Green Car Reports Addresses Anti-Pickup Bias

2009-hybrid-chevy-truck IIRecently Green Car Reports received quite a bit of push back from its readership regarding a discussion of EPA fuel economy numbers for several full-size half-ton pickup trucks. It seems that a vocal minority of the green-driving guide's followers don't believe pickups should be discussed on a website with the tagline, "The ultimate guide to cleaner, greener driving."

Thankfully, Green Car Reports is taking the high road and admonishing their readers who believe that the full-size pickup market should not be addressed, going so far as to prove that increases in truck engine efficiency can far outweigh just about any improvement gains from the hybrid powertrain crowd.

Here's our favorite section from the article: "It strikes us there are some readers who simply resent the existence of full-size pickup trucks and wish they would go away. And that's simply not going to happen. Instead, they'll get more fuel-efficient — and we hope to be there, covering the topic for years to come."

There are some other interesting points made in the article as well, including the idea that the average hyper-miling enthusiast might feel a little inadequate when driving next to a full-size work truck and those insecurities might spill over into discussions of gas mileage. Also, we can forgive the author for suggesting Ford will sell as many as 650,000 F-150s this year. He probably meant the entire F-Series lineup, which is likely to be closer to 750,000 units. F-150 sales are likely to be closer to 425,000.

Comments

@Jeff S
A friend of mine is a biologist and quite green. She drives of all things a V8 petrol 200 Series Landcruiser wagon. They weigh over 5 000lbs.

She complains about the Landcruiser, not for it's 'polluting impact' but the cost of running a V8 gasoline engine and now wishes she bought the V8 diesel!

I do think Lou is correct. Most of use don't '$hit in our back yards' and respect all back yards equally. Why destroy for the sake of destroying.

I support hunting, but if you kill it, eat it, unless it's a feral pest. The same goes for fishing if you catch it, eat it, or throw it back.

I don't even mind EVs and hybrids. What I don't like is the subsidies to move them off of lots. Really if they aren't viable to stand on their own, then don't produce them. The market isn't obviously ready for them, maybe one day.

But at the end of the day, if the US government was serious about being green it's regulatory framework wouldn't be as it is.

@Big Al--Higher energy prices will make more fuel efficient more feasible. Your friend likes what she drives but is aware of the increased costs of driving her Landcruiser. Some would choose to just drive what they like and pay the increased cost of the fuel, replace the existing vehicle for a more efficient vehicle, or just drive their vehicle for a few more years and recover most of the useful life out of the vehicle and then replace it with a more efficient vehicle that best meets their needs and wants. My choice would be to drive the vehicle for several more years and get the most useful life out of it and then replace it with a more efficient choice because it would take a lot of fuel to justify buying a new vehicle on just fuel savings when you factor in the amount of depreciation lost on the existing vehicle and the additional cost of the new vehicle versus how long it would take to recover the savings on fuel over the life of the new more fuel efficient vehicle.

I do agree with you that if your friend wanted the larger vehicle then maybe a diesel would have been a better choice unless she just doesn't like diesels. Many times the greenist and most environmentally friendly choice is extending the life of your existing vehicle and maintaining it properly and driving it in a responsible manner to where the mpgs are maximized. It takes a lot of energy to produce and transport new vehicles and there is a cost to the environment as well. I am not saying it is wrong to buy a new vehicle but there are other costs to owning a vehicle besides fuel. Extending the life of an existing vehicle and keeping it longer is good for the environment and for the pocketbook.

@expedition - Fake Lou? There is a bottom feeding troll that has hijacked my old blog name of "Lou". PUTC has been unable to ban his IP address due to his use of multiple IP's. I now use the name "Lou_BC" which is linked to a type pad account.

PUTC has once again blown smoke up everyone's ass by saying they are going to control trolls, defamatory commentary, and the Guts Glory Moron crowd.

Developing nations are....... well......... "developing". As they become better educated and more affluent, birth rates will decline.
Yes China's middle class is bigger than the population of the USA. They will drive reform in China. (No pun intended).

Personally I love the Eco boost, would I buy one... No I'm a diesel or v8 guy, but I love having as many choices as we can get period. I don't care who drives what or why but we have more choices now than anytime in the past and that's pretty cool no mater what you need. We are in the muscle car era of the 60s but with trucks it's kinda bad a$$ so y'all just enjoy the ride cause now days they all have over 300 ponies

@Jeff S, BAF0, Vulpine, Lou_BC (aka, the Small Pickup Mafia) - Where on earth are you girls getting that I'm against or hate mid-size trucks? Or fear them??? Absolutely ridiculous! I would love one if they came with a smallish V8 option. There's too much mass there for a V6 (or 4cyl diesel). Not just the overworked engine, for all that (full-size) mass, but their entire drivetrains are undersized for what they are (and tow/haul).

