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Nissan Launching Teaser Blitz for New Titan Pickup

Maker launches 12-episode "Truckumentary."

by on Dec.01, 2014

Nissan offers a first look at a thinly disguised version of its 2016 Titan pickup.

With the official unveiling of the next-generation Nissan Titan pickup just six weeks away, the Japanese maker is launching a teaser blitz to drum up interest.  That’s probably a good idea considering the Titan has been, at best, an afterthought in a full-size truck segment overwhelming dominated by Detroit.

Nissan originally had big hopes of carving out its own niche, but after 11 years with no major makeover of the outgoing Titan, the maker clearly needs to start all over with a fresh design, improved powertrain options and a raft of new features.

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The first hint of what Nissan will deliver with the 2016 Titan debuts today, notes Chief Product Specialist Rich Miller, who says “The ‘Truckumentary’ is not meant to be the all-encompassing last word on Titan. Rather it’s the continuing story of the vehicle’s evolution, accompanied by a close look at the American-based team that is bringing this all-new truck to market.”


Ford Blows Past Last Year’s Truck Sales

Truck giant tracking to hit 2006 sales levels.

by on Nov.19, 2013

Ford has already sold more F-Series trucks than it did all of 2012.

New vehicle sales have been humming along this year, in large part due to the renewed popularity of full-size pickups. Nowhere has it been more evident than at Ford, which gets a reminder every 42 seconds.

The company announced today that it has already sold more F-Series trucks this year than it did last year with six weeks left to go. F-Series sales have now exceeded 645,316 trucks: one every 42 seconds, according to Ford.

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“If our truck business continues at this rate through the end of the year, we will reach 60,000 F-Series sales for eight straight months, putting us on par with 2006, before the economic downturn,” said Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst, in a release. (more…)

Ram 1500 Lands Consumer Reports’ Top Rating

Endorsement could help counter Chrysler’s recall concerns.

by on Jul.16, 2013

The Ram 1500 wins a coveted endorsement, a "Recommended" rating from Consumer Reports.

After a series of recalls that have called into question Chrysler’s efforts to rebuild the company’s reputation for quality and reliability, the automaker has finally gotten a much-needed endorsement.

Following a month in which more than 2 million different Chrysler products were recalled, the maker’s new full-size truck, the Ram 1500, was named number-one in Consumer Reports magazine’s latest pickup round-up, and given a coveted “Recommended” rating.

“The Ram 1500 is surprisingly luxurious and refined—but still fully capable of doing hard work when needed,” said Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut. “Continued interior and powertrain improvements make the Ram a particularly well-rounded choice,” he said.

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The news couldn’t have come at a better time for Chrysler which last month reluctantly agreed to recall 1.2 million Jeeps that federal safety regulators alleged could catch fire in rear-end collisions.  That was followed by a collection of five additional recalls impacting about 840,000 sedans, coupes, crossovers, SUVs and minivans.


Ram Throws Down Gauntlet with New Diesel for Light-Duty Pickups

Maker has big expectations for high-torque, high-mileage oil-burner.

by on Jun.28, 2013

Brand CEO Reid Bigland with the full-size Ram 1500 pickup which gets a new diesel for 2014.

Chrysler is throwing down the gauntlet, its Ram truck division planning to become the first maker to offer a high-mileage diesel in its light-duty pickup line.

Ram, which is expected to post its 39th consecutive monthly sales increase next week, is betting that this will give it a critical advantage over competitors both domestic and foreign at a time when fuel prices continue to hover just below $4 a gallon in much of the country.  The question is whether potential buyers will balance the initial, $2,800 price premium against the longer-term savings on fuel.

The Last Word!

“When you look at the psyche of pickup truck owners,” Reid Bigland, the CEO of the Ram division, said  during a preview of the new powertrain, “they’re more aware of the benefits of a diesel engine” than the general U.S. population.


First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

More than first meets the eye.

by on May.20, 2013

The exterior changes to the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado have largely been aimed at improving aerodynamics.

According to some prognosticators, millions of Americans were supposed to be trading in on hybrids, plug-ins and battery cars this year.  The V-8 engine and the full-size pickup were both supposed to be relegated to the automotive scrap heap.

It hasn’t worked out quite as expected.  Battery car sales have barely registered, and though demand for V-8s has certainly fallen, pickups have been rapidly regaining momentum. We’re expecting sales will grow even more substantially in the months ahead as buyers get a look at the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

Keep on Truckin'!

While Chevy’s full-size truck is far from perfect, it is arguably the best pickup General Motors has ever built. The 2014 Silverado does everything you’d expect a truck to do such as pull a trailer, carry a load or traverse rugged trails. But it’s more than just a solid work truck.  The new Chevy Silverado’s cabin is both unexpectedly quiet nicely furnished, while the pickup delivers a firm, poised ride more similar to that of a large, expensive sedan than the classic, rough-riding truck.


