2013 Detroit Auto Show Preview

Detroit Cobo Hall II

We're headed to Detroit again for the 2013 North American International Auto Show, which is once again held inside Cobo Center in the heart of downtown. So far, the biggest news to come out of the show will be a first look at the all-new C7 Corvette and possibly a few other surprises, according to our compatriots at Cars.com. 


Of course, the biggest thing on our radar is that this will be the first public showing of the all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 and 2014 GMC Sierra 1500. We still don't have the exact horsepower and torque outputs of the three new EcoTec3 engines, nor do we have any hint of what the eventual fuel-economy numbers will be. That all comes later. We are anxious to get some time with the chief engineer of the two trucks again and ask a few follow-up questions that we missed when we recorded our four-part video interview with him at the mid-December debut. And we're also hoping to get some hints at the new towing and payload ratings. 


There have been quite a few rumors about the possibility of Ford trying to steal some of GM's thunder at the show with a secret reveal of the 2015 F-150 concept, which is reported to be loaded with weight-saving aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber. So far, we've heard no confirmations of any such vehicle, but Ford is sponsoring an off-site "Truck Lounge" for select media types so we may be hearing more. 


Toyota is not scheduled to show anything new at the Detroit auto show, but there seems to be plenty of chatter on various fan websites that something new for either the Tacoma or Tundra (possibly both) should be coming very soon. All we know is now that the GM twins (we'll call them fraternal) are out, the Tundra is the oldest truck out there and well-past-due for a refresh, if not a full redesign. Nissan's trucks need some attention, too, if not more so. We're told the Tundra that towed the Space Shuttle Endeavour will also be on site, just like it was at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. We also expect to see two all-new displays from both Toyota and Nissan this year. 


We fully expect Rams will be all over the floor space at Cobo Center, especially since Ram truck is the only truckmaker to have both its light- and heavy-duty offerings fully refreshed (if not majorly redesigned) for the 2013 sales season. The new Ram 1500 seems quite popular with the media lately, and the Ram HDs are making big news with their impressive towing and gross combined weight numbers.  

You can bet we'll be poking around Honda, Nissan and elsewhere to find out as much as we can about pickup truck changes and the technology that surrounds them. Look for our reports from the show to start early next week. 



@Robert Ryan
I thought the same too. But I found an article when researching the Ford 3.2 Powerstroke production in Sth Africa.

This article was written in August 12 and the articles I have read concerning the breakup of the Nissan/Mitsubishi partnership was prior to this article.


I have no life and can't find a job, so i decided to use this site to show why i am unemployed and that Ram is the only truck anyone should ever buy. I am getting paid $1 for every post that i say Ram is best, will be a millionare soon.

Look for Anything from Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Hyundai/Kia, Subaru. Any hints of El Camino or Ranchero.

@Steve - I think the Mustang will retain some form of resemblance to the earier ones. The problem is that it needs to be smaller, lighter, with vastly superior suspension and brakes for it to appeal globally. There is a cult following in Europe but not one of its European fans regard it as a serious sports car. To them, a sports car needs to go around corners, stop and accellerate fast. The current Mustang other than maybe the Boss302 is well off that mark. The M3 was the target for the Boss but it doesn't beat it, it just matches it.
The Europeans regard most of our cars as muscle cars. Big and brawny, rude and crude lumps of metal. Even the Corvette and Viper are often classified as muscle cars because they do not have the level of sophistication that sells globally.
The Comaro currently outsells the Mustang, it has less in common with its ancestors than the Mustang but it still outsells it.
Baby boomers are the ones keeping Harley Davidson, Ford, GMC, and Chrysler alive. The young end is 50 and high end is 65.
Car makers need to plan ahead. If you consider the fact that it takes 5 years on average to go from concept to market, they will run out of time if they do not start soon.
Harley is struggling to attract younger buyers. Kawasaki and Honda have released 125 and 250 cc bikes that resemble high end sport bikes but are cheep to buy. They can't keep them in stock. Young riders are buying them.
Are new riders buying 30K 1,000lb Harley's - No.
Are new young buyers buying 40K full sized 22 foot long pickups or 60K Boss 302 Mustangs?
I've seen maybe 1 young (read early 20's) guy in a Camaro, and maybe one in a Mustang. Odd to see a 60 year old bald guy in a Boss 302.
The first Mustangs were sold as cheep, economical fun, entry level cars.