I totally missed the window to get a new Ford Sport Trac when they offered the 4.6 V8 and AOD-E trans combination. Or V8 Colorado/Canyon and V8 Dakota. Midsizers with V8s was a natural progression as small trucks continued to grow and V8s became more efficient. I couldn't believe they were gone overnight. Why the heck? It had to be the idiotic green movement.

If I simply defend V8s, while they're constantly under attack by green weenies, ecotards and the SPM, and for no good or rational reason, how the heck does that makes me a hater of everything else non V8 or not full-size?

Yes today's V6s have much of the power of V8s 25 years ago, but small cars and trucks have also grown to full-size proportions and mass. Except current V6s still lack the low end torque (and simplicity), of '80s and '90s V8s. Meanwhile, modern full-size V8 trucks now produce about the same, and sometimes better MPG than V6s in fully optioned midsizers.

Clearly it's better to have a bigger engine/drivetrain that's hardly getting worked, than a smaller engine that's working too hard and sucking more fuel than the bigger engine in the process. Green weenies refuse to acknowledge this. And I won't even get into the reliability/longevity aspect of under-sizing a drivetrain. You'll have less problems in life when you use the right tool for the job.

It's a shame your only choice is 'full-size' if you want a (smallish) V8. But it's the V8 I have to have, not necessarily the full-size it comes in.

@DiM
From what I can gather not one of those bloggers you mentioned have ever stated anything anti-full size......we are just more accepting and mature in our view of the world.

We have no need to defend a very specific segment of a specific country's vehicle market.

Your comments just now on drivetrains in a full size are better? Did you know that the Australian Colorado runs the same gearbox as a 6.2 V8. My Mazda BT50 has the same gearbox as a Boss Mustang? I know you do.

The odd thing is I have told you about the drivetrains and presented links.

DiM, I will always prevent marketing on blog sites, always.

DiM go out and buy air time at a TV station to sell the UAW, not a pickup truck site.

@Big Al--You have brought up some good points as well. Future generations will not have it as good as most of the baby boomers. Ignoring environmental issues is just as bad as the extreme greenies who want to regulate everything through the Government. There are environmental concerns but there are also economic concerns as well. We cannot ignore either one and we must find practical and workable solutions for both. Most people are neither extremely left or right but are trying to maintain a quality lifestyle.

Pedal to the floor when I can its the most fun.

@AD--As with anything there is a degree of reasonableness. It is not reasonable to drive fast in an urban area or where there is a lot of traffic. If I want to open it up and speed I will do it on a more rural section of interstate or highway. Continual rapid acceleration and hard braking are not good for the life of the brakes and are harmful to a vehicle. The lesson is that it is better to drive a little less aggressive for your vehicle and your own health. Driving at higher speed on an open stretch of road is actually good for an engine but easy does it on the brakes.

High gas prices are just another way for the government to control our freedom of movement and keep us slaves to our jobs. It's bad for the economy but they could give a flip about that.

@DiM
What you fail to see is none of us dislike or not want full size pickups.

You turn discussion regarding a level competitive base for the vehicle industry into a quagmire of unrealistic commentary.

People (many between PUTC and TTAC) have put forward links and proof. Yet, you dispute credible evidence regarding certain issues regarding the regulatory and taxation supporting the bias towards pickups in the US.

No one ever stated that a Big 3 pickup is bad, or for that matter a Toyota or Nissan that is made in the US.

But, you appear to dictate word for word the paradigms that can be read on the UAW website.

I'm sorry DiM, but anything that isn't UAW built you will talk down. I mean your recent comments on TTAC take the cake, ie, there is only a Big 3 demand for midsizers. This demand is supported mainly by government fleet sales. You believe the US Colorado will be a success, when you've stated numerous times that 'no one in the US wants or needs a midsizer'.

You seem to chop and change your arguments to suit yourself, then deny that you ever make these comments.

Come on DiM enough is enough.

I think it's fair to say the market is ready for new power trains in our trucks in north america. Turbo 6 has proven itself on paper and that's enough for decision makers to keep it here for awhile. Love that diesels are finally going to be offered in trucks other than 1 tons. Not a fan of the sound of small ones like what I hear from jettas though. I hope 5.0 cummins lives up to the hype and is in an attractive truck. But I don't think the market is ready to lose v8's anytime soon so Im not worried and welcome as much variety of trucks and powertrains because im pretty sure there will be something for everyone soon especially that midsize is making a small comeback.

@AD - try some hypermiling techniques and see how your mpg changes. Accelerating a mass as large and poorly aerodynamic as a pickup is going to consume fuel. One can consume less by being more gentle on acceleration.
The characteristics of one's vehicle does affect mpg but changing one's driving habits does work. MythBusters saw a 40-60% improvement over their normal habits. I've seen a 12-15% improvement over the USA EPA rating for my truck. My truck rates 14/18 and I tend to get 15/20.5 mpg. If I drive like everyone else, especially how most people accelerate, I am below the EPA 14/18 .

