Will More Pickup Sales Mean More Creativity?

JagPickup_cdauto_111313_1 II

Jaguar Illustration by Theo Chin/Chris Doane Automtive

The good thing about pickup truck sales climbing back to peak numbers is that more off-brand vehicle makers are tempted to dip their toes into the big pool known as truck sales.

Elon Musk, the dynamic CEO of Tesla, has dropped occasional hints that Tesla will likely offer an electric pickup truck five years or so down the road. Sure, Musk knows there's plenty of money to be made in this growing segment, especially with average transaction prices, for certain brands, ready to break the $45,000 mark. And with top trim levels at Ford, GM and Ram hovering in the $60,000-plus range, there's no reason to relegate Tesla products to stripped-down fleet packages, whether there's a waiting buyer base or not. 

With the improving economy in certain sectors, major manufacturers and new arrivals are likely to enter the luxury pickup arena. Whether that means we'll see more badge engineering from familiar players like we did with the Lincoln (Blackwood and Mark LT) or Cadillac (Escalade EXT) or whether carmakers like Porsche, Infiniti or Jaguar will finally step in and offer some interesting new products remains to be seen. Certainly older consumers are more willing and able to spend more money on a unique new product like a Tesla pickup, especially if it's equipped with pricey features like adjustable suspensions, hybrid powertrains, and unique electronic bed and storage features.

We're hearing about more design exercises at the different original equipment studios, but nothing definite yet. Our guess is that if sales for the truck segments continue their steady growth, we'll see some exciting — and expensive — concept vehicles again. It wasn't that long ago that we saw things like the Dodge M80 and GMC Denali XT. With this news from Tesla, we could be headed for a huge injection of creativity here. Let's just hope it doesn't get too crazy.

Jaguar Concept C-X17

JagPickup_cdauto_111313_2 II


Dodge M80 Concept

2002_Dodge_M80_Concept II


GMC Denali XT

GMC Denali XT II


Thanks PUTC for making me throw up the lunch I just ate.

How long has that Dodge M80 been around. I mean I have seen pictures of that thing for years and years now.

The Dodge M80 was introduced at the 2002 Detroit auto show.

Detroit's had a dreadful record with this stuff. Ford Ranchero?

How about the little Chevy SS pickup about ten yrs ago that had the 6.0 motor? They could not give this stuff away.

Chevy is supposedly working on a new El Camino based on the new Impala, should be interesting.

Nothing to see here folks...

Problem here is, well, there are plenty of options for someone looking for an attention getting car. Bottom line, weak sales.

People want beefy muscular trucks, ready for work, even if nothing ever makes it into the bed or if they never get around to installing a tow hitch. Bottom line, sales soar.

Guess what? The big 3 have been giving people what they want and the sales reflect that.

A new El Camino would be nice.

The issue with the Chevy SST was the simple fact that it was over-engineered and over-priced--way out of the budgets of the people who really wanted them.

Expecting the consumers who really want these things to pay more than twice what they'd pay for the 'equivalent' car will mean every one of these will be an abysmal failure.

Oh, and why say Chevy is thinking about an El Camino based on the Impala? The Impala is little more than a Holden Commodore out of Australia and the el Camino would be the Commodore Ute--just taken off the market in Australia.

Well, there are already many offerings out there for small trucks. These range from Kei trucks, that even come in 4x4, dump, etc configurations to some nice triple cab Iveco trucks.

There is a plethora of more modern midsizers than is currently available in the NA market, just waiting for you guys to sample.

I really think that more competition is required to open up the market to see what does and doesn't sell.

It's well and good to talk of other vehicles entering your market, but who is going to pay more for an imported product (2.5% import tax, 25% Chicken tax, EPA/CAFE regs, etc). A more equatable pickup market model needs to be considered.

But, this isn't going to occur whilst you have the strong lobbying power of the energy, UAW and major pickup manufacturers dictating (lobbying) government to regulate as they do.

I do know that some one will state we don't want anything in the US other than what we have, or no one will buy them, etc.

Well, if these other pickup truck products are viewed by so many as uncompetitive, why the barriers and taxes.

