Trucks and SUVs Dominate at Detroit Auto Show

The Detroit Auto Show brings automakers enthusiasm after 2017 sales in the United States were over 17 million vehicles for the third year in a row. Low gasoline prices and interest rates mean trucks and sport-utility vehicles dominate the auto market in America.

The Detroit Auto Show brings automakers enthusiasm after 2017 sales in the United States were over 17 million vehicles for the third year in a row. Low gasoline prices and interest rates mean trucks and sport-utility vehicles dominate the auto market in America.

BMW X2Image: BMW X2 

What excites the car manufacturers is trucks and SUVs have the widest profit margins. Full-size pickup prices continue to rise and with that the midtier more affordable market for mid-sized trucks has grown. At the Detroit auto show the new models being presented reflect the industry’s focus on trucks. Three of the most anticipated new models are pickups: the Chevrolet Silverado, the Ram 1500 from Fiat Chrysler, and the Ford Ranger.

Manufacturers Opening New Car Factorys 

With the boom in truck and SUV orders manufacturers are adding factories.

  • BMW and Audi are finishing new plants in Mexico.
  • Volvo’s built a new plant in South Carolina for  luxury sedans production this year.
  • Toyota Motor is adding a new truck plant in Mexico and a car factory with Mazda Motor in Alabama.
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is ramping up a Michigan plant that had been idle for more than two years, after retooling it to make pickup trucks instead of cars.
  • Fiat Chrysler has also just expanded Jeep plants in Ohio and Illinois.

What we are seeing is manufacturers are running too speeds, full tilt for trucks, pulling back on cars.  Ford, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai all cut output at car plants by 10 percent to 22 percent last year, according to data compiled by Automotive News. G.M. cut production by 33 percent at its Lordstown, Ohio, plant, (it makes the out of favor Chevrolet Cruze compact there) In Oshawa, Ontario, G.M.’s large-sedan factory lowered production by almost 50%.

GM’s smaller trucks including Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups sold a combined 145,102 units in 2017. The Toyota Tacoma remains the market leader with 198,125 units sold.  Ford launched its all-new 2019 Ranger and announced plans for a hybrid F-150 and a battery electric performance Mach 1.


Mercedes-Benz will launch its G-Class S.U.V., BMW it’s X2 Honda it’s Acura RDX. 


BMW continue to offer fashionable SUV with a stylish exterior.  The X2 has a “distinctive exterior design that combines the fast-moving body language and low-slung proportions of a coupe.” It will be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds. (Pictured Above)

Acura RDX

Acura MDX

Honda’s luxury brand Acura RDX is “low, wide and sleek” for its third generation. Toyota FT-4X. This is the car getting a ton of whistles and turning heads, The car is shooting for Millennials who liked the rugged lines of the discontinued FJ Cruiser and Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee turned into a surprise hit for Fiat Chrysler.

Lexus LF-1. 

Lexus LF 1

Following BMW’s new X7 SUV and Audi’s Q7 Lexus brings in the luxury LF-1.  This SUV is designed at Toyota’s Calty design studio in Newport Beach, Calif. The model will have curtain side airbags that cover all three rows of seats on both sides ans is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine,  290 horsepower, with an eight-speed electronically controlled transmission.

Pickup Trucks 

 GM Silverado 2019

Chevrolet Silverado.

After Ford reduced the weight of the F150 all eyes were on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado (pictured above) for weight. GM says the vehicle will be 450-pounds lighter than the previous model-year. On the new Silverado, the hood, doors, and tailgate are aluminum  It will feature a wider bed and offers a wider range of trims and engine transmissions combinations, including a new Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel engine.

GM will be offering the new Silverado with six available engine and transmission combinations. Also available are the new 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with available Dynamic Fuel Management to optimize fuel economy. The 3.0L diesel and 6.2L engines are paired with a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission as well as start/stop technology.

Ram 1500.

Ram 1500 2019

The Fiat Chrysler Ram 1500 is  the third-best selling pickup in America. In the latest version Ram is keeping the power it shoots for with more fuel efficiency and technology. The new Ram 1500 is 225 pounds than the current model in part due to the use of aluminum hood and tailgate on the body. Compare that to the F-150, which uses aluminum for all exterior body panels for a total weight loss of up to 732 pounds, which makes the aluminum intensive F-150 the weight-loss beacon.

The Ram’s engine is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 putting out 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. All Rams will use eight-speed automatics, with a different one for V6 than for V8

Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger 2019

At the auto show Ford is launching the midsize Ranger sold in the rest of the world since 2011 to the US. This is not the Ranger for days of yore. The current T6 generation Ranger has been on sale since 2011 in 180 markets globally. In the U.S. the pick up will have a a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four cylinder rather than the four- or five-cylinder diesel in the global models. The U.S. engine is a variant of the same engine that’s in the Ford Focus RS and the Ford Mustang EcoBoost.

Features include direct-injection, 16 valves, a twin-scroll turbocharger, forged-steel crank and connecting rods, and chain-driven cams. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but expect it to start at the low- to mid-$20,000 range. A base Colorado starts at $21,195, while a Tacoma will set you back at least $24,480.

Power and efficiency is the common thread across all the new stars.

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