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Detroit follows the money.. to trucks

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 02:22

Detroit is heavily focused on where consumers want to spend their money: on trucks. Top auto makers unveiled new offerings for the highly profitable vehicles at the Detroit Auto show. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Perhaps the only thing American drivers love more than cheap gas, is a nice big truck to pump all that fuel into. Detroit is ready, willing and able- showing off its latest offerings at the big auto show, including Ford's 400-plus-horsepower pickup truck- complete with racing shock absorbers, a 10-speed transmission, and, here comes the branding, a big FORD across the grill. Ford's F-150 won North American Truck of the year. Ford's President of the America's Joe Hinrichs: SOUNDBITE: FORD PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAS JOE HINRICHS (ENGLISH) SAYING: " From all of us at Ford Motor Company, thank you again for this award." No wonder he's so happy. Pickups drive profits at the Detroit Three, accounting for 90 percent of global pretax margins at GM, Ford and Chrysler, according to analysts. General Motors' Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney: SOUNDBITE: GENERAL MOTORS CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER TIM MAHONEY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I don't think anyone could have imagined gasoline or fuel prices at $50 a barrel right? It's hard to imagine. We have great strength with our truck heritage and we're completing this kind of three truck strategy with Colorado, Silverado and Silverado Heavy Duty. So we've kind of got it covered." And thanks to low interest rates and easier credit- consumers can pay - average transaction prices are well above $40,000. The new Ford F-150 tops out at just under $50,000. Autonation CEO Mike Jackson: SOUNDBITE: MIKE JACKSON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF AUTONATION, SAYING: " Detroit builds phenomenal trucks. This is a home turf product. They've been doing it for decades and the new F-150 is sensational and the Colorado is terrific." Toyota unveiled its mid-size 2016 Tacoma, which was designed and developed in the U.S., and will be built in Texas and Mexico. Prices will start at about $21,000. Senior Vice President Bob Carter: SOUNDBITE: BOB CARTER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "With this new truck, we're actually confident that we'll sell more Tacoma's in 2016 than we do in 2014 and 15 with the current truck. It's a fantastic vehicle." Nissan has big ambitions for its redesigned 2016 Titan. The company's CEO told Reuters he expects the U.S. built vehicle to sell more than 100,000 vehicles- up from less than 13,000 in 2014.

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Detroit follows the money.. to trucks

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 02:22