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Pickup Trucks Set to Take Center Stage at the North American International Auto Show

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Domestic automakers will reportedly focus on their pickup truck lineups at next month's auto show in Detroit

The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Pickups are shaping up to be the stars of the North American International Auto Show
Photo: © General Motors

The North American International Auto Show is historically one of the most diverse annual gatherings of automobiles in the world. However, it would appear that one class of vehicles is set to take center stage at next month’s Detroit-based automotive event.

Reports and schedules suggest that full-size pickups will be the focus of this year’s North American International Auto Show.

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One of the biggest reveals lined up for the event is the official unveiling of the 2019 Ram 1500. Details surrounding the next generation of Ram pickups has been pretty sparse so far, but various leaks and spy shots point to a split tailgate for the model.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet will undoubtedly share more details about its recently-revealed 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. The automaker might even confirm or deny the rumors of a carbon fiber bed option for the upcoming Silverado and Sierra.

2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten

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While the automotive market might currently be discussing electric models and autonomous driving technologies, pickup trucks are where the money is really at for the moment. If automakers want to make advancements in these future vehicle technologies, then they will likely need to rely on the profit gains that pickup trucks generate for them.

At a presentation hosted by Itay Michaeli of Citigroup last year, Michaeli stated that each GM pickup truck generates a profit of about $11,000 for the automaker. This is compared to the average $500-$1,000 of profit that the company’s SUVs and crossovers generate.

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While a pickup might cost between $20,000 and $22,000 to produce, automakers often sell them for prices of up to $45,000. With the increasing number of luxury trucks that are entering the market, such as the $55,120 Ram Limited Tungsten Edition, that price could certainly go up even more in the near future.

As automotive manufacturers work on self-driving systems for their cars, even more traditional drivers are likely to flock to pickup models. Jerry Hirsch, an editor for, envisions a split forming between drivers, where motorists who see driving as a commodity opt for ride-sharing and self-driving vehicles, while those who look at driving as a lifestyle will stick with pickup trucks, SUVs, and sports cars.

2018 Ford F-150 XLT

Pickup trucks are selling at a rate not seen since 2007

That doesn’t mean that trucks won’t also receive major automotive advancements. The Chevrolet Silverado recently acquired tech such as automatic braking and adaptive cruise control for its latest model.

Kelley Blue Book estimates that pickup trucks will account for 16% of all new vehicle sales this year, the highest market share in the past 10 years. Therefore, it’s not that surprising to see domestic brands like Ford, Chevy, and Ram place on emphasis on their trucks for the upcoming North American International Auto Show.

News Source: Detroit Free Press