Silverado Roll Out On Track

GM focuses on phased transition to 2014 model.

by on May.10, 2013

The transition to the 2014 Chevy Silverado is moving rapidly with new models shipping in a few weeks.

General Motors’ big switch is in full swing as it brings out its new family of Chevrolet pickup trucks.

The GM assembly plant in Silao, Mexico, is already building the 2014 Silverado Crew Cab, and should begin shipping them in next few weeks, GM executives said this week.

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“We’re putting them through some extra quality gates to make sure they’re ready,” said Chris Perry, GM vice president of Chevrolet Marketing, adding the Silverado accounted for 24.3% of Chevrolet’s sales in the U.S. last year.


Toyota Rolls Out All-New Tundra

New truck takes aim at dominant domestics.

by on Feb.07, 2013

The 2014 Toyota Tundra makes its Windy City debut.

You don’t get to be number one by sitting on the sidelines. Yet, since rolling out the original T100 more than two decades ago, Toyota has largely been left on the bench in the U.S. full-size pickup market.  It remains the only major segment where the world’s largest automaker has repeatedly failed to become a significant, if not dominant player.

But Toyota is nothing if not patient.  It took a series of tries to get on the boards in the once-thriving minivan market. And the Japanese maker is betting that it will eventually come up with the right formula for a full-size truck.

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Like the one it is showing off in Chicago this week, an all-new version of the Toyota Tundra that has clearly been designed to correct past mistakes.  The third-generation Toyota truck features a bolder, more rugged design, a bigger and quieter cabin, and a number of what the maker claims to be truck segment firsts, including Blind Spot Monitoring and Cross-Traffic Alert.


GM Reveals New 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Pickups

New trucks aim to ride on U.S. economic recovery.

by on Dec.13, 2012

The completely redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado makes its pyrotechnic debut.

Timing is everything, goes the old adage, and General Motors is betting that proves true as it gives the world a first look at its new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups.

Time has been working against the industry giant in recent months, sales sliding precipitously for the outgoing models – the oldest of the domestic full-size trucks.  But with signs of an improving economy further buoyed by the latest housing data, GM officials are confident the new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra models will hit the street at a perfect time to ride that rebound.

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“There is nothing more core to our business than trucks,” noted Mark Reuss, president of GM’s U.S. operations, during a preview of the two trucks at a movie soundstage in the Detroit suburbs. “And we think we’re timing this very well.”


Chevy to Reveal 2014 Silverado in Mid-December

Critical debut for GM’s big brand.

by on Oct.22, 2012

Chevy won't wait for the Detroit Auto Show to give the world its first look at the 2014 Silverado.

Deck the halls with full-size pickups? The long-awaited Chevrolet Silverado will finally make its debut in mid-December, Chevy hoping to get some extra ink ahead of the first official public viewing at the Detroit Auto Show a month later. Unfortunately, for those who’d like one of the big trucks for Christmas they’ll have to put it on next year’s wish list.

The maker isn’t saying much about the new truck beyond promising a “bold exterior design” with “features such as jewel-like project beam headlamps,” but it recently took the unusual step of releasing its own “spy shot” of a camouflaged 2014 Silverado.

Keep on Truckin'!

That and the pre-auto show unveiling underscore the significance of the upcoming update to General Motors’ most popular full-size pickup.  (A separate update of the GMC Sierra will be coming, as well.)


First Look: 2013 Ford F-Series

A new crop of trucks.

by on Jun.05, 2012

Ford's 2013 F-150 Lariat displays its new grille.

By most measures, it should be a tough year for the full-size pickup truck market.  Yet even when fuel prices were running at near-record levels, earlier this spring, demand for the big rigs was running hot.  And that means Ford may be perfectly timed for the introduction of its updated 2013 F-Series line.

The 2013 pickups won’t see near as dramatic an update as they did in recent years but there are some notable revisions, nonetheless, including some bold new grilles, added technologies and an all-new luxury model dubbed the Limited.

Ford pulled the covers off the new 2013 F-Series models during a conference of the Future Farmers of America, in Bruceville, Texas.  No surprise, perhaps, as the agricultural community has traditional been one of the strongest markets for full-size pickups.

We'll Take You Truckin'!

“Farm families have always represented an important F-Series truck constituency,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck group marketing manager and FFA sponsor board member. “For these multitasking customers, a Ford pickup means family transportation, economic livelihood, rugged capability and reliability. Like FFA, Ford pickups are an enduring agricultural tradition, and we are delighted to join forces with them to reveal the new F-150 models.”