What to Expect at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

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With trends for 2017 sales predicted to be sluggish when compared to the 2016 sales record, we've noticed that the normally enthusiastic auto industry rumor mill is dragging as well. We've heard little from our regular marketing and public relations friends about what's coming to the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit beyond the normal model refreshes and new trim package debuts. Nevertheless, here's what we're expecting:

  • There will at least one big surprise in the pickup truck powertrain arena. With looming federal corporate average fuel economy standards set to bump up in 2018 and 2025, you can bet the big truckmakers are going to push their engineers to come up with creative solutions.
  • Hyundai and Kia, thought to be the next manufacturers to jump into the mid-size market, are likely second-guessing their earlier enthusiasm. From what we hear, the project (projects?) could be on hold.
  • At a time when jumping into a cautious market with a new truck would be quite costly, we'd expect several of the truckmakers to get more creative with trim packages. We're hoping Toyota follows Ram's lead in terms of offering special-edition packages. 
  • Expect SUVs to continue to be strong players on the auto show circuit, with more styles and variations on the same mid-size and full-size platforms.

Following media, auto-industry and charity previews Monday through Jan. 13, the NAIAS will open to the public Jan. 14-22 at Detroit's Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Jan. 22, when it will close at 7 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults, and $7 for seniors age 65 or older and children age 7 to 12; kids age 6 or younger get in free with a parent or guardian. Group discounts of $9 per ticket for parties of 30 or more are also available for purchase through Jan. 13. For more info, go to naias.com.

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Can't wait to see all of the photos of RAM trucks and their upgrade packages that will never see the light of day outside of an exhibition hall.

1. Jeep pickup
2. RAM hybrid
3. RAM with reliability package

8 speed , multilink, airride and diesel is pretty real for 4 years already jim. Enjoy.

Where did you hear that Hyundai was losing its enthusiasm for the mid-sized truck market? Can you post a link for this?

From what I heard, Hyundai believes its lineup has too many cars and not enough light trucks, and it is planning to add more light trucks.

Kia showed the Telluride concept at last year's Detroit Auto Show and has indicated that it will likely be produced. http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/kia-telluride-suv-has-good-chance-move-production Hyundai could certainly produce a mid-sized pickup based on the Telluride. The Telluride is unibody. I would prefer body-on-frame, but unibody would suffice as a lifestyle vehicle.

Kia does have a mid-sized BOF SUV called the Mohave that they sell overseas. They sold it in the U.S. as the Borrego for one model year only in 2009. Someone photoshopped a mid-sized truck based on the Borrego. I think it looks pretty good: http://www.carspyshots.net/showthread.php?t=19647

Will be interesting to see the f-150 diesel or hybrid when it debuts. I'd also like to see GM with a turbocharged v6. It's about time. It's kind of nice how the truckmakers have all gone in different directions. Ram with the diesel and 8 speed. GM with the midsize. Ford with the turbocharged v6s and aluminum bodies. Now they all have to try to compete and offer similar alternatives. Ford to introduce their midsize ranger, diesel engine, 10 speed, hybrid. GM to start using aluminum and offer a turbo v6 and get their version of the 10 speed. Haven't heard anything on a gm half ton diesel yet. Ram has its niche with the diesel but it seems like they are really getting behind. Toyota doesn't really offer anything highly unique and nissan tried to offer something unique but it was a flop.

I would like to see a GM 7.0 liter V8 small block with the same fuel saving technology as their 5.3 and 6.2 V8. This would be a monstrously powerful engine and when in V4 mode it would consume less fuel then Fords 3.5 eco boost. You hearing me GM? Bring it!

Midsize Ranger?


Don't hold your breath. Ford has a global Ranger they could have easily brought to the US/Canada market 3 years ago. They are VERY late to the dance.

The midsize market will not be a big growth market in 2017. If it was, the Honda would be selling like hotcakes. It isn't. There was a rush of interest in the segment during the last 18 months and there's nothing on the horizon to sustain it. If gasoline is $3.50 per gallon US this time next year all bets are off.

In the meantime, you can rest assured that Ford waited too long to intro the Ranger.

*unless Ford applies the Ranger name to a work-truck half ton to replace the STX or F100 sort of naming they had back in the old days.

I would like to see a GM 7.0 liter V8 small block with the same fuel saving technology as their 5.3 and 6.2 V8.


