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Old 10-04-2006, 11:04 PM   #1
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Changes in HD Truck Market

I just came across this article regarding the Heavy Duty Truck market here in the US. Although I believe Toyota is a great manufacturer, it looks like the Japanese are worried about being able to take on the US big truck boys. It is hard to beat American Iron when it comes to haulers. So if you have been holding off for a Japanese Heavy Duty Truck, you are gonna have to wait a lot longer.
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:10 AM   #2
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Interesting article.

I think the Japanese are being patient and smart. Why try to fight for market share in a flat or down market. They will just wait for the next upturn in the economy to go after a share of another segment.

Fuel prices may change this segment too. I love my gmc 2500 but, $88 at a fillup (the highest bill this summer) causes me to start to think about alternatives.
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:43 AM   #3
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about alternatives...

Hi there;
In Europe, fuel prices are double from yours so there is , for the moment, an alternative to pay less... the LPG . Most of american cars and pick-up, are equipped with LPG system and that work well . the fuel price is half and we appreciate that even it's your fuel price today. But with the double price, it'll be impossible, for us living in Europe, and France, for me, to drive an american pick-up truck as my F150 to tow the A/S.
In spite of the economy that system give you, not many others vehicles are equiped ( exept only in Holland, I think) because people are afraid of lpg for what they saw 1 or 2 explosions at TV.
Plus, to began do real economies , you have to use your vehicle for doing lot of miles; the car modifications are expensive and if it stay at your garage, you don't profit of the low lpg price.

is there a lpg project in USA ?

Bruno;
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:50 AM   #4
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Bruno,
There are LPG powered vehicles here in the US. But there are several drawbacks. One is the limited range for a given tank size. The other is a lack of LP fueling stations. Typically LP is mainly used for heating, cooking and agricultural use. The last time I checked it was running almost the same as regular gas. My big dually diesel will run around 500 miles on a fill-up, it would take a very large LP tank to give me that kind of range. FWIW diesel is currently running around $2.56 where I am right now. We are starting to get the soybean based biodiesel. My truck prefers it. It currently is more expensive than dino diesel, but I think that will change over time.

Aaron
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Old 10-05-2006, 04:22 AM   #5
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Bruno,
There are LPG powered vehicles here in the US. But there are several drawbacks. One is the limited range for a given tank size. The other is a lack of LP fueling stations. Typically LP is mainly used for heating, cooking and agricultural use. The last time I checked it was running almost the same as regular gas. My big dually diesel will run around 500 miles on a fill-up, it would take a very large LP tank to give me that kind of range. FWIW diesel is currently running around $2.56 where I am right now. We are starting to get the soybean based biodiesel. My truck prefers it. It currently is more expensive than dino diesel, but I think that will change over time.

Aaron
Hi Aaron,
I've the same consumption of lpg comparated with gasoline so, i agree with you, i need a 140 liters tank ( in fact 2x70 liters tanks ) fixed behind the bed of my f150. There are many filling stations now, in France but it was hard in the beginning to find . No station in Germany, by example so hopefully, we can connect to the classic gasoline system when no more lpg to burn.

I have seen the Renault big boss, this week-end, talking about the future car energy ( he also talked about of the association with Général motors...). He thinks for a near future, to develop the ethanol energy, for a low cost system on the actual cars; is it really the solution, may be, i don't know.

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Old 10-05-2006, 08:30 AM   #6
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Last year I replaced my '91 Dodge Cummins with a Nissan Titan. I sacrificed a bit of mileage but now burn much cheaper and more readily available regular gas. I tow an
'89 29ft Excella that weighs about 6800lbs. Though the Titan is rated for over 9000lbs I would say that I run at the practical limit for this TV. I upgraded the original equipment tires and added Timbren auxillary springs front and rear. The Q-45 V-8 in the Nissan is a completely different kettle of fish from traditional detroit iron, with its torque peak all the way up at 3800rpm. With plenty of gears and using the high revs this engine was designed for I find the power to be quite adequate, even in the mountain west where I spend a lot of time. The SEMA article is typical self-serving Detroit drivel, the Japanese are and will continue to be a real threat to the US manufacturers. In May of '05 I bought the new '04 Titan/4WD/Tow Package/Utility Bed off the dealers lot for 24K (MSRP 31K) and could not touch a Dodge/Cummins for less than 35K, I am happy as a clam!

