Who Will Be the Next to Jump?

KIA.midsizeP'up.hi[6]

Manufacturers love to create splashy concept cars to grab attention. Sometimes it's simply to allow designers and engineers a chance to stretch themselves; sometimes it's to take a poke at the competition; still other times, it's to gauge interest about a real project that's on their product planning sheets.

There's no question the automakers will continue to use this strategy to grab (or hog) as much of the spotlight as possible, especially at the four big auto shows, but sometimes we like to take a few guesses as to which companies are more likely than others to make this kind of leap in the truck segment.

Yes, we know that right now there are more companies deciding to leave the pickup truck segment than looking to join it, but you can bet there are quite a few serious (albeit contentious) product planning meetings going on right now that include forward-looking pickup crossovers in an attempt to take advantage of the changing boundaries and definitions.

In particular, we've heard about two heated meetings recently (one Michigan based, one Japan based) where the subject of the next pickup almost got out of hand. Again, from what we've heard from direct and indirect sources, the biggest issues for designers and engineers are the coming 2016 and 2025 federal emissions regulations, which practically forces them to think long and hard about moving away from traditional body-on-frame trucks and taking a closer look at products like the Honda Ridgeline or even the long-gone Subaru Baja.

Every once and awhile we like to let one of our favorite creative geniuses put a few sketches together to see what he comes up with. All we said to him was, "What if Hyundai/Kia wanted to do a pickup truck?" Then we stood back. No doubt they'd have to do something drastic to separate themselves from the other players in the midsize segment, but clearly product designer Mark Stehrenberger thinks the Koreans might do very well creating a sporty crossover pickup truck with heavy emphasis on bed flexibility and easy access.

As clever as the bed of the truck might be (and we think there is plenty of room for someone to make a much smarter, more versatile pickup bed — so far the RamBox is the best effort we've seen), we understand four full-size doors will be a requirement for some. Popular concepts like Toyota's A-BAT, GMC's Denali XT and Dodge's Rampage look like their time may be coming. Our guess is we'll see something from one of the "outside" players in the next couple of auto show seasons. Lord knows the big players seem to be quite comfortable sticking to their cautious strategy, so maybe someone else can come up with a better Avalanche or Explorer Sport Trac.

KIA.MidsizeP'up.rear.hi[9]

Comments

Wow, Big Al must really worry about me. I haven't even posted on this thread up until now, yet I see he keeps mentioning my name, and copying and pasting. Calling me names of people that I have no clue who they are. Like I said, I have posted on here as Tom in 2010, and until my computer lost power the other day and I had to refill my name and e-mail address, so I put a - in my name, BFD. So that's a whopping 3 names. What a clown Al is. He must be obsessed or worried. The other day he was calling me mate, I say no thanks, I aint your mate.

It just goes to show you.

Now onto the real subject: I wouldn't mind a shorter nose truck, at least the front overhang. It could better approach angles. I already snagged the air dam on my 2010 Ram on a downed tree limb. I guess the air ride could have helped there if it was in offroad 1 or 2, or taking the air dam off, or a small spacer to lift the front? Parking could be just a bit better with a shorter nose, but I don't expect it to be like a midsize. They can do it and still retain the longer wheelbase trucks have (and that wheelbase has nothing to do with the EPA, lol, as one reader tried to suggest!)

The shorter wheelbase can have a better breakover angle, but yet won't handle the weight as well. I will take the longer wheelbase, since I don't go 4x4'ing for fun.

They can make the front even more aero then now, yet keep the same cab sizes, and bed sizes.

@Josh: I see that Jeep has Firestone Destination A/Ts, I don't know if Jeeps had Firestone in the past, but they would be much welcome by me to put those Destination A/Ts on Rams, as they can stand some more tire choices.

@AllAmerican: Actually alot of people might say a Chevy is what Miss Piggy might drive. Looks are just based on peoples opinions, we all have a right to whatever opinion. But I think really, the Chevy is butt ugley, just my opinion and I am not alone.

Didn't I see you saying now that your buddies Ford leans to the side when braking? That's funny as you said that about your buddies Ram too. Can we expect to see you say that about future Tundras and Nissans? Just insert their name when you want to bad mouth them?

As For the Aussies that say the Ram looks Korean, maybe they should look at what the Ram looked like in 1994 and realize it's not a huge change but rather some refinement, and maybe the Koreans are coppying the Ram? Whatever.....

I really don't think anybody can say the Ford or GM are coppying Ram in anyway, I just don't see the resemblence. But I would say the Tundra was somewhat styled from a Ram. If you look at the sizes and all, it looks like Toyota wanted to copy Ram in alot of ways. The front end, the double cab and crew max sizes are very similar to the quad cab and Megacab Ram that was out in 2006. They are about the same width, and gee what do you know, Toyota built a 5.7 liter (oh, it's not 350 inches BTW) while Ram had a 5.7. YES, I know the two engines are nothing alike once you look past the fact they are both V-8s of 5.7L. In 2006 Ram had a quadcab longbed, so, Toyota made that as well. But then they went and made an ugly grille for the 2014, oops, one step forward (interior) two steps back. The second step being no real drivetrain improvements. Still last in mileage, atleast behind Ram, Ford and the new GMs.

I'll make a few bold, crazy and nonsensical predictions here.

First up: Daimler. A pickup based on the Sprinter platform, solely for commercial use, but the public will buy one because a dealer will sell one to whoever brings the money. Look for a Freightliner badge, Mercedes will likely pass on it.

Next: Navistar. They are involved in the Nstt armored truck concept, and International has been looking for a way back into the light truck market. Coincidence?

China is next. Great Wall and Foton are at least 2 years away from the US market, and now the next move hinges on North American plant capacity to avoid the chicken tax. Foton is already looking at Mexico.

And keep an eye on Tiger truck. This is my wild, uneducated guess: The current Champ 4500 currently built in Oklahoma will become the basis for the next generation full-sizer -one that will be legal for US roads. These guys are not playing.