I'd much rather see the Silverado and Sierra's offered with a big block choice (aka the old 454) re-introduced with modern electronics and an all alloy block/heads.

Let the 8 litre V8 be their base motor in the 3/4 ton trucks and a special order upgrade in the half ton premium models.

Make the 6.2 available in more of the more basic Sierras and Silverados. The 5.3 is a pretty limp motor in a half ton crew cab truck

@papajim: I respectfully disagree with your thoughts of mid size growth in 2017. Toyota and GM are re assigning manufacturing capacity towards producing more mid size trucks. The move away from traditional cars particularly mid and full size is happening rapidly. Mid size Suv and trucks have become an attractive alternative offering easier cabin access and egress, passenger comfort and utility coupled with a less imposing size compared to their full size siblings. I am onboard with your comments about a 8 liter V8, but I think the 7 liter will suffice.

Bebee is right. Even if Ford wanted to bring the T6 Ranger over it made no sense having a bloated steel heavier older Ranger next to a lighter aluminum 2015 F-150. You can't get the mpg savings over the F150. They had to wait for the next gen smaller aluminum Ranger.

GM was behind on full-size trucks so they had more of an opening for the Colorado. The Colorado made more sense because the current 2014 gen Silverado was reportedly the Silverado that was supposed to be here in 2010 go up against the 2011 F-150 EB.

Sometimes it's way cheaper to lose customers for at least awhile. The resources that Ford saved by temporarily cancelling the Ranger at least partially financed the 2015 F150 and new Transit vans. Which is better - 150K more new F150 and Transit sales per year or 60K Ranger sales?

Sometimes it's way cheaper to lose customers...


Try selling that idea in the boardrooms of the Big 3 !!!

Your comments above said a number of things that made alarms go off, but that one is solid gold stupid.

Car and truck buyers, particularly truck buyers, are people who are very hard to persuade.

GM and Ford would rather lose a finger or a toe than lose a lifelong customer.

The move away from traditional cars particularly mid and full size is happening rapidly.


Dear buddy, you can have your own ideas and your own opinions but you can't have your own facts.

Here's the fact: In 2016 it was big SUVs and full size trucks that kicked the doors down.

The 2016 sales figures are just in, they've been all over the financial news. It wasn't small/medium vehicles that hit home runs, it was big SUVs and pickups.

That's also where the profit is.

Kia/ Hyundai will keep selling as any SUV's as possible. They do not produce Pickups globally at all. Vans and light ( Kia/Hyundai) and heavy trucks( Hyundai) . Those concept Pickups will end up as vaporware.

Exactly what is happening here. SUV's are now well and truly outselling traditional cars. Pickups or more specifically one, the Toyota Hilux is the best selling vehicle in Australia.

Hyundai has indicated that they will sell a mid-sized pickup sometime after 2020. http://www.caradvice.com.au/461363/hyundai-ute-plan-finally-making-progress/

As far as I know, the Mohave/Borrego is the only true BOF SUV that Hyundai makes, and it is near the end of its lifecycle, having been introduced in 2008. If Hyundai is going to produce a replacement for the Mohave, why wouldn't they base their mid-size truck off it? It makes sense for Hyundai to produce an SUV and a pickup off the same platform to save engineering costs and provide economy of scale. The Telluride is about the same size as the Borrego, and I think it shows what their large SUV will look like.

Shouldn't GM be showing a concept of their new truck yet?

yundai has indicated that they will sell a mid-sized pickup sometime after 2020.


Nope, your link says they are looking at it but have no commitment.

I'd like see Nissan's Frontier diesel in production.

Yes, I should have said "may sell" instead of "will sell," but Hyundai Australia COO was optimistic on it, and it is a product that would gain Hyundai sales and market share.

It would be great to see ford and gm to use their 10 speed in both the gas and diesel heavy duty trucks

More gears, more problems down the road...

papajim, GMSRGREAT.

Car sales are shrinking due to CUV and SUV sales. People rather site in a taller vehicle with a more upright seating position.

GM's success with the re-introduction of small trucks isn't part of a downsizing trend. They are riding along with the CUV/SUV market. The small truck market had pizz poor choices for decades. I've always said that sales would improve if there were better products to chose from.

I would like to see the prototypes of the Bronco and Blazer

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