by Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global
The word on the street, or a slip of the executive tongue, is that Ford is bringing back the Ford Ranger and the Ford Bronco nameplates. This is going to be fun. Since GM, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda have been enjoying the mid-size pick-up segment, Ford may turn the tables. I’m guessing that we will be seeing the debut in Detroit next January. Because the Ford Ranger is being sold globally, we have an idea of the size, and the engine configuration, think “Eco-Boost”. The Ford Bronco will be a bigger surprise and fill in a gap left by front wheel drive crossovers and eco-SUV’s. Ford had been talking about the reviving the Bronco nameplate for years showing different concept for years. Many internal design proposals were done, and it was a matter of time before the powers that be, probably marketing, gave the green light. I can’t wait to see what the Ford is going to show us next year. I wonder if they will debut the Bronco in white?
By Stephen Franklin, Auto Show Global
So, Mercedes decides to debut a concept pick-up truck in Stockholm, Sweden on Tuesday. The “Concept X” is a six-cylinder offering, all-wheel drive built from the Nissan truck platform. Two vehicles were displayed highlighting two different lifestyles of the market, a luxury standard, and an off-road version. Nissan and Renault will manufacture variables the X-class for Mercedes, and it will be sold in Europe, South Africa, Latin America, and Australia with no plans to be offered in the United States. What history has taught us about luxury pick-up trucks is that they do not sell in this market of utility especially in the United States. I still don’t understand how the failure of past luxury brand trucks, Lincoln Blackwood, and the Cadillac Escalade EXT, didn’t serve as a benchmark for Mercedes. Globally speaking, luxury pickup trucks must be the trend somewhere overseas. Even though, they may potentially could have different badging or component sharing, Mercedes on anything still says “luxury”. I like the overall appearance of the “X-Class”, and maybe 6 years ago, the idea of it may have given the Cadillac Escalade a run for its money. For now, unless this offering globally competes toe-to-toe in value and performance to its competition, this design may be better if left as a marketing study. I’m just saying.