We're Looking Forward to a Happy New Year

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There's no question that 2018 was a good year for pickup trucks, what with the all-new Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 hitting the marketplace. We also got a closer look at two new mid-size models in the form of the 2019 Ford Ranger and 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Of course, knowing that new-model cadence never slows down anymore, we're looking for 2019 to be full of three-quarter and one-ton news for us from at least three manufacturers (Chevy, GMC and Ram) if not all four (adding Ford).

Related: Best-Selling Pickup Trucks: Fourth Quarter 2018

In the meantime, here are six reasons we think 2019 will be even more exciting than last year:

1. The Heavy-Duties Are Coming
We've started to see quite a few submissions from our remote spies sending us images of both the Chevrolet and GMC HD models as they run around and near the Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan. We've heard speculation about all sorts of upgrades coming to the powertrains, but we're still a little fuzzy on how thoroughly GM engineers are diving into the frame and suspension. We should know more in the next few months.

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2. The Return of the Bronco
Now that we've seen and driven the returning 2019 Ford Ranger, all eyes are likely to turn to the returning 2020 Ford Bronco (to be built from the same production facility as the Ranger). Can Ford create a lightning strike twice in two years? Although we don't know much at this point, if they've shared any amount of Ranger platform, the Bronco could be a serious Jeep Wrangler fighter.

3. Next Nissan Frontier
We're not alone in thinking this redesign is long overdue. In fact, even if you spoke to those in charge at Nissan, they too would tell you this is the project they've been wanting to get completed. All over the world, the global Navara is selling in significant numbers, but here in the U.S., we're stuck with the oldest platform of any pickup truck sold. The next-generation Frontier is likely to be revealed sometime this year, and we can't wait.

4. Crossover Pickups to Debut
We've been hearing and seeing a lot about the coming wave of urban niche pickups, very likely based off an existing SUV or large crossover platform. Hyundai and VW are the two most likely brands to show us something production-ready relatively soon (we're guessing the Chicago Auto Show in February) because both have already shown us full concept models at previous auto shows (the Santa Cruz at Detroit in 2015, Atlas Tanoak at New York in 2018). We've always been skeptical about these "hybrids," but we're willing to stay open-minded.

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5. Medium-Duty Chevy
We're also expecting to get more information about new versions of the work-duty-oriented Chevrolet Silverado 4500 and 5500 models as more of them get into the fleet and commercial markets. It's our guess that it won't take long before the Chevy one-ton guys start moving over to the medium-duty chassis and use them as a blank canvas for their latest big towing and hauling dream machine project trucks. We're likely to see quite a few at the 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas in November.

6. Pickups as the Profit
And our last submission of big news items to expect for the coming year is actually very similar to what we saw in 2018: The most underreported story of 2018 was how lifesaving it was to the auto industry that pickup truck sales soared so high. In fact, if full-size pickup sales did not exist, none of the major automakers would have a solvent company. And we don't expect that to change for 2019; if anything, it will magnify -- without pickup truck sales and the corresponding profits for Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it's possible none of them would be in business today.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears, Christian Lantry

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I like Cricket.

Jeff S
US Pickups maybe a niche product outside the US, goal is to make sure they sell in sufficient volume within NA

I'd be happy to continue this debate with papajim, but not on this website. It's not productive if anyone can just post whatever they want. #stayclassy

I agree. Al wants us to forget the YEARS of disruption and mistrust that his games have caused. Oh what a pity!

.@oxi--You need to educate yourself about the rebuilding of post World War II Japan and W Edward Deming's role in it. Unlike you the Japanese were open to new ideas and needed to rebuild their industry. The Japanese industry rose from the ashes of World War II and became a major economic and industrial power. Do you think they did this just on their own in a vacuum without help. Deming was hired by the Japanese Government and industry to teach them to be better and more productive. Toyota itself acknowledged that without Deming there would be no just in time manufacturing and the attention to higher quality standards. A successful business takes the best ideas and improves upon this. Did you know that it was not Henry Ford that was the first to use an assembly line to manufacture autos? It was Ransom Olds but Ford took the idea and improved it. In other words he made it his own and it became a standard. I cannot force you to educate yourself are be open but if you have any curiosity and a quest for knowledge you should research this yourself.


Thanks for bringing up Deming and his role in helping Japan rise up out of the ashes of world war II. I had kind of forgotten about that over the years. My wife taught English in Japan for a couple of years to help her pay for her education. Our kids always enjoy hearing stories about what it was like living in Japan.

RE: Japan

The legacy of 20th century Japan, esp. before the war is a bit speckled by their human rights atrocities in places like southeast Asia and China.

In purely industrial terms Japan was one of the few exceptional nations outside of the US and western Europe (Turkey being another) because they had mastered the business of working with carbon steel in a mass production setting.

People seem to forget that Japan produced an extraordinary armed force, particularly its navy prior to 1940. None of that could have happened absent some remarkable capital resources, engineering and skill.

RE: Cricket

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(continues to eat popcorn and drink Dr Pepper while reading comments and patiently waiting for Subaru to bring back Baja)

@ Jeff s,

Once again, I work in manufacturing and we learn the Toyota Production System and the Toyota Way, and we had our leadership group tour Toyota's Georgetown plant.

We implement Toyota methods at work!

Imagine if Toyota asked for royalties for what they have taught the manufacturing world, hmmm...

Oxi, Look at the latest TFL review of the Tacoma with Mr. Truck's head bouncing off the ceiling. You think that's good?