You could have what we have on offer, we have most anything that man ever made concerning light commercials, including your full size trucks.

We even have importers importing 1 000 light trucks of a particular model and they will continue to import. The US could to the same with 10-20k imports per annum.

At Beebe and the others, this isn't a trolling comment, just an observation I have made through extensive research on the global light truck market.

You aren't going to get much different than what you have whilst these other types of (global offerings) pickups are taxed and regulated from coming ashore in the US.

I'm not saying full size trucks are not cool, but others might consider other styles of light trucks cool as well.

More pickup sales does not mean more creativity. People are happy with drinking their status quo kool-aid and buying the trucks everyone else buys. Just look at all the GM and Ford fanboys on this site. They always hire the cheapest designers that money can get. For example, at the very bottom of the latter you have GM designers who can draw a box, resulting in the Silverado/Sierra twins. A step up you have Ford designers who can draw a trapazoid, resulting in slightly less boxy appearance of the F150.

Thankfully Ram choose to hire some decent designers. They gave us the best truck on the market.




@Hemi Monster: Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1.2 million Ram heavy-duty pickup trucks platforms built from 2003 to 2012 are involved in three separate recalls.

The Problem: At issue are steering tie-rod ends that may have been misaligned during installation or service repair. This condition could lead to component fracture and steering loss. One recall targets 842,400 model-year 2003-2008 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups to find approximately 116,000 previously repaired tie-rod assemblies that could have become misaligned. Two additional recalls are aimed at vehicles known to have tie-rod assemblies linked to previous recalls. They include 294,000 2008 to 2012 Ram 2500/3500 pickups and chassis cabs, and 2008 Ram 1500 4x4 Mega Cabs 43,500 2008 to 2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 4x4 chassis cabs.

In case u missed it bonehead....lol

@Big Al--I agree there needs to be a less protected market and more open to competition. Many are afraid of change and fear that they will loose their unique large American pickups. The very fact that our auto industry is protected and subsidized by the Government means that it is not competitive and cannot survive without protection. In the long run a protected industry is not a sustainable industry, it has to be able to stand on its own. I currently own an American brand vehicle along with Japanese brands. As a consumer I welcome more choice and more competition creates a better product for everyone. Many products fail, but in a free market that is the cost of doing business. In order to succeed there must be risk.

@Hemi Monster,AKA HemiV8,Mopar mechanic and however many other names you go by please stop your bullsh%t and realize you are the one drinking the Kool-Aid. If anyone said he's a natural born Idiot then its you. Plain and simple. If anyone does like a ram, you've made sure that they don't. You have turned everyone else off to to the ram trucks. It takes someone very stupid to do what you have done. Then I guess you ARE STUPID with a bit of retardation on top of that. Glad we ain't you.

Leave it to Ram guys to post completely off topic comments glorifying Ram...

2 Years ago GM said they'll bring back the El Camino if their facebook page got something like 1 million likes, apparently it never reached it's goal.

@Truck Crazy, Wrong! This site has gone down hill because of the jealous dolts who always mock Mopar/Chrysler/RAM non stop! Such as the people posting on the Ram recall thread!

For many many years on this site people put down Dodge RAM trucks. Then some people started to stand up for RAM and the jealous Ford/GM/Toyota people could NOT stand it because the facts are RAM has a better residual than GM or Ford, better brand reliability, and it was the Truck of Texas and had been crowned the Canaidan Truck King! Thse are the facts that make the non-Mopar fans resorting into name calling for RAM/Mopar vehicles, such as people do here. What a shame your jealousy/ignorance ruined this site.




"The Impala is little more than a Holden Commodore out of Australia and the el Camino would be the Commodore Ute--just taken off the market in Australia."

No the Holden Commodore gets turned into the Chevrolet SS in the US. It has nothing to do with the Impala.

They are still selling Holden Commodore Utes in Australia. The demise of the sedan they are based on will kill them. People here unfortunately are mainly SUV crazy.

The GMC Denali XT ironically was a design exercise done by Holden for Chevrolet as a a new US El Camino.


Uh hello...........

Trucks aren't getting smaller.
That's not an accident.

