Nothing stimulates automakers’ enthusiasm more than a mud-splattering pickup truck war.
According to USA Today, anyone cruising the North American International Auto Show floor at Cobo Center here this week will see the evidence: the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, the Ram 3500 heavy duty, and an as-yet-undisclosed surprise from Ford on Tuesday (Jan. 15).
A segment known for intense buyer loyalty, robust profits and bragging over towing capacity has gotten its mojo back.
“We are calling this year the year of the pickup,” said Michele Krebs, senior analyst for Edmunds.com.
The segment is fiercely competitive and predominantly domestic, said Rebecca Lindland, director of auto industry research for IHS Automotive.
“It is the one vehicle in the global industry that is uniquely and forever American so bragging rights for pickups has a whole different meaning,” Lindland said. “It’s not just profits. It’s rock ‘n roll, apple pie American.”
While General Motors gave reporters a peak in December of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, today at the show is their first public exposure.
“From hood to hitch, these are the most refined, best engineered pickups ever,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss. “GM has been a truck engineering leader for more than a century. I think we engineer our trucks better than the others guys do.”
The new Ram 1500 pickup has been on sale since October. The upgraded Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy duties go on sale this spring with more muscular towing capacity.
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