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  1. There are days where we find ourselves wondering what goes through the head of executives of German automakers on some of the things they say. For example, BMW Australia’s Managing Director, Marc Werner told Motoring there could be a BMW pickup. “Never say never,” said Werner when asked about Mercedes-Benz's upcoming truck. “We’re watching the space closely.” “It’s easier for Mercedes [to bring a ute to market] because they have commercial vehicles and trucks and vans. We do not.” If BMW was to go forward, Motoring speculates that the tie-up with Toyota could grant them access to the HiLux truck. These comments are the complete opposite from those made by BMW Group’s senior vice-president of Asia, Pacific and South Africa, Hendrik von Kuenheim. “Definitely not, because this does not fit to our genes and our culture.” “There is huge potential in pick-ups. In North America you look at the Ford F-150 pick-up it is the best-selling car. You can do it but then you cannot be BMW. You have to be a different company, but this company is not ready to change from the ultimate driving machine and the ultimate successful company in luxury to a mass manufacturer who goes after the volume of pick-up trucks. Despite that the Ford F-150 is one hell of a vehicle. If you have that in a twin-cab version it is a great car. But that is Ford,” said von Kuenheim. Source: Motoring
  2. Last April, then Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon said they wanted the truck that was announced for other markets and said a decision would be reached towards the end of the year. A few months later, Cannon said the decision had been pushed back to sometime in 2016. Now, Cannon's successor says there isn't a timeframe as to a final decision. "It's whenever. I don't think we do ourselves a favor to come up with a defined timetable. It's more important that we get it right," said Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA to Automotive News. Exler explained the previous timeframe announcements dealt if they wanted to get the new truck around the same time as other markets. "If we miss the window, then we come a year later," Exler said. This might be a good thing as Exler said it would give them time to make sure the truck is a true Mercedes-Benz model inside and out. To help Mercedes ultimately make a final decision, they are talking with a select group dealers about the truck. Exler mentioned that they could do customer clinics. Already, the owner Mercedes-Benz's largest dealer in the U.S., AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said Mercedes should scrap the plans as it will face a huge challenge against the likes of Ford, GM, and Ram. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. Mercedes-Benz's new truck could be arriving much sooner than we thought. Auto Express has learned from sources that Mercedes will be showing off a concept truck at the Paris Motor Show later this year. The concept is expected to provide a preview of the production model. Speaking of the production model, Mercedes vans CEO Volker Mornhinweg told Auto Express that the company is planning to launch the truck in late 2017. Mornhinweg didn't say which countries would get the truck first. Auto Express also learned that a range of gas and diesel engines will be on offer, with a hybrid model possibly coming later in the truck's lifecycle. Other details line up with our report back in January. Source: Auto Express
  4. Since Volkswagen launched the Amarok pickup in 2009 in certain parts of the world, it has become a success for the company. It has also made many people in the U.S. clamor Volkswagen to bring the Amarok here. Before the model was launched, Volkswagen was considering selling it in the U.S. However the decision was made that the Amarok wouldn't be a good fit. But Volkswagen appears to be reconsidering their decision. "It's a question mark, but it starts to be discussed. Let's put it this way: we start to discuss it again and whether it's attractive for us," said Volkswagen North American CEO Michael Horn to Autoblog. But don't think the current Amarok will be coming to the U.S. "We are just reworking our truck strategy, and this is part of thinking about it. But the Amarok fits not very well to the efforts of the market," said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of Volkswagen Group powertrain development. What could this mean? Well it could mean the next-generation Amarok could grow in size to meet the tastes of the U.S. or that a new model for the U.S. is on the table. One thing is for certain; this is mostly theoretical for the moment. Source: Autoblog William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 21, 2013 "That's not a knife." *Pulls out a bowie knife.* "That's a knife." Much like Crocodile Dundee, Nissan is using size to their advantage. Engine size that is. At the kickoff of Nissan 360, an industry showcase of Nissan's global product and technology portfolio, the company announced the next-generation Titan pickup would be packing a Cummins 5.0L turbodiesel V8. The V8 is expected to make more than 300 horsepower and well over 500 pound-feet of torque (550 pound-feet is what everybody is guessing). “Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup. There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration," said Fred Diaz, Nissan Sales & Marketing divisional vice president. The new engine will be built at Cummins' Columbus Engine Plant, while the Titan will continue to be built at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant. No word of when the Titan will be shown or begin production. Our guess, expect a showing sometime next year. Source: Nissan William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan to Equip Next-Generation Titan with New Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine IRVINE, Calif. – At the kickoff of Nissan 360, an industry showcase of Nissan's global product and technology portfolio, the company announced it will offer a newly-developed Cummins V8 turbo diesel in its next-generation full-size pickup. Now in the latter stages of development and testing, the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine has been optimized for the next generation Titan as a result of the partnership between Cummins and Nissan. Cummins also is developing a version of the engine for its commercial vehicle customers. "We have done our homework on the next-generation Titan. Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup," said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Service & Parts, Nissan North America. "There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration." Nissan has previously announced the next-generation Titan will add powertrain options and cab-and-box configurations to broaden the appeal of the new truck when it comes to market. "We are very excited to partner with Nissan on the introduction of the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to the North American pickup truck market," said Dave Crompton, vice president, Cummins Engine Business. "This new engine will offer the right balance of power, performance and fuel economy while delivering the dependability that customers expect of a Cummins engine. This will be a great package." With a torque rating in the mid-500s (lb-ft) and more than 300 horsepower, the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will provide light truck customers the combination of towing capacity and mileage that is expected in the highly-competitive North American truck marketplace. The Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will be built in America's manufacturing heartland at the Columbus Engine Plant, in Columbus, Ind., Cummins headquarters. This plant has the latest technological innovations to continue the 90-plus year tradition of building the highest quality Cummins engines. The Titan program is being led by teams in Nissan Americas' headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., while engineering and testing is performed by Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills, Mich. and Stanfield, Ariz. as well as Nissan's global engineering center. Design is being led by Nissan Design America in La Jolla, Calif. Like the current model, the next-generation Titan will be built at Nissan's Canton, Miss. vehicle assembly plant and its gasoline engines cast, forged and assembled at Nissan's Decherd, Tenn. powertrain plant. For competitive reasons, Nissan is not announcing launch dates at this stage in the truck's development, however engineering prototype trucks powered by the Cummins engine are currently undergoing extensive on-public-highway performance and durability testing. Further information on the upcoming Titan truck and Cummins engine will be released at a later date.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 20, 2013 General Motors has been doing a slow drip on specifications for their new pickup trucks. Yesterday, the company announced the fuel economy numbers for the EcoTec 4.3L V6 that will be the base engine in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. For 2WD models, the 4.3L V6 will return 18 City/24 Highway MPG which puts right in line with the Ram 1500 equipped with the Pentastar V6. 4WD models see fuel economy numbers of 17 City/22 Highway. The city number makes the Sierra and Silverado 4WD models best in class. Not bad considering the EcoTec 4.3L V6 is packing 285 horsepower (@5300 RPM) and 305 foot-pounds of torque (@3900 RPM), and can tow up 7,200 pounds. Source: General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 Offers Best-in-Class Capability New engine gives Silverado and Sierra unsurpassed city fuel economy DETROIT – The all-new 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 powering the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will be the most capable standard V-6 in any full-size pickup truck – leading the segment in city fuel economy and helping customers save money through a host of fuel-saving technologies. EcoTec3 engine technology matches Ram HFE’s 18 mpg city, while 4x4 Silverado and Sierra models achieve 17 mpg city, the best of any full-size pickup. EPA highway estimates are highly competitive: 22 mpg for 4x4 versions, and 24 mpg for 2WD models. The 4.3L V-6 also help Silverado and Sierra will offer the highest-available payload rating of 2,108 pounds and the highest available towing rating of 7,200 pounds.
  7. One of the stories we didn't get the chance to cover on Cheers & Gears last week was Mercedes-Benz building a midsize pickup. Now at the time, we considered this an early April Fools joke. But when the official announcement came out, our jaws were agape: Mercedes-Benz is working on a midsize truck that will go on sale towards the end of the decade for certain marketplaces - the U.S. is not one of those places. Now this wouldn't be a luxury truck, it would be built for work. This further substantiated by Mercedes-Benz's commercial van division handling the development. But Mercedes-Benz USA wants to make the final decision if the truck is sold or not. "We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. If Mercedes-Benz USA does get the truck, it will be positioned as a luxury vehicle, not a work truck. "Not every pickup in the U.S. is going to job sites. Just drive around Greenwich, Conn., and see how many pickups there are. You realize this is not a demographic that is showing up with their work boots on job sites. Those sales are taken care of by the domestics," said Cannon. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mercedes-Benz (Original Press Release) Press Release is on Page 2 Get ready for the Mercedes-Benz among pickups: Mercedes-Benz Vans to launch midsize pickup Stuttgart, Mar 27, 2015 Expansion of product range for sustained global growth Market for midsize pickups primed for first model from a premium manufacturer Mercedes-Benz to enter the high-volume midsize segment before end of decade Main markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe Stuttgart – Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential. "The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. "We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value." Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: "As part of our 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global' strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model." A promising segment with global scope The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment. The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment. Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company's history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors. "We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car," says Mornhinweg. "We will design our brand's first pickup according to this recipe for success."