Trucks are getting larger and more powerful to win the engine, capacity and towing numbers race. Working in hand in hand with the oil companies, the auto cartels have given us what we have for a reason.

If you're going to make a $60k pickup, it's not going to resemble a crossover with a small open bed. It's going to resemble the adult sized tonka toys that have been showcased here all week from the truck show.

@Robert Ryan & Vulpine--The new Impala shares nothing with a Holden, it is an Opel based platform which is the same as the Buick Lacross. The Chevy SS and the Caprice Police version are Holden based along with the Camaro. The Impala and Malibu are front wheel drive as are the Lacross and Regal. GM's mid and full size cars that are front wheel drive share Opel platforms (German) and the compact and subcompacts are Daewoo (South Korean).

@Maxx really, guy, seek medical attention.

There is no conspiracy between the oil companies and the auto makers. The world's automakers try very hard to address consumer demand.

They also strive to anticipate the kinds of economic conditions that will exist in the near future in order for their products to gain the largest share of consumer demand.

Please avoid the notion that car makers are meeting with oil company execs in some island getaway. It makes you worry.

@hemi needs a mechanic, yeah what a shame. The only one pulling for the fiat ram is you. You've made it impossible for anyone else to like or even be associated with them in anyway. What an embarrassment you and all your other names are to this site. Like the other guy said, How many times do I have to flush to make you go away??

@Truck Crazy

I can't believe that you accuse us mopar guys of all this crap yet you yourself are the one doing the exact same thing. Earlier I made a comment about the designs of GM and Ford compared to Ram. Instead of even addressing the subject of my post, you went on your flaming escapade instead. How about address the subject of the article instead of attacking Ram guys like me and hemi mechanic.

@Jeff S.: I wouldn't argue the point except for one factor -- When Chevrolet first announced the creation of the SS, they specifically called it the "Impala SS" and discussion at the time noted that it would be based on the Holden Commodore RWD sedan. We should also know that the Holden UTE was also based on that Commodore platform.

Meanwhile, as Robert Ryan stated, with the demise of the Holden Commodore in Australia, the Ute gets effectively shut down unless Holden chooses to maintain just that body style--which is unlikely.

What that means is that the Chevy SS is just as dead, unless they choose to bring all the Holden tooling into the States just to build that model.


you ask a good question re SS but how much unique tooling do you think it takes for GM to build a sedan that uses the same greasy underneath bits as the Camaro? Apart from the sheet metal, that is.

@papa jim: I'll admit I haven't studied it all that well, but methinks the Camaro is a bit shorter than the SS, which means not all the underneath bits are the same. Granted, the SS might not have as long a hood, but I do know the under-hood area of the Camaro is already crowded, so it's not like they could move the cabin forward even six inches, comfortably. I'd bet the wheelbase of the SS is a bit longer, too. That means they couldn't even use the same floorpan. Outside of bodywork then, they'd still need to make certain parts that would be unique to the SS.

Apparently it's official; we WILL see a Tesla all-electric pickup truck in about 5 years.


They recalled them to inspect them,not all of them have problems.

Ford,GM,Toyota,Honda,Hyundai suffered from far more severe recalls over the years !

Ford should recall/give money back for every Power Stroke Diesel truck it made ,those are true disasters ! Not to forget Toyota's rusted frame recall,and blowing up 5.7 Tundra engines !

@ Dafuq,

Actually ,every new post the majority slam RAM ! And 1 person who posts multiple times about RAM you guys freak out(sure he may be annoying ro some but in his mind he was fed up with the ignorant bashing of Dodge/RAM on this site for years).

Fact is you are jealous,Everybody copies RAM Trucks..Everyone !!

@Truck Crazy,

Why do you call it Fiat RAM ?

Did you call them Mercedes RAM before ?

Do research,more accurately you could say Iveco RAM,as Fiat truck division is called Iveco !

In the history of Chrysler,they never called their truck a Chrysler RAM.

I am tired of this Fiat RAM you guys say,it was never called a Chrysler RAM nor a Mercedes RAM ! Nor a Jeep RAM,Plymouth RAM,DESoto RAM,SRT RAM !!