Can't stress enough though bring back manual transmissions. This is my first auto and miss my stick. I wish a Diesel 6 that has decent displacement (enough to have good exhaust note) and a stick, v8 gas and a stick and a locker/limited slip were an option on everything.

@DiM - I have never derided V8 engines or full sized trucks. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses or pros and cons. I've always stated that the contraction of the small trucks market has been multifactoral. The chicken tax is part of the picture.
Many have gone to or stay with fullsized trucks because they are the last bastion of BOF V8 American vehicles. I can see why you want to defend that since many view BOF V8 American trucks as a way of life and the last symbol of American domination in a changing global climate. I am not talking climate as in weather but in geopolitical change.
Unless the USA goes through dramatic change, they will no longer be the king of the hill. Empires die and the USA Empire is facing its twilight.
Unless full sized trucks goes through dramatic change, they too will no longer be king of the hill.

I see an evolution of the full size American pickup into something just a little less big, lighter, with more fuel efficient drive trains. This is an evolution not a revolution. Most truck owners will not accept rapid change. We cannot eliminate trucks because we need them, but as with everything change will come. There is nothing wrong with being green, but as with everything extremes will not be acceptable to the vast majority of us.

@JeffS - extremes in doctrine or belief are what I tend to debate with. It is sad to see intelligent people close their minds to what is out there. We unfortunately see brand fanboyism, big truck or small trucks fanboyism, V8 or diesel fanboys etc. It becomes a very short leap to nationalism or xenophobia and war. I've oversimplified things but that is what happens when one fails to see the views of the other side or fails to accept the credibility of different views.

For those of you who don't know, every truck that I have ever owned has been put to actual use as both a daily commuter and a work truck hauling and towing utility trailers. And I have owned a bunch of pickup trucks over the decades.

I don't need anything over a halfton 99% of the time, but I do need something with balls, not some squirrelly little rat engine that you have to keep your foot into to keep the rpm up in the torque band, especially in the mountainous terrain where I live, towing a flatbed trailer loaded with pallets of ceramic tile, thinset mortar and bags of grout or other construction materials.

For those people who simply want to look like they are truckin', four-bangers in a halfton would do the trick. And they are free to buy them. Ditto with Ecoblast Fords.

But let's not go overboard and mandate this green sh!t in the halfton (and up) line of trucks. Some of us do really use them for both daily drivers and utility vehicles. No one would accuse me of looking pretty behind the wheel of my 2011 Tundra 5.7 SR5, but what they see is someone serious about truckin'. Ditto with the 350 Silverado I owned or the 5.4 F150.

I know of no one in my area who would even remotely consider buying a V6 halfton gas truck and think of it as anything other than a faux make-believe trying-to-look-like-a-real-truck pickup truck.

Diesels are different -- they have a lot more torque-- but I don't believe in diesels in anything less than an 18-wheeler Peterbilt, Kenworth or Volvo tractor.

Many of my Traveling Elks brethren drive a Banks Turbo-Diesel Ford truck because they tow travel trailers, but I don't care to own one.

And for those who don't believe that I don't care about the price of gasoline, believe it. I also run three AC generators on my property when the electric power fails, fuel four vehicles daily for the wife, grand daughters and myself, because we live 26 miles from the nearest gas station, and therefore keep two 55-gallon drums of Premium gasoline at hand at all times.

Without gasoline, I'd be lost. The price of gas really is immaterial. I have to buy it no matter what it costs, just like everyone else using gasoline. If the price of gas goes up, I cut back on eating out, Starbucks and the daily Moolatte or Big Gulp.

I don't share the greenweenies' agenda of sending us all back into the agrarian age to suit them, or sissyfying pickup trucks.

The option is always to buy a truck, or not to buy a truck. And there may come a time that I have to step up to the 3/4-ton or higher to keep what I look for in a truck.

I don't think going green is done for some people as you everybody lives on this planet that has depleting resources. If that isn't bad enough some smart guys might want to find out what that increasing emissions from automobiles and depleting resources for automobiles do as I was always told "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

The reason the green people make laws is they they act on the knowledge they have on the current situation to do what is best as they know that some people won't due the right thing unless they are forced. You think they are controlling Nazi's who hate freedom and they think your little kids who they have make brush their teeth because you don't wanna.

Yea Atv and UTVs should be able to ride on street! I would like to ride my Polaris sportsman 800 twin on streets

@Highdesertcat
Why do you run gasoline gensets? Where I live everyone uses diesel to power their farms, homesteads and stations.

Solar could be an option. Diesel will save you a third in running costs. This is thousands in savings. Gasoline generators??

They only use small gasoline gensets of about 3kvA to run small power tools that can be thrown in and out of a vehicle and power an electric jug for coffee.

