What We Saw on Day 1 at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show

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There's definitely a different feel on the floor of 2019 North American international Auto Show in Detroit. With big German automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi absent (Volkswagen is here), the media crowds are down and there's not as much flash and sizzle. Still, there's plenty of news here from manufacturers like Kia (showing off the new 2020 Telluride) and Toyota (Remember the Supra? It's returning for the 2020 model year.). Unfortunately, neither brand had any pickup truck news.

Related: More 2019 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Most of pickup news this year comes from Ram. Here's a quick rundown of what we saw on Day One of the auto show.


2019 Ram 1500 Wins Another Award

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Always the first press conference of the show — although we can't imagine that will continue when the show moves to the summertime — the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards were announced, and the 2019 Ram 1500 took home the truck award. NACTOY awards are determined by a group of 54 U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists. During the presentation we heard another journalist say, "Good lord. It's just like I'm back in high school where everyone thinks so-and-so is the prettiest, smartest and nicest person in school — and I just think she's OK." We think the new Ram 1500 is more than OK; in fact, it's a contender for the Cars.com Best Pickup Truck of 2019 award that will be announced Jan. 31. And there certainly seems to be many folks (especially ones who give awards) who like what Ram cooked up with the new half ton.


Classic Pickups Drive Across Country

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One of the coolest displays at the show is a group of classic trucks that were driven to Cobo Center in downtown Detroit from Houston as part of The Drive Home road rally. The 10-day journey across the Midwest traversed Detroit's iconic Woodward Avenue before the classic Ford, Chevrolet and International pickups were parked in Cobo for the show.


Biggest Press Conference of the Show

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When you have the biggest torque numbers in the industry, you certainly have a reason to crow, and that's exactly what Reid Bigland, head of Ram Brand, did as he delivered all the pertinent details about the new, improved 2019 Ram 2500, Ram 2500 Power Wagon and Ram 3500 to a packed house. Additionally, Bigland introduced a new 2019 Ram 2500 Laramie Black special edition with a stunning paint color. This was Bigland's first big announcement as head of Ram following his return to the brand after several years with the more exotic cars on parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' roster.


Jeep Gladiator Still Draws Crowds

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During our several loops around the convention hall, we were surprised by the constant crowds checking out all the versions of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. The lifestyle/adventure pickup has captured the imagination of many journalists, and we'll assume by extension, consumers as well. If you visit the Detroit auto show, be sure to stop by the Mopar section of the FCA booth, where a fully dressed and accessorized Gladiator is on display. We were quite impressed that the under-bed spare tire carrier was large enough to hold a 35-inch tire (only doable with at least a 2-inch lift).

We'll have a few more observations following Day Two.

Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry, Mark Williams

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Jeff s., I agree with you 100%. I am a fan of wind/solar, but it is not as cheap as we often read, because generally they don't account for the times when the wind isn't blowing, or the sun isn't shining when they calc out how much energy is being produced. Solar is not exactly the solution where I live, but wind can do reasonably well in my region overall. Of course this really does tie back to pickups, because we are clearly moving to electric cars over time, and to some extent pickups as well.

Strange that Merecedes and BMW are absent. Would have been interesting to learn why...Posted by: Clint | Jan 16, 2019


Actually it's not that interesting. Daimler and BMW simply had nothing to announce.

On the other hand the only news from Ford yesterday was the announcement that their 4th quarter profit would be less than analysts are expecting. To offset that little bit of ugly shareholder news, they made a big splashy announcement about VW and future prospects having NOTHING to do with American products. All of the VW-Ford news is about Europe and China. Ranger plans? Unchanged. Products? Vans and Pickups in Europe.

Let's see what happens to Ford's share price today on the news that Q4 profits are off.

@Texas1836--If anything as a country we are using more electricity and if we are going to transition to electric vehicles we are not going to meet our energy needs by solar and wind replacing coal and natural gas. We cannot just cut our energy use alone especially when we are using more things that require additional energy. Electric cars have batteries that are charged with electric power with much of that power still being generated by coal. Using our electrical power more efficiently is part of managing our energy. It is costly to build new electric power generating plants and it takes many years to get approval to build them. Managing existing power plants, using alternate sources where feasible and where there is a backup source, and not getting hung up on just a few sources of energy. Niagara Falls is a clean abundant source of energy for much of New York and Ontario and it is there but hydroelectric generation is only feasible where you have a natural waterfalls or a dam. Use what is available and in abundant.

As for natural gas it is abundant and cleaner than coal but many have the idea that because it is a fossil fuel it must be dirty. Many don't like fracking but technology will improve as it is used more. There are trade offs with everything and there is no way to make energy 100 percent clean and safe.

Any news from Toyota regarding the Tundra redesign? The Tundra has the same power train since 2007, its in need of some serious upgrades!

Chicago Auto Show
Maybe something worth discussing there.

Let's see what happens to Ford's share price today on the news that Q4 profits are off...Posted by: papajim | Jan 16, 2019 7:45:48 AM


maybe ram will have a better quality then ford ,,

Ram is killing it at NAIAS!! In the Chevy booth Donnie and Marie are killing "A little bit Country, A little bit rock and roll". papajim is
swaying his lighter to the left and right and then replying to this thread between songs.


Oh yeah! Sway to the left.......now sway to the right...

@ RamRod

You mean Fiat is killing it? Lol

They have produced a very nice truck. Now lets hope reliability goes with it. A few reviews I've read and also posts on youtube have had customers coming home with large gaps in areas of truck, fenders not lining up, messed up moldings, headaches with 12 inch screens, and lots of little miscellaneous stuff....attention to detail specifics that should never be left unchecked coming off the assembly line.

Still wish they made it look more aggressive and not like the 1500s

Quality would be my concern with Ram otherwise Ram is a head of GM and Ford with looks and features. My nephew has a 2014 Ram 3500 Laramie with a Cumins and loves it. It is his 3rd Ram and he has had a few issues but otherwise he said it is the best truck he has ever owned. GM needs to study the Ram, they could use some of the better features that it has. I don't know what it is about Chevrolet but it is like they make the Silverado so much less desirable that you pick the Sierra over it. Yes Silverado is GM's best seller but every other model of Silverado is just ugly. True there is more to looks to a truck but when you are spending 30k or more on any vehicle you want it to be appealing. I like the GM drivetrains very durable and long lasting. I might find it more appealing at 12k to 15k off of MSRP but even then I would take the Sierra over it. Take the GMC designers and assign them to tweek the exterior and hire some decent designers to remake the interior. Don't mess with the drivetrains.

another illiterate post from the FAKE Jeff

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