Editor’s note: Detroit keeps on truckin’
If you’re a pickup man — or woman — the 2018 edition of the North American International Auto Show is sensory overload.
This year, all three Detroit automakers are going truck crazy, with each offering new versions that are taking turns lighting up Cobo Center.
Ford is bringing back the Ranger. It’s a tad smaller than the full-sized F-150 model that I’ve been driving variations of for more than 25 years, but bigger than its namesake, which disappeared seven years ago.
I’ve always thought if you’re going to drive a truck, you should drive a big truck. But I’m weary of trying to squeeze my super crew, extended bed pickup into skimpy parking garage spaces. The Ranger is tempting the heck out of me.
But then again, the Chevy Silverado is so solidly built that it looks as if it could last longer than I will. And its got a street-friendly design. Chevrolet is making a big play for truck buyers who don’t really need a truck.
It’s been a long time since a Dodge truck has draw a crowd at the show. But the all-new Ram 1500 is a more than respectable entry into the pickup wars.
The presence of so many new, pricey pickups is a concession by the automakers to the reality that consumers aren’t moved by the eco-sedans and plug-in vehicles they’ve placed front and center at Cobo for years.
Motorists aren’t buying them. And yet automakers believe someday they’ll be forced to. To subsidize the ongoing research and development necessary to make EVs marketable, manufacturers have to make more money. And nothing makes more money than trucks.
That’s why pickups have come roaring out of the closet this year, Washington regulators be damned.
So if you’re going to the show in search of Jetsons-inspired travel pods, forget about it. Detroit has clearly decided the future for some time to come is going to look a lot like the past.
Catch The Nolan Finley Show weekdays 7-9 a.m. on 910 AM Superstation.