  8. The Hyundai HCD-15 Santa Cruz concept shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is the automaker's idea of a compact truck with such features as seating for five and a unique bed that can extend to provide more space. With the concept getting raves from the press and auto show visitors, Hyundai has decided to investigate the truck idea further. Reuters reports that a unnamed Hyundai executive told reporters a pickup truck is under consideration. But Park Byung-cheol, a director at Hyundai's R&D division said there were "hurdles" to the production of a truck. Byung-cheol didn't go into detail about what 'hurdles' are. Source: Reuters
  9. Ford's decision to use aluminum on the F-150 has paid off in big dividends in terms of weight, fuel economy, and performance. Now you would think that Ford would use aluminum in other vehicles. Not so fast says Ford's president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs. At the Automotive News World Congress, Hinrichs says that aluminum will stick with the trucks. “One of the big benefits you get from light-weighting ... you can tow more and haul more. You don’t get those same benefits to a customer on the car side. Truck buyers will pay for more capability, car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car without the need to provide more capability," said Hinrichs. “I don’t think we’ll see a dramatic increase in all-aluminum cars.” That said, Ford is looking at ways to decrease the weight in their vehicles. One of those ways could be carbon fiber. "There’s a lot of costs associated with aluminum. But if the industry can find ways to reduce costs then there’s a point in the future where we’ll see more aluminum in more standard vehicles,” said Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Source: The Detroit News
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 13, 2012 It has been close to seven years since General Motors introduced a new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra truck. It that time, GM has been to hell and back with bankruptcy, The bankruptcy brought with it delays to key products, most notably the trucks and SUVs. The competition during that time has moved the full-size truck yardstick by a mile with Ford's engine lineup in the F-Series and Ram introducing a wealth of fuel economy tricks and clever storage places. GM has dropped the curtain on the new Silverado and Sierra today at an event in Detroit, bringing some much needed updates and changes to the trucks. Is it enough? GM decided to go the safe and conservative route with the exterior design of the new trucks. Both models feature a number of enhancements to reduce drag and wind noise, flared-out front and rear fenders, front-hinged rear doors on the extended-cab models, and the choice of either a five-foot, eight-inch bed or a six-foot, six-inch bed. The front ends of the two models are very much differentiated from the previous models. The Silverado's front end features a similar grille treatment as the current HD model and vertical headlights. Projector headlights are standard on the Silverado LTZ. The Sierra's front end takes some cues from the All-Terrain Concept with a large, square grille surround and unique set of headlights that on higher-end models feature LEDs. Stepping inside, GM has made some drastic changes. Gone is the two dash layout from the current models and in its place is a very worktruck dash with a touchscreen infotainment featuring GM's MyLink/Intellilink. The dash features soft-touch or leather materials and real aluminum trim throughout. Its a nice place sit when compared to the current models, though I do wonder if the new Denali and 'High Country' (Silverado Luxury model) will have a different dash layout. The engine lineup will include a choice of either a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V8 wearing the EcoTec moniker. All three engines will feature direct-injection, variable cam timing, and cylinder deactivation. GM didn't reveal any performance and fuel economy figures. The sole transmission will be a six-speed automatic. We're hearing an eight-speed will coming sometime later. Underneath the skin, the suspension is made up of coil springs and struts in front with leaf springs in the rear. Steering comes in the form an electric power system. Other changes include new Duralife brakes which promise longer life and Auto Grade Braking which uses the engine and transmission to slow down the truck on a grade. The new Silverado and Sierra brings GM to the point where the current F-Series and Ram pickups are. But there isn't that one killer feature that puts it ahead of the competition. Maybe they're hiding that feature that will revealed at a later time. 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Gallery 2014 GMC Sierra Gallery 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Video 2014 GMC Sierra Video 2014 GMC Sierra and 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Release Video Authors Note: Cheers & Gears wants to thank General Motors for inviting us to check out the new Silverado and Sierra. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. There are days where we find ourselves wondering what goes through the head of executives of German automakers on some of the things they say. For example, BMW Australia’s Managing Director, Marc Werner told Motoring there could be a BMW pickup. “Never say never,” said Werner when asked about Mercedes-Benz's upcoming truck. “We’re watching the space closely.” “It’s easier for Mercedes [to bring a ute to market] because they have commercial vehicles and trucks and vans. We do not.” If BMW was to go forward, Motoring speculates that the tie-up with Toyota could grant them access to the HiLux truck. These comments are the complete opposite from those made by BMW Group’s senior vice-president of Asia, Pacific and South Africa, Hendrik von Kuenheim. “Definitely not, because this does not fit to our genes and our culture.” “There is huge potential in pick-ups. In North America you look at the Ford F-150 pick-up it is the best-selling car. You can do it but then you cannot be BMW. You have to be a different company, but this company is not ready to change from the ultimate driving machine and the ultimate successful company in luxury to a mass manufacturer who goes after the volume of pick-up trucks. Despite that the Ford F-150 is one hell of a vehicle. If you have that in a twin-cab version it is a great car. But that is Ford,” said von Kuenheim. Source: Motoring View full article