@Tom - bashing the USA? The USA car industry has been insular and poor to respond to change.
Case in point - 2008.
All 3 almost died.
Fellows like Big Al from Oz who spends time in the USA and abroad has a good view of what is happening.
Many Americans do not see the big picture. China is derided for the media not showing reality, the same happens in the USA. Look at how much media coverage was focused on the David Petraeus affair while the EU was struggling with economic collapse.

@sandman4x4 - makes me think twice about air ride if it overheats.
@DWFields - air ride doesn't overheat in big rigs because the air compressors are huge and so are the air tanks. The suspension is much heavier duty on a commercial truck. They still have air bag failures.
I am nervous about that technology in a pickup because it isn't as robust as a big truck. Overheating - yes one can argue that the truck was offroaded hard, but what about someone like myself that could easily travel 500 miles on gravel roads? I don't like the thought of being in a remote area and having my suspension shut down.
Dirt bikes used to have air adjustable forks and shocks. They went away from that kind of suspension due to overheating and "suspension pump". Air gets hot - it expands = stiffer less compliant ride. That heat gets into the oil damping = thinner oil, and poor damping. That in turn leads to more heat.

@DWFields Chrysler (Jeep) does now have a successful Global SUV something that Ford and GM do not. Yes you can get a diesel versions. A Wrangler Pickup? No I think they will stick with the Jeep SUV's and increase the range.

@ Tom. I am a child of the 50's. I have seen US Products go backwards in acceptability here. The British were the first to go. Now we have the Asians and a to a lesser extent other Europeans becoming part of the vehicle mix. US vehicle manufacturers need a major rethink on what they are doing wrong.

Hi Lou, Here is sales date for you. 6 out of 12 months of the year Mustang outsold Camaro.

For the last two months:

In November Mustang outsold Camaro.

In December Camaro sold 300 more.

Overall, Chevy sold 84,391 Camaros last year, only 1,396 more than Mustang. The previous year, the gap was more than 17,000 between the two rivals. So Mustang must be doing something right.

There is still pent up demand and loyalty for the Camaro going on. My wife and I test drove a 2010 Camaro. The interior is pathetic looking. Cheap cheap cheap looking. Horrible to be exact. Knowing how they do their pickups, I was not surprised that GM would put a great design into the exterior of a vehicle like the Camaro to then design such a cheap embarrassing interior.

Mustang on the other hand seems to have changes throughout the lifecycle keeping it fresh. This keeps things interesting, even if the basic look of the car has been the same for a while. I cannot wait for the slew of updates for the 2015 Mustang and F-150. I'm sure this will cause a surge in sales for both outgoing and incoming models.

@Steve - I based my comments on what someone had said earlier about the Camaro outselling the Mustang. I'm not a fan of the Camaro due to its huge A pillars affecting foreward visibility and the poor rearward visibility. The interior is cramped to me. I love the Boss 302 Mustang but it would be pointless for me to buy. 40 kph (25mph) over the speed limit means an automatic impound and huge fines. No thanks. The closest race circuit is over 500 miles away and at a 60 mph posted highway speed. No thanks.
Once us babyboomers get past our midlife crisis, who is going to buy a car that looks like a late '60's Mustang? Most under 50 were in diapers or still wetting the bed.

When I was in my 20's I couldn't afford a new car. I just bought a new car for my daughter. She would have really liked a Mustang, but for anything but the entry-level setups, they were waay too expensive. So, we went with something else. It's not that young people don't like how it looks - they do. The problem is that the only people who can afford them are older people that have managed to amass enough income to afford them. If you make the redesign even more expensive that just increases the problem.

It's the same in Australia, but we have restrictions on young people buying V8s and turbo engines.

This regulation will have to be looked at here when the tiny turbo engines come out.

Median age of a Mustang buyer in 1999 was 37 and income was $58000 or $80,000 today. Unemployment was low. A 30 year low. Kids out of college today can't even find a job parking cars let alone one that makes $80,000. Unemployment is Real unemployment is over 16%. 53% of college grads can't find a job or are working a job that doesn't require a bachelor's degree (Starbucks). It's not mystery why they aren't buying brand new Mustangs. It's not the looks. They aren't buying any cars - new or old.

Median age of all new car buyers has jumped from 46 to 55+. The over 50 Baby Boomers are buying over 2/3 of ALL cars, not just Mustangs.


Boomers Are Buying

New report from J.D. Power and AARP shows baby boomers bought nearly two-thirds of (ALL) new cars in 2011.