Here's a fantastic link that could be applied and explain the behaviour of the Greenset, Pickupset, even the V8 crowd on most blog sites.

The article is really about accepting different ideas, even though it primarily discusses the acceptance of evolution of the species.

Worth a read.

http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/world/are-the-very-mental-shortcuts-our-brain-has-evolved-for-efficiency-working-against-the-acceptance-of-evolution/story-fnjbobed-1226792981781

@BAF0 - No, I said the new GM midsizers will have lots of appeal from those specifically seeking, wanting, needing a "US Big 3" small truck offering, as opposed to offshore branded small trucks. Not that it'll create much new interest in the segment, but will steal most of its sales from the Tacoma and Frontier, if you care to regurgitate my ENTIRE statement instead of cherrypicking.

I don't care what the UAW says. If my words match theirs exactly, fine. Post a link. It would be interesting to see. But obviously its just you talking out of your A$$. As usual.

There isn't anyone on TTAC that's provided any proof that I'm wrong about regulatory function and taxation. In fact, it's only the SPM (yourself, Lou_BC, Jeff S, Robert Ryan and Vulpine) on TTAC that ever dispute my proof, besides disputing reality and commonsense,

@Jeff S - I've never said there wasn't a place in the market for a small truck. Just not a very big place. The point of the V8 (in anything) is not just the low end pull. Not just tradition. And not just the sounds. Or that it's the cheapest to buy, of the optional/upgrade engines. But the simplicity of V8s compared to diesels or boosted smaller engines means greater longevity, lower costs to rebuild and obviously much lower costs to maintain along the way.

It's an individual's choice and thank gawd we got more choices in trucks than any other place on the frick'n Planet, but then again, what about my constitutional (and gawd given) rights to a V8 midsizer???

@Lou_BC - I don't necessarily have a preference for big trucks and I've never owned a big BOF car. The biggest car I've owned is a (unibody) Mustang. I'm all about the engine and the rest is just along for the ride. Otherwise, small trucks have just as many advantages as big trucks. At least for me. And actually, I've owned more small trucks, when it comes down to it. But most of my big trucks, I've owned longer term.

You're right about the contraction of the small truck market being multifactorial. But the Chicken tax is one of the smaller reasons, if at all. In fact, during the '90s, the small truck market was still very strong, but every small truck sold in America was made in America. How could the Chicken tax possibly help cause a contraction of the small truck market when it applied to exactly none of them???

@DiM
Here's your comment, a cut and paste from TTAC.

"@RobertRyan – I’ve said repeatedly, the Colorado/Canyon will be a huge success. Not necessarily in profits, but at least 100,000 units a year. GM’s mid-size trucks will be “Big 3″ exclusives. Lots of pent up demand by Government offices and their subcontractors that are basically required to only buy US, domestic brands."

Why do you deny and lie all of the time. The net makes it very easy to dig up 'evidence'.

You make a comment then state it has a different meaning. Seriously, DiM, I have read what you write. Your writing skills are sufficient enough for you not to make simple mistakes.

DiM, as I've state you have an agenda to fulfil, probably a contractual arrangement. How else could someone be like you.

Can you lie straight in bed. DiM this isn't a one off. You continually make comments then state we've misread what your intent is. You write well enough to get a point across.

So, stop with the $hit. So, government offices are going to buy 100 000 Colorado's a year? Because as you've continually stated their is no demand or want for a midsizer.

@Denver Mike--I have owned 4 cars that were body on frame and all of them were great, but I don't really need them anymore. My 73 Chevelle with a 350 was one of the best running vehicles I ever had. I enjoyed my 77 Monte Carlo with the swivel bucket seats, rally wheels, electric windows and locks, and power everything. I also enjoyed my mother-in-laws 78 Regal with a small block V-8 and my mother's 84 5th Avenue with a 318 V-8 and leather and power everything. I do not hate large half ton trucks, I just don't have a need or desire for one. My one standard sized truck was my granddad's 63 IH 1000 series stepside with three on the tree and a straight 6. Believe it or not that was a tough truck and it was virtually indestructible. I regret getting talked into selling it.

My S-10 and Isuzu have full frames under them and are basically smaller Silverados. I had an 85 Mitsubishi Mighty Max that was a great little truck but it was unibody and it was not nearly the truck that my present trucks are. Since I use my trucks I prefer to have a full frame under them. Cars or crossovers I really don't need a full frame.

Again as I have said before buy what you like. Freedom of choice is a great thing.

@DM--I will correct myself in that the 84 5th Avenue was rear wheel drive but not a body on frame as was the 78 Regal (first year of downsized and though a frame not a full body on frame). The 73 Chevelle and the 77 Monte Carlo were among the last of the GM intermediate body on frame although the Monte was more full size and weighed 4,200 lbs (the weight gave it a very smooth ride).