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Old 10-05-2006, 05:54 PM   #7
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Steve,

I don't think the message behind the article is that Asia can't compete, I believe the message is that they are waiting for the right time. The Titan is a great truck, but Nissan is quoted in the article as saying " It has been determined that the current Titan platform is not adequate enough for 3/4 or 1 ton models". Chances are that when Toyota and Nissan decided to produce "Heavy Duty" trucks, they will be assembled here, with the contents label heavily favoring North America. I would even bet that these foreign labeled trucks will be designed in California. Any takers?

John
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:40 PM   #8
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It's interesting how two people can read the SEMA story and come up with opinions 180 degrees apart. As I read it, Toyota is not going to make a move in the HD market until they get it right. I live in a community where there is no Lexis, Infinity, Honda, Suzuki, M-B, Range Rover or BMW dealer within 60 miles. Cadillac and Lincoln sales are generally cash deals and you couldn't buy a 2 wheel drive truck here to save your soul.

You can count the Tundras and Frontiers on the fingers of one hand at a live stock auction or cattle sale.

There are work trucks and play trucks....Toyota and Nissan will break into the real truck category sooner than later, but for the time being Dodge, Ford and GM offer the best bang for the buck. And, the profits stay in Detroit!
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:10 AM   #9
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And, the profits stay in Detroit!
My Suburban was made in Mexico.
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:08 AM   #10
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My Suburban was made in Mexico.
Yes-by a wholly US owned company...
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:25 AM   #11
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Spending 3 weeks in Europe I was amazed at the range of vehicles that companies, including "American" ones like Ford already have in their inventory. Toyota has been selling trucks all over the world that are more than capable of hauling an Airstream. We rented a Ford Transit van (aka Tranny Van). These have been an institution in Great Britian for decades. I can't understand why when the Sprinter has been such a huge success Ford hasn't moved to introduce the Tranny Van to the US.

The European diesels are amazing. After the Tranny Van we had a Ford Galaxy (not your Grandfather's Galaxy) that had a kick butt diesel mated to a 6spd manual. Gas prices have recently dropped here in the US but in August there wasn't that big of a difference between fuel prices in the US vs Ireland. The one thing I found interesting is that their diesel was cheaper than gas. That's as it should be since you can refine more gallons of diesel from a barrel of crude than gasoline.

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Old 10-06-2006, 01:07 PM   #12
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hi truck trend watchers...

as much as we'd like to think automotive decisions are made relative to our airstream towing needs.....we are but a tiny pice of the pie...

toyota is just 2 months from producing a genuine 1/2 ton truck. the new tundra will give ford, ge'em, and dodge fits....

ford could respond by bringing a smaller diesel to the game, but toyota will grow in this segment like no one can imagine...

still most 1/2 buyers or other small truck buyers are shopping car alternatives...the truck as a personal image thing.

weekend towing, some camping, the occasional load from homedepot and LOTS of urban driving. that is why suvs and crucks can fill this need.

the 3/4-1 ton market is much different these are work trucks. contractors, plumbers, electricians and most construction workers from all trades shop 3/4-1 ton.

also the 3/4-1 ton segment is 15-25k$ more money....and 2-4k$ more profit per unit.

small truck sales have been slowing for 2-3 years, while 3/4-1 tons numbers have continued to increase till right now.

why?

the housing market.

new home construction nationally is finally taking a breather. it is predicted to be 18-24 months before the next national home construction boom.

that is when 3/4-1 ton sales will again take off...

also the diesels which drive most of the truck models will be better sorted out. ulsd will almost completely in place by 2009.

so toyota and nissan are just properly timing their entry into the 'contractor truck' segment.

it ain't about fear of competing with ge'em or ford...only detroit insiders hold on to this myth.

it's about timing.

i really like my ford superduty and would buy one again,

but the nissan and toyota offerings, when they are built will be every bit as good...just check back in 09.



cheers
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Old 10-06-2006, 01:32 PM   #13
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you got it!

2air,

As usual, you are right on target....thanks for the back up.

John
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:17 PM   #14
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Bruno, I currently run LPG fumigation on my Duramax diesel engine. On my last LP fillup, my combination mileage yielded a cost of 93% of what it would have been on diesel alone. But, alas, diesel has dropped in price, so my LP switch is off, and the tank empty until the next refinery fire, hurricane or Mid-East military conflict starts.
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