Toronto is boasting over 40 new vehicle introductions during its upcoming public run – Feb 16 to Feb 25th. But, if you’re a truck guy there are only three that you’ll really care about.
At last month’s Detroit Auto Show we saw those three. This next wave of iron, gave us a new truck from Ford, GM and Ram all in the same year and that is something that happens less often than a full solar eclipse. So, this really is a rare occasion. I’m usually happy with one new entry – and some years I don’t even get that.
You’ve already read about what’s coming, but I can’t emphasize enough that these are new trucks – really new. First is the re-introduction of the Ford Ranger; then the next generation of the 2019 Chevy Silverado and the also 2019 Ram 1500 – the first time it’s really been all new since ‘09. Each one is a new truck with new chassis, drive gear and powertrains. No warmed over models with a dab of new paint this year!
But past the obvious next-gen headlines there are is a further seismic shift going on in truck world. Diesel. For the first time ever each of the builders will offer a small displacement diesel engine in its half-ton trucks. 3.0L to be exact. So, while Ram took the lead on this front, both Ford and GM have now committed to a diesel-powered half-ton and that one development alone should have a profound impact on the market. You will now be able to cross-shop not only the brands – but the diesel engines as well.
Now if you’re wondering if all this truck mania hoopla is warranted, consider that the pickup truck market, in North American, can account for many as two million units sold each year. Each of these units can produce two to three times as much profit; as compared to a car and that’s why there is such serious competition in this segment. Imagine an average $8,500 profit to the factory on each pickup when a total of 288 trucks are being sold every hour of every day right through the year.
So what am I looking forward to? All new gas engines, as well as the diesels – and getting to test each and every one of them. The updated electronics, infotainment and driver assist technology’s that each truck is promising. The increased payload and towing capacities – which I will also test, my way. But best of all is driving and living with the newest designs from each of the brands we love.
Yeah, it’s going to be a good year.