Long shots: Jeep, Tata, and Tesla. I'll toss Smith Electric in there too. Hyundai and Kia, maybe

I'll say no to Range Rover. That will never happen.

And forget Mahindra. they're finished here.

@Denver Mike, Greg Baird, or what ever else you call yourself. --You seem to like to twist what people say and change the subject. I said the half ton pickups of the future will retain much of their current size except they will have a shorter snout and have more efficient engines such as V6s, 4 cylinders, and possible diesels. I doubt that most people will want smaller cabs because most Americans are getting bigger. There will be some V8s left but there will not be as much choice and they will be less thirsty. Maybe you need a long hood and a large V8 but you will not be in the majority. I think both the current crop of mid sizes and half ton full sizes will be obsolete in the near future.

I am guessing you are in your 40s so you are too young to remember the land yacht autos of the mid 60s to the late 70s. I am not talking about Mustangs, Camaros, or Challengers I am talking about Cadillac Sedan Devilles, Olds 98s, Buick Electra 225s, Dodge Monacos, Chevy Caprice Classics, Pontiac Grandvilles, Plymouth Grand Furys, Ford LTDs, Mercury Grand Marquis, and an array of large full size cars that were big enough to hold eight people in. I remember those cars and remember the owners of those cars saying they would never drive anything smaller. Fast forward 40 years later and see how many cars like that are still on the road and how many of their owners are still around. My mother had a 72 Sedan Deville with a 472 cu inch V8 that got 8 mpgs. It was comfortable and the engine had lots of power but do you see the consumer begging for a return of those cars.

The truck market will evolve to more efficient vehicles as well and the cars will continually evolve. Maybe you cannot see any changes and possibly you are like one of those extinct land yacht owners of the past but the half ton pickups will change out of sheer economics. The buyers will demand more efficient vehicles that will meet their needs. Lighter materials and more efficient engines while cutting any overhang off the vehicles but retaining as much interior and bed size as possible.

I would rather evolve and adapt to the change than become extinct, but it is your prerogative not to evolve.

I do think there is a place for a compact truck on a front wheel drive platform for those that just want the utilities of a truck with out the large size. Will these trucks displace full size trucks? I doubt they will but sharing a car platform and assembling them on the same line will lower costs. I think the market is much more flexible than you do but then I am not just a meat and potatoes guy. I do not see smaller trucks doing heavy duty work, but in all honesty how many pickups ever are used to their capacities.


@imoore
Damler/Mercedes are more interested in Heavier Trucks and Vans rather than Pickups. Navistar are not out of the woods financially. Ford would not be too thrilled having them as a competitor. Also they are not set up for a mass produced item like a Pickup. Trucks and RV's yes.
YOU MAY Get the Chinese trying to sell their cheap Pickups in the US. The others no

@Jeff S: My stepdad had a 1975 Buick Electra 225 with the 455 engine. I learned how to drive on it. It actually was very decent on gas. It did alot better then my 69 Chevy long bed C-10 with a TH400 trans (three speed to those that don't know) and it hat a 250 inline 6 after the 350 was removed because it smoked so bad. The 250 was in good mechanical shape. It was a non smoker and I had the head removed for a valve job. It still sucked gas, and was rather gutless. I would have been much better off just buying the spare 455 Buick my stepdad was selling, which went into an old 72 Cutlass.

The Buick was far better on gas then his 74 GMC 2500 4x2 with a 454 and auto.

A front wheel drive midsizer could almost eliminate the hump in the middle, or it can just be reatained for exhaust clearance, even if it was exhaust clearance only it would have more room minus a transmission tunnel. The newer midsize trucks can't even fit three accross like my coworkers 89 Dakota did. A single cab that sits only two is less value to me. It would be just as well though for my girlfriends 16 y/o son so him and only his girlfriend can ride together. He doesn't need a bunch of space. I found a Dodge Rampage which would work well for him. If he wants to haul something big his grandfather has a 2500 Chevy and there is my truck, but for right now this slant 6 Dodge shortbed 4x2 auto aint getting it. I can make it run better with differant parts, but it still is pushing lots of air and weighs 3700 or so.

We talked him out of a Mistsubishi 3000GT that didn't run in the first place. That could be one issue after the next, and it would probably bottom out everywhere.

I am against a 4 cylinder turbo in a full size truck, but now a front wheel drive 2.4 or there abouts size, it could get great mileage. And 6 speed and 8 and 9 speeds are out there already, you can actually go back to having a choice, auto or stick, doubt the stick would go over well for those wanting to sit three. But that didn't stop us on my friends 79 Datson 4 speed truck.

Oh, I'm in my 40s and I remember the big 60s and 70s cars quite well. My grandmother had an Olds Delta 88.

I would hope they would avoid the Honda midgate or whatever deal.

The problem with mid-sized trucks, sport-utility trucks, unibody trucks-whatever you want to call them-is that there's only ONE available.

I'm retiring this year and I want one. I don't need or want a full sized truck, I don't want a compact truck, and I don't want the old, tired Ridgeline.

I have money to spend on a comfortable, roomy, 4-door daily driver with a truck bed that I can get dirty. That's all I want, but there's only one ugly one available.

These concepts are great, but absolutely useless until they're available for purchase, and not a single car company doing business in the US has announced their intention to release one here. Even Honda won't confirm or deny if their Ridgeline will even be continued in 2014.

@TRX-4 Tom--I got 10 mpgs out of my mother's 72 Cad once. I did like the engine, it was easy to work on and it had lots of power (pre catalytic converter and not much pollution control). I don't see turbo 4s in large crewcabs or extend cabs but it could be possible in a single cab. With Ford's ecoboost and Mopar's Penstar V6s this just might be the beginning of more efficient and powerful V6s and if these engines become proven then they could be improved to get better mpgs and power. Tom I do think that the full size half tons could become leaner and trimmer without sacrificing too much capacity.

The size of the Dakotas would be a good size if it had a more efficient drive train. The size of the Dakota was good it just needed to be updated.