  12. Last April, then Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon said they wanted the truck that was announced for other markets and said a decision would be reached towards the end of the year. A few months later, Cannon said the decision had been pushed back to sometime in 2016. Now, Cannon's successor says there isn't a timeframe as to a final decision. "It's whenever. I don't think we do ourselves a favor to come up with a defined timetable. It's more important that we get it right," said Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA to Automotive News. Exler explained the previous timeframe announcements dealt if they wanted to get the new truck around the same time as other markets. "If we miss the window, then we come a year later," Exler said. This might be a good thing as Exler said it would give them time to make sure the truck is a true Mercedes-Benz model inside and out. To help Mercedes ultimately make a final decision, they are talking with a select group dealers about the truck. Exler mentioned that they could do customer clinics. Already, the owner Mercedes-Benz's largest dealer in the U.S., AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said Mercedes should scrap the plans as it will face a huge challenge against the likes of Ford, GM, and Ram. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 21, 2013 "That's not a knife." *Pulls out a bowie knife.* "That's a knife." Much like Crocodile Dundee, Nissan is using size to their advantage. Engine size that is. At the kickoff of Nissan 360, an industry showcase of Nissan's global product and technology portfolio, the company announced the next-generation Titan pickup would be packing a Cummins 5.0L turbodiesel V8. The V8 is expected to make more than 300 horsepower and well over 500 pound-feet of torque (550 pound-feet is what everybody is guessing). “Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup. There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration," said Fred Diaz, Nissan Sales & Marketing divisional vice president. The new engine will be built at Cummins' Columbus Engine Plant, while the Titan will continue to be built at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant. No word of when the Titan will be shown or begin production. Our guess, expect a showing sometime next year. Source: Nissan William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan to Equip Next-Generation Titan with New Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine IRVINE, Calif. – At the kickoff of Nissan 360, an industry showcase of Nissan's global product and technology portfolio, the company announced it will offer a newly-developed Cummins V8 turbo diesel in its next-generation full-size pickup. Now in the latter stages of development and testing, the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine has been optimized for the next generation Titan as a result of the partnership between Cummins and Nissan. Cummins also is developing a version of the engine for its commercial vehicle customers. "We have done our homework on the next-generation Titan. Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup," said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Service & Parts, Nissan North America. "There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration." Nissan has previously announced the next-generation Titan will add powertrain options and cab-and-box configurations to broaden the appeal of the new truck when it comes to market. "We are very excited to partner with Nissan on the introduction of the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to the North American pickup truck market," said Dave Crompton, vice president, Cummins Engine Business. "This new engine will offer the right balance of power, performance and fuel economy while delivering the dependability that customers expect of a Cummins engine. This will be a great package." With a torque rating in the mid-500s (lb-ft) and more than 300 horsepower, the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will provide light truck customers the combination of towing capacity and mileage that is expected in the highly-competitive North American truck marketplace. The Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will be built in America's manufacturing heartland at the Columbus Engine Plant, in Columbus, Ind., Cummins headquarters. This plant has the latest technological innovations to continue the 90-plus year tradition of building the highest quality Cummins engines. The Titan program is being led by teams in Nissan Americas' headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., while engineering and testing is performed by Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills, Mich. and Stanfield, Ariz. as well as Nissan's global engineering center. Design is being led by Nissan Design America in La Jolla, Calif. Like the current model, the next-generation Titan will be built at Nissan's Canton, Miss. vehicle assembly plant and its gasoline engines cast, forged and assembled at Nissan's Decherd, Tenn. powertrain plant. For competitive reasons, Nissan is not announcing launch dates at this stage in the truck's development, however engineering prototype trucks powered by the Cummins engine are currently undergoing extensive on-public-highway performance and durability testing. Further information on the upcoming Titan truck and Cummins engine will be released at a later date. View full article
