Archive for the ‘Pickups’ Category

First Drive: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Diesel

A package that’s easy to live with.

by on Jun.24, 2019

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 gets its first diesel since the 1999 model-year.

The diesel emissions scandal that enveloped Volkswagen a few years back has done a lot to tarnish “oil burners.” After gaining traction in the early part of the decade, a number of manufacturers have walked away from the high-mileage powertrain technology. There are a few exceptions, such as Mazda’s new SkyActiv-D, but the real energy, if you will, is concentrated in the pickup truck segment where there are more diesel options than there have been in decades.

The list will soon include the bowtie brand which is introducing its first full-size, light-duty model in more than twenty years. And the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Diesel is a package that a lot of potential buyers are likely to take seriously.

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No, it doesn’t have the raw, stump-pulling power of the 6.6-liter Duramax that also will make it to market this coming year in the all-new Silverado HD, with its 910 pound-feet of torque and maximum 35,500 pounds of towing capacity. That said, at 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, the new 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel is no slouch.


UAW Chides Trump Administration about Emissions Plans

CARB refutes claims of unwillingness to negotiate.

by on Jun.21, 2019

UAW Legislative Director Josh Nassar expressed the union's concerns about the Trump administration's emissions plans during a House subcommittee hearing.

A Congressional subcommittee heard testimony this week that the Trump administration proposed changes to the existing emissions and fuel economy requirements would reduce employment in the auto industry and open the car business to junk science.

Josh Nassar, the United Auto Workers legislative director, said the UAW “shares the concerns expressed by auto manufacturers” that the administration’s proposal could lead to protracted litigation and uncertainty that will limit industry growth.

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“We fear the (administration’s proposal) would stifle innovations and discourage investment in the industry while insufficiently combating climate change. We are very concerned that the final rule will be a setback for U.S. workers, the economy and environment,” said Nassar, adding the union was urging the California Air Resources Board, manufacturers and other stakeholders to develop balanced regulations. (more…)

Young Buyers May be Ready to Shift Back to Sedans, Claims Nissan

Millennials particularly interested – but will that translate into renewed demand?

by on Jun.20, 2019

Nissan's found significant interest in sedans from millennials, so it's doubling down on its four-door line-up like the Altima.

Conventional wisdom suggests that it’s only a matter of time until SUVs, CUVs, pickups and other light trucks take over the automotive market, but not everyone is convinced the traditional sedan is on its way out.

If anything, Nissan says it is “doubling down on sedans” by expanding its global line-up. The automaker justifies the move by pointing to a new survey conducted for it in the U.S. and 10 other countries by market research firm Edelman Intelligence that found there is still strong interest in sedans among potential buyers, especially among millennials.

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“As some of our competitors walk away from sedans, we’re seizing the opportunity,” said Ivan Espinosa, Nissan’s corporate vice president of global product strategy and planning, adding that future Nissan sedans will put a premium on meeting “the needs of buyers, particularly young people who may be looking to buy their first car.” (more…)

Germans, Japanese Struggle as Koreans Expand Lead in Power Initial Quality Study

Detroit automakers show strength, though industry, overall, stalls out.

by on Jun.19, 2019

While Porsche scored below average overall, the 911 was the highest-quality model in the 2019 IQS.

Once known for bargain-basement pricing and mediocre quality, Korean carmakers have not only moved up-market but shown that they can deliver industry-leading quality, or so it seems, based on the latest annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

If anything, Kia, Hyundai and recently launched luxury brand Genesis are actually expanding their lead over the Japanese and European marques that had traditionally led the closely followed Power IQS. Genesis topped the 2019 chart, followed by Kia and Hyundai, followed by Detroit-based Ford and Lincoln. Japan managed to place only three brands in the IQS top 10, while not a single European brand scored above average.

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But the new study – which focuses on new cars, trucks and crossovers during their first 90 days on the road – also revealed that the quality of the latest models leveled off after scoring significant improvements through much of the past decade, according to Power. (more…)

Chevy Could Be First to Deliver $100,000 Pickup

Demand for pickups of all sizes, prices, defies overall U.S. sales downturn, says truck marketing chief.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Chevrolet is investing heavily into its plants to keep up with demand for its heavy-duty trucks.

The U.S. automotive market is expected to post only its second downturn since the end of the Great Recession, a decline that likely would be worse if not for surging demand for pickups of all sizes and price points, said Sandor Piszar, the marketing chief for Chevrolet trucks.

