/58-may-pass-iihs-small-overlap-crash/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/58-may-pass-iihs-small-overlap-crash/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 17:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1132489 Metal bars welded to the Ford F-150 Super Crew in front and behind its front wheels that helped it pass the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s notoriously difficult small-overlap crash cost roughly $58, Automotive News is reporting. It was revealed last week that the low-cost part was left off of regular- and extended-cab models, prompting the […]

The post For $58 You May Pass the IIHS Small-overlap Crash appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 F-150 Crash Test

Metal bars welded to the Ford F-150 Super Crew in front and behind its front wheels that helped it pass the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s notoriously difficult small-overlap crash cost roughly $58, Automotive News is reporting.

It was revealed last week that the low-cost part was left off of regular- and extended-cab models, prompting the insurance organization to retest the F-150 models and revise their ratings much lower than the original test.

According to Automotive News, Ford stopped short of saying that it would include the low-cost parts on the regular- and extended-cab versions of the truck, but said it would install “countermeasures” to improve crash performance. The regular and extended cab comprise about 5 and 25 percent of overall F-150 sales respectively.

Ram has said it would include the bars, which engineers have dubbed “wheel blockers,” in its pickups this year going forward.

overlap-overheadThe effectiveness of the relatively inexpensive part underscores the auto industry’s evolution to the small-overlap crash, which has been incredibly difficult for automakers since it was introduced three years ago. In 2012, only 3 out of 11 midsize luxury or near-luxury cars received “good” or “acceptable” ratings on the crash. In 2015, many of those ratings had improved to “good,” but when optional crash avoidance systems were installed on the car. For instance, the front crash mitigation package on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which scored a “good” rating when equipped with that option, costs $2,800.

Safety officials at the IIHS said they would begin testing the top two bestselling models of pickup trucks to avoid truckmakers testing only their most-popular models and applying the rating to the rest of its lineup without having the same equipment.

The post For $58 You May Pass the IIHS Small-overlap Crash appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/58-may-pass-iihs-small-overlap-crash/feed/ 90
IIHS: Not All Ford F-150s Are Built Just As Tough http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/iihs-not-ford-f-150s-built-just-tough/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/iihs-not-ford-f-150s-built-just-tough/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1129193 Automotive News is reporting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will rate versions of Ford’s F-150 pickup with dramatically different safety ratings after re-testing versions of the pickup, which is a highly unusual move for the safety nonprofit. The SuperCrew cab version of the F-150 earned the highest marks from the IIHS in its small overlap […]

The post IIHS: Not All Ford F-150s Are Built Just As Tough appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015_Ford_F-150_Pickup_Truck

Automotive News is reporting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will rate versions of Ford’s F-150 pickup with dramatically different safety ratings after re-testing versions of the pickup, which is a highly unusual move for the safety nonprofit.

The SuperCrew cab version of the F-150 earned the highest marks from the IIHS in its small overlap crash test, earning a Top Safety Pick rating. The re-tested SuperCab registers only a “marginal” rating in the same crash.

The difference, according to Automotive News, are tubular frames called “wheel blockers” installed on the SuperCrew, but missing from the SuperCab and Regular Cab models.

David Zuby, who is the chief research officer for the IIHS, said that the crash ratings between different cab versions could give buyers the wrong impression.

“(It) shortchanges buyers who might pick the extended cab thinking it offers the same protection in this type of crash as the crew cab,” Zuby told Automotive News.

A Ford spokesman said the company would look into adding additional safety measures into the Regular Cab and SuperCab versions of the F-150 for 2016.

The wheel blockers present on the SuperCrew, but missing on the SuperCab and Regular Cab, significantly varied the trucks’ performances on the small overlap crash test. In the follow-up test conducted on the SuperCab, the “intruding structure seriously compromised the driver’s survival space,” the IIHS told Automotive News.

The notoriously difficult small overlap test has been particularly difficult for automakers to solve. It’s unclear why Ford put the wheel blockers on the SuperCrew, but not the SuperCab and Regular Cab. Zuby offered a possible solution.

“I think automakers are trying to design the vehicles to offer the best protection for their customers,” he told Automotive News. “But occasionally, we do see evidence that maybe they are trying to get a good rating in a test, maybe without looking for a completely holistic solution.”

The IIHS tests only high-volume models. Historically the SuperCab and Regular Cab models only comprised 25 and 5 percent of sales respectively.

