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Miscellaneous NAIAS News
By: Michael LevinePosted: 01-07-04 10:35 PT

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We had the chance to follow up on a few more items we think you might be interested in from this year's North American International Auto Show.

Is Ford going to do anything about its 'Lone Ranger'?

We spoke briefly with Phil Martens, Ford's vice president of product creation, about the future of the Ranger now that the new GM twins are on sale, Nissan took the wraps off its 2005 Frontier and Toyota and Dodge are going to show their new mid-size pickups next month in Chicago. Other than "planned and regular product updates," don't expect an all new Ranger any time in the near future. Martens is "well aware of the Ranger's dropping sales levels," but he called the Ranger Ford's "Steady Eddie" and thinks the Ranger, "will continue to keep its lead," as the compact truck sales leader - even with the all-new competition coming next year. Martens said the Ranger will receive "an interior freshening and a new I4 engine" sometime in the near future.

Here's a suggestion: Hey Phil, take the Ford Bronco concept and turn that into the next Ranger.

What about a Chevrolet Silverado SS regular cab pickup?

We talked to Chevy spokesman Tom Wilkinson about the fate of the regular cab SS and Tom told us that, "the SS regular cab won't be available anytime soon. There are two other vehicles ahead of it, including the Trailblazer SS, even though we would really love to build it."

Any Quadrasteer news?

Chatting with GMC Sierra Denali marketing manager Sam Mancuso during the show, Sam told us that we might possibly see the next generation Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system as early as the 2005 model year. Mancuso expects rear axle track width to shrink enough so the rear fender flares and federally mandated marker lamps won't be needed any longer.

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