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Nissan Ready to Storm Full-Size Truck Set with New Titan

Maker's next-gen Titan coming late 2016.

by on Dec.03, 2015

Nissan's next-generation Titan full-size pickup will hit dealer show rooms late in 2016.

The hot-selling full-size pickup truck segment is getting another new player: Nissan confirmed that the newly redesigned version of its full-size Titan pickup will make its debut towards the end of 2016.

The replacement for the Titan, which was first introduced in 2003 as a 2004 model, has been a long time coming. It will mark a new assault on the U.S. pickup truck market by Nissan.

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However, truck owners can get an idea of what the next-gen Titan will be like with the debut of the new Titan XD, which will be sold with an optional diesel engine built by Cummins. (more…)

Toyota Expecting Only Modest Growth for 1st New Tacoma Pickup in Decade

Capacity limits could see loss of share in growing midsize truck market.

by on Aug.06, 2015

Toyota is hoping the next-gen Tacoma will keep the good times rolling sales-wise in the U.S. in 2015.

When the 2016 Toyota Tacoma rolls into U.S. showrooms next month it will mark the first major update of the midsize pickup in a decade, an eternity by today’s automotive standards.

Considering the long somnambulant segment has suddenly roared back to life in recent months, one might expect to see Toyota prepping for a major surge in sales for the 2016 Tacoma. But it’s not. The Japanese maker is looking for modest growth, at best, for the new pickup next year.

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The reason is simple, according to Toyota division General Manager Bill Fay: “We’re very close to maxxed out on our production capabilities right now,” despite adding more capacity at a plant in Baja, Mexico.

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Toyota Set to Debut New Tacoma at Detroit Auto Show

Adding energy to a resurgent midsize pickup market?

by on Dec.05, 2014

The current Toyota Tacoma.

Adding fuel to a simmering midsize truck market, Toyota confirms it will unveil an all-new version of its aging Tacoma pickup at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

The next-gen 2016 Toyota Tacoma will be unveiled along with two new models from the maker’s upscale Lexus division, said Bon Carter, the maker’s senior vice president pf automotive operations in North America. Toyota has been racing to get the new Tacoma ready for battle with a new line of offerings from General Motors, including the Chevrolet Colorado.

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Thinly disguised versions of the next Tacoma have been spotted undergoing testing in North America in recent months. As with the bigger Toyota Tundra, designers and engineers in the U.S. had a significant role in the development of the midsize truck, although it is being geared for sale in markets around the world, while Tundra is primarily focused on a State-side audience.

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Nissan Teases New Pickup

Frontier set for global unveiling next week.

by on Jun.03, 2014

Nissan will initially launch the next-generation Frontier model -- also known as the Navarra - abroad.

It could be a big year ahead for Nissan in the truck category. The maker has already confirmed that it will unveil an all-new version of its full-size Titan at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, and now it is sending out a Twitter heads-up alerting the world that it will pull the wraps off a second pickup next week.

“There’s a special member of the #Nissan family on the way. Due date: June 11th,” the maker revealed, adding an image of a gauze-covered truck that TheDetroitBureau.com has confirmed is the next-generation Frontier model.

The New Frontier!

“The Nissan Frontier is a very important part of the Nissan lineup and of our truck growth strategy for the U.S.,” the maker responded to a query from TheDetroitBureau.com. “We remain committed to midsize pickup segment where the U.S.-built Nissan Frontier is the second-best selling truck in the market.  Here in the U.S., we’re gearing up for next year’s launch of the all-new full-size Nissan Titan.”

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Nissan Considering Diesel for Midsize Frontier Pickup

But other options, including hybrid, also under study.

by on Feb.06, 2014

Nissan teamed with Cummins on the Frontier diesel concept debuting in Chicago.

After a long and near complete absence from the American automotive market, diesels are again gaining traction, a growing number of makers offering them this year, with more to follow – and nowhere is that more apparent than in the full-size pickup segment where Chrysler is winning kudos for the EcoDiesel in its big Ram 1500, while rival Nissan has announced plans to add a diesel when it launches its next-generation Titan for 2016.

But the Japanese maker brought another possible diesel option to this year’s Chicago Auto Show, a concept version of its midsize Frontier truck featuring an engine produced by Nissan’s diesel partner Cummins.

Keep on Truckin'!

And a senior official broadly hinted that the prototype, dubbed the Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner, could soon wind up in production.

“Will we build it? We want to see what the public tells us,” said Nissan’s head of U.S. sales, Fred Diaz.

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Chevrolet Downsizes with New Colorado Pickup

GM brand will return to midsize compact truck segment.

by on Nov.20, 2013

With the launch of the 2015 Colorado, Chevrolet gets back into the midsize pickup game.

Does Chevrolet know something its Detroit rivals don’t? Then again, how it final figured out what key Japanese rivals have long known?  Those may seem like cryptic questions but the fact is that the General Motors brand — along with sibling GMC – is about to become the only domestic maker present in the midsize truck market currently owned by import rivals Toyota and Nissan.