The post IIHS: Not All Ford F-150s Are Built Just As Tough appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/iihs-not-ford-f-150s-built-just-tough/feed/ 73
Hyundai May Actually Make The Tucson-based Santa Cruz, But… http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/hyundai-may-actually-make-santa-fe-based-truck/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/hyundai-may-actually-make-santa-fe-based-truck/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1128001 Hyundai America chief Dave Zuchowski told Car and Driver that he expects the Santa Cruz Concept, seen here, to be given the go-ahead from Korean bosses this year. That means the Subaru Brat-inspired pickup, based on the Hyundai Tucson, could go on sale sometime soon, for which you can pay actual money for a real one of these (maybe […]

The post Hyundai May Actually Make The Tucson-based Santa Cruz, But… appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

Hyundai America chief Dave Zuchowski told Car and Driver that he expects the Santa Cruz Concept, seen here, to be given the go-ahead from Korean bosses this year.

That means the Subaru Brat-inspired pickup, based on the Hyundai Tucson, could go on sale sometime soon, for which you can pay actual money for a real one of these (maybe with a diesel!) compact pickups. However, the pickup’s viability hinges on a couple key points.

The concept, which was unveiled in Detroit last year, was received very well by most accounts. But that may not be what spurs Hyundai into making it. The recent crossover and pickup boom leaves Hyundai’s sedan-focused fleet a little high and dry, C&D correctly points out. Variants based on their few crossovers could come fast and furious from the Korean automaker.

However, the challenges with bringing the Santa Cruz are its form factor and what sits underneath its stylish skin.

For starters, the pickup is … well, a pickup. To get around the dreaded Chicken Tax, Hyundai will have to build the Santa Cruz within the NAFTA zone or face a 25-percent tariff upon importation to the United States.

The next problem compounds the first: The Tucson, on which the Santa Cruz is based, is only built outside the NAFTA zone. Currently, the only vehicles Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama builds are the Elantra and Sonata. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia builds the only American-assembled Hyundai, the Santa Fe.

Looking south of the border might be the solution. Kia is set to open a new facility in Mexico in 2016 that’s tipped to assemble sub-compact and compact cars, as well as crossovers.

If the concept does get the greenlight from decision makers in South Korea, it’s unclear what from the concept will make it to the production model. The yellow Brembo brakes and side-view mirror accents may get left on the floor, but its diesel engine could survive. The engine in the concept was a 2-liter, turbocharged oil burner that made 190 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It could be a smaller-displacement version lifted from a Santa Fe — or complete fantasy.

In Detroit, Hyundai hinted that it could get a gas-powered option, but didn’t specify if that would be the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine or the company’s 2-liter turbo.

Apparently we won’t have to wait long to find out with a decision expected in November. But how many can they realistically sell?

Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

The post Hyundai May Actually Make The Tucson-based Santa Cruz, But… appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/hyundai-may-actually-make-santa-fe-based-truck/feed/ 47
Super Duty Buoys Flagging F-150 Sales for Ford http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buoyed-heavy-duty-ford-still-leading-pickup-sales-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buoyed-heavy-duty-ford-still-leading-pickup-sales-us/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123137 The Chevrolet Silverado has outsold the Ford F-150 so far this year, but sales of Ford’s Super Duty trucks have boosted the company’s truck business past its competition, PickupTrucks.com is reporting. All three truck makers are selling more pickups than they were a year ago, but flagging F-150 sales and depleted inventory could be keeping Ford’s […]

The post Super Duty Buoys Flagging F-150 Sales for Ford appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Chevrolet Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado has outsold the Ford F-150 so far this year, but sales of Ford’s Super Duty trucks have boosted the company’s truck business past its competition, PickupTrucks.com is reporting.

All three truck makers are selling more pickups than they were a year ago, but flagging F-150 sales and depleted inventory could be keeping Ford’s perennial half-ton leader back.

The website, which used data from Cars.com to determine sales by segment, said that Ford’s Super Duty trucks led Ram and General Motor’s heavy-duty offerings by a large margin. Roughly 120,000 three-quarter and full-ton Ford pickups have been purchased this year, compared to around 80,000 and 75,000 heavy-duty trucks for Ram and General Motors, respectively.

Earlier this month, Ford offered a series of incentives totaling $11,000 on its F-150 in specific areas for specific models. A spokesman for Ford said that dealer stocks of the full-size F-150 pickups were unusually low, and that normal inventories would be restored by the end of September.

According to our own Timothy Cain, truck sales represent around 14 percent of overall vehicle sales in the United States, up one percentage point from last year. And the average price paid for a truck is $42,429 so far this year.

