Michigan Expats - Commentary - See All Commentary
My first car was a 1991 GMC Sierra half-ton pick-up that had been handed down to me by my grandfather. I drove it throughout high school and college, and I absolutely loved it. It's hard to imagine growing up and going to school in rural Michigan driving anything else.
In high school we'd load up couches that were being thrown out and leave in them in the yards of the houses where we were littering the trees with toilet paper. It was also great for off-roading, shining deer, doing donuts in the school parking lot during the winter, or hauling the boat out to the lake to cool off in the summer.
Not only was it practical for doing all of those incredibly fun things one does growing up, but it was also practical for all of the reasonable reasons a pick-up is practical. My pick-up was invaluable during the multiple summers I worked as a painter. I can't remember how many times I used it to help friends and family move or to haul furniture or supplies myself.
Likewise, I remember going to Europe for the first time on a high school trip during the summer of 2001 and seeing a Smart car for the first time. I remember thinking that if they were prevalent here in the states, how easy and fun it would be to get a few football teammates, go into the city, literally pick up a Smart car and put it into the back of my truck and take it home to use as a go-cart/golf cart or even a large scale bumper car. (The car and the idea were and continue to be thought of as a joke so being arrested for grand theft auto were not seriously considered. BTW-would they have to rename it "mini theft auto"?)
Read more after the jump...
This trip down memory lane was prompted by this article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about Ford's plans to introduce new V-6 engines for the F-150 including a 3.5 liter "Ecoboost" V-6 beginning next year. As Joseph White touches on in the article this strategy tries to accommodate both consumer demand and federal mandates for better fuel economy. Certainly a noble goal.
However, the article asks, "Are U.S. pickup truck buyers prepared to set aside their love affair with V-8 engines and climb into more fuel-efficient models instead?"
Consumers appear skeptical thus far that these new "greener" pick-up trucks can continue to deliver the performance, practicality, and durability that they want and need and it'll be tough to know for sure until these trucks are put to the test hauling equipment, boats, and campers and taken off-road.
What do you think? Do you have any great pick-up (or SUV) stories? Are you ready to line up for a new "ecoboost" F-150? Can automakers continue to be profitable and provide consumers vehicles they want under increasing federal regulations? Let us know.