@Jeff S - Then we agree. It comes down to what you want from a truck. My mom's grocery getter, reg cab, Tundra V6 is perfect for her. It sees a few light hauls per year, but mostly she loves sitting up high with great visibility in all directions.

@BAF0 - Here my other comment, cut and paste, from the same thread which you selectively avoid while cherrypicking comments:

"I agree, but I still stand behind the 100,000 sales estimate, mainly because it’ll be the only domestic, “Big 3″ in the segment. But it’ll severely cut into Tacoma and Frontier sales too. The regular cab Tacoma is going away after this year, so it’ll even the playing field (among base strippers, all extended cabs)."

So buyers will shift over to a "US Big 3" brand of small trucks, just like Orkin will no longer be forced to buy Tacomas.

You can add more choices in compact roadsters, for example, like another Miata competitor, but a new choices doesn't mean there will be much more added interest in that market niche. It'll just further divide up the market between OEMs.

@DiM, remember you started this 'off topic discucssion'.
That's your technique. Like I stated you make a ridiculous comments. Just read what you wrote and how it doesn't match your historical paradigms. Then (rarely) back peddle an apparent DiM'ism, tell an untruth, then try and support with unverifiable information.

So, why not remove the Chicken Tax and allow VW Amaroks, BT50s into the US market to compete? Why does it have to be a Big 3 or even a NAFTA manufactured pickup?

If you think there is room for another 100 000 midsizers wouldn't it make sense to allow for more competition?

This would put pressure on the full size manufacturers to be more competitive. Because in your words you stated that the F-150 makes obscene profits. So in your words there appears to be scope for competitive pressure to be applied to Ford.

VW and Mazda don't make a full size, but they would want to sell one of their midsizers instead of letting a sale go to a full size manufacturer.

Wouldn't more competition create a better market? What would occur is the consumer will make or brake a manufacturer. If the product isn't viable it will go.

I bet if the Chicken Tax was dropped suddenly, you would have a lot of midsizers available. Then you would have a situation of may the best succeed, not the most subsidised and protected succeeds.

Now, in no way is this stating that the full size US market would collapse or anything near it. Full size trucks will reign in the foreseeable future.

DiM, your UAW approach to defending the US manufacturers with be the end of them. This has already occurred and the US taxpayer bailed out the Big 3. Ford did get a heavily subsidised loan of 24 billion dollars as well, lets not forget that.

Competition will force the Big 3 to be competitive and restructure.

@highdesertcat: nobody is forcing you to buy a squirely little truck, or a underpowered engine.

If somebody doesn't need to tow a heavy trailer, or very often, and maybe they just need the space of a full sizer, then maybe those v-6 s will work for them. Or if they live where the terrain is flatter. Right now there is a few engines out that can do what your 5.7 does, and will get alot better mileage. But go ahead and keep throwing money away. I bet when the gas was was 5$ a gallon alot of people re-thought what they chose to drive....and the next round we get something else with better mileage. They can spend that extra money elsewhere.

@Denver Mike--I never said I disagreed. I said that everyone should have a choice. There is a place for smaller trucks and larger trucks just as there is a place for large, medium, compact, and subcompact cars and crossovers. Having choice is good.

@Big Al--I agree they should remove all protective barriers on vehicles. Probably the full size half ton would still sell well, but at least the consumer would be offered more choice and more value for the money. As for those who are green, they to have valid points. Could you imagine what things would be like if we had no environmental standards? Look at China which is probably the most polluted country in the World. We should be concerned about the environment issues and not wasting as much of our resources. We throw away enough aluminum in a year to rebuild our commercial airline fleet. We are as a country getting much better about recycling and much more energy efficient. Yes we can always do more but costs need to be considered as well.

@Big Al,

Fiat, owner of Chrysler Group, has agreed to buy the United Auto Workers' remaining 41.46% stake in Chrysler for $3.65 billion, plus four separate payments totaling $700 million.

The purchase will be made by Fiat's Fiat North America unit. The transaction is expected to close on or before January 20

@DenverlllMike - the chicken tax factors into the equation because it forced companies to build in the USA which then puts manufacturing costs on par with full sized trucks. Toyota is a prime example. The Tacoma and Tundra roll off the same assembly line.
Small trucks tend to have a lower price point and traditionally have not offered the same high end trim levels as full sized therefore profit margins are less. Ford and Ram have decided that it isn't worth the effort to build small trucks in the USA. Is it coincidence that car companies state that their profit margins on entry level vehicles are in the range of 2-3 % and that is similar to the import tariff? The same can be said for full sized trucks with a 25-40% profit margin and the low end profit margin is comparable to the chicken tax.
The chicken tax is not the only hurdle faced by small trucks but it fits into what has shaped the truck market. I do believe that the market would be decidedly different if there never was a chicken tax.