I had my granddad's 63 IH with a straight 6 and three on the tree. It was a neat old truck and it ran well, but as you said the mpgs were not any better than most V8s of the time. I wished I would have kept it.

@Jeff: totally agree on the Dakota, if it had the Pentastar or another decent V-6, it might have kept going. My 2007 had a/c leaking water into the cab issues, and I hated the shocks. For me, had they put a smaller hemi in it, say like a 5 liter, and fixed the above problems, and if it only had the club cabs bed (mine was a quad cab, 5'4" bed) it would have been much better off.

But for alot of people the 3.7 v-6 was not powerful nor good on gas. They coulda been doing a Dakota Pentastar 4x4 with darn near the same mileage numbers the Ram 4x2 gets. They sold alot back in the day when you could get a 318 or 360 in one, with the 3.9 v-6 getting barely better then fullsizers now, full mileage, if that. The 2.5 was decent, but towards the end of Dakota 4 cylinder production, they stuck the Jeep 2.5 in which had just a bit more guts.

I really think the v-6 non turbos will suit a good deal of folks that want a truck, but either don't tow or don't tow heavy, of often. The 6 cylinders even back in the day didn't get near the attention and goodies the v-8s did. Could you imagine had Ford spent as much time and money on the 300 straight 6 as they did the 5.0 of the 80s? Or if Dodge made a bigger version of the slant six? It was killed off because of emmisions I do believe? If they had injection on it might have run a bit cleaner. They always made those engines, atleast the 70s and up, 6 cylinders, very low compression,like 8 to 1. They coulda done so much more with that, and cylinder heads, injection, and cams and better exhaust. The old cam designs bled of what compression many had, and they (ussaully) didn't use any quench with the pistons.

Was the IH like a Scout? My dad was a body and fender shop owner, and he brought home many differant vehicles after fixing them, and he drove them a few years and then sold them. We had a Scout with a 3 on the tree, want to say it was from 71 though, and was a 343 v-8???

@Jeff S - Can we stop with the childish accusations of name changing/rolling? It's ridiculous already. And how did I twist your words?

It's too easy to predict the end of V8 full-size pickups as we know them. It's popular opinion and rehashing it requires no thinking. The thing is, when I started driving, fuel was $1 a gallon and when it climbed to a totally insane $2, everyone was going on and on about the demise of V8 pickups, long before it ever reaches $3 a gallon...

Guess what happened instead? Yes full-size pickups got even bigger! CAFE was in full effect back then too, and pickup trucks got 11 MPG and now they're at 17 MPG thanks to CAFE. So why does 23 MPG (CAFE) by 2025 seem unattainable to you? I mean while keeping the same size 'footprint' of current full-size? And all the while *keeping* V8s (with updated tech) in 2025 MY full-size pickups?

Nothing has come along that can beat V8s, and likely never will. Not even wheezy little diesels on acid. I mean all things considered V8s are unbeatable, especially if were talking future trucks that will perform the same functions with the same capacity/payload characteristics. V8s would benefit current (fully loaded and decked out) mid-size trucks too, when you think about it. The V8 Sport Trac only lost 1 MPG vs the 4.0 V6 Sport Trac.

Full-size trucks will be getting lighter, but with absolutely no shrinkage. Zero. If anything, mid-size will no longer exist because they will continue to grow to current full-size, whether you like it or not. The current full-size "footprint" is the 'sweet spot' in the CAFE (light truck) schedule.

@Jeff S and denvermike
Read this link.

This has been what I've been talking about for the past year. All I get from some of you guys is $hit (not Jeff S).

Open your market and let mid sizer compete and adopt UNECE regs like most of us do and you will still have full size trucks.

Not as many because midsizers will take sales away. Irrespective of what DenverMike/Greg Baird states midsizer will sell more.

But you will still have your V8 pickups.

Read and weep.

http://smh.drive.com.au/motor-news/fuel-to-curb-vf-commodore-exports-20130328-2gvpe.html

@Big Al from Oz - How is the US market closed to mid-size trucks? That's complete and total nonsense.

Compact and mid-size OEMs left the US market (screaming) for greener pastures. Like The Congo. The existence of full-size trucks would kill their fun (and profits), AGAIN... Ask any past US compact or mid-size truck OEM (foreign or domestic) and they'll tell you: "Been there, Done that..." The US truck market is wide open for any takers. Ask Hino, UD, Fuso or Mercedes... See these are trucks US consumers actually want.

The lack of US/UNECE harmony cuts both ways. US regulations evolved when there was no other world standards to harmonize with. The UNECE decided to set their own, different standards (not better), as they evolved, instead of harmonizing (or seeking to harmonize) with existing US regulations. It was actually the separatist EU putting up trade barriers, not the US. See, they *also* "cut both ways".

The Holden/Chevy SS would never be a hot seller in the US regardless of CAFE. $50K+ is an absolute joke! That's German Luxo car money. Limiting its production/imports was GM's decision (for whatever reason?) and not CAFE's. Nothing but natural selection kept the sales of the G8/GT/GPX and GTO so darn marginal. It's just the same old excuses, posturing and propaganda by GM/Holden brass for irrelevant and unwanted products. CAFE hasn't prevented or slowed V8 Dodge/Chrysler 300 and Charger sales. That's another wide open market.

When quizzed on main competitors for the car, Clark pointed to the Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8, but also threw in a wild card.

“BMW 5-Series,” said Clark. “We’re not necessarily targeting them, we’re thinking that some of those customers may see the technology, safety, performance and everything in this car and realise it really does everything those cars do.”


This is actually in the link, wow. People can't comprehend too well I suppose.

Remember in the UK the main competitiors for the HSVs sold there are AMG and the M series BMWs. All sedans.

@DenverDumbass
You obviously work for the EPA or CAFE. Some of the dumb ass unsubstantiated comments you come up with, wow. Or you are a Greenpeace Plant or just a plant.

