2014 NAIAS Show Wrap Up

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Car shows are funny things. You become super excited while everything is going on and you are bombarded with information. Then, you step away, let the excitement wear off and you can finally put things into perspective. Here’s is my perspective.

2014 NAIAS Show Wrap Up

The new Ford F-150 sure looks great now, but what will happen when it gets beat up a little?

Let’s be frank that the 2014 NAIAS show will be dominated by the 2015 Ford F-150 release. Everybody knows this including GM who held a special unveiling of their GMC Canyon the day before. Industry people knew that when the Ford F-150 was unwrapped, nobody was going to talk about the Canyon. They were right.

Ford certainly did its part at this show. The F-150 blew people away and the press conference reveal was incredibly impressive with the size and scale. It will be talked about for quite a while in my opinion.

With all the new technology and materials Ford is using it is hard to not be impressed. They really helped those who tow with a light below the tailgate latch that shines on the hitch and the computer software built in that helps guide a driver to the ball. Those are pretty nice.

Also, Ford really did try to drive home that the new truck would still be “Ford Tough.” They pointed out the metals used are the same ones used in airplanes and they drove over 1 million miles while testing it.

Yet, with all their innovations comes additional costs and not everyone is going to be overjoyed by them. The use of aluminum is pretty great, except there are just a lot of unanswered questions about it. Yes, Ford drove a lot of miles testing it, but what happens when it gets used on the farm? What happens when you load hay, cattle or go off-road in it? Not by accident, there was no mention of the Raptor at the show. Seems to me if Ford was so confident in the new material, they would lead off with an aluminum-based Raptor. That didn’t happen.

What about the engine offerings? The tiny Ecoboost engine is an interesting idea that makes me think Ford was trying to appease the crowd that wants a F-100. Does it belong in a true “work” truck? Nope.

At the end of the day, with all the innovations from the new Ford truck, the excitement was still about the Ram Ecodiesel. Yes, it has a return on investment question. And yes, quite a few consumers think it is the end all, be all solution. Yet, despite the newness of the Ford and it’s features, it really isn’t that different of a truck. The Ram Ecodiesel though will be an entirely different matter. The success of that engine could unhinge the truck market MORE than an aluminum Ford truck.

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com

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  1. LJC says:

    So, any mention of the 2015 F150 being J2807 compliant? Ford did state that it would be.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      No, no mention of it.

      • Mickey says:

        I didn’t expect it. But on TT someone from autoblog I think stated that Ford F-150 would be J2807 compliant. I’m sorry but I saw 1 video, read 4 articles and only this autoblog states that the F-150 will be J2807 compliant. Will be and is are two different things. Ford said before they would be compliant but yet we don’t see it. Tired of listening to a blue oval B/S. Can’t be trusted period. If they were compliant which they should have had this done before this show. Imagine the “PR” they would get for having the biggest towing and hauling. Plus all the other things that would have pushed Ford way over the rest period. Now it’s a big missed opportunity and I just don’t believe in Ford.

  2. toyrulz says:

    I think Ford was conservative with their changes to the F-150. They (may) have the class leading sales spot with their outgoing model (hard to know when mixed with other F-series numbers), so why mess much with success. Obviously their looks are good enough or not a major factor in sales and Ford is introducing some controversial changes (aluminium and a tiny boosted engine to push a brick though the air) so looking like the old model will help sell these new technologies where they may concern consumers. Had they made big changes to appearance, it would have been a much bigger gamble. My bet is the Raptor is where you may see more Atlas like aesthetics and maintenance of the now niche big V8.

    Ram has a good alternative engine in the little diesel, I don’t think it will have a huge take rate (as you say F-100 this is a bit Ram 1000) but it does provide a more tried and true way of reducing fuel consumption while maintaining torque to work for more personal transportation use with occasional light duty service.

  3. toyrulz says:

    PS – no mention of hard numbers for Mpg or towing…

    My bet is marketing is still working on them and trying to gauge reaction from release to see if they can drop towing to J2807 and still sell enough.

    Are Ram’s EPA Mpg numbers out for the little diesel? The Ford marketers may be waiting for those so they can add 1mpg over them…

    Ford (if you’re listening) use J2807 or stop calling your trucks tough. You can be the bully, but tough should be proven on level playing field against others.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      I just read an article on Motor Trend that says Ford will be compliant with their numbers. If that happens, everyone will follow suit quickly. I spoke with Ram and they said their numbers aren’t going to be that much different.


  4. DJ says:

    My guess would be typical Ford – they won’t be J2807 and Ford Fan Boys will brag all over the internet that their Ford can tow 11,000+ lbs and is the king of towing

  5. Rick says:

    Ford will be successful with this new truck. The market is already bearing fruit for aluminum SUV’s. Interior is very good!

    Toyota should come out with an 8spd THIS year and be the industry leader AGAIN as they were with the 6spd. It took Ford and GM 2 years to get a 6spd and even more so for the Ram. The new F-150 is without an 8spd.

    The Tundra needs to have its 5.7 engine upgraded to 420+hp and 420+ ft. lbs. Then add a small V8 diesel with 500+ ft. lbs. Add commercial marketing and push reliability angle. Tundras don’t break down.

    In a year, incorporate frills such as LED headlamps and taillights and surround cameras to keep the truck “hip” in the public’s mind. Make the locker optional or part of a package. Preface the 10.5″ industry-leading, ring gear.

    Make a commercial with a Tundra emerging from a day of intense 4 wheeling – men mulling about hooking up their trailers to their trucks – then dust-covered, Tundra driver is washing off the mud – bragging about the 25+ mpg (diesel and 8spd) and revealing her identity as a cool girl who is then parking the rig in a tight mall parking lot using the camera option at end of the day – and she’s wearing pumps!

    Go Toyota!

    • LJC says:

      I completely agree Rick. I’ve made a number of posts noting the same thing. The commercials of nowadays are whimpy and lack testosterone. I miss the days of Killer Heat, etc.

  6. Larry says:

    Does the F150 have an aluminum frame or is that still steel?

    I learned all I could about the new Ram V6 diesel. It’s more powerful then people think it is but, as of now you can’t get it in the Trandsman work type truck which seems strange, an engine for work which is not available in a contractors truck?

    • Breathing Borla says:

      you can go to ramtrucks right now and built a tradesmen with the eco diesel, it will be available.

  7. gerry says:

    there is no benefit to an 8 speed tundra let it go 90% of truck owners use to get groceries towing a true 10,000 is very unsafe in a pickup truck anyway enough is enough concentrate on mileage

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