Two newly redesigned pickups that will be built in Missouri later this year were unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week: Ford’s F-150, to be built in Claycomo, and General Motors’ GMC Canyon, to be built in Wentzville. Wentzville also will assemble the new Chevrolet Colorado pickup, which was unveiled in November.
When production of these new pickups starts this year, Missouri will become an epicenter of pickup production in the U.S., with thousands of the vehicles rolling off assembly lines every week.
“These are two strong offerings that are coming at the right time,” Jeremy Acevado, an analyst with automotive consumer research website Edmunds.com, said.
Pickups sales haven’t yet returned to pre-recession levels, but they are growing. More than 2.16 million pickups were sold in the U.S. last year, up from 1.9 million in 2012 and 1.8 million in 2011.
The rebounding construction industry is driving pickup sales, but there’s also renewed interest in fuel efficient trucks as a lifestyle choice, Acevado said. Both Ford and Chrysler exited the U.S. midsize pickup market in 2011. This has left pent-up domestic demand for a smaller pickups, according to GM executives.