Michigan automakers all unveiled new pickup truck models at the 2018 North American International Auto Show Monday to meet the rising demands of the market.
"Pickup trucks are one of the best-selling vehicles here in North America, the utility of them, the public loves them," said Brad Warner, a spokesperson for the auto show.
Despite a 1.8 percent drop in overall sales by the auto industry in 2017, pickup sales rose 5.8 percent to 2.37 million, according to Autodata Corp and a Kelley Blue Book report.
General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler made the push this year to challenge the Ford F-Series, the highest selling pickup in the U.S. for 41 consecutive years. Dodge came out with the new RAM, and Chevy debuted the 2019 Silverado.
The RAM model is 225 lbs. lighter, boasts a new mild-hybrid engine and a large touch screen in the interior, said Jim Morrison, vice president of RAM North America.
"We have really changed and taking and raise the bar again for luxury… [with an] unbelievable amount of use of premium materials," Morrison said. "[There's] Real world, real leather, real metal, even on the speaker grills. You just feel like a million bucks."
The Chevy Silverado shed 450 lbs. and focused on improved aerodynamics and fuel management technology, said Chief Engineer Tim Asoklis.
"You could run anywhere from one to eight depending on demand," Asoklis said. "So you roll that whole package together, great fuel economy for the customer."
Ford's major reveal at the auto show was the Ranger, which returned after an eight year hiatus.
"The mid-sized pickup segment is back in growing, but most importantly, with the rise… of full-sized pick up prices, there's really an opportunity for the entry-level Ranger to come in underneath and extend the 'built Ford tough' lineup," said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager.
Pickup trucks accounted for for 13.7 percent of U.S. auto sales, the Kelley Blue Book report said.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.