You never prove SFA, just spruik bull$hit. At least provide links and other forms of support to justify your claims.

What you just wrote has nothing to do with nothing.

You are entitled to your opinion, though and I do respect that.

@Jeff S
Greg Baird will be added to my investigation.

@Big Al from Oz
You've got the right stuff!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xccme_new-kids-on-the-block-the-right-stu_music

Oh oh oh oh oh
The right stuff;)

@TRX4-Tom
Get you and you neanderthals off my A$$.

You work for Fiat.

Ever since you changed from Tom Terrific and came onto PUTC you have been on my back over mid sizers.

Why? Like I stated RAM DOESN'T have a midsizer. Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan all have one or there is one in the pipeline.

When quizzed on main competitors for the car, Clark pointed to the Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8, but also threw in a wild card.

“BMW 5-Series,” said Clark. “We’re not necessarily targeting them, we’re thinking that some of those customers may see the technology, safety, performance and everything in this car and realise it really does everything those cars do.”


This is actually in the link, wow. People can't comprehend too well I suppose.

Remember in the UK the main competitiors for the HSVs sold there are AMG and the M series BMWs. All sedans.

@DenverDumbass
You obviously work for the EPA or CAFE. Some of the dumb ass unsubstantiated comments you come up with, wow. Or you are a Greenpeace Plant or just a plant.

You never prove SFA, just spruik bull$hit. At least provide links and other forms of support to justify your claims.

What you just wrote has nothing to do with nothing.

You are entitled to your opinion, though and I do respect that.

When quizzed on main competitors for the car, Clark pointed to the Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8, but also threw in a wild card.

“BMW 5-Series,” said Clark. “We’re not necessarily targeting them, we’re thinking that some of those customers may see the technology, safety, performance and everything in this car and realise it really does everything those cars do.”


This is actually in the link, wow. People can't comprehend too well I suppose.

Remember in the UK the main competitiors for the HSVs sold there are AMG and the M series BMWs. All sedans.

@DenverDumbass
You obviously work for the EPA or CAFE. Some of the dumb ass unsubstantiated comments you come up with, wow. Or you are a Greenpeace Plant or just a plant.

You never prove SFA, just spruik bull$hit. At least provide links and other forms of support to justify your claims.

What you just wrote has nothing to do with nothing.

You are entitled to your opinion, though and I do respect that.

@Lou
You must going to sleep every night laughing that I have to put up with the goatherders now:)

Different country, different ideas, Ram guys must be a very bigoted lot and/or inbreed hicks.

@Dave
Who complains the most about my mid sizer comment. The Ramtards. Why? Maybe because they are the only manufacturer without a midsizer.

Like I said guerilla marketing, Ram looks like a loser then.

You didn't post when I said hello to Jeff S on TTAC. Doesn't suit your skewed argument. Also, I'm a prolific poster on TTAC, that failed to be in your story.

@DenverDA (District Attorney:-)
So, who is this Greg Baird? I haven't mentioned him yet.

I'll find out who he is. I noticed you put him under Jeff S's name.

I'm gradually phishing you out:-) notice the bigger smile now?

You thought you are that good a troll? We'll I don't troll.

How many IP addresses have you got left? Have they been getting closed down :-(

Yea, DDA. Why are you hell bent on destroying this site?

Is it something to do with Greg Baird? This is really getting interesting. Who is Greg Baird DDA?

Am I playing with your mind :-) Like I said I can get under your skin anytime I want.

Oh, the Right Stuff, jeez man you have to do better than that.

You screw around with people minds, I worked that out didn't I Hemi V8 another psuedonym.

I might owe TRX4 and apology when this is over.

Greg Baird? Greg Baird? Greg Baird? Greg Baird? Greg Baird?

@Denver Mike--Again you twisted my words. I never predicted the demise of the full size half tons or the demise of the V8, I just said that the full size half ton will change and there will less selection of V8s. Instead of having 3 or 4 V8s there could be 1 or 2 and more V6s. The fronts of the trucks could get shorter and there would be less overhang and more function. Trucks might get a little bigger before they get smaller but people will get tired of having something that will be too big for their garages, too tall to reach in the bed, and less efficient. There is a lot that can be done to make trucks safer, more efficient, and less bulky. You keep twisting what I am saying but this seems to be a pattern for you. Again full size will change but cab and bed sizes will be the same. Engines and transmissions will be more refined and when weight is shed then smaller more efficient engines will replace the larger ones. V8s will not entirely go away for those towing, hauling, and willing to pay more for because they just want a V8. How many soccer dads really need a thirsty V8? Not everyone that wants a pickup needs the largest most powerful truck on the market, but if they are willing to pay for it they will be able to get it. The large pickups as we know them will change out of necessity. Maybe a little bigger than the current midsize but then a little smaller than what they currently are. It is your right to disagree and this is my opinion but I believe sheer economics will dictate changes, and if the US brands want to sell these trucks on a global scale then they will have to come up with a truck that satisfies everyone. Ford is particularly intent on the one global strategy and a truck between the current global midsize and the large American size would fit into Ford's plans. Even I would consider this compromise when buying my next truck.

@TRX-4 Tom--My IH was a 1,000 series step side larger than a Scout but more similar to a standard Ford, Chevy, and Dodge pickup. The cab was very roomy and could seat 3 adults comfortably. It was light metallic blue with a gray cloth interior, gauges, no radio, and the dash was all steel. It had a one barrel Holly carb, manual choke, oil bath steel mesh air filter. It still had the original rims and the IH hub caps. It was a smooth running truck but if I still had it I would have changed it over to an electronic ignition and had the valves hardened to run on unleaded gas. It was all original with 58K original miles.

@Jeff S,

"I do believe that the full size truck of today could differ from the global trucks that you have in that the interiors and exteriors could be similar in size to today's full size trucks while having a shorter snout and lighter components and small engines such as V-6s and 4s. This will upset the Hemi V8s and the Denver Mikes of the truck world but the next generation will be buying these trucks."