The debut of the new Chevrolet Colorado is one of the big announcements at this year’s L.A. Auto Show.  It marks the return of GM’s biggest brand to the downsized pickup segment after a several-year absence during which rivals Ford and Chrysler also walked away from the once-huge compact truck market.

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It wasn’t quite as simple a decision as it might seem to introduce the new Colorado.  Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, small pickup trucks were hot.  They became an affordable alternative for Baby Boomers just getting their first set of wheels. But in recent decades, the market shifted and more and more buyers migrated to full-size pickups.  That’s why Ford dropped out of the market segment, abandoning the long-running Ranger (though it continues to sell a newer version overseas where full-size trucks are relatively rare).

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GM Will Launch New Midsize Pickups for 2015

Reuss expects autumn unveiling.

by on Apr.16, 2013

GM President Mark Reuss, shown here with the updated Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

General Motors is counting down for the launch of two all-new midsize pickups which will likely reach showrooms in time for the 2015 model-year.

GM hopes to buck the industry trend that has seen a sharp decline in demand for small trucks in recent years – and led both Chrysler and Ford to abandon the once lucrative market segment. The maker intends to target buyers who want something sportier and more fuel-efficient than current full-size offerings like the Chevrolet Silverado, said Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American operations.

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But Reuss also promised that the smaller pickups will maintain most of the capabilities of their full-size siblings.

It remains to be seen what names the two new models will get.  There’s a good chance GM planners will opt for something entirely new rather than picking up the Chevrolet and GMC nameplates the maker stopped producing last year.

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Ford Considering Downsized F-Series Pickup

But Detroit maker looks at car-based alternative.

by on Feb.22, 2013

Ford has yet to find a replacement for the old Ranger, which ended its long production run in 2011.

When Ford announced it would finally pull the plug on the long-lived Ranger compact pickup a few years back, many expected the maker would simply replace it with the all-new Ranger model it had develop for worldwide use, launching it into production in Thailand in 2011.

Surprisingly, Ford stressed it had no intention of offering a new Ranger in the U.S. market, insisting that for the price it would have to charge for the global Ranger model buyers would all but certainly opt for the bigger F-Series, long the American market’s most popular truck. Indeed, there’s been a steady shrinkage of the compact pickup segment over the years, buyers either upsizing or abandoning trucks entirely, Ford officials insist.

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So how respond to General Motors’ decision to deliver an all-new Chevrolet Colorado, never mind the ongoing presence of the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier? By shifting into an entirely new direction, Ford officials hint, that was pioneered by Honda with its distinctive Ridgeline pickup.

In other words, what some are dubbing the Ford F-100 just might adopt a crossover, or car-based, platform, a senior marketing executive reveals. That might seem a surprise considering the mixed response the Honda Ridgeline has generated.

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Are Makers Reconsidering Small Pickup Market?

Maybe yes…maybe no.

by on Jul.12, 2012

Not for us - Ford has no plans to bring the all-new version of the Ranger compact pickup to the U.S.

This story has been updated to reflect GM’s plans to launch a next-generation version of the Chevrolet Colorado pickup.

They were once the vehicle of choice for Baby Boomers on a budget and others who wanted a simple, affordable and highly functional set of wheels.  But time hasn’t been kind to the compact pickup which has all but vanished from American showrooms.

Could those small trucks now be ripe for a comeback, however? A Chrysler official is indicating that maker might be thinking twice about its options while the Korean makers apparently continue to look for an opportunity in the segment. On the other hand, General Motors has decided to scrap its two current compact offerings, while Indian maker Mahindra & Mahindra has abandoned plans to enter the U.S. with a long-delayed compact pickup.

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“Historically, if you go back to the ’80s, the compact or midsize pickup segment was bigger than the full-size segment,” Chrysler’s Vice President of Product Planning Joe Veltri tells the Detroit Free Press, adding that, “Based on our data, young males still aspire to own a pickup.”

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First Look: 2012 Chevrolet Colorado

Thai debut spices up introduction of new compact pickup.

by on Oct.05, 2011

The all-new Chevrolet Colorado makes its debut in Thailand before an upcoming U.S. launch.

When General Motors launches an all-new version of the Chevrolet Colorado in the months ahead it will be bucking conventional wisdom that says small pickups have fallen out of favor with American buyers.

That helps explain why GM took the wraps off the Chevy Colorado in Thailand, a market where demand is still straining manufacturers’ production capacity.  A prototype of the small truck was first unveiled at the Bangkok Motor Show last March.

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“This is a vehicle built tough for the people of Thailand, by the people of Thailand,” proclaimed GM Thailand President Martin Apfel, noting that the Asian nation will be just the first market for what he described as “GM’s most significant play in the midsize pickup truck market ever.”

Those in the States who have been eyeing the Colorado don’t need to worry.  It will make its way here in a hurry, with a preview scheduled for next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

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