Millennials, in the meantime, are not as interested in cars -- new or old -- as the generations that preceded them. General Motors, which did a study of Millennials' car-buying interests, is hoping it's only a matter of time before younger drivers start making purchases. The study showed that most young people consider buying their first car to be a milestone in adulthood -- but they're delaying all such major life events.

Whether the 80 million members of the Millennial generation (comprising 40 percent of the potential car-buying market) are fickle for the time being or for the long haul remains to be seen. One thing is certain: Many of the vehicles automakers intended to sell to younger drivers are being purchased by the gray-haired set. Boomers bought 52 percent of new Ford Fiestas in 2011. Similarly, 64 percent of Chevy Cruze sales went to boomers, as did 62 percent of Ford Focus sales last year.


I also read an article that the "new" jobs people are re-employing to are of a lower status and income.

There seems to be a downward trend on middle class income in the US and a loss of "college" jobs.

Apparently, average income in the US is now down to what it was in the early 90s (adjusted).

This all impacts with sales. Speaking of sales most agencies look at number of vehicles and not total value.

When half of young adults are still living with their parents, they not going out to buy new anything. It's not the Mustang. "It's the economy, stupid."

Here is an interesting article....

Youth Cars Are Everywhere, But Where Are The Buyers?
Sales Are Slow, As Economy Lags


Mercedes-Benz executives are similarly worried about the fact that their average buyer is above 60 now....

Among the insights to date, Mercedes dealers were treating younger people who came into the showrooms like they had bed-bugs, especially if they didn't have their shirts tucked in. The company has dialed in better communication and customer handling skills into dealer and sales-associate training.

Ford is going euro trash. What do they have? A mustang that's going euro and the f150. Sad really. I drive by the dealer and see nothing exciting. Super dooty is god awful trying to copy RAM'S big rig grill, over sized headlights. Yuck!!!

I drove by the Dodge lot. They had a black R/T with big chrome rims. Looked awesome with the new blacked out lights. Bulging hood. jeeps with custom lifts and tires. Black challenger, SRT charger. All kinds of bad ass looking muscle and off road vehicles.


@Steve - isn't that the point I've been trying to make? Babyboomers are the ones with disposable income. It is also a case of babyboomers wanting Mustangs, Challengers, and Camaro's. The retro design of those cars was aimed at us, not generation X or Y. We notice the resemblance to those earlier cars. Someone born after 1980 would have no idea about those earlier cars.
One could still target Millennials and Babyboomers with the same product. If Ford went back to the original 64 1/2 Mustang formula where the car was small, cheep to buy and run, and if you wanted, it could be obtained with more performance.
If Ford can get 15 more years of money out of us boomers by continuing to target us with the Mustang, they will do it. We are also the ones who what a higher level of performance and sophistication.
Generation X and Y are more concered about Facebook, Twitter, and their smart phone than how much HP their car has or who's rig can tow more. Most of them that have money prefer Japanese stuff anyway.

Ok. It just seemed like you were singling out the Mustang for not selling well to young when the research shows that young people aren't buying new anything and 2/3 of all cars are bought by baby boomers.

Here is an interesting article on your last point. 46% of 18 to 24 yr olds would choose internet over owning a car:

The original Mustang was built on a Falcon platform, even the suspension/drivetrain was Falcon.

Our Falcon in Australia is the only Ford with a true lineage to the original Falcon/Mustang, more so than the current Mustang. I don't know if our Falcon is the chassis on the current Mustang.

Our orignal Falcons came with Pursuit 6s (221?) and 289s and the GTHO Phase III in 1972 was the pinnacle the Falcon with a nice 351, it was the fasted 4 door up into the 80s. As a muscle car it was compared to Ferrari's.

Even our Hemi 265 Valiant Charger was the quicket 6 in the world until Porche came out with their turbo flat 6.

Ford Australia and GMH are the best operator these two US companies have in producing high quality, low volume products.

These two companies could be used by GM and Ford to build products to counter the Euro, mainly German performance vehicles.

Australia has been building some of the best perfromance V8s for a number of years now or off shoring the technology for them.

Next years Chev SS will be our next generation Commodore and the PPV cop cars the US will be using are a Holden Caprice, which is a lengthened Commodore chassis.

The current Camaro is essentially a Holden Commodore.

@HEMI V8 - and who buys the stuff on the Chrysler lot?