So who’s ready for a $100,000 pickup?

The post Super Duty Buoys Flagging F-150 Sales for Ford appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buoyed-heavy-duty-ford-still-leading-pickup-sales-us/feed/ 42
Ford Putting Nearly $11,000 on Hoods of Some F-150s http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-putting-nearly-11000-hoods-f-150s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-putting-nearly-11000-hoods-f-150s/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1117793 Ford is looking to boost sales of its full-size F-150 by offering more than $10,000 in incentives for some higher-trim models in some parts of the United States, Automotive News is reporting. Production issues have plagued the aluminum 2015 F-150 since its launch late last year. According to Ford, only half of the F-150’s normal inventory […]

The post Ford Putting Nearly $11,000 on Hoods of Some F-150s appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Ford F-150 grey, side

Ford is looking to boost sales of its full-size F-150 by offering more than $10,000 in incentives for some higher-trim models in some parts of the United States, Automotive News is reporting.

Production issues have plagued the aluminum 2015 F-150 since its launch late last year. According to Ford, only half of the F-150’s normal inventory has been available since June, which as hampered sales. The automaker says dealer stocks will be full by the end of September.

The company’s website offers nearly $11,000 off of 2015 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew with Chrome or Sport packages in some parts of the country.

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 9.09.07 AMWe found this offer available in the middle of Michigan, near Clare, on Ford’s website. Other parts of the country may receive up to $7,050 off similar models.

“The truck hasn’t sold up to expectations for the most part,” Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told Automotive News. “This may be a hint that in certain parts of the country, the issue might just be more than supply.”

Truck sales have been up for the first half of this year, but the F-150’s sales pace has been modest. F-Series volumes have dipped in each of the last five months, and second-quarter sales have dropped 6.5 percent.

 

The post Ford Putting Nearly $11,000 on Hoods of Some F-150s appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-putting-nearly-11000-hoods-f-150s/feed/ 63
General Motors Reveals Updates to 2016 GMC Sierra [Video] http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-reveals-updates-2016-gmc-sierra-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-reveals-updates-2016-gmc-sierra-video/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116569 General Motors is revealing its updates to the 2016 GMC Sierra lineup days after Chevrolet revealed its new face for the 2016 Silverado. In a video posted to its YouTube channel (via Automotive News), GMC trotted out the new front fascias, bumpers and C-shaped LED daytime running lamps for the full-size pickup. The video shows three trims of […]

The post General Motors Reveals Updates to 2016 GMC Sierra [Video] appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016 GMC Sierra 1500

General Motors is revealing its updates to the 2016 GMC Sierra lineup days after Chevrolet revealed its new face for the 2016 Silverado.

In a video posted to its YouTube channel (via Automotive News), GMC trotted out the new front fascias, bumpers and C-shaped LED daytime running lamps for the full-size pickup.

The video shows three trims of the GMC Sierra 1500, including Denali (pictured below), SLT and All-Terrain, all with unique front ends and in varying levels of chrome-iness.

In addition to the bumpers, daytime lights and front fascia, the new Sierra will have C-shaped LED taillights.

2016 GMC Sierra Denali

GMC said more details about the truck would be released in “coming months.”

On Monday, Chevrolet announced the Silverado would be sporting a body-colored grille and two strips of LED lights on higher trim levels.

Here’s the video:

The post General Motors Reveals Updates to 2016 GMC Sierra [Video] appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-reveals-updates-2016-gmc-sierra-video/feed/ 24
Ram On Rampage Registering Patent for Built-in Bed Ramps http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ram-files-patents-built-ramps/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ram-files-patents-built-ramps/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 18:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1115241 Today’s most alliterative award may go to truck maker Ram registering rear ramps recently. The folks at Allpar detail the filing, which was reportedly made by engineers at Ram. The patent was awarded June 30 and details a system for bed-mounted sliding ramps. The system, which could be called Ram Ramps, could complement other monosyllabic options such […]

The post Ram On Rampage Registering Patent for Built-in Bed Ramps appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.03.57 AM

Today’s most alliterative award may go to truck maker Ram registering rear ramps recently.

The folks at Allpar detail the filing, which was reportedly made by engineers at Ram. The patent was awarded June 30 and details a system for bed-mounted sliding ramps.

The system, which could be called Ram Ramps, could complement other monosyllabic options such as Ram Box and Ram Dams (our suggestion for their active grille shutters).

