Jaguar Illustration by Theo Chin/Chris Doane Automtive
The good thing about pickup truck sales climbing back to peak numbers is that more off-brand vehicle makers are tempted to dip their toes into the big pool known as truck sales.
Elon Musk, the dynamic CEO of Tesla, has dropped occasional hints that Tesla will likely offer an electric pickup truck five years or so down the road. Sure, Musk knows there's plenty of money to be made in this growing segment, especially with average transaction prices, for certain brands, ready to break the $45,000 mark. And with top trim levels at Ford, GM and Ram hovering in the $60,000-plus range, there's no reason to relegate Tesla products to stripped-down fleet packages, whether there's a waiting buyer base or not.
With the improving economy in certain sectors, major manufacturers and new arrivals are likely to enter the luxury pickup arena. Whether that means we'll see more badge engineering from familiar players like we did with the Lincoln (Blackwood and Mark LT) or Cadillac (Escalade EXT) or whether carmakers like Porsche, Infiniti or Jaguar will finally step in and offer some interesting new products remains to be seen. Certainly older consumers are more willing and able to spend more money on a unique new product like a Tesla pickup, especially if it's equipped with pricey features like adjustable suspensions, hybrid powertrains, and unique electronic bed and storage features.
We're hearing about more design exercises at the different original equipment studios, but nothing definite yet. Our guess is that if sales for the truck segments continue their steady growth, we'll see some exciting — and expensive — concept vehicles again. It wasn't that long ago that we saw things like the Dodge M80 and GMC Denali XT. With this news from Tesla, we could be headed for a huge injection of creativity here. Let's just hope it doesn't get too crazy.
Jaguar Concept C-X17
Dodge M80 Concept
GMC Denali XT