Tag: pickups

By on June 2, 2020

Autonomous vehicle technology might not be a sexy topic for many some, but human-driven vehicles certainly are. One day we’ll gaze at steering wheels in a sterile museum with a mixture of animalistic hunger and soul-crushing depression.

Sure, Ford’s tie-up with Volkswagen includes self-driving technology (sourced from another tie-up, this one with Argo AI), but that’s only part of the agreement. Late last week, the two automakers moved forward on other projects that might be of interest to you. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2020

2018 Lexus RX 350

The new vehicle market has stopped marching. For three weeks in a row, sales in the U.S. plateaued, mirroring COVID-19 case levels in many locales. Try as they might, neither doctors nor dealers seem capable of eradicating all of the bad and returning the country to its coronavirus-free, spend-happy ways.

Things take time.

If you’re a purveyor of premium cars, however, things are looking up. If mainstream’s your bag, uncertainty reigns. And if you thought Memorial Day Weekend sales offers would stimulate the industry and kick-start a renewed sales climb, well, you were out of luck. (Read More…)

By on May 29, 2020

There’s inventories to be filled with trucks and crossovers, and time’s wasting. After staging a cautious, production-limited restart of its North American assembly plants on May 18th, General Motors is prepared to put its foot down, boosting output at numerous locations.

Hungry dealers can’t wait. (Read More…)

By on May 28, 2020

2016 Ford Fiesta ST, Image: Ford

Every three years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranks new vehicles in terms of deaths incurred by their occupants in roadway collisions. The most recent tabulations cover the 2015-2018 time frame (focusing on 2017 and equivalent earlier models), and a domestic subcompact that proved quite popular right up until the end of its North American lifespan has the ignoble duty of bringing up the rear of the pack.

On the other side of the issue, one large American SUV placed first in the list of vehicles you’ll want to find yourself in when metal meets metal. One shouldn’t be surprised that small car nameplates proliferate among the list of losers, with bigger models proving better at absorbing blows. (Read More…)

By on May 28, 2020

Nissan’s new 4-year plan, despite aiming for efficiency and value, doesn’t leave sporty driving in the dustbin of history. Sports cars still exist as one of the automaker’s core products, and the very long awaited next-generation Z will be among that global cohort.

On the volume side of things, the brand’s compact and midsize crossovers are due for a rejuvenation, along with Nissan’s midsize pickup, which last gained a new body during the Bush administration. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

Lordstown Motors

A fledgling electric vehicle company with a sprawling former General Motors plant in its possession will reveal its first model in late June.

That’s according to Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns, who said the debut of the Endurance, originally slated for the Detroit auto show, will take place online instead. A full-size pickup that shuns internal combustion, the Endurance will face still competition from the Likes of Ford, Rivian, and GM in the emerging segment, though Lordstown doesn’t plan to stop there. (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2020

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLT

While General Motors earned the right to resume production in Mexico on Thursday, parts procurement in the gradually reopening North American economy remains a serious roadblock.

U.S. plants came online May 18th following two months of pandemic-prompted downtime. Of topmost importance to all members of the Detroit Three are their hot-selling pickup lines, though UAW- and state-approved health protocol calls for a slow ramp-up, with all plants operating on reduced shifts. Parts supply will dictate those ramp-ups; in GM’s case, boosted pickup production in the Midwest will have to wait. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2020

The first sneak peak at Ford’s next-generation F-150 was expected to occur at the newly temperate Detroit auto show in June; alas, the coronavirus pandemic put the kibosh on those plans (for both Ford and the show’s organizers).

With the show scuttled and production idled for a period of two months — Detroit Three automakers resume limited production on Monday — rumors naturally arose of a product timeline thrown into disarray. This week brought unofficial word that production of the 14th-generation pickup has been pushed back for a second time. Reacting quickly, Ford insists we’ll see new F-150s rolling into dealers before the end of the year. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2020

Production at General Motors’ Mexican assembly plants could start up next week, following a go-ahead from the country’s leadership to resume factory activity. The faster GM’s able to come back online south of the Rio Grande, the better.

In an earnings briefing last week, GM, like its rival Fiat Chrysler, pointed to a declining inventory of lucrative pickups — a segment that proved extremely resilient over the past two months, even during the depths of the coronavirus lockdown. With U.S. plants resuming work on Monday, a concurrent Mexican restart is what the company needs. (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2020

ford

While Ford plans to start limited production at its North American assembly plants on May 18th, returning workers won’t see a next-generation F-150 slide pass their stations for a number of months.

The redesigned full-sizer was to be one of the Blue Oval’s big 2020 reveals, joining the still-unseen Bronco in the spotlight, but the coronavirus pandemic made short work of product timelines. Already delayed once, the 2021 F-150 has reportedly moved further into the future. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2020

Image: FordThe arrival of a reincarnated Ford Ranger in 2019, along with the debut of the Jeep Gladiator, caused midsize truck market share to climb to a 13-year high in America’s pickup category. In fact, over the span of six years, midsize trucks nearly doubled their share of America’s truck market.

The primary cause of those market share gains, the new Ranger, ended its abbreviated first sales year on the midsize podium roughly 33,000 sales back of the Chevrolet Colorado.

In the early days of 2020, however, the Ford Ranger is running nearly dead even with the Colorado. But no longer is the Ranger driving the midsize pickup truck market forward. The segment’s share of the truck market is backsliding.  (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2020

gm

The Detroit Three has something of a problem. Sales of their cash-cow, bread-and-butter full-size pickups hardly waned during the extended pandemic lockdown, and are, as of a week ago, selling just as they had before anyone heard of the coronavirus. And yet the plants tasked with building them still aren’t online.

Automakers that just months ago were concerned with higher-than-average inventory levels now have the opposite problem. (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2020

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If full-size pickups were a human infected with coronavirus, friends and family would characterize it as a “fighter” in media interviews. It’s tough, they’d say ⁠— it’ll get through this alright.

And so it did, shaking off the pandemic-borne sales slump afflicting the U.S. auto industry and returning to almost normal, pre-virus levels last week. Compared to other segments, the pickup’s illness was a far milder case. Which isn’t to say other segments aren’t recovering. They are, just not as quickly as those much-loved trucks. And you have to wonder if certain segments will ever be the same again. (Read More…)

By on May 5, 2020

Hyundai santa cruz concept

Interesting, segment-shunning product isn’t as commonplace as it once was, but some automakers are still willing to think outside the box. The two-box shape, that is. Hyundai’s one of them, as the automaker’s long-awaited Santa Cruz pickup is now greenlit and headed for production in Alabama in 2021.

More consumer-friendly than the concept vehicle released in 2015, the production Santa Cruz has already been spied undergoing testing while wearing frumpy camouflage. Now, it’s been seen in the buff. (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2020

2019 Ford Ranger at MAP - Image: Ford

Ford Performance has expanded its catalog, adding tunes for the Mustang and Ranger that should make mashing the right pedal a tad more exciting. While the pony car kit is basically an extension of the staged Power Packs already on sale, just for the 2018-2020 model years, the Ranger package is rather novel — as this is the first factory tune available for the model in North America.

It also happens to offer noteworthy performance gains. (Read More…)

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