If a company isn't trying to capture the future, they will not be around.
Funny you refer to Eurotrash.
How many Chrysler vehicles are built upon Mercedes platforms?
How many Chrysler products will be Eurotrash with Fiat owning them?
A small Jeep SUV is going to be built in Italy for export to the USA.
Mexico doesn't count as Eurotrash since there are more Mexicans in California than Americans. Do you find it odd that in Disneyland all of the signs and announcements are English and Hispanic?

If you haven't noticed - the most successful cars on the market are either Japanese badged or based on European models.
Here are the USA year end top 20.
#1 Ford F-Series + 10.3%
#2 Chevrolet Silverado + 0.8%
#3 Toyota Camry + 31.2%
#4 Honda Accord + 40.8%
#5 Honda Civic + 43.7%
#6 Nissan Altima + 12.6%
#7 Dodge Ram + 19.9%
#8 Toyota Corolla/Matrix + 21.1%
#9 Honda CR-V + 29.0%
#10 Ford Escape + 2.6%
#11 Ford Focus + 40.0%
#12 Ford Fusion - 2.7%
#13 Chevrolet Cruze + 2.6%
#14 Toyota Prius + 73.4%
#15 Hyundai Sonata + 2.1%
#16 Chevrolet Equinox + 13.1%
#17 Chevrolet Malibu+ 3.0%
#18 Hyundai Elantra + 8.4%
#19 Toyota RAV4 + 30.0%
#20 Volkswagen Jetta - 3.9%

If you remove pickups from the list, it is mostly Eurotrash or JapScrap kicking ass on anything American made.
There are:
4 Ford products
4 GMC products
4 Toyota products
3 Honda products
2 Hyundai products
1 Nissan product
1 Volkswagon product
1 Chrysler product

If anything, it looks like Ford has made some correct decisions.

Here is something that you will like since you mentioned a cool black R/T:

The Fiat 500 was ranked #87.

The Dodge Challenger down at #93.

Even Fiat Eurotrash is kicking ass on good old Amercian Dodge Muscle cars.

Thats gotta hurt.

@Hemi V8
From what Robert Ryan posted the Mustang will not be going to Europe.

If it does and they have to change the design to sell, so be it.

Being a union man wouldn't you like to increase jobs for your fellow "commrades" or as the socialist term it now "friends".

The US is no longer in the position to dictate. After WWII the world GDP was 50% the US economy, now its under 20%. The US doesn't have that leverage anymore and that's why you have to change to survive. (For those who think that was an anti US comment it isn't).

You complain about Chinese imports, but you fail to realise the Chinese aren't building what they want, they are manufacturing what is needed to export to earn cash and if you have to build vehicles that isn't "what we used to have", tough someone has to put food on the table.

Continually building barriers and protection to try and preserve what you once had will only create more debt. This approach worked when the US was the largest part of the global economy but not anymore or you will end up like Greece.

@Big Al from Oz
90% of the profits of GM and Ford come from the sales of US Pickups. So as "Global " companies they are very reliant on the health of Pickup sales in the US. That is not the case for VW and Toyota who have much broader profit streams.
Ford and GM need to have SUV's, Sedans,Luxury Sedans, HDT/MDT trucks, Pickups and Vans which are truly Global.

@Robert Ryan
The Big 3 are behind the 8 ball and have been for decades.

GM/Ford/Chrysler and even AMC problems started in the 50's when the US started to devise protectionist measures. The US initially devised changes to headlights, blinker and bumper bars to stop cheap imports from post WWII Europe, which still exist today.

France's average GDP per capita was 25% of the US in the early 50's and I would imagine the rest of Western Europe was in the same boat. This made for potentially cheap Euro cars into the US.

The Europeans (including Australia since we were still "British" aligned) and most every other country outside of the US standardised motor vehicle design regulations, or pretty much made them very similar. The body that controls this is in Paris and I can't remember its name, at least 6 words, this body is tied up with part of some international umbrella (UN?).

This body still exits hence, our ANCAP vs ENCAP. Our emissions standards vs Euro III, IV, V, VI etc.

Anyway back to the story - As the Japanese entered the fray the US started to worry again, hence chicken taxes etc.

US vehicles have different safety standards than the rest of the world to protect them and make it harder for imports, hence foreign manufactures setting up factories in the US to produce their cars.

The US continually made "changes" which amounted to protectionist measure to protect their vehicle manufacturing sector to the point where they use emission controls to limit imports.

This has left the US with vehicles that no one wants or really needs other than a few "cult" vehicles.

As you mentioned pickups are the most valuable asset that the Big 3 have at the moment and is the most protected vehicle in the US.

