One of the biggest money makers in the automotive business are trucks.
There's a reason why the domestic automakers are so profitable: 1) they build heavy-duty trucks, lots of 'em, and 2) competition from Japan just haven't met buyers' needs.
And now there's a flurry of all-new trucks being redesigned and refreshed. As automakers anticipate a swell of buyers — since they're forecasting a rise in sales — and pent-up demand due to the poor economic situation of the past handful of years, they're pulling out all the stops.
This could be a pivotal time for manufacturers to really jump ahead of the competition; however, they'll be playing by new rules as buyer's needs have shifted.
Look out for interesting powertrains, transmissions and possibly hybrid variants as there is a larger focus on fuel efficiency. While folks want to tow 5,000 pounds, they also want to do their best to save on gas, which continues its upward trend — looking over the past decade.
Here's a preview of what to expect, care of CNN and Fortune.
...Spurred by the housing boom and demand from builders, truck sales are sizzling. For the first four months of the year, Ford sold 227,873 F-series -- more than one a minute and up 19.1% from the year before. Other makers are feasting too. Chevrolet and Ram (formerly Dodge) both reported sales gains for their full-size pickups of 23% and more this year. Import brands don't resonate with domestic buyers, but both Toyota and Nissan are redoubling their efforts to get larger slices of this lucrative market...
...Cowpoke or tenderfoot, buyers have never had so many modern pickups to choose from. By 2015, every truck on the market will be redesigned. Here's a look at what's selling today -- and what auto manufacturers will be using to fight truck wars tomorrow...