The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was very significant for truck and SUV enthusiasts because all three automakers were showcasing their new models in these categories. The American automakers’ emphasis on larger SUVs and trucks follows a rising industry-wide trend. Trucks have had an increasing portion of the sales through the years, growing from 48% in 2008 to around 69% in 2017.
Ford announced the 2020 Ford Explorer which featured new hybrid and ST trims, along with a police interceptor variant. The new models are significantly larger than the previous generation and comes with a standard 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine.
“We obsessed about what Explorer customers need and want. We met with customer groups, pored through internet forums, and dissected social media posts to determine what they love about today’s Explorer and understand their pain points. Then we found ways to improve it across the board. Every enhancement on this all-new Explorer was inspired by our customers,” said Bill Gubing, Ford’s Explorer chief engineer.
Ford’s CEO, Jim Hackett, stated that by the end of 2020, Ford will replace 75% of their U.S. lineup, and that they were going to introduce more trucks, utilities, performance and electrified vehicles than they ever have previously.
Ford will also release the new Ranger and Bronco later this year along with updates to the Escape, F-Series Super Duty, and Transit. The company is also looking ahead to the future of electric vehicles and cloud networking among their vehicles. Hackett claims that their cars “will be able to communicate with stoplights, parking spots, other vehicles and more. The result is going to be an absolute game changer leading to less traffic congestion, fewer accidents, better parking and a whole lot more.”
Fiat Chrysler were also announcing new models like the Ram 3500 Heavy Duty truck which is capable of 1,000 lbs.-ft of torque with a towing capacity of 35,100 pounds. The company is still savoring their success for being awarded the North American Truck of the Year for their Ram 1500 and they are hoping to extend this success to their newer models.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ head of the Ram brand, Reid Bigland says, “Where our half-ton success have paved new roads for the Ram brand, our heavy duty success story begins,” The Heavy Duty has 35 new features across all trim levels covering everything from bed lowering to tire pressure monitoring and auxiliary cameras that are viewable from inside the cabin. The new Ram will be the most technologically advanced and luxurious heavy duty ever, according to Bigland.
Aside from the new model, Ram also introduced two new trim levels, the Laramine Black Edition for the 2500 and the Ram Power Wagon.
General Motors also had a presence in the show with their Cadillac brand. They introduced the XT6 which will be Cadillac’s largest SUV to date with features such as three row seating, adaptive cruise control, parking assist and a night vision mode.
GM had announced that they are shifting into an all-electric lineup across all their vehicles and decided to use the Cadillac brand to spearhead this initiative.
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