In the context of "greens" we have seen EPA/Safety rules favour larger vehicles. This has also shaped the market. The USA based auto industry chose to focus on larger SUV's because the rules were similar to pickups. They required less safety gear and faced less stringent emissions/mpg rules. We have seen the market drift away from large SUV's to mid and small SUV's/CUV's as the regulatory environment has caught up.

Detroit's focus on larger SUV's eventually backfired because of increasing fuel costs and the anti-SUV movement of which Hummer became the poster child. Another side effect of "Detroit's" myopic planning was they handed the passenger car market to the Japanese. A 2% tariff isn't sufficient to hurt import cars or protect domestic cars (but it does help Detroit).

Rules still shape the market as we see higher diesel costs and more stringent emissions for diesels. (Some paranoid types out their have gone so far to say that the USA government wants to limit civilian diesel consumption to protect its war machine which runs primarily on diesel/jet fuel).

Preliminary studies show that Turbo direct injection gassers produce just as much "bad" particulate as diesels. Will we see DPF on gassers? I doubt it unless greens really push it or it will come as we see more and more larger engines being replaced by smaller turbo DI engines. That is ultimately Ford's plan. Will the other car companies follow suite? That will depend on the price of oil. As long as there is relative stability in the Middle East, prices will most likely stay down. Venezuela is having problems and that may destabilize oil prices. In the medium to long term the price of fuel will rise.

@Lou BC--What you brought up about large SUVs such as the Hummer could happen to the full size trucks. Not only the higher fuel prices but a stigma became attached to the Hummer of drivers that are road hogs and that are a menace to other drivers on the road. It is better that all of us are aware of this and conduct ourselves in a respectful and proper manner when driving. It is not right to stereotype but when enough drivers that drive a certain type of vehicle misbehave then it hurts everyone else who drives a similar vehicle.

I do remember reading an article about direct injection gas turbos being more harmful to the environment but I do see manufacturers using more smaller direct injection gas turbos to meet the new fuel standards. It remains to be seen how reliable these engines are long term but I do know some that have the Ecoboost V-6 in the F-150s that are very pleased with them and have not had any problems.

On the diesels it would be better to have one standard for emissions for all the developed countries which would make it easier to comply with and make it a less costly option for the consumer. We should have global standards for safety and emissions for all the developed nations.

As for oil in Venezuela any news of oil supply restrictions cause oil prices to rise. Realistically Venezuela crude oil is a heavier crude with high sulfur content that can only be refined in refineries that are set up to handle heavy crude. Most refineries would gunk up and cannot refine this crude. The US has a few refineries that can refine heavy crude and the Chinese have a few as well, but most countries do not have the proper refineries for heavy crude. But then if there are sniffles in the energy market prices go up.

@papa jim
I'm hoping Sergio gets his way and buys out the rest of Chrysler. I think he'll turn Chrysler into larger profits.

The UAW don't want him because he will have instruments or leverage to modify the way that the UAW 'negotiate'.

I bet when he gets hold of Chrysler work place relations will change.

If many don't know Italy has some of the OECD's most paralysing work place relations regulations. Sergio, actually made the government change some of the Italy's work place relations (they still have a long way to go).

He threatened to offshore Fiat if the government didn't support the changes he wanted.

I can foresee Sergio dealing with the UAW in the same manner. Michigan is now a right to rule state.

It wouldn't be to hard to offer attractive non-union packages that are cheaper and hopefully productivity/performance based.

@papa jim
Geez, it's all over the finance news. That's great.

I really thought the price would have been a billion or two higher.

Boy, I wonder how the Ram guys will be able to 'knock' a Titan/Frontier or Tundra/Taco. An Iveco powered Ram and Cummins powered Titan?

Allpar must be in mourning. Oh, well :)

@Big Al,

Sergio has the crystal ball, evidently--or he's just a good poker player and the union blinked. There is no way to tell if the Dow will go higher in 2014 or not.

The union decided that they will accept the risk of not holding out for a higher price and get a bird in the hand. Sergio goes for the two in the bush. We should know in less than six months who was right.

@highdessertcat - "I don't need anything over a halfton 99% of the time, but I do need something with balls, not some squirrelly little rat engine that you have to keep your foot into to keep the rpm up in the torque band, especially in the mountainous terrain where I live, towing a flatbed trailer loaded with pallets of ceramic tile, thinset mortar and bags of grout or other construction materials.

For those people who simply want to look like they are truckin', four-bangers in a halfton would do the trick. And they are free to buy them. Ditto with Ecoblast Fords."

Wouldn't the ecoboost be EXACTLY what you're looking for since you don't believe in diesels. It has more torque than any V8 that I know of under 3000rpm. Check out "The Fast Lane Truck" Ike Gauntlet towing tests. The ecoboost kicked ass! Also since you spend so much of your earnings on gasoline, you SHOULD care about the price of the stuff. I still don't understand your way of thinking...

