Ford, GM Show Off New 2019 Pickups

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With the 2018 model year safely in the bag, automakers that actually make cars and light trucks are looking ahead to model year 2019. Unlike last week’s CES 2018 show in Las Vegas where the focus was on autonomous driving and new auto technology that won’t be widely available for years, the North American International Auto Show that opens to the public Wednesday in Detroit is primarily about sheet metal and what consumers are going to see in showrooms real soon now.

There will be a whole exhibition hall filled with new technology opening Sunday, but the weekend previews show off new vehicles and those are what will attract consumers later this week.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is bringing back its midsize Ranger pickup for 2019. Well, bringing it back to the United States. The company has sold the vehicle in dozens of foreign markets, but the Ranger was discontinued here in 2011.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) showed off its redesigned model year 2019 Silverado pickup. The Silverado is the second-best selling vehicle in the United States, trailing only Ford’s F-Series pickups. The big news from GM is that the new Silverado will offer a diesel engine in a full-size Chevy pickup for the first time in 20 years.

Ford’s new Ranger is an interesting vehicle. The company is limiting available options and aiming at a U.S. market that wants a somewhat smaller pickup and one that is at least a little cheaper than the full-size models. The Ranger will be available with only one engine, a four-cylinder 2.3-liter EcoBoost mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The company did not put a price tag on the new Ranger, but the average transaction price for a new F-series pickup in 2017 was $45,000. Chevy’s midsize Colorado pickup starts at around $20,000. Ford might go a bit higher, but it probably can’t go a lot higher.

The new Chevy Silverado will be the industry’s “most efficient full-size pickup” according to GM. New engine technology that shuts off engine cylinders is expected to boost efficiency by 21%. The new truck will have six engine options, including the inline-6 diesel. Ford introduced a first-ever diesel-powered F-150 this year and said it expects to get a highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg.

Another feature the company touts is a 450-pound weight loss. The new Silverado uses aluminum on exterior swing panels (hood, doors, tailgate) while the fenders, roof and bed are still made from steel.

The companion GMC Sierra will not be introduced until the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second.

Like Ford, GM did not reveal pricing on the 2019 Silverado, but Cox Automotive puts the average selling price on full-size pickups at nearly $47,000. There won’t be any bargains on the new Silverado.