  14. Ford's decision to use aluminum on the F-150 has paid off in big dividends in terms of weight, fuel economy, and performance. Now you would think that Ford would use aluminum in other vehicles. Not so fast says Ford's president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs. At the Automotive News World Congress, Hinrichs says that aluminum will stick with the trucks. “One of the big benefits you get from light-weighting ... you can tow more and haul more. You don’t get those same benefits to a customer on the car side. Truck buyers will pay for more capability, car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car without the need to provide more capability," said Hinrichs. “I don’t think we’ll see a dramatic increase in all-aluminum cars.” That said, Ford is looking at ways to decrease the weight in their vehicles. One of those ways could be carbon fiber. "There’s a lot of costs associated with aluminum. But if the industry can find ways to reduce costs then there’s a point in the future where we’ll see more aluminum in more standard vehicles,” said Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Source: The Detroit News View full article
  15. The Hyundai HCD-15 Santa Cruz concept shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is the automaker's idea of a compact truck with such features as seating for five and a unique bed that can extend to provide more space. With the concept getting raves from the press and auto show visitors, Hyundai has decided to investigate the truck idea further. Reuters reports that a unnamed Hyundai executive told reporters a pickup truck is under consideration. But Park Byung-cheol, a director at Hyundai's R&D division said there were "hurdles" to the production of a truck. Byung-cheol didn't go into detail about what 'hurdles' are. Source: Reuters View full article
  16. One of the stories we didn't get the chance to cover on Cheers & Gears last week was Mercedes-Benz building a midsize pickup. Now at the time, we considered this an early April Fools joke. But when the official announcement came out, our jaws were agape: Mercedes-Benz is working on a midsize truck that will go on sale towards the end of the decade for certain marketplaces - the U.S. is not one of those places. Now this wouldn't be a luxury truck, it would be built for work. This further substantiated by Mercedes-Benz's commercial van division handling the development. But Mercedes-Benz USA wants to make the final decision if the truck is sold or not. "We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. If Mercedes-Benz USA does get the truck, it will be positioned as a luxury vehicle, not a work truck. "Not every pickup in the U.S. is going to job sites. Just drive around Greenwich, Conn., and see how many pickups there are. You realize this is not a demographic that is showing up with their work boots on job sites. Those sales are taken care of by the domestics," said Cannon. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mercedes-Benz (Original Press Release) Press Release is on Page 2 Get ready for the Mercedes-Benz among pickups: Mercedes-Benz Vans to launch midsize pickup Stuttgart, Mar 27, 2015 Expansion of product range for sustained global growth Market for midsize pickups primed for first model from a premium manufacturer Mercedes-Benz to enter the high-volume midsize segment before end of decade Main markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe Stuttgart – Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential. "The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. "We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value." Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: "As part of our 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global' strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model." A promising segment with global scope The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment. The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment. Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company's history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors. "We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car," says Mornhinweg. "We will design our brand's first pickup according to this recipe for success." View full article
  17. Mercedes-Benz's new truck could be arriving much sooner than we thought. Auto Express has learned from sources that Mercedes will be showing off a concept truck at the Paris Motor Show later this year. The concept is expected to provide a preview of the production model. Speaking of the production model, Mercedes vans CEO Volker Mornhinweg told Auto Express that the company is planning to launch the truck in late 2017. Mornhinweg didn't say which countries would get the truck first. Auto Express also learned that a range of gas and diesel engines will be on offer, with a hybrid model possibly coming later in the truck's lifecycle. Other details line up with our report back in January. Source: Auto Express View full article