The adjustable loading ramp system is detailed extensively in the filing and includes a locking mechanism while the ramps are not being used in the bed.

The longitudinally stored ramps would be laterally adjustable and stored in recesses in the bed.

This isn’t the first patent we’ve seen where Ram has tried to improve the utilitarian pickup bed. In addition to the now-production RamBox, the company has also patented a split-tailgate system which has not yet come to fruition.

Both General Motors and Ford offer various devices to load or unload their beds, including the F-150’s ladder and bumper-mounted steps on the Silverado.

The post Ram On Rampage Registering Patent for Built-in Bed Ramps appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ram-files-patents-built-ramps/feed/ 17
Chart Of The Day: 2015’s First-Half U.S. Pickup Truck Sales Wars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chart-day-2015s-first-half-u-s-pickup-truck-sales-wars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chart-day-2015s-first-half-u-s-pickup-truck-sales-wars/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107129   U.S. sales of pickup trucks increased 10% through the first six months of 2015, a gain of more than 107,000 units over the span of 2015’s first-half. Ford’s F-Series continues to be the category’s top seller, but F-Series volume has decreased in each of the last five months. Second-quarter sales slid 6.5%. As Ford […]

The post Chart Of The Day: 2015’s First-Half U.S. Pickup Truck Sales Wars appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

TTAC USA truck sales June 2015 YTDU.S. sales of pickup trucks increased 10% through the first six months of 2015, a gain of more than 107,000 units over the span of 2015’s first-half.

Ford’s F-Series continues to be the category’s top seller, but F-Series volume has decreased in each of the last five months. Second-quarter sales slid 6.5%. As Ford properly equips its dealers with truck inventory and as the automaker figures out precisely how to price the new range of F-150s, we can expect to see F-Series numbers stabilize.

In the meantime, GM’s full-size twins have taken full advantage of the F-Series’ slide.

Year-to-date, the Chevrolet Silverado, America’s second-best-selling vehicle, and GMC Sierra, America’s fourth-ranked truck, have outsold the F-Series by 19,492 units, lashing the Ford by 14,995 units in June alone. Their market share in the full-size segment has increased to 37.2% in the first-half of 2015 from 34.5% at this time a year ago.

silverado

GM trucks have also powered the midsize category to a 52% year-over-year improvement so far this year, helped along by an 18% improvement from the class-leading Toyota Tacoma. Midsize trucks still own a small portion of the overall pickup category: just 15.%. That’s up from 11% at this stage one year ago.

Overall, pickups formed 14% of the U.S. auto industry’s volume in the first-half of 2015, up nearly one percentage point compared with last year.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

The post Chart Of The Day: 2015’s First-Half U.S. Pickup Truck Sales Wars appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chart-day-2015s-first-half-u-s-pickup-truck-sales-wars/feed/ 31
Volkswagen Expects ‘Limited Growth’ In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097377 Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn says the automaker expects “limited growth” until its new SUVs arrive, while one of its suppliers sets up shop in Tennessee. Though parent company Volkswagen AG had once hoped for 800,000 units sold by 2018 in the United States, Horn downplayed the target’s importance, Reuters reports: [The 2018 sales target] […]

The post Volkswagen Expects ‘Limited Growth’ In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Volkswagen Crossblue Concept Parked In Front Of VW Chattanooga Tennessee Plant

Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn says the automaker expects “limited growth” until its new SUVs arrive, while one of its suppliers sets up shop in Tennessee.

Though parent company Volkswagen AG had once hoped for 800,000 units sold by 2018 in the United States, Horn downplayed the target’s importance, Reuters reports:

[The 2018 sales target] is still a relevant objective… but, on the other hand, if you just focus on one year and one number you would do crazy things, so the most important thing is to have a long-term strategy.

For now, Horn states VW will need to defend its position from now through 2017, when the redesigned Tiguan and the Chattanooga, Tenn.-built midsize SUV both hit the showroom floor. Other products, including a $20,000 compact SUV and a large pickup due in 2020 at the earliest, would soon follow.

As for the 2018 target, sales fell from 440,000 in 2012, to 367,000 last year, and have fallen 4 percent since; VW’s U.S. sales peak came in 1970 with 570,000 units. LMC Automotive says the new models in 2017 will help, but would only push sales to a projected 495,000 in 2018.

Meanwhile, Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp is setting up shop near the Chattanooga facility, where it and Volkswagen will unveil a new pressing plant Tuesday. The plant would create 500 jobs, and has been described by the automaker as a “major economic development.”