@Highdesertcat - if you live in the mountains a turbocharged engine is less sensitive to "thin air" since it functions as a air compressor.
I do agree that one has the right to buy what ever they want but unfortunately the rule makers have a different opinion as to what is best for us.
We have a fringe element that believes that the environment is more important that human beings. On the other hand we also have a fringe element that believes that we have the right to do what ever we want regardless of the environment.
Like anything, there needs to be a middle ground.

@Lou_BC - There's nothing stopping offshore OEMs from building trucks in Mexico. The Tacoma is made in Tijuana. That's not the problem and it doesn't matter where they're made or shipped from.

Really, it should physically cost just as much to build small BOF trucks as full-size trucks. So what the heck makes you think it should be any less? Smaller scale yes, but everything else remains constant (with a full-size build). Small trucks do command a much lower price point, but is that what has you so confused? But therein lies the problem small truck OEMs face when dealing with the US market. It's no different for small trucks made by the US Big3.


But it has less to do with what it costs to build and what fleet, cheapskates and rebate demanding bottom feeders are willing to pay. The main thing that full-size trucks have going for them is VOLUME. Volume means ABSOLUTELY everything.

US Big 3 OEMs actually don't mind if full-size pickups cannibalize their auto and SUV sales. In fact they LOVE it. On the other hand, the last thing offshore OEMs need is a small truck or their's cannibalizing the highly profitable cars they share a showroom with.

And it's no conspiracy that small truck OEMs don't offer high end small trucks. Nothing is stopping them from building and offering up small truck versions of cowboy fetish trucks at 50 to $60,000 to compete with the King Ranch, Longhorn and others. Plus Platinum, Limited and Raptor competitors. They'd get laughed right out of the showroom! We just don't give small trucks that kind of respect or credence could never accept a small truck as a luxury vehicle. Ranch, farm and business owners look at small trucks as what your employees drive.

But luxury trucks are a huge part of they full-size truck market. At least for the US Big 3. They greatly overshadow the base trucks. And besides volume, the it's the main reason US big 3 full-size trucks enjoy obscene profitability and are the most profitable 3 vehicles in the world.

It's a combination of things why the small truck market sucks, but blaming tariffs is lame. And downright silly. In fact, it sucks for US Big 3 OEMs just the same. And you have to pretend the '80s import mini-truck craze/fad/invasion never happened.

There's no FREE lunch when it comes to turbo charging. Diesel or gas. Tailpipe emissions are assumed to be less when engines are smaller, regardless of boost. But with turbo charging (instead of a normal bigger engine), you're just chasing your tail.

Spiking fuel prices aren't a big deal for US drivers. Never mind what FOX News reports. And then you have to assume big trucks and SUVs are used mostly as commuter cars. Usually not. But the US was built around the promise of cheap fuel. You've heard of urban sprawl? Where else does that happen? With so little public transportation? So when fuel prices go up, so does absolutely everything else. Yes it's all relative.

Besides being a big target of green weenies everywhere, the HUMMMER was a just a pimp'd out Tahoe with skid plates, big tires and a front locker. And the butt of endless jokes. It had to die. The Raptor was the next target of ecotards, but even they have to admit it's cool.

@DiM
No one has suggested that external pickup manufacturers would take over. But there is a large enough market in the US to have them imported. But the chicken tax prevents this from occurring.

Competition ensures the best possible outcomes and the main beneficiaries are the consumer.

Also, again you are plucking costs out of your A$$. How will an Amarok cost $55k in the US? Show me proof this will occur.

Again, you are trying to create 'fear' of an import through misinformation. Again, you are towing the UAW line.

DiM, I hear the UAW call centre phone ringing, I think on of the rank and file from Chrysler is on the line. Something to do with Fiat.

Big Al--There are some who fear free markets with no tariffs. The barriers should be lifted and let the market determine what products succeed. It is hard for me to believe that a less expensive and smaller truck would not sell even if the numbers are not 100k. I agree with you that there might be a few on this comment section that have an agenda but there are also those who fear that competition and government regulations will bring an end to the full size large block V-8 powered trucks. For many this is protecting their way of life. Even if government regulations and tariffs were removed or reduced the changes would take a number of years. The manufacturers will not give up making full size trucks unless demand for them falls drastically and that will not happen overnight.

It is ironic that for the most part those in their 30s and 40s have more fear of change than many of us that are older. I can and will adjust my buying habits to what is available on the market.

@DenverMike: I'm going to argue one specific statement:
"... the new GM midsizers will have lots of appeal from those specifically seeking, wanting, needing a "US Big 3" small truck offering, as opposed to offshore branded small trucks. Not that it'll create much new interest in the segment, but will steal most of its sales from the Tacoma and Frontier..."

