U.S. sales of pickup trucks rose 19% in May 2013 despite the disappearance of 6175 Ford Rangers, Dodge Dakotas, Suzuki Equators, Chevrolet Colorados, and GMC Canyons.
So strong were sales of the remaining trucks that these deficits weren’t simply accounted for, they were overcome to the tune of 32,144 extra sales. Overall, the auto industry reported 108,594 more sales this May than last, according to Automotive News. That works out to an 8% improvement. More than a hundred passenger car nameplates combined to generate about 36,000 more sales in May 2013 than in May 2012.
I was born in Minnesota, my wife is from Wisconsin, and I have a job that ships me to the Upper Midwest several times per year. For all these reasons, I find myself in Door County every summer, eating cheese curds, drinking Spotted Cow, and going to vintage tractor shows. Last year, on my way to becoming a card-carrying Bitters Club member on Washington Island, I spotted these old General Motors survivors sitting in a field. (Read More…)
Lower gas prices and a turn-around in the housing market rekindled America’s love for the pickup, resulting in 2,000 new jobs at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant. (Read More…)
The Wall Street Journal‘s recent article on compact pickup trucks and rising gas prices has raised the tantalizing prospect of a return to the glory days of the compact pickups. But from what we hear, it would be premature to get your hopes up just yet.
The General attracted all kinds of flak for its growing inventory of full size trucks. When we raised the issue earlier in the year, we were chided for yellow journalism and blatant bias. Months later, the MSM woke up to the story, and when the Detroit News wrote that GM’s pickup truck inventory was “much higher than the less-than-100-day supply considered ideal for full-size pickups,” even the diehards accepted that the inventory may be a mite rich.
That problem just went away. Poof, gone, just like that. (Read More…)
It did not take a high degree of intellect when we recommended last week to wait for a better deal if you are in the market for a Chevy or GMC pick-up. GM threw its vaunted fiscal discipline in the wind and is piling cash on the hood of trucks that are piling up on dealer lots. (Read More…)
What’s the lifted-truck equivalent of a Corvette drag-race calamity? Obviously, it’s the above video. (Warning: LANGUAGE IN VIDEO IS NSFW) But wait, there’s more.
While GM is pushing its “evolutionary” styled new pickups with tried and true marketing, touting brawn and toughness, Ford will go with a less macho approach. It will push fuel economy for its next-generation F-150 pickups. For that, marketing has to be preceded by engineering. Ford will make its trucks shed between 700 and 750 pounds of weight for a 15 to 20 percent better fuel economy, says a report by Reuters. (Read More…)
GM revealed its new full-size pickups today, with a combination of “evolutionary” styling and while offering a more traditional pickup, devoid of the fancy turbocharged V6 engines and air suspensions offered in its rivals.
The bailout of a Volt-producing GM was sold as an investment into a green future, a liberation from the terrorist-supporting Arabs. We have been fooled. The decisive turnaround of the company could be delivered by a new generation of big, gas-guzzling trucks. If successful, the trucks could help recover at least some of the money the tax payer sunk into GM.
Forget the Volt. (Read More…)
Last week, we told you to not buy a full-sized GM pickup just yet, and to hold out for big discounts from GM. You did not have to wait long. However, you may want to wait a little more. (Read More…)
Are you in the market for a full-size pickup? Hold your fire. With a little patience, you can profiteer from an all-out Battle of the BOFs. It’s a fight for your money, and for delivering optimistic 2012 sales goals. The noise you hear outside are the winds of war: GM not only missed its truck sales goals in November, it also sits atop a 4 ½ month supply of full-size pickups taking up space (and cash) at dealer lots. ”We’ll continue to use all levers to influence inventory…,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s VP of U.S. sales. “That includes first and foremost adjusting production and marketing activity.” Translation: Shutdowns and cash on the hood. (Read More…)
Close your eyes and imagine it’s 1979. A first-term Democratic president struggles with unemployment, malaise, high energy prices, and embassy trouble. The landscape of today looks like the landscape of then, but there’s one important thing missing: The compact pickup. Where did they go? The small pickup was an indelible symbol of America’s lowered expectations in the Seventies and Eighties. Now that crappy times are here again, where are the paper-thin truck beds and wheezy-but-indestructible four-cylinders to pull them?
Ford Ranger. Volkswagen Amarok. Toyota Hilux. Chevrolet…err…Holden Colorado. These are the mid-size pickups that are unavailable to us Americans, a once thriving segment now hollowed out by market economics and unfavorable CAFE regulations. But the crew at PickupTrucks.com managed to wrangle the four up in Australia, and pick a winner in the segment. Read all about it here. We won’t spoil the surprise.
Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, an examination on the class divides in present-day America, features a handy quiz for “cultural elites” to answer, as a means of getting a sense of how much of a “bubble” one lives that isolates them from rural America. Among the questions asked are whether one owns or has owned a pickup truck (also: whether one knows an evangelical Christian, whether one has eaten at T.G.I Friday’s in the past year, and have you ever participated in a parade that did not involve global warming, gay rights, or a war protest). (Read More…)