How about a :

Ferrari RAM

Alfa Romeo RAM

Lancia RAM

Maserati RAM

As a Ferrari RAM may come true if Jaguar makes a truck,Ferrari might want a truck !! Fiat,not so much as their cars are too small !!

@Truck Crazy,

Furthermore,you claim to be a higher moral authority,yet you insult ,name call yourself..So infact you are no better then the multi-poster RAM spammer guy ! Time to reflect on your actions before slamming others.Your name is right,you are "CRAZY"

@vulpine--True the Impala SS is a Holden, but the new 2014 Impala that is not as SS is an Opel. It does sound like the new SS will not be around too long unless they make it in NA. They could assemble it in the same factory that they do Camaros. GM is going to discontinue the Holden Commodore in 2016. The Holden Commodore appears to be a really capable car but it appears that there is not enough of a market to continue making them.

I do believe there is a market for a smaller truck but it appears the midsize Colorado will be the smallest we will get. I would like to at least see the midsize truck market grow, at least have more choice.


You make some excellent points. For me it's doesn't bother me one bit for the people who come on here and say guts glory ram or something else for whatever brand they like. The whole pickup segment is about passion and brand loyalty so it is no wonder that people come on here and say stuff to that effect.

Personally I will take my Ferrari-RAM and my Maserati-Challenger over whatever else people drive here. All my vehicles have a Hemi and I'm proud of it. This site ain't for prius drivers so I don't know why people are whining about people who drive RAM/dodge/chrysler/mercedes/ferrarit/etc/etc/. At worst, any of those vehicles is a GIANT step above a prius or camry so it's about time for all the haters to go find something better to do with their lives.

@Vulpine and Jeff S
I think you'll find the Commodore and Impala are built on two differing platforms. The simplest way to realise this is one is front wheel drive the other rear wheel drive.

I would think GM is looking at a unitary constructed pickup probably similar to the Honda. So the Commodore platform would be superior to what Honda is offering and any other pickup chassis at the moment.

A Omega platform (Commodore) would be light enough to have a V6 provide great performance and FE by US standards.


Here's a review I might have posted before on a review of our pickups. Before anyone makes a comment on prices, US prices are about 66%-70% of what we pay. A simple mathematical operation is to multiply our Australian price by 0.7 to give you an approximate US cost.

The best pickup here for FE is the VW Amarok which is getting about US 30mpg, combined cycle (urban/city).

The VW have had an 8spd now for some time as well and the 420ftlb Navara has had a 7 spd for longer.


Thanks Big Al I also have a review I might have posted before on a review of my pickups. Before anyone makes a comment on prices, this is priceless. A simple mathematical operation is to multiply our Australian price by a poon factor of 1.7 to give you cherry pie. Enjoy....


BTW - Big Al, 3 inches in Australian measures is 3 inches in US measures as well....I wouldn't push the "big" in Big Al so much!

What's all this talk I hear about sissy trucks? Real men drive real trucks. Don't do what the idiots do in the first 2 videos. If you want to see what real men do with real trucks pay attention during the 3rd video.

Typical Ford owner:

Typical Chevy owner:

What real truck guys do:
This children is what real trucks do. Need I say any more? The video says it all.

@diesel power - now we're talking Diesel that's what real guys do....unfortunately this is what you do....



Nice try. Btw, you need to have a discussion with your wife about the confrontation that I had with her today. Apparently she doesn't like me diesel truck very much:


Hey I told you I was marrying your sister because she reminded me of your mother....and the fat bit$h does!

@hemidickhead and Ineedamoparmechanic and all the other names you go by, kiss my as@. Sorry I stooped to your level and fed you, it won't happen again, I'm too good for that.

@Tonka Truck Crazy

Look who's talking. You're just upset because the videos that the diesel power guy posted show a Ford and Chevy getting crashed by their idiot redneck drivers.

@Jeff S,
They Toyota will be releasing I gather the new Australian developed Hilux soon with full ANCAP safety rating and much improved towing capacity.

@Robert Ryan
I bet they will come with a 2 litre BMW diesel. BMW have a triple turbo 2 litre diesel in which I think has over 160kw and 450nm of torque.