Why would V6s and 4s bother me as long as there's a V8 option? You didn't mention a V8 option. The death of V8s may not be what you 'meant', but all I can go by is what you wrote. It's the same thing when you said "High powered and thirsty V8s (just like the land yachts)... will pass as well"

Why would a shorter snout bother me? It doubt full-size will get a shorter snout because of aerodynamic as well as CAFE 'footprint' reasons.

You forget that "thirsty" V8 full-size trucks are as efficient and as mid-size trucks when you're talking fully loaded and decked out mid-size with V6s. Put them both to hard work and the full-size V8 pickup will do more work while consuming less fuel. Put them to hard work everyday and the V6

Full-size may not fit your lifestyle (or garage), but a million plus annual happy buyers (and up to 2 million if you add SUVs) are more than enough to marginal or trivialize those left out in the 'cold'. You don't want to here it, but mid-size trucks will die (physically) like compact pickups did.

@Big Al from Oz - The $50K Holden/Chevy SS will compete directly with the well equipped $30K Dodge Charger R/T so you tell me how that will go over with US consumers? As a BMW 5-series competitor? What? The Chevy SS would be a future Tijuana taxi like the Shamu Caprice if it wasn't so set to be rare collectible like its G8 variants.


I'm sorry what I say hurts your feeling, but it's the hard truth and better you hear it from me... Don't drink the Holden Kool Aid, OK? Why is the Holden Commodore dying in its own homeland? You can't blame CAFE on that too.


It's the same Holden Marketing directors that claimed the Chicken tax would kill the possibility or viability of a US bound Holden Ute (pickup) when there is absolutely, without a doubt, a "Free Trade Agreement" (FTA) between the US and Australia. They're just a bunch of jokers is all.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/chicken-tax-derails-u-s-success-of-holden-ute/#comment-2019985

And who's Greg Baird? No one here has heard of him. Don't worry about the name rollers, PUTC administration are currently working on the problem. They're investigating YOU primarily and I'll still be here when you're gone.

@DenverMike
Are you lying again? Or trolling?

Or twisting?

In July 2010, Autocar reported that, "VXR8 was quietly dropped from the pricelists several months ago" after stocks ran out. However, a face-lifted version based on the new HSV E3 GTS was released to the UK market in April 2011 at a price of around £49,500, almost £15,000 more than the previous VXR8, but significantly cheaper than most of its rivals, like the Mercedes E63 AMG and BMW M5.

HSV claims the braking performance of the GTS is better than some of the world's leading sports cars, including the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS55 and Lamborghini Gallardo. The GTS can stop from 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 36 metres, only 30 centimeters shy of a Porsche 997.

Seems competitive against its rivals as stated in Autocar.

We know it can accelerate and handle and has very good build quality. How can a muscle car be that good you ask.

@DenverDA, you Say
The Holden/Chevy SS would never be a hot seller in the US regardless of CAFE. $50K+ is an absolute joke! That's German Luxo car money. Limiting its production/imports was GM's decision (for whatever reason?) and not CAFE's.


GM Say
Higher fuel use – not a lack of demand – could determine the sales success of the Holden VF Commodore in the United States.

Speaking at the motor show reveal of the Chevrolet SS – the name the Commodore will wear in the US - to media at the 2013 New York motor show, General Motors executive and former Holden boss Alan Batey said it would be America’s strict fuel use targets that will ultimately put a limit on sales.

@DenverDA again,
Who do we believe? A known liar and troll? or GM on this one.

The Commodore isn't a pony car and so far it competes with M Series BMWs, AMGs, Audi's etc outside of the US. Remember the US isn't the world. It represents less than 20% of global vehicle sales.

Are you going to multi post again?

Remember Apollo 13 is watching.

@Denver Mike-Again you twist words. There is a big difference between high powered performance V8s and more efficient V8s. This is not so much what I want as what I think will happen. Consumers will not just pay any amount for gas without any change in buying behavior. Maybe you will, but you will see consumers looking for more efficient options. This is what happened to the large full size cars, but then the midsize cars grew to basically take their place. I can live without a midsize truck, but then again where there is a void the market will fill it. The Chinese will eventually be in the US car and truck market. Detroit is doing more of the same which is to put their eggs in one basket. Short term the large trucks are profitable but either Detroit will adapt or the competition will address the unfilled needs of the market which is how the Japanese companies got a foot hold in our market. If the midsize trucks grow anymore then they could possibly be the new full size. Who really knows for sure but at higher fuel prices and higher food and utility prices the consumer will make compromises. In economic terms any income that a consumer has left over is called discretionary income which is either saved, spent on non necessities, or both. Necessities would include food, clothing, shelter, debt obligations, and utilities (which would be considered a necessities). Fuel usage has been declining in the US and will probably continue to do so as more people replace their old vehicles with more efficient ones. Most vehicles have a life span of 10 to 12 years although many are run beyond that. In 10 to 12 years you will see changes in all the vehicles with the new fuel standards and with the cost of energy.

Maybe you have endless funds and do not look at the cost of energy and food, but the average American will. The next vehicle I get will be more efficient yet it will not be so small that it does not meet my needs. Granted it does not make sense to replace a solid reliable vehicle just to get a few extra miles to the gallon, but when it comes time to replace that old vehicle efficiency is a top consideration. You might be one of the few consumers not to look at efficiency. Maybe you have unlimited funds. In a few years I will retire and I know that I will not have as much income to spend. I will probably buy at least one new vehicle before I retire and I will look at efficiency because I believe energy costs will continue to go up along with food and medical costs. I would much rather be cautious than not.

I do believe that your views are very narrow and you have a short term approach to everything. In my 61 years I have learned that change happens and it is better to adapt than become a relic.

@DenverDA
And who's Greg Baird? No one here has heard of him. Don't worry about the name rollers, PUTC administration are currently working on the problem. They're investigating YOU primarily and I'll still be here when you're gone.


DenverMike, so you say.

PUTC are investigating me?

Are you lying again or trolling?

I think you are in for a shock.

