This week’s top stories picked by our editors feature updates on a new Ram truck, Google in your car, and the death of the manual handbrake. Continue reading >>>
There’s an interesting battle going on to be the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America. It’s interesting not so much for the fact that the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado 2-wheel drive with the Duramax turbodiesel engine is the winner.
Nope, what makes it intriguing is it turns out Americans do care about fuel efficiency, even with falling fuel prices. We don’t care so much how a vehicle gets fuel savings. We just want it to happen.
That’s according to a survey by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. It discovered in June that “[a] little more than half (52 percent) of respondents said it didn’t matter to them how a vehicle saves fuel and reduces emissions,” according to an article at the news site Phys.org.
“What Chrysler would you buy today? What does the future hold for coming cars, and when will FIAT’s influence be noticed?”
These questions surfaced while out for a couple of pints with the guys this week. You might think we’d talk about girls and football and other exciting, enticing topics. But no, we talk about Chrysler instead.
FIAT’s ownership of Chrysler is already being felt. In fact, it might be the best thing to ever happen to the Auburn Hills company. Net income for 2012 approached $2 billion. Market share grew to over 11%. The new Dodge Dart is based on FIAT architecture. Good things are happening at Chrysler, with even more good coming. New vehicles of all kinds are on the way for all brands that now sit under FIAT’s U.S. umbrella.
Mention the most dangerous vehicles on the road today, and the Ram 1500 pickup truck isn’t likely to make many people’s list. Dangerous to others, perhaps, but certainly not the most dangerous vehicle to ride in.
The smart fortwo? That would make sense.
But, once again, we have proof that we live in a world that doesn’t make much sense. Because, according to the website 24/7 Wall St, which compiled information from Consumer Reports ratings, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash safety results, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety vehicle scores and J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study, the most dangerous vehicle on the road today is indeed the Ram pickup truck. And the smart’s not even on the list.
The two truck companies in America are:
Ford and Chevrolet.
While the good folks in Auburn Hills may note a certain brand missing from that short list, General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanick believes his company and the Blue Oval are the only two truck builders worth mentioning.
In a chat with Jalopnik, Ewanick said that “the two big players are Ford and Chevy” and then added that it’s like a presidential debate, saying, “We want to have it with the other strong candidate—and we want to engage them and want them to engage us.”
Not “other strong candidates,” but the singular version. Candidate.
Going on numbers alone, his argument makes sense. The Ford F-Series sold 584,917 trucks in 2011. The second-place Silverado scored 415,130 sales. The rest, including the Ram, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan, didn’t even come close.
Take a look at the picture above.
Let’s put together a likely scenario of the people who own this home and truck. The truck is a 2011 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. Conservatively, the owner of this truck left the dealership about $45,000 lighter.
The home behind the truck probably sits on 10 acres and is finished with top-quality materials. It could easily be an $800,000 home. Now, when the owners of this home hop in their new truck to head to the store to stock up on ammunition, 30/30 rifles, duck blinds, camping gear and fishing rods, where do you suppose they’ll go? Wal-Mart?
I’m not going to stoop into meaningless stereotypes here, but simple marketing rules say these people are not exactly Wal-Mart’s target market.