Even CAFE standards are protecting them from mid sizers by the use of the footprint method, whereas Europe and us are using weight for emission standards and taxation.

The US has been using NOx levels to prevent an onslaught of diesel vehicles from entering the US. Heating oil in the US produces a significant amount of the photo-chemical pollution by NOx and yet diesel power vehicles and that is road registered vehicles are targeted harder than plant and equipment and heating oil.

This approach has now left the US with outdated designs, once they align themselves with the rest of the world with emissions in 2016 diesels will sell, just like the rest of the world. But they still will have differing design regulations.

The fuel crisis was the wake up call globally on our reliance of crude oil. The Germans and Japanese realised they had the vehicles the world will need and the rest is history. The crissis ended without to much of a wimper and the US started allowing manufacturers of smaller vehicles in the make "US" standard vehicles and continued on the same track.

Now they need to export, but what?

Oh – and I’m quite a bit YOUNGER than the “average 51-year-old Mustang buyer”. Not that 51 is old by any means for a new car shopper. But I’m in my prime, making plenty of money with lots of DISPOSABLE INCOME to buy cars... Yet, people here want to market the “New Mustang” to 18-year-old kids with a minimum wage job at Starbucks? REALLY? You need to think this through! 18 to 24 year olds don't drive cars. They are in college and don't need them. I think people just like to hear themselves talk. Ford will do fine with the next Mustang but don't kid yourself, kids are not going to buy that one either.

Tom, That's what I'm talking about. College kids don't buy expensive sports cars. That's why you don't see them driving one. Kids have no money. Ford knows what they are doing. They will have enough of a new design to attract new buyers while keeping Mustang fans happy. At 23 the question is what can you afford? If they are having someone else buy for them, they have no choice. Others buy used. Are young buyers buying Camrys instead of Mustangs? No, the average age of Camry buyers is 60. Young people buy whatever they can afford which is probably a used car.


concerning the air suspension on the ram. let me explain. the air bags are filled by a COMPRESSOR. if you do a lot of bouncing around and driving over ruff stuff well since the air bags are "self leveling shocks" the compressor has to keeping come back on more frequently. the compressor motor will likely overheat, and if the shocks (air bags) potentially run out of air it could probably damage the air bags as well. it is pretty much the same thing used on the lincoln town cars. you know everyone cried that ram needs to bring this out, then when it comes out, everyone bitches because they don't know how to use it responsibly. and people would bitch more and say ram had no quality if ram did not install the light in the trucks and some ametur broke it, just like the raptor frames bending because people jump off of cliffs with them. the purpose of this suspension is not a desert baja like Four Wheeler Magazine did, but rather for the casual off roader that needs more ground clearance for the trails but wants the aerodynamic benefits when traveling on the road. the suspension might also serve well for towing long distances for the best comfort and control (provided you don't overload the truck to over heat the compressor or air bags. tires with no air in them tend to overheat and come apart if you have no air in them you know.). when you have to service a lincoln with air ride you have to turn it off. this could be the same. people who opt for this suspension have to be mature adults not people like Hemi V8 that would jack the suspension up on off road 2 and drive off a cliff screaming "guts, glory, ram" hoping their favorite truck will just bounce and survive the trama.


also i am 22 and a big fan of "muscle cars and trucks". i love mopar now but started off as a chevy fan. i respect chevy and ford, but ford is too futuristic now days with all the ecoboost crap and chevy has finally got theirselves together with the gen V small block. in fact i prefer gms approach to fuel economy better, you know the one where V6s are disappearing and everything is either a I4 or double that a V8. the LFX V6 (3.6 L) is eventually going away. the only V6 will be the 4.3, which now i see why GM kept it because it is based on the Gen V V8 which saves money. all fwd cars biggest motor will eventually be a 2.0 turbo di (for gm that is).

i prefer a I4 to a V6. car and driver had a good article about this once. odd number motors like I3s are always unbalanced naturally. flat and V motors based on odd In line motors are unbalanced as well. I6s are balanced, but V6s and flat 6s are not. a turbo di I4 is a better motor than a V6. a V6 is a compromise motor between mpg and power. because of modern I4s V6s are no longer needed in fwd vehicles. the question is will V6s replace V8s in rwd. i hope not! modern V8s can get decent mpgs with lots more power and a better sound. i would have a turbo di I4 or a di V8 or even a twin turbo di V8 but never a V6. i would rather hear a I4 over a 6 cylinder because you can't decide if a 6 cylinder is wanting to be more fart canish or more rumblely. the best 6 cylinder imo is a cummins. strait 6 so it's balanced. strait motors also generally have more constant torque bands. it is direct injection and turbo charged. and runs on the diesel cycle so a cummins was designed for max torque period. in other words that is all i would want a 6 cylinder for, max work.