  18. Since Volkswagen launched the Amarok pickup in 2009 in certain parts of the world, it has become a success for the company. It has also made many people in the U.S. clamor Volkswagen to bring the Amarok here. Before the model was launched, Volkswagen was considering selling it in the U.S. However the decision was made that the Amarok wouldn't be a good fit. But Volkswagen appears to be reconsidering their decision. "It's a question mark, but it starts to be discussed. Let's put it this way: we start to discuss it again and whether it's attractive for us," said Volkswagen North American CEO Michael Horn to Autoblog. But don't think the current Amarok will be coming to the U.S. "We are just reworking our truck strategy, and this is part of thinking about it. But the Amarok fits not very well to the efforts of the market," said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of Volkswagen Group powertrain development. What could this mean? Well it could mean the next-generation Amarok could grow in size to meet the tastes of the U.S. or that a new model for the U.S. is on the table. One thing is for certain; this is mostly theoretical for the moment. Source: Autoblog William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 20, 2013 General Motors has been doing a slow drip on specifications for their new pickup trucks. Yesterday, the company announced the fuel economy numbers for the EcoTec 4.3L V6 that will be the base engine in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. For 2WD models, the 4.3L V6 will return 18 City/24 Highway MPG which puts right in line with the Ram 1500 equipped with the Pentastar V6. 4WD models see fuel economy numbers of 17 City/22 Highway. The city number makes the Sierra and Silverado 4WD models best in class. Not bad considering the EcoTec 4.3L V6 is packing 285 horsepower (@5300 RPM) and 305 foot-pounds of torque (@3900 RPM), and can tow up 7,200 pounds. Source: General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 Offers Best-in-Class Capability New engine gives Silverado and Sierra unsurpassed city fuel economy DETROIT – The all-new 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 powering the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will be the most capable standard V-6 in any full-size pickup truck – leading the segment in city fuel economy and helping customers save money through a host of fuel-saving technologies. EcoTec3 engine technology matches Ram HFE’s 18 mpg city, while 4x4 Silverado and Sierra models achieve 17 mpg city, the best of any full-size pickup. EPA highway estimates are highly competitive: 22 mpg for 4x4 versions, and 24 mpg for 2WD models. The 4.3L V-6 also help Silverado and Sierra will offer the highest-available payload rating of 2,108 pounds and the highest available towing rating of 7,200 pounds. View full article
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 13, 2012 It has been close to seven years since General Motors introduced a new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra truck. It that time, GM has been to hell and back with bankruptcy, The bankruptcy brought with it delays to key products, most notably the trucks and SUVs. The competition during that time has moved the full-size truck yardstick by a mile with Ford's engine lineup in the F-Series and Ram introducing a wealth of fuel economy tricks and clever storage places. GM has dropped the curtain on the new Silverado and Sierra today at an event in Detroit, bringing some much needed updates and changes to the trucks. Is it enough? GM decided to go the safe and conservative route with the exterior design of the new trucks. Both models feature a number of enhancements to reduce drag and wind noise, flared-out front and rear fenders, front-hinged rear doors on the extended-cab models, and the choice of either a five-foot, eight-inch bed or a six-foot, six-inch bed. The front ends of the two models are very much differentiated from the previous models. The Silverado's front end features a similar grille treatment as the current HD model and vertical headlights. Projector headlights are standard on the Silverado LTZ. The Sierra's front end takes some cues from the All-Terrain Concept with a large, square grille surround and unique set of headlights that on higher-end models feature LEDs. Stepping inside, GM has made some drastic changes. Gone is the two dash layout from the current models and in its place is a very worktruck dash with a touchscreen infotainment featuring GM's MyLink/Intellilink. The dash features soft-touch or leather materials and real aluminum trim throughout. Its a nice place sit when compared to the current models, though I do wonder if the new Denali and 'High Country' (Silverado Luxury model) will have a different dash layout. The engine lineup will include a choice of either a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V8 wearing the EcoTec moniker. All three engines will feature direct-injection, variable cam timing, and cylinder deactivation. GM didn't reveal any performance and fuel economy figures. The sole transmission will be a six-speed automatic. We're hearing an eight-speed will coming sometime later. Underneath the skin, the suspension is made up of coil springs and struts in front with leaf springs in the rear. Steering comes in the form an electric power system. Other changes include new Duralife brakes which promise longer life and Auto Grade Braking which uses the engine and transmission to slow down the truck on a grade. The new Silverado and Sierra brings GM to the point where the current F-Series and Ram pickups are. But there isn't that one killer feature that puts it ahead of the competition. Maybe they're hiding that feature that will revealed at a later time. 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Gallery 2014 GMC Sierra Gallery 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Video 2014 GMC Sierra Video 2014 GMC Sierra and 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Release Video Authors Note: Cheers & Gears wants to thank General Motors for inviting us to check out the new Silverado and Sierra. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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