(Photo credit: Volkswagen)

The post Volkswagen Expects ‘Limited Growth’ In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/feed/ 21
May 2015 Was GM’s Best Month Since 2008, Pickup Trucks Just As Important Now As Then http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/may-2015-gms-best-month-since-2008-pickup-trucks-just-important-now/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/may-2015-gms-best-month-since-2008-pickup-trucks-just-important-now/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092041 General Motors increased their share of America’s full-size pickup truck market from 35.5% in May 2014 to 38.1% in May 2015. Grabbing hold of an opportunity presented by Ford’s F-150 supply constraints and consequent 10% overall F-Series decline, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Silverado jumped 11%; GMC Sierra sales increased 4%. The full-size pickup truck […]

The post May 2015 Was GM’s Best Month Since 2008, Pickup Trucks Just As Important Now As Then appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Chevrolet Silverado

General Motors increased their share of America’s full-size pickup truck market from 35.5% in May 2014 to 38.1% in May 2015.

Grabbing hold of an opportunity presented by Ford’s F-150 supply constraints and consequent 10% overall F-Series decline, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Silverado jumped 11%; GMC Sierra sales increased 4%. The full-size pickup truck market was up just 1.1%, year-over-year.

With such strong Silverado sales and modest Sierra improvement, May 2015 became the eighth month out of the last ten – and the third month this year – in which GM’s full-size trucks combined to outsell the Ford F-Series. Year-to-date, they lead the Ford by 4,497 units.

2015 GMC Sierra

Growth from the company’s pickup trucks was essential last month as large sections of GM’s lineup faced sharply declining sales. The whole car division slid 13%, a loss of more than 14,000 sales. GM’s six full-size, truck-based SUVs plunged 19% compared with May 2014, a decrease of 4,609 sales. By way of the fleet-only Chevrolet Captiva Sport’s disappearance, GM lost 6,202 sales, year-over-year. GM’s three commercial vans combined for a severe 33% decline, equal to 4,544 fewer sales from the Express, Savana, and City Express.

Yet GM’s total volume increased 3% and the automaker’s market share grew marginally from 17.7% in May 2014 to 17.9% in May 2015. Not since August 2008 has GM’s monthly U.S. volume been this high.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

But there are a number of significant differences between August of seven years ago and May of this year. In the former, you were trying to learn the words to Paper Planes, and just before August 2008 sales figures were released, society as a whole was learning who Sarah Palin is. And 15% of GM’s 307,285 U.S. sales were produced by dead brands: Pontiac, Saturn, and Saab.

Rather than learning song lyrics in May 2015, you were trying to figure out what a subcompact crossover really is and trying to figure out how to say farewell to David Letterman.

Yet some other factors haven’t been so severely altered. In August 2008, GM sold 85,953 pickup trucks, 28% of the company’s total volume. GM pickup truck sales in May 2015 totalled 82,361 units, or – you guessed it – 28% of the company’s total volume. (As an aside, GM owned 24.6% of the U.S. auto market in August 2008.)

2015 GMC Canyon

Of course, full-size pickups aren’t the only products deserving of credit for propping up General Motors in May. Indeed, midsize pickup trucks did their fair share, too.

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, launched last fall, were nonexistent at this time a year ago but added 11,782 sales to the GM tally in May 2015. For this second-generation Colorado, it was the best month yet and a continuation of a consistent upward trend. For its Canyon twin, May was similarly the best month yet; 15% better than the previous peak in February.

The midsize truck twins and full-size truck twins therefore added 17,387 more sales to GM’s bottom line in May 2015, a month in which the automaker’s other products combined for an 8,534-unit, 3.9% loss.

Other models contributing to GM’s growth in May 2015, modestly or meaningfully, include the Buick Enclave, Buick Encore, Cadillac ELR, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet City Express, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Trax, GMC Acadia, and GMC Terrain.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

The post May 2015 Was GM’s Best Month Since 2008, Pickup Trucks Just As Important Now As Then appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/may-2015-gms-best-month-since-2008-pickup-trucks-just-important-now/feed/ 67
General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092625 General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu. Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as […]

The post General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Chevrolet Kodiak

General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu.

Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as of this writing, but what is known is the automaker will import 80 percent of Isuzu’s trucks from Japan, assembling the rest in the United States via an Isuzu partner facility. The Japanese-made trucks will come with diesel power, while the American-made variants will be fitted with gasoline engines.