Now, I will agree that those specifically "seeking, wanting, needing a 'US Big 3' small truck..." are at least going to LOOK at the Colorado/Canyon; I'm one of them. However, if that truck is not in the same general size range of the Tacoma/Frontier but is instead an American mid-size that's only marginally smaller than a full-size, then I'll very likely continue planning on a Tacoma Frontier. Splitting the difference isn't good enough; I'd do better converting my own Jeep Wrangler into a truck than compromise on something that's still too big. Many of these hold-outs you so belittle will have the same concerns.

The first Colorado was admittedly larger than the S-10, but it was still notably smaller than full sized trucks and even smaller than later models. THAT is the size many smaller-truck buyers would prefer, though I'd be happier with an early S-10-sized model. I would at least be willing to compromise at the early Colorado size. As yet, we really don't know how much smaller than its predecessor the new Colorado will be.

@BAF0 - Right. I understand you're talking about a niche market for the Amarok or other global market trucks. But you assume it would be profitable for them to be niche players in very competitive, and tough market where huge rebates and other incentives are the rule, not the exception. Then YOU assume these OEMs (including Ford and Chrysler) want to deal with fleet, cheapskates or other American bottom feeders of every description. It's not a good scenario for OEMs selling small trucks in America. They decide to avoid the American market and or abandon it entirely (Mazda, Isuzu, Mitsu, Ford, Chrysler, Subaru, VW), but YOU think YOU know better than them???

No, you know exactly what small trucks sell for in other markets, like OZ. You paid $47,000 for your Mazda truck. They start as high as $25,000 and easily reach the $50,000 club, and beyond. Don't be acting like you're dumb all of a sudden... Or maybe it's not an act???

Hmmm. Volkswagen Amarok -- over 17 feet long. Space between wheel wells over 4 feet wide. Bed length at least 5 feet with a long-bed version available exceeding 7 feet. All told, when considering the relative power of the TDI engine (which seems very popular here in the US) I could see the Amarok as a contender in the mid-size class.

I do have to agree with DenverMike that they're likely to be expensive if the US does get them--about $5,000 more than their competitors. Volkwagen as a brand tends to be more expensive than any 'equivalent' American-designed vehicle in every competing category. Most American brands have been about 5 years behind VW in pricing across the board if not more. I think that's also why VW is having trouble understanding why their Americanized Passat--built in Chattanooga, TN--isn't selling as well as they expected despite the lower pricing; they've effectively removed much of what made the German Passat so popular in order to reduce cost and price.

@Vulpine,
Looking at our prices I don't forsee an 8spd, AWD, twin cab, twin turbo diesel, high end VW Amarok costing more than $40,000 USD. DiM exaggerates to generate fear and misinform.

DiM appears to think that midsize buyers only buy base model strippers as he calls them. There is one exception that is the new US Chev Colorado, that is of course UAW built. He thinks government departments will buy 100 000 a year, quite an ambitious figure I would have thought.

Data suggests that most midsizers sold in the US are mid to high end. I don't know or I haven't seen a midsizer with the same level of specifications and trim as my BT-50.

DiM had a debate with Lou regarding this a year ago regarding the trim levels of Tacoma's.

But DiM always disregards credible information if it doesn't suit the UAW mantra.

He misinforms and attempts to use fear and reduce the image of all vehicles that aren't UAW supported.

The Amarok is built to German quality standards, my BT50GT is built to Japanese standards. Getting pickups from various countries like we do you can see the difference in quality.

I must say the Tundra I saw at that shopping mall was quite well put together. Not as good as a Korean car, but getting there.

The Amarok is a fine example of what can be achieved in driving dynamics, ergonomics, comfort and fit and finish in a pickup.

DiM only considers what is available in the US and disregards what the rest of the world receives. But we have a wider range of quality in our pickups. Just like our car market.

This is what occurs when a market becomes very competitive. If a person just wants a cheap pickup they can buy one, if they want a little prestige they can buy a VW Amarok and not a GM Colorado, Toyota, etc.

@Jeff S,
I don't think imported pickups would topple the dominance of US 1/2 ton pickups. But, V8s are on their way out. This is evident as Lou pointed out with Ford and their direction of boosted engines.

Even in Australia we are going the way of boosted engines in gas and diesel. This started for us big time in the 90s.

There will be a few V8s, but I think these will be used with a reduced frequency.

I think what will eventually occur is our midsizers will increase in size on notch and full size will come down a notch and run on V6s, turbo 4s and 2.0-2.2 litre turbo diesels.

In other words they will meld into one. I think the US Colorado is almost experimental in that respect. If it is GM will go all out to provide a genuine 1/2 ton replacement.

A 2WD diesel Colorado will deliver over 32mpg on the highway. It will be an eye opener. A pickup with a good tow rating, comfortable and a good ride.

I think there is only so far they can increase the size of a full size half ton before the consumer rejects them. There will be a few that want them, but if an HD size pickup was wanted wouldn't HDs sales be greater than half ton sales.



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