@Lou
You must going to sleep every night laughing that I have to put up with the goatherders now:)

Different country, different ideas, Ram guys must be a very bigoted lot and/or inbreed hicks.

@Dave
Who complains the most about my mid sizer comment. The Ramtards. Why? Maybe because they are the only manufacturer without a midsizer.

Like I said guerilla marketing, Ram looks like a loser then.

You didn't post when I said hello to Jeff S on TTAC. Doesn't suit your skewed argument. Also, I'm a prolific poster on TTAC, that failed to be in your story.

@sandman4X4
I have nothing against most of you guys.

But you all sat back and let me be attacked and multi posted and not one of you stood up to the fools causing the disruption. Now defend them?

When I defend myself against them you reject what I say?

No, be a little more consistent with your critisism.

TRX4 Tom is an aggresive fool, dominating. Hemi V8 posts crap and DenverMike is a lying troll. From what I can gather they seem to be one.

I do know this site is supposed to be a forum.

I will lay off of the fools, but I do expect you guys to offer support.

Or just sit back like what has been going on and it will continue until they they are caught out.

There is also more going on than meets the eye.

@Apollo 13: ?

Funny thing, now that Apollo 13 and Right Stuff just started on here, either it's a coincidence that they are both related to space, or we have some serious NASA space fans.

All I can say about that is Chuck Yeager rocks!

Now this Chevy SS, is this just a rebadged GTO? Because the American GTO we last had was nothing but a Holden.

@Big Al from Oz - This was from "admin" (highlighted in blue) in case you missed it:

"We have recently finished conducting a reader survey. Due to confidentiality rules I cannot speak to whether the one name and another name are truly the same person or whether it is just a coincidence that the two names act exactly alike at the same time on PUTC and other websites."
"This is a warning. If we find that a single user is posting comments under multiple names in order to promote unwelcome points, we will take action, meaning we will seek to remove those inappropriate comments (meaning, those comments that are off-topic to the specific blog post.)"

This means YOU and "Robert Ryan" also appearing on TTAC (if not other sites) and answering for each other there too with identical agendas. And who's "Apollo 13"? Another one of your 'personalities'? Where has he appeared before?

Back on topic... GM Say: "Higher fuel use – not a lack of demand – could determine the sales success of the Holden VF Commodore in the United States."

You'll believe anything GM Marketing puts out? Fuel prices haven't really affected V8 Luxury cars, V8 pony cars, V8 Chargers/Challengers/300Cs, not to mention V8 trucks sales. Anyone spending over $50K is hardly concerned about MPG. If so, they also own a hybrid to tool around in. Just typical posturing/excuses by GM Marketing for weak product potential.

Also, the Charger is not a pony car, and never has been. The SS Camaro is almost too big to be a pony car, but it's around $20K less than the Holden/Chevy SS and also comes with Brembos. The SRT8s are also not big sellers, but Chrysler isn't crying about CAFE, fuel prices or some sort of conspiracy .

@DenverDA the troll
Read, it doesn't mention anything about anything that you wrote, WTF? Are you twisting the stroy again? Lying? Trolling? STAY on the debate, we have had this before from you.

Since when has CAFE beauracrats been interested in peronal income? Isn't that what the IRS does?

What has CAFE got to do with fuel price setting. Are they the fuel price watchdog in the US?

DenverDA, you are purposely twisting, lying and misleading again.

What has what you wrote have to do with anything. Read an tell me where the IRS is involved in this story. Read the story.


Higher fuel use – not a lack of demand – could determine the sales success of the Holden VF Commodore in the United States.

Speaking at the motor show reveal of the Chevrolet SS – the name the Commodore will wear in the US - to media at the 2013 New York motor show, General Motors executive and former Holden boss Alan Batey said it would be America’s strict fuel use targets that will ultimately put a limit on sales.

The so-called corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets set strict sales-weighted measures that effectively discourage manufacturers from selling gas guzzlers.

@Big Al from Oz - You're the one making all the noise about name rolling and trolling. Then you expect no one to respond to your BS? You're in PUTC administration's cross hairs is all I can say about it.

GM says "Higher fuel use... could determine the sales success of the Holden..."

That could mean MPG, therefor, cost to consumers, as well as CAFE regs.

"...it would be America’s strict fuel use targets that will ultimately put a limit on sales."

It's a poor excuse that clearly doesn't hold water. All the fuel guzzling cars I listed are by no means, production limited or discouraged by CAFE regs. What a joke!

It is interesting to see the concept trucks in these articles. Thanks Mark for providing a mix of these articles besides the usual whats new with Ram, Silverado, and F-150. Not critical of the other articles, it is just good to have a mix.

@Big Al--Denver Mike will not change. He had a comment on TTAC in regards to an article about slower sales for Ford and Opel in Germany. He said that the problems Ford and Opel have in Germany would be cured by selling the large American trucks over there. He is entitled to his opinion but I doubt full size trucks would be as well received in Germany or the rest of Europe as they are in NA. High labor cost and increased competition with a slowing economy overall in Europe are the most likely causes. It is possible that DM is just extremely opinionated and narrow minded in his views and sees everything from his World view which is flat and not round.

@Jeff S - Can you give an example of a "high performance V8" and a "more fuel efficient V8"? And why are we talking about high performance V8s? Also, can you really call a full-size V8 pickup 'inefficient' when fully loaded and decked out mid-size trucks get the same MPG and even worse when worked hard?

It's also the "when worked hard" that consumer have a problem with mid-size trucks. They can not take a constant beating like full-size trucks that are commercial grade and overbuilt.

Never mind that mid-size trucks have you making 2X the trips to haul the same amount, BUT their suv and passenger cars V6s are not intended for hard work. Blown head gaskets and slipping transmissions are big issues for mid-size trucks and suvs when constantly worked at or near GVWR and CGWR.