If anything, Chevy and sibling brand GMC are struggling to meet demand for their latest line-up of midsize, full-size and heavy-duty pickups, Piszar noted during an interview with, a situation that last week led parent General Motors to announce a $150 million expansion of its truck plant in Flint, Michigan.

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As always, demand is being driven by the “core” audience who want trucks for work and need lots of towing and cargo capacity, said Piszar. But there’s a growing market among non-traditional buyers who see a pickup as an alternative to a sedan or coupe and, in many cases, a luxury car. And those buyers “are demanding more” high-line features while also accepting fast-rising transaction prices. Chevy moved up-market with is latest trim level, the Silverado High Country. But it is exploring the potential to reach even higher, a move that could see it offer the first truck to top the $100,000 mark. (more…)

Nissan Recruits New Design Chief from Lincoln

Woodhouse helped to lead luxury brand's renaissance.

by on Jun.14, 2019

Dave Woodhouse played a key roll in Lincoln's renaissance and is now heading up Nissan North America's design team.

Nissan has hired away the top designer at the Lincoln brand from the Ford Motor Co. to serve as its new design chief in North America.

David Woodhouse, who has overseen Lincoln design during Ford’s recent efforts to revive the brand, will serve as vice president, Nissan Design America, Nissan announced.

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In this role, Woodhouse will lead all Nissan and Infiniti design activities in North America. He will also serve on the company’s Global Nissan Design Management Committee. (more…)

Looking for a Vehicle? The Used Car Lot May be Best Bet

Low-mileage off-lease vehicles hitting used car lots.

by on Jun.14, 2019

Used car lots may be the way to go for buyers looking for a good deal, Edmunds says.

For those in the market for a replacement vehicle, marching past the new car showroom over to the used car lot is looking more and more like the smarter play, claim some industry experts.

According to Edmunds analysts, a deluge of lightly used, lower-mileage vehicles are coming off lease and filling used car lots. Edmunds experts also note that these used vehicles are not that old, they comprise the styles, i.e. sport-utilities, crossovers and trucks, that new vehicle buyers are after.

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They also have many of the technology features that buyers want in their vehicles these days, the group noted. (more…)

Exterior Airbags Could Save Lives of Passengers and Pedestrians

ZF bag automatically triggers ahead of an collision.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Auto supplier ZF has developed exterior airbags to help mitigate injuries to both vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians.

Today’s cars are loaded with smart safety systems, including technology like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, designed to prevent crashes. But when a crash does occur, airbags can substantially reduce the risk for vehicle occupants.

Today’s airbags can pop out of all sorts of nooks and crannies, including the steering wheel, the instrument panel and a vehicle’s headliner. But ZF has unveiled a new airbag concept that is mounted outside the vehicle where it can be triggered in the milliseconds before a crash occurs, rather than after an impact already has taken place.

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“Occupant safety is paramount when developing new vehicles for automated and autonomous driving,” said Michael Büchsner, head of ZF’s Passive Safety Systems Division. “Our concept of the pre-crash external side airbag is a great example of how ZF wants to achieve its Vision Zero, a world without accidents and emissions.” (more…)

Ford Recalling 1.2 Million Explorer SUVs

Steering control on utes may be affected.

by on Jun.12, 2019

Ford is recalling 1.2 million Explorers for a problem that could reduce steering control.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.2 million of its popular Explorer sport-utility vehicles due to a defect that could reduce the driver’s ability to steer the vehicle.

The problem stems from an issue with the rear suspension toe link. The automaker noted that the affected vehicles are exposed to frequent full rear suspension articulation (jounce and rebound) may experience a fractured rear suspension toe link.

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A fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash. The second-largest U.S. automaker said the recall covers 2011-2017 model year Explorers.  (more…)

GM Rams $150 Million into Flint Plant to Up HD Truck Production

Move marks second big truck investment in a month.

by on Jun.12, 2019

General Motors President Mark Reuss touted the "opportunities" available to the company with the $150 million investment the Flint Assembly plant.

General Motors is in the business of building trucks and if the company’s move to invest $150 million into its truck plant in Flint, Michigan, is any indication, business is good.

Just last month, the company announced plans to invest $24 million into its Ft. Wayne, Indiana plant to help expand its light-duty truck production. Today’s announcement is to ramp up production of GM’s heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

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“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. (more…)