The import deal is the latest development in the renewed partnership between GM and Isuzu, following a September 2014 announcement the duo would jointly develop a mid-size pickup for markets outside of North America. Their previous 35-year-long capital alliance came to an end in 2006 amid financial troubles for the Detroit automaker.

The deal is also a new development for GM itself, which discontinued the Kodiak and GMC Topkick after negotiations to sell the medium-duty division to Isuzu and Navistar collapsed in 2009. As early as 2010, the automaker has looked for ways to return to the vacated market, either in Class 5/6 or 4/5.

[Photo credit: Frank Deandro/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

The post General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/feed/ 27
US New-Car Fuel Economy Average Climbs To 25.5 MPG In May 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/us-new-car-fuel-economy-average-climbs-to-25-5-mpg-in-may-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/us-new-car-fuel-economy-average-climbs-to-25-5-mpg-in-may-2015/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 18:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1084409 Things are looking up for U.S. new-car fuel economy, as the average climbed 0.3 mpg in May to 25.5 mpg. The new average is also 5.4 mpg better than the 20.1 mpg first averaged in October 2007 when the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute began measuring U.S. new-car fuel economy, Edmunds reports. Factors for […]

The post US New-Car Fuel Economy Average Climbs To 25.5 MPG In May 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
EDI_mpg_May-2015

Things are looking up for U.S. new-car fuel economy, as the average climbed 0.3 mpg in May to 25.5 mpg.

The new average is also 5.4 mpg better than the 20.1 mpg first averaged in October 2007 when the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute began measuring U.S. new-car fuel economy, Edmunds reports.

Factors for the increase include rising fuel prices and increased sales of more fuel-efficient models like the Chrysler 200 and Honda HR-V. The average price for a gallon of regular per AAA stands at $2.75, though the average is lower than the $3.66 paid at the pump at this time last year. However, the group says the cost of fuel may have peaked by now, and is expected to fall through the rest of the summer thanks to stabilized oil prices and refineries finishing their seasonal maintenance routines.

Meanwhile, sales of trucks and SUVs are still going strong thanks to lower prices at the pump, and will likely continue as those prices fall back down from their current peak. Said sales have knocked down the U.S. new-car average by as much as 0.8 mpg since August 2014, when the average hit an all-time high of 25.8 mpg.

[Image credit: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute]

The post US New-Car Fuel Economy Average Climbs To 25.5 MPG In May 2015 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/us-new-car-fuel-economy-average-climbs-to-25-5-mpg-in-may-2015/feed/ 10
Honda Continues Shift Toward SUVs, Crossovers With 2016 Pilot Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/honda-continues-shift-toward-suvs-crossovers-with-2016-pilot-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/honda-continues-shift-toward-suvs-crossovers-with-2016-pilot-production/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 20:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1072322 With the 2016 Pilot leaving the assembly line starting Thursday, Honda continues its progress toward more SUVs and crossovers over passenger cars. According to American Honda sales boss John Mendel, 49 percent of the automaker’s U.S. production consists of SUVs and crossovers, and could go further depending on the growth rates between passenger car and […]

The post Honda Continues Shift Toward SUVs, Crossovers With 2016 Pilot Production appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016 Honda Pilot Elite

With the 2016 Pilot leaving the assembly line starting Thursday, Honda continues its progress toward more SUVs and crossovers over passenger cars.

According to American Honda sales boss John Mendel, 49 percent of the automaker’s U.S. production consists of SUVs and crossovers, and could go further depending on the growth rates between passenger car and light-duty truck markets, The Detroit Bureau reports.

The increase is being aided by Honda’s Lincoln, Ala. factory, where the Pilot, Odyssey and Acura MDX are assembled. The facility is expected to produce 120,000 Pilots annually once production is at full bore, and will begin production of the second-gen Ridgeline in the near future. Mendel says the factory has “some upside potential” as more new product and capacity comes online.

In addition, Honda’s new plant in Celaya, Mexico is helping the automaker enter the U.S. subcompact crossover market with the introduction of the HR-V, whose competitors include the Jeep Renegade and Chevrolet Trax.

Mendel says Honda is looking for more opportunities to expand, though the search for so-called “white space” may diminish over time, prompting the automaker to seek better fortunes over “an incremental 5,000 units of sales.”

[Photo credit: Honda]

The post Honda Continues Shift Toward SUVs, Crossovers With 2016 Pilot Production appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/honda-continues-shift-toward-suvs-crossovers-with-2016-pilot-production/feed/ 16