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Having sold more than 700,000 vehicles in the 2019 calendar year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram truck brand has suddenly become the eighth best-selling nameplate in the U.S. Though the Ram line includes a pair of commercial vans, most of that sales volume comes from full-size pickup trucks. In fact, the big truck news for 2019 was Ram overtaking Chevrolet in large pickup truck sales for the first time ever.
Chevrolet has announced plans to add a second compact crossover to its model lineup. The 2021 Trailblazer will bring the total number of sport utility vehicles in Chevrolet’s product portfolio to seven.
Word is out that GMC will be adding a new subcompact crossover to its lineup. The new small truck will be positioned below the brand’s compact Terrain crossover in size and price, becoming the smallest and most-affordable vehicle in the General Motors division’s product portfolio.
Is the U.S. market ready for a return of the old-school body-on-frame midsize SUV? Ford seems to think so, as a revived version of the company’s Bronco SUV is being readied for a 2020 model-year debut.
Auto industry observers have suggested that Hyundai has confused new-car shoppers by implementing a two-midsize-crossover strategy. Not because the Korean maker is selling two vehicles in roughly the same market space, but because of how the vehicles are named.
Hornet is the likely name of a forthcoming subcompact hatchback that would give Dodge a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, and other fuel-efficient pint-sized cars.
Expected in 2018 as an early ’19 model, the 2019 Dodge Hornet would be positioned in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) showrooms between the Fiat 500 and 500L, and comfortably below the compact Dart, the Dodge brand’s smallest and least expensive current offering.
Enmeshed in the news that Ford is moving to reenter the small/midsize-pickup segment in the U.S. with an updated version of the Ranger is word that an off-road-ready SUV built on the same architecture would likely follow.
With the average transaction price of an F-150 now hovering around $45,000, Ford again sees space below its big pickups for a smaller, more affordable market entry.
Likely to be called Ranger, the new midsize pickup would provide Ford dealers with a lower-cost alternative to the best-selling F-150 that would compete directly with the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
by Don Sikora II
Electric cars haven’t proven sales superstars thus far, but many still believe electrification will play an important role in the automobile’s future. At Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January 2015, Chevrolet unveiled a concept version of its next entry in the all-electric sweepstakes: the Bolt EV Concept.
by Don Sikora II
In 2014, Jeep sold more than 1 million vehicles worldwide, a new record for the brand. And Jeep’s parent company has even greater ambitions for the future: A Fiat-Chrysler five-year product plan unveiled in May 2014 predicts sales increasing to 1.9 million Jeeps in 2018. The plan also indicates a return to the 7-passenger 3-row SUV market in the form of a revived Grand Wagoneer model. The range-topping 2019 Grand Wagoneer would reprise a legendary name from Jeep’s past, and move the brand further upmarket to take on luxury-brand SUVs in every way—price included.