@Josh- I read a story that stated that by designing vehicles to fit only smaller engines, car makers will save space, weight, and money. Engine compartments can be made more compact. Shorter wheel bases can be used without loss of capacity. Weight can be saved equaling better mpg. I think that with the next gen Ford 1/2 ton, the only V8 will be the 5.0. The question will be whether or not it will be the medium engine or the top engine in the lineup. I bet the next gen F150 will have a shorter and lower snout.
It is already been roumored that the next gen Mustang will not fit the Shelby 5.8 based on the 5.4. That is a clue as to the direction Ford will go.
@Steve, @Tom - sure, most 20-24 year olds aren't going to be able to afford a performance Mustang, but as I pointed out, the early Mustangs were cheep, small, and economical to run. Performance was an option.
Targetting the post grad younger generation, the ones that have graduated college or trade school, the ones that have entered the workforce and are making money are the ones to target. The thing is, if one has a sporty and cheep base model to sell to the college types, the odds of them staying loyal to a brand is more likely.
There has been much written about the amount of people entering college and subsequently being unemployed. One needs to be realistic in ones education choices. I would not pick a career with limited employment options. That is a separate problem all on its own.

Josh: not bad, but the one about the flat engine not being balanced? a flat or what is called opposed, is the most naturaly balanced engine made, it is now, and always will be, from the lowly Subaru, to the BMW motorcycles and Ural bikes, (Russian copy of BMW) to the most expencive and powerful Porsche Turbo, not to mention just about all the engines in gas powered small planes, (Continental), goole it and there you will find out all you need to know about opposed engine tech.

Even Fiat Eurotrash is kicking ass on good old Amercian Dodge Muscle cars.

Thats gotta hurt.

Posted by: Lou | Jan 13, 2013 1:10:20 AM

People are not buying that euro designed Furd trash because they are the baddest meanest looking car. It's because they have a 1.3L motor and get good gas mileage period. BORING!!!! Some of us like a little snap when we hit the gas. Some of us can afford a V8. Most people are cheap. Will drive cheap gas Honda's. NOT MY STYLE.

I have to agree with Lou and Steve's assessment with the younger generation it is a little hard to get excited about muscle cars and hot pickups when you are living with your parents and struggling to pay off your student loans. Many of the new generations are more interest in I-Phones and portable electronic devices Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers are more for the boomers who can now afford the cars that they wanted when they were young. That is why a Global Mustang will not work in America but can over a period of time be evolved into a global product as the next generations become the core customers. That is one reason why there are slight changes each model year on the F-150 which over a period of time could share the global Ranger platform but share just enough exterior features to be similiar to today's F-150. Buick LaCross is a Opel but it has the distinctive Buick grille.

@Big Al a global truck will be more readily accepted if it is evolved over a period of time similiar to the 70s land yacht cars evolving into the more global fuel efficient intermediates of today. Change in the American truck market will be an Evolutionary process and this will be how America will change to global vehicles.

@Hemi V8--Guys in there 40s like you are more interested in high performance muscle cars and trucks. Most younger guys have little interest in big V8s and are more likely to customize a Honda Civic. This is my observation from the young teens and young 20s crowd that I see cruising the streets where I live. Maybe a few tricked out Tacomas, Rangers, Nissan hardbodies, and old S-10s but other than that few muscle cars and hemi Rams. Those muscle vehicles are more for guys in their 40s and up. Most young guys if given a choice between a hot car or truck and a portable electronic device that keeps them wired to their peers will choose the portable devices.

@Hemi V8--Guys in there 40s like you are more interested in high performance muscle cars and trucks. Most younger guys have little interest in big V8s and are more likely to customize a Honda Civic. This is my observation from the young teens and young 20s crowd.
Posted by: Jeff S | Jan 13, 2013 5:19:48 PM

Very good observation. My son is twenty and loves SRT4 and TOYOTA'S supra. Kids these day's don't seem to have the passion for cars like me. Not getting their license till later in life. I was driving corvettes at 12. Waxing and washing them for my mom.

