By on April 5, 2014

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20 lawnmowers.

20 internet connections

20 videos of The Lion King.

Oh, and 60+ vehicles on one street.

I recently delved deep into one of the more challenging ideas of the modern age: car sharing in suburbia. It’s an idea that many non-enthusiasts and city dwellers love. But is it a good idea for suburbanites and the rest of us?

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2014

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Year-over-year comparisons are a completely valid comparison tool, indeed a vital one, when analyzing the sales volume reported by automobile manufacturers. The auto industry is seasonal; cyclical at the best of times. The number of vehicles sold in say, January, bears little resemblance to the number of vehicles sold in May.

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By on February 12, 2014

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U.S. sales of full-size trucks slid 4.5% in January 2014 as the two leading manufacturers of pickups reported falling sales of all their big trucks.

Typically the slowest month of the year for new vehicle sales, this past January should be no different, as the U.S. auto industry generated 32,000 fewer sales than it did one year ago. Although minivans, commercial vans, and the vast SUV/crossover segment all expanded, passenger car sales plunged, year-over-year, and truck volume declined, as well.

(Read More…)

By on February 11, 2014

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General Motors, Ford, Chrysler will be joining Toyota in implementing a common standard for rating the towing capacities of their light-duty pickups. That uniform standard will allow shoppers to more accurately compare vehicles’ towing capabilities and reduce some confusion caused by truck makers with differing standards. Bear in mind, though, that for heavy-duty pickups, automakers will still rate their vehicles with their own standards.

Spokesmen for Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group acknowledged last week that starting with 2015 model year full size light duty pickup trucks they will be joining Toyota in using a towing standard originally adopted by the industry in 2009. GM said that it would join the other companies in using the new standard. (Read More…)

By on December 19, 2013
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An imposing, expensive log home dominates a clearing, reclaimed from the rugged pine-infested wilderness that surrounds it. Smoke rises from the chimney, overlaying the picturesque mountain peak in the background. In front of the home, a man leans over the open engine bay of his obviously new truck. The chrome gleams, despite the trail mud artistically bespattered on the sides. As the camera zooms in, he looks up from the engine bay and smiles. His tousled hair, unshaven stubble, and harmonious blend of over-25-under-40 facial features comport well alongside his worn cowboy boots, perfectly soiled jeans and carefully rumpled flannel shirt. He wipes his hands with a rag, looks back at the house for just a moment, and then turns to the camera.

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By on December 17, 2013

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Toyota is examining the feasibility of increasing capacity at its San Antonio factory that assembles fullsize Tundra and compact Tacoma pickup trucks, according to a report by Automotive News. Operating two shifts plus overtime and Saturdays, the plant has a capacity of 250,000 units. Toyota’s Tijuana, Mexico plant puts together knockdown kits of the Tacoma, adding another 50,000 units, most of which go to the local market or to Canada. Fay said that fiddling with the assembly lines could add ~7,000 trucks to each plant’s output, but the total of 307,000 units may not be enough for the North American market as sales of the Tundra have rebounded for the past couple of years after a three year slump. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2013

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Among the pet segments that enthusiasts hold dear, none has been on a roll the way the mid-size truck market has been. News of the Chevrolet Colorado’s return, along with diesel and manual transmission options, have been greeted with the sort of fanfare that in the glossy buff book era would have been reserved for the newest European supercar.

But this is the age of the internet, the long tail and niches are able to thrive in cyberspace. Our coverage of the Colorado’s debut garnered hundreds of comments, and Phillip Thomas’ excellent analysis piece was our most popular article for a number of days (on the strength of this piece, Phillip will be back with more truck segment pieces).

While it’s easy for us to get excited about the Colorado, the numbers indicate a different story. The mid-size truck market has been in consistent decline, and the Colorado has an even tougher job than it did last time around if it wants to kickstart the segment all over again.

(Read More…)

By on November 6, 2013

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With an 18,000-unit sales improvement in October, America’s pickup truck market again grew at a slightly quicker pace than the overall industry.

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By on October 22, 2013

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Many dealers are complaining that price differentials between the all new GM pickup trucks and heavily discounted competitors from Ford and Ram are leaving them with disappointing sales results. The new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra were launched in June amid heavy incentives from competitive brands. But the trucks, which have been praised by the press, are not moving quickly. Automotive News reports that a Pasadena, Texas dealer says that his supply is up to 170 days, compared to his normal inventory of 110 days supply. A dealer in Austin reports a 120 day supply, up from his norm at 90 days.

(Read More…)

By on October 4, 2013


Usually, in the U.S. pickup truck market, whichever company has the newest truck normally gets a bump in sales. While it’s hard to get Chevy guys into Fords and vice versa, about 6% of the market does shift to the most recently updated pickup because of businesses making decisions based on dollars and cents, not brand loyalty.

(Read More…)

By on September 11, 2013

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We don’t just love pickup trucks in America, we practically worship them. The half ton pickup truck is an American icon embedded into our music, our entertainment and almost the core of our culture. If you haven’t owned or wanted to own a pickup truck, you’re probably a communist infiltrating American society and should be stopped. Despite inroads from the Japanese competition, the full-size truck market is a solidly American segment that isn’t just led by the big three, it’s dominated by them. In August, RAM took third place with 33,009 pickups sold in the US of A, more than three times the number four player: this week’s Toyota Tundra. Why is this gap so large when Toyota crushes the big three in so many other segments? Let’s explore that while we look at Toyota’s refreshed 2014 Tundra.

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By on August 9, 2013

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Big trucks are really quite good at being many things to many people. Consequently, many people buy big trucks. Sales of full-size trucks in the United States are up 23% this year as the overall industry has grown at an 8% clip. Big trucks are relatively affordable, more fuel efficient than they were in the recent past, and much more liveable than they were even a decade ago.

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By on July 16, 2013

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An eagle-eyed reader sent us pictures of this Ford Global Ranger on the streets of Detroit. Reader bball40dtw claims that this version is “set up for diagnostic testing”. Nevertheless, don’t hold your breath. This thing is apparently 90 percent of the size of an F-150 and the price points are too similar.

 

 

By on July 15, 2013

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No, that’s not a typo. Al is the periodic table symbol for aluminum – the stuff that the next F-150 will be made of.

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By on May 27, 2013

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A couple of years ago on Memorial Day, songwriter Connie Harrington was driving her car, listening to NPR on the radio. On the air, Paul Monti was talking about his son Sgt. Jared Monti, who had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, posthumously. Sgt. Monti, 30, was killed in battle in Afghanistan while trying to save the life of one of the men under his command, the third time in that firefight that he’d responded to calls for help. As the father described how he coped with his grief, Harrington pulled over and jotted down notes, particularly touched by the fact that Paul Monti still drives Jared’s 2001 Dodge pickup truck as both a memorial to his son and as a salve to that grief. It’s a four-wheel drive Ram 1500, a little beaten up, embellished with decals for the 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne divisions, a Go Army sticker and an American flag.

(Read More…)

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