What's happening now, is the same exact thing that happened during the '80 fuel and economic crunch. I'm 44 and just started driving then. I was a young buck driving V8 Mustangs and pickups around at the time and everyone told me to enjoy them while I can, and "Live it Up" because they were about to die off like the dinosaurs.

At the time, 17 MPG seemed completely unattainable for full-size V8 trucks without some major shrinkage if not power loss. Trucks grew substantially instead and V8s now have 2X the power.

23 MPG by 2025 should be no problem for (same size) full-size although power may not once again double. 800 HP and 23 MPG would be insane though...

I'm not implying full-size trucks would be nearly as successful in Europe (or the rest the world) as they are in the US/Canada/Mexico, but it needs to be explored. Niche sales/markets in every part of the world is what makes BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche obscene profits. If US OEMs can sell up to 2 million full-size pickups and SUVs to an audience of 300 million, surely the same amount would be no problem with 6 or 7 billion humans around the world. Europe has 2X the population of the US.

Ford and domestic OEMs are great and making one thing and one thing only. It ain't compact cars. I feel it was a mistake for them trying to sell (barely profitable) small cars in Europe. There's too many players in that game that are better at it. Europe's economic problems just compounds it.

@Denver Mike--I have no problem with Detroit selling their large trucks in Europe, it is strictly a niche market and will not solve the real problems they are facing in Europe. Horsepower and torque are not the same and a truck that is being used for its intended purpose torque is is more important. In many cases a smaller block V8 with more torque is a better choice than a larger block V8 with 400 to 600 hp. If you want to go street racing you would be better off in a lower profile car. Most trucks are used like cars and many do not even use truck beds. A crew cab full size pickup with a shorter be is designed to haul 4 large adult men and a light load in the bed. I have hauled 2 by 4s, rocks, sand, gravel, tile, and other such things in the back of my Mitsubishi Mighty Max after I had addition leaf springs added and heavy shocks to build it up to a ton capacity. The 4 cylinder engine had no problems taking the load, but it also had a manual transmission. To say that a smaller truck will fall to pieces is just ignorance. Toyota use to make a long bed compact truck that was labeled at a ton capacity and it could easily do the job. My granddad's 63 IH with a straight 6 hauled heavy loads and he even built railings to put on the sides and back to haul one or two cows in it. To say that only large and big V8 trucks are the only trucks that can be used for heavy hauling is wrong. I spent most of my summers on my grandparents' farm and there were few farmers that had large crewcab pickups with large V8s motors, most had straight 6s.

Most of the guys I know, including farmers have gone to 3/4 ton trucks or bigger with diesels. They haul much heavier loads than I have ever hauled and probably even you. Since they need real capacity a half ton truck large or small will not work. There will always be a market for heavier duty trucks for heavy towing. If you were talking about 3/4 ton trucks or above I would agree with you but if you are talking about Ram Runners and Raptors then I would disagree, those are more expensive toys.

Your definition and my definition of a real truck are much different. A grewup in a time when trucks were not fashionable and those that had them needed them to do a job. Trucks were not equipped like luxuary vehicles. I realize that those those days are gone but to just say that bigger is always better is just wrong. I realize you are anti change and that you hate midsize trucks and diesels but that is your opinion which is not shared by everyone. The truck market just like the car market has developed into a market that has room for different types and sizes of truck. I have noticed more ecoboost V6 F-150s, Tacoma Crewcabs, and other similiar types of trucks where I live which is a suburban area. When I travel to the nearby farm areas then I see the larger heavy duty trucks with diesels which are mainly powerstrokes and Cummins. As Big Al has said the diesels are a more efficient choice for heavy duty work. For the suburbanites unless they are hauling trailers or campers then a large truck is of little use to them because it is unlikely they will ever use all the capacities.

You do seem to like to come on the articles about the smaller trucks and force your opinions on others. Not everyone holds your opinions and many are from more diverse backgrounds than you. We all have our own experiences and none of us are completely wrong or completely right. You do seem to think that you are completely right and for that you have my sympathy. I do not necessarily comment on every article I see on this website or other websites because if I do not have anything positive to add or I feel like that I am not as interested in a particular article for example Raptors, Ram Runners, or vans then it is best for me not to comment. I have nothing against those vehicles I just have less interest in them, but I am glad that this website covers a large spectrum of trucks so that everyone gets a story that is of interest to them. I myself would never look at this site if it were just about large domestic trucks, but I enjoy reading all the stories.

@Jeff S - When have I been forceful about my opinions? Yourself and others struggle to understand why compact trucks disappeared and why mid-size trucks will soon be extinct in the US. I offer perfectly viable and reasonable explanations that are quickly and angrily dismissed in favor of other explanations that don't quite hold water.

It won't matter in the end and it'll be like arguing what killed off the dinosaurs. Or Muscle cars. Everyone will have their own theories, but if you don't like full-size trucks, no one will stop you from restoring vintage Datsuns, Mazdas, Couriers, LUVs and such in the future. If those don't interest you, there will be resto-mod mini-trucks with modern amenities like we have '69 Camaros with 4 wheel Brembos, Hotchkis Suspensions, Nav, Bluetooth, fuel injection and overdrive. From your love of mini-trucks, it sounds like there's a market there.

There's parts of the US that I rarely see brand new BMWs, Mercedes, Porsche or Audi and are still wildly profitable in the US despite their niche status. More so than in Germany in some cases/models. US OEMs need to rethink their "all or Nothing" and "World Domination" approach. US full-size trucks are wildly profitable in there own right and slow or low sales volumes in Europe (and other places) in the beginning would likely develop in to a lucrative niche market around the globe. Remember, German luxury and Italian supercars hardly raise an eyebrow in Europe where as Ford Raptors and GT500s would draw crowds.

There's not much profit to be made off of US small cars in Europe like there's not much profit to be made off of mid-size pickups in the US. Both are in the same boat except global pickup OEMs are smart enough to avoid the US.