@HemiV8 - I know you hate Ford and are turning it int a Ford bashfest but my point is - the majority of the top selling cars in the USA are either Japanese badged or European designed. The Ford Focus, Escape, and Fusion are all European designed. The engines are also borrowed from Europe.
Ford WAS selling American designed and built cars and they sucked. No one wanted them. Same can be said for GM and Chrysler. Why do you thing most of the top sellers are Japanese. The USA made sh-tty cars for too long.

The Challenger is outsold by the Fiat 500. Both are niche cars.
A Fiat 500 Abarth costs over 30 grand if you get all of the bells and whistles. That is not a cheep econobox.

Oh, I forgot to mention that a base model Challenger costs as much as the base model Fiat Abarth.

@Hemi V8--I grew up with the muscle cars and the powerful V8s and even though I don't own one currently I have to admit that when I see an old muscle car or one of the current Challengers, Camaros, and Mustangs my heart skips a beat. The new generation, which is your 20 year old son, mostly are not interested in these cars. I agree with you that most of today's cars are boring and look very similiar, but I will probably buy another boring sedan that is economical and reliable. I think there will always be a few cars and trucks that will elicit excitement but they will become fewer and more expensive. I do enjoy the old car shows especially the ones with the 60s and 70s muscle cars.

@Lou--Most Americans and Canadians have accepted global cars. The distinctly American cars have evolved into globally designed and if like the Camaro and Buick LaCross they at least share a Holden or a Opel platform. This I believe will be what will happen with the full size American half ton trucks as well. Over a decade or more our full size half tons will be a global truck but with maybe an F-150 grill, Silverado & Sierra grill, and a Ram grill. There will be just enough distinct features to separate our NA trucks from their global counterparts. The same thing will happen to the Mustang and Challenger. Who said Evolution is not alive and well?

@Jeff S
My percieved anit American sentiments is due to the frustration that the US could be the premier SUV/Pickup exporter in the world. And some of the very narrow minded comments on this site.

I do think the US stylists can make some attractive packages, but engineering is limited by the supplying the cheapest and biggest attitude. Just like your road whales once were.

This approach with a protected environment has reduced quality and efficiency.

I think the US has shot itself in the foot due to protectionist barriers.

I don't know what the numbers for pickup manufacturing is globally, but I think the US would be manufacturing much less than half. To me, the orignal concept of a pickup was a half ton. The 3/4 and 1 ton trucks evolved from a more commercial biased concept.

What is stiffling the ability of the US to dominant pickups globally is what I term the "we can only have full size". The measures taken to protect full size has stopped the US from designing/manufacturing/exporting mid sizers globally.

Your road whales died quite suddenly and was replaced not evolved, the only remains are the transfer of product names. The US tried to manufacture smaller cars but didn't have the expertise that the Europeans and Japanese had.

I think the demise of your 1/2 ton pickups will be quick as well.

If the US had created an equitable market for pickups, half tons right now would be sold in much less numbers and mid sizers would be in their place.

This would have allowed the US to be manufacturing global pickups and create more employment. This would also have had the US designing small diesels.

But what amazes me is the "blindness" that your industry and goverment has. The US needs to standardise to the rest of the world.

And to the full size pickup crowd, I'm not saying stop 1/2 ton sales and production.

@Big Al--I disagree with you about the sudden demise of the land yachts (road whales) because I was there. The 77 GM full sizes were reduced in size by about 500 to 1,000 lbs and reduced in length by about a foot and given aluminum hoods and trunk lids along with more plastic body panels. The 78 GM intermediates followed with the same treatment as the full size models before them. For the 1979 Ford did the same thing with their full size LTDs and Mercury Marquis and in 1980 Lincoln Town Car was downsize to the size of the 1979 LTDs and Marquis. Also Ford in 1980 downsized the Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar again from their first 1977 downsized versions to share a Fairmont platform and the Lincoln Mark also shared the same platform. The large 73 Mustang became the Mustang II which was based on a Pinto platform. For 85 GM full sizes shrunk to a boxy front wheel drive switching V8s for transmounted V-6s. GM did the same for their intermediates for 1988. Chrysler followed a similar downsizing with their full size and intermediates in 1979 and then again in 1989 with front wheel drive transmounted V6s. Big Al if you don't believe me the next time you come to the states find a 71 to 76 Buick Electra 225 and compare it to a 77 to 84, then to an 85 to 90 and you will see an evolutionary process of change. A 1976 Chevy Impala did not become a 2012 Impala overnight it evolved and for 2014 the Impala will share the same platform as the Buick Lacross even offering the e assist 4 cylinder.

