Pickups, semi-autonomous driving and more innovations: one by one, what does Toyota, Ford, Nissan, VW and GM offer?
They were born out of necessity, to cross fields and contribute to the work, but they have been conquering all generations. And they even save the beaten auto industry.
This is the pickups that, with more technology, equipment and sophistication, seduced those who like multipurpose and functional models instead of traditional passenger cars.
The increase in sales in this category is far from temporary (they went from a 31% share in 2015 to 43% in 2019). Rather, it is a great encouragement for the market, as the results translate into an increase in production and exports. To such point that they are of the few segments that are coming out successful in a year of precipitous fall in patenting.
According to the data of the Association of Automotive Manufacturers (ADEFA), so far this year 60,700 cars were dispatched from the terminals, while the production of utilities touched 100,500 units.
In addition, while the first ones mark a shocking 51% drop between January and June compared to the first half of 2018, pickups and small vans manufactured in the country fell just 14%. That is, well below the average of this industry, which collapsed 33 percent.
This trend is also reflected in exports. The companies sold abroad a total of 33,800 cars in the first half of the year, which is equivalent to 37% less than the same in the period of 2018. For its part, utilities grew 9%, to 73,900 units.
The catalog of pickups sold in the country amounts to seven models, of which four are of national production. In this squad are grouped Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok and Nissan Frontier. Meanwhile, the imported ones are Chevrolet S10, Mitsubishi L200 and the Chinese Great Wall, which offers two versions of different sizes.
What were the causes of this change in sales and what factor became the letter that makes the difference? It is the result of several items:
- On the one hand, the tastes of consumers were modified and the traditional sedan and hatch format cars lost ground. Today, everyone prefers an SUV or a van
- On the other, the brands accompanied with a new aesthetic and reconversion of their products to be suitable for daily use. And with technology as the main element to differentiate
The proposals, model by model
All the companies took a step forward in offering something more than "integral traction", and in some there is an important plus of innovation, to such a point that the "chatas" today have several semiautonomous driving systems.
One of the most transformed inside is Ford, with a great incorporation of technology.
The 2020 edition of the Ranger has Adaptive Cruise Control (CCA) and Rail Keeping System (Lane Keeping Aid), but the most important thing is that now incorporates a third semi-autonomous technology, unique among competitors, which is the Autonomous Emergency Braking , which includes detection of pedestrians and vehicles.
This innovation detects the proximity of wheeled or bystanders and helps reduce potential damage from a possible collision, stopping the truck autonomously. It is the only one on the market that offers this assistant and of the few that integrate a large number of sensors.
Other "extras" offered exclusively are:
- Anti-roll control (ROM): when the system detects that the truck is skidding or does not follow the path chosen by the driver, it automatically applies braking pressure to each wheel and reduces the torque to re-stabilize the vehicle
- Fatigue Detector (Driver Alert System - DAS): monitors the position and movement inside the lane through the camera and the rotation sensor. Through an algorithm, it registers when it is moving differently from a configured driving profile and alerts the driver who is more attentive to the steering wheel. While other cars have it, it's new in pickups
- Pre-load of brakes and warning of sound and visual risk: it is a pre-collision warning in those situations that constitute a high risk of collision with the vehicle that is in front
- Automatic Control of High Lights: detected by the camera of the truck if a driver who drives in front can suffer dazzle by high lights
Added to this is the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TCS), Electronic Drop Control (HDC), Slope Assist (HLA), Adaptive Load Control (LAC) and Trailer Rolling Control. (TSM).
Another unique technology in the category is integrated in the Nissan Frontier, the "newest" model of national manufacture. This pickup has an important element that helps driving: Intelligent Around View Monitor, which shows a 360 degree image from cameras located in the rear view mirrors, front grille and tailgate lid.
The system processes the information and displays an image on the screen as if there were only one camera just above the vehicle. The advantages of this technology are appreciated not only in the greater precision when parking in narrow spaces, but also when having to travel roads in poor condition and at low speeds.
The driver can select the view that is most representative, either left or right, front or rear, observing the detail of the road and can circulate with greater confidence.
Other innovations of the Frontier are the dynamic control, which monitors the direction and braking. If necessary, reduce the power of the engine and apply braking pressure on the wheels so that it does not deviate from the road.
It also incorporates a system that avoids blocking the wheels and allows you to maintain control of the steering to avoid an obstacle, even while braking.
In the case of the Amarok, beyond the technology applied to driving, there are two characteristics that distinguish it:
- V6 engine: the most powerful on the market, with 224 hp and "overboost" function, which increases its performance up to 20 hp, depending on the driving needs
- Automatic eight-speed gearbox, also the most complete in the category
The Toyota Hilux is another of the manufactured in the country and is the absolute leader of the segment. In this case, the pickup is updated, although it is not the most technological. Rather, it remains faithful to a conservative style that conquers almost half of the users of the category.
In this case, innovations are highlighted that make it suitable for everyday life and safer for work, such as the Trailer Rocking Control and the Emergency Braking System. The brand is focused mainly on its chassis and ideal suspension for all terrain.
Finally, among the group of the five that dominate sales is the Chevrolet S10, which is imported from Brazil. It stands out for having an OnStar system, a technology for customer assistance 24 hours a day, through telephone connection.
The service debuted in the world more than 20 years ago, although it arrived in Argentina in 2016 with the Cruze. Then, he joined several models and a very bold move of the firm was to incorporate it into a pickup.
What comes next
In addition to the five leaders, the newcomers of the Great Wall china and the Japanese Mitsubishi complete the offer. The two models offered by Great Wall are classic, without much equipment. But the last one, newly launched, promises to be talked about by its suspension system, similar to the extra-large Ram.
With little time in the market, much remains to be demonstrated. Thus, the segment of pickups conquered consumers and is today one of the most desired. The automotive companies accompany with their technology.
The truth is that the equipment is key to attract customers increasingly accustomed to the amenities and also use them to work.
Beyond the comfort, these assistants help especially to a safer driving, and that is why the brands recognized that the vehicles that are used for this work purpose must have the same comforts as a ride. And maybe even more so.