I don't need to restore a midsize truck, there is Tacoma, Ridgeline, Frontier, and soon to be Colorado/Canyon. There are also lots of other choices in crossovers such as CRV, Sorento, Rav4, Sante Fe, and others. I think in a few years the Chinese will be in our market anyway and they will have some midsize trucks as well. I was not talking about mid sizes anyway I was talking about lighter half ton trucks that were not as big as what is on the market. More like an early 90s sized Ram, Chevy, and F-150s which were a better size for most. I think you are probably correct the they will grow these half tons to the proportions of 3/4 tons making 3/4 tons irrelevant. Why would you then buy a 3/4 ton. But then many half ton owners may want something not as big. Many of the full sizes cars grew so much that they were no longer popular. When you need a ladder to reach into the bed of a truck, even a two wheel drive then it has gotten too big. Maybe you have no problems which at age 44 I would not have, but wait till another 10 to 15 years and you will. Eventually I think the midsize trucks will grow to the proportions of full size trucks 20 years ago and the half ton full sizes will be the size of the current 3/4 tons. If that does happen that will make our discussion moot. There possibly could be smaller trucks but those would be based on a front wheel drive platforms. If you really want a need a large truck you could get a 3/4 ton or get one of those Navistars that were based on a much larger platform since you want a larger truck. If bigger were always better then why bother with a full size half ton when a ton would be even more capable.

As for Raptors maybe they would be popular in Germany, but they would not sell in the numbers that Ford needs to stay competitive in Europe. The problem with the European market is not that Ford or Opel cannot build a good small car, it is the high cost and ever demanding labor market in Germany and the Japanese and South Korean cars that can compete not only on quality but are lower priced. Ford and Opel have some excellent midsize cars in Europe, which the Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu are base on. There is nothing wrong with the Ford and GM platforms, it is just the economy in Europe has been tanking, the unions want more, and the competition has grown more intense. I think you are probably correct they will keep growing the full size trucks to be eventually bigger to where possibly they are so big that most will reject them but they have a little more growing to do before that happens.

I actually might like something the size and height of a 91 F-150 or 91 Chevy CK but any bigger than that and I am not interested. I am probably not the only one that feels like that after reading some of the comments of the past. I hope for your sake that they keeping growing these things so that you can get a bigger truck since you want bigger.

Also why would you necessarily need to buy a restored Camaro or Mustang when the new Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers look similiar and are even more capable. The manufacturers can make vehicles for a niche market as is proven by the muscle cars thereby disproving your past points that niche markets are unprofitable. You might not sell as many muscle cars as midsize cars but you can still make a profit. I would think that is true with the Tacoma, they are not losing any money on Tacoma, but their Camrys and Corollas are the volume sellers and are more profitable. The right product, at the right price, targeted at the right market will make money if all costs are contained. A smaller truck with limited colors and limited options that shared a common platform and shared an assembly line could be profitable.

Another point you fail to see is that sometimes an inexpensive product can be targeted at a certain group such as the young to get them as customers early and develop loyalty. This was done by Toyota, Honda, and is now being done by Hyundai and Kia. You try to give those customers an affordable option and if the vehicle is reliable then they will trade up to a more profitable line.

This is all I want to say on this topic and hopefully they will grow the full size trucks more so that you will have something even more capable for your needs.

@Jeff S - You've got a handful of trucks to choose from, but you said none had exactly what you were looking for. We know they're not making Chevy S10 (size) trucks anymore and the Canyon/Colorados are Tacoma/Frontier/Sport Trac in size. Are you mainly waiting for the $5,000 diesel option? I'd take a Tacoma over a GM twin, any day, but OK.

I'm not looking for a bigger 1/2 ton truck. Mine is just right. I can't always reach everything in the bed, but this would be true of any truck other than a 2wd mini-truck from the 80s where the bed rails were thigh high. Now they're arm pit high, but I like the high sides to keep things out of sight. I'll throw cases of oil, hydraulic fluid and big sacks of dog food back there and drive around making many other stops while the truck looks empty when I park it away from the crowds. I don't have mobility problems and I hope I never do, but stepping on the tire to jump in the bed seems like a good enough trade off to me. I like the stlyle/look too, so I'd call it a win.

The thing is, OEMs evolved/shaped today's pickups trucks by listening to buyer's wants.

I guess it's difficult to imagine US full-size pickups and SUVs not selling a decent amount just in Europe or at least sell like the Tundra/Sequoia and Titan/Armada sell in the US. Not everyone in Europe needs a tiny FWD car.

Restored vintage Camaros, Mustangs, muscle cars and trucks have a market because they're too cool and built around your personal tastes and wishes. You can build them with modern tech while emissions exempt.

No, niche markets are profitable only when dealing exceedingly profitable cars. Pickups are exceptionally profitable. Not like German luxury or Porsche, but close behind. Turning a profit on cheap niche cars is a challenge and that's where Ford of Europe and Opel fail. It's quite possible the Tacoma sells at a loss. Many small US cars do, but are subsidized by obscenely profitable full-size trucks. The Hilux has the tremedous worldwide volume it needs even if transaction prices are really low. It would be the same thing with US and abroad full-size trucks except transaction prices are much higher.

It's been tried over and over, but it's never worked. Avalanche - Cancelled; Ridgeline - Struggling to sell in significant numbers; Subaru Baja - cancelled; Envoy XT - Cancelled;

If Hyundai/Kia (or anyone else) want to enter the pickup market and make a real splash then there is one simple way to do it. Make a functional, attractive, powerful, and most importantly, fuel efficient pickup truck. Innovate and buyers will come. The Ford EcoBoost has shown that the US truck buyer is open to alternative powerplants so what's the holdup? I know the Ram Diesel is on deck and there are others in the works, but make a fleet-ready pickup that gets real-world mixed driving MPGs of 35-40MPG and you won't be able to keep them in stock.

KIA did build a midsize pickup truck concept back in 2004 called the Mojave. It had a neat midgate like the Toyota A-BAT concept and the Chevy Avalanche.

http://www.tflcar.com/2012/12/coulc-a-kia-pickup-truck-quiet-the-masses/



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