When the 1986 Ford Taurus came on the market it redefined what a midsize family sedan should be. It blew the competition away and caused GM, Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda to go back to the draw boards. Yes the Japanese cars have changed US cars but cars like the Taurus changed everyone. Today's midsize cars, foreign and domestic were all influenced by that 86 Taurus with its jelly bean shape and roomy interior.

Ford I predict will take the global Ranger and give it some F-150 exterior treatments and it will be the new F-150 half ton. This will happen sometime between 2015 and 2025. The 3/4s and ton Fs will be offered for sometime for those who need and want a larger and more capable truck.

@Jeff S
Maybe I should have re-worded what I wrote.

At my mothers "village" I do see many seniors still driving large 80s and early 90s vehicles. I don't know the names of them but some have quite unattractive styling.

Every 3rd home has a 1/2 ton pickup.

@Big Al--I see the late 80s and early 90s Buicks, Cadillacs, and Chevy Luminas and Berettas at senior living places. Usually the new cars are Hyundai Accents, Kias, and Ford Focuses which on a fixed income are the most affordable newer cars. The mid 80s to the mid 90s were the Dead Zone for most American cars which was the boxy chopped off downsized cars Even most of the Japanese from that era were a huge yawn. Ford Taurus at least was different and set a new direction, though many of today's midsize cars can be boring but more reliable and fuel efficient than the cars of the past. I wasn't trying to be hard on you it is just my close familiarity with American cars from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s gives me a good perspective on the changes. As for trucks I am not quite as familiar but I can tell different years and models, but I could never keep up with you, Lou, and some others when it comes down to load capabilities and engineering specs. I can tell you the difference between a 62, 63, or 64 Ford Galaxie XL 500 and the same with a Chevy SS or a Dodge of the same period.

@JeffS, @Big Al from Oz, cars did seem to downsize in the mid 70's and into the '80's but even cars like the Mustang, Camaro, and Firechicken (FireBird) were for the most part boring and performance sucked. My '68 Ford 2 dr Galaxie 500 that I inherited from my parents easily killed anything from the mid '70s onward with its 390 ci 4V engine. I'll have to add, since HemiV8 will probably chime in - Chrysler products were rare. Ford and Chev were where it was at. I used to be able to tell the difference between all of the Ford Galaxies, and Mustangs. I liked the Galaxie models more than most Mustangs because no one expected a Galaxie to be fast. Great sleeper car. They went to hell after 1969. Mustangs went to hell around 1970. The Dodge stuff seemed to linger later into the mid "70's. Chevy seemed to die too once the '70's dawned. Someone called it the "Mallaise Era". The Truth About Cars called it "The Malaise Era of American automotive history refers to the period of model- year 1973 through model-year 1983".
I lost interest in cars because of the crappy looks and emission choked engines of that era.
There is some exciting stuff on the market now, but "married with children" kinda kills any forays into that world.





@Lou @ Big Al--EPA and Insurance companies killed the great era of the musle cars and the performance sedans like Galaxie 500, Impala SS, Mercury Maurader and Montego, Grand Prix, and early Monte Carlo SS. I remember when I was in high school the 70 1/2 Dodge Challenger came out and after it was out the insurance companies raised the premiums considering it a high risk vehicle. Most of the America cars after 72 were boring and uninspiring. The polution control devices killed the Road Runners, Olds 442s, Chevelle SS, Monte Carlo SS, Mustangs, Challengers, Chargers, Cudas, Cougars, Torinos, Montegos, and a bunch of other great muscle cars. "The Malaise Era of American automotive history " sums it up well and if you still had the 68 Galaxie it would be worth a lot. I liked the 63 thru 64 Ford Galaxie 500 XL that came with the hardtop roofs with the convertible top creases in it and the bucket seats with the console shifter in the middle in both 2 and 4 door. Those with the 64 1/2 to 66 Mustang have to be one of my favorite Ford cars of all times along with the 49 to 50 Ford and the 56 Ford Crown Vic with the custom roofs and the 55 to 57 T-Birds. I also like the 53 to 56 F-100s and the 57 thru 60 F-100s.

Cars have become more like appliances in recent year, very reliable and efficient but mostly uninspiring. I do like the Hyundai Sonota, the 2013 Ford Fusion, the new Buick LaCross, some of the Cadillacs, and the newer Taurus. Ford has got some great styling in some of their cars now and they have come a long ways in recent years. But it is hard to get excited over a Whirlpool refrigerator and washing machine. Maybe that is one other reason today's youth are not that interested in cars and trucks along with the large price tags that they cannot afford.

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