Jeff S
Not Cricket the network but Cricket the Game

Do not know who you were talking too, but they repensent a very very tiny group.
I know Americans who like Cricket, so I guess from that Americans are going to embrace Cricket in a big way??
If people liked US Pickups, outside NA, they would be as popular as the Global,Pickups

Like Canadians crack down on hand guns. No it has nothing to do with Pickup sales either

Like Canadians crack down on hand guns. No it has nothing to do with Pickup sales either

@Robert Ryan & Jeff S

the authoritarian governments that run things in the UK and its few remaining colonies decided to confiscate personal firearms years ago. Then they simply did it. They will do the same with cars and trucks. Why? Because they can.

As long as they don't force me to remove the tires to do an oil change, I'm ok with that. It's like my granddad said. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

@ Papajim
Remaining Colonies like the US? Complete waffle from you
What has this idiotic diatribe got to do with up coming Pickup innovations none?

Peace, Land, Bread.

Surely you jest.

The US declared its independence with words that still inspire people today --- and they backed it up with lead, powder and cold sharp steel.

And just to show there were no hard feelings we came to the king's rescue not once but twice during the last hundred years.

Australia was and is a glorified colony. Sorry about your bad luck.

@papajim--I never talked about politics are government. Are you trying to stir the pot to get an argument going. It is a brand new year and I myself wish to put the past behind me.

@oxi--You need to keep an open mind. I am very familar with the Toyota Georgetown plant. Toyota did not invent efficiency or even the principal of lean production. I am not taking anything away from Toyota because they took the principles that they learned and made them their own and improved them. If you even care to keep an open mind and learn this was one of Deming's main principles was to never be satisfied with the status quo and to look for ways to constantly improve whether it be your own self, improving a product, finding more and better ways to make products more efficiently, and to never be satisfied with just good enough. Toyota and the Japanese did not invent these principles but they were open enough to learn them and smart enough to know that they did not know everything. That is a strength when you realize that you do not know everything and that learning and improving is constant process.

Since you have worked with Toyota why don't you ask someone that is in management position in Toyota about Deming. Toyota so respected him that they and the Japanese Government awarded him a medal. Open your mind and be willing to learn and be willing to take what is best and improve it.

Here are some links about Deming and Toyota





@Jeff s - I'm concerned about Robert Ryan's wife. When she was a child, her parents tried to raise her to be neat, but her bedroom, closets and bathroom were always a mess. Now that she has a home of her own and is married with kids, she's still the same. Clothing and towels are piled so deep on the floor you can't see it.

She has a housekeeper, and before the woman comes over to clean, Robert Ryan picks the stuff up. I don't know how they can tell what's clean or dirty when it has been walked on all week. The rest of the house is OK, but as you walk in the door, shoes are thrown here and there, like, "I'm home now. I'm free. Let it go. No rules." Her teenage daughter is now modeling the same behavior.

Is this some kind of disorder? To me, it would be just as easy to dump things into a hamper, on a shelf or in a drawer. Her husband is neat, and so is her son. I love her and it's none of my business, but is my way the wrong way? Am I the one with a disorder?

@Texas1836--Thank you. Japan is an interesting country. What part of Texas do you live in? I was raised in Houston, Texas and graduated from Baylor University (liven 29 years in Texas). Miss the spirit of Texas and the people. This history of Texas is one of the most interesting. I am distantly related to Texas Governor Ireland on my mother's side.

@papajim--I do not know anything about Robert Ryan's wife and I do not wish to participate in disparaging him. I don't agree with all of his posts but I look forward to reading his comments to get a different take on trucks especially from the global perspective. I find some of the global trucks interesting and the variety and types. Since some of our midsize trucks either originate or they are based on global trucks it is interesting. I might not want to spend 40k to 60k on a global truck but nevertheless I find his perspective and some of the links he has provided interesting and of value.

Am I the one with a disorder?
Posted by: papajim | Jan 6, 2019

No, the jerk who keeps posting under my name does

I am not going into great details which ex- British Colony United States or Australia has/ had more British influence which is relevant in a discussion on the introduction of the GMDuty Trucks, the introduction of the Jeep Pickup and the new Ranger.
I did notice there are two Robert Ryans on this discussion topic

Sorry that there's no control over people posting under multiple IDs.

The complexity of managing a comments page that automates ID blocking adds a lot of expense and reduces the opportunity for spontaneous banter.

I personally like the status quo but regret that some tasteless jerks can be counted on to make it personal.

@Jeff s

Half my lineage is from the old Republic of Texas and my wife is also from Texas, but I have never lived there. We are located in the Great North Wet (I mean North West). I often heard stories (tall tales) about Texas as a young child through my Grandparents...and Grandpa used to regularly sing 'Deep in the heart of Texas' around the campfire. I still have many relatives in Texas, particularly around Central Texas. Who knows, my wife and I may end up retiring down that way, though I am not sure that I could handle the weather (too hot and humid). My Great, Great (maybe one more Great?) Grandfather was the Chaplain to the last Republic of Texas Congress. Another couple of relatives of mine along with the Allen Bros., and Gail Borden platted the original settlement of Houston way back when.

@Texas1836 - My wife sleeps in the raw. Then she showers, brushes her teeth and fixes our breakfast — still in the buff. We're newlyweds and there are just the two of us, so I suppose there's really nothing wrong with it. What do you think?

Texas1836 --Thank you. Thanks for sharing you family history. When my family moved to Houston from Dayton, OH in August of 1958 Houston was just under a million in population. During the 60's and 70's the growth took off. During that time you saw a lot of Ohio and Michigan license plates. There was a bumper sticker that said "Native Houstonians Endangered Species". It was a great place to grow up. There were over 775 people in my high school graduation class and over 4 thousand students at my high school.

@Jeff s - tell that to someone who cares!

This is Texas1836, and I do care. Thanks Jeff s.

Economy can't be Trumps doing, Barry Obama has laid claim to it.

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