Toyota Australia is designing the chassis, suspension and I think the body. Toyota does a lot of developement here at the Toyota Development Centre in Melbourne.


To the guys and girls who dislike or have some negative bias towards diesel. Read this link on an engine that would make a 1/2 ton pickup sing. In a car the engine is getting 45mpg. It's a 3 litre in line 6 diesel. This engine would be best in the Tundra and maybe give the V8 Cummins a run for it's money.

Very nice engine. If it was in a pickup it would do 6's to 60mph.


Sorry, the 2 litre BMW is twin turbo and is 220hp and 332ftlb of torque.

@Big Al--The Impala that Vulpine referred to is the SS. Originally GM referred to the SS as the Impala SS but now they have dropped the Impala name from the SS probably to avoid confusion between the front wheel drive Impala based on the Opel platform and the SS based on the Holden Commodore. If the new SS sells then they will probably assemble it in NA in the Camaro plant, otherwise it will be discontinued when the Holden Commodore is gone.

As you have stated before Al, a product like the Commodore cannot exist in an unprotected market which is similar to the US based full size trucks if they faced a unprotected market. There are pros and cons of a protected market. The negative aspect of a protected market are the government bailouts and the reliance on continued government protection. Maybe the US based full size trucks could stand on their own without protection but we will never really know unless all barriers are lifted. This is not a question of a product being a good product because the Commodore is a good product and so are the full size American trucks. The question is can the product survive without government protection and does the protection stymie developing products that are more competitive and innovative? I know I will get some flake for my above comments but this is the real question that should be discussed.

@Robert Ryan
I bet they will come with a 2 litre BMW diesel. BMW have a triple turbo 2 litre diesel in which I think has over 160kw and 450nm of torque.

Toyota Australia is designing the chassis, suspension and I think the body. Toyota does a lot of developement here at the Toyota Development Centre in Melbourne.


To the guys and girls who dislike or have some negative bias towards diesel. Read this link on an engine that would make a 1/2 ton pickup sing. In a car the engine is getting 45mpg. It's a 3 litre in line 6 diesel. This engine would be best in the Tundra and maybe give the V8 Cummins a run for it's money.

Very nice engine. If it was in a pickup it would do 6's to 60mph.


I'll take a BMW pickup in black please.

Sorry again for my ignorance. I post under so many different names till I get get lost on here sometimes. Please forgive me because when I was young I got ran over by a dodge truck and it smashed my head really bad. Lost my nuts too so I try and be a man any way I can and this keyboard makes me one in my own mind. Forgive me for the stupid things I do and just overlook my dumbas@ cause I don't know no better.

"@vulpine--True the Impala SS is a Holden, but the new 2014 Impala that is not as SS is an Opel"

LOLOLOL!!!! So let ME Get this Straight! The Chevrolet is Really NOT a Real Genuine Chevrolet AT ALL. It's a Holden, no WAIT, it's an OPEL! LOLOL!!! BUT GovtMoCo SAID it was a Chevrolet!!! TYPICAL Government Motors. Fake Badges and Over Lap galore. So is the Chevrolet Silverado the Real truck or is it the GovtMoCo Sierra??? What a JOKE.

How about the Dodge Dart based on the Alfa Romeo. GM is not the only one to share platforms.

@Jeff S
I believe you are correct in that the protection of your pickup has to be looked at closely.

I believe the US currently can't afford to prop up industry like it does. There is too much global competition to have subsidised products. A slow wind down of subsidies should occur. Then the US will have money for some worthwhile social programs to resolve your public health issues.

But, getting back to this article. There isn't enough competition in the US to allow for much creativity or variation to the pickups style vehicles you have on offer.

I read an interesting article that the US has (average) 230 000 vehicle per model offered. The UK has 60 000 and we have 16 000. So you can see the US can absorb much more competition. Outside of very controlled markets like India the US has the lowest rate of vehicle variation by market size.

@Big Al from Oz - that is an interesting statistic on models per capita.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Canada one the Canada/EU FTA takes effect. I'm hoping to see the Amarok and the global Ranger.

The comments to this entry are closed.