Truck makers are making a serious run at 2013— in most cases loading their commercial vehicle lineups with an array of new models and a host of new features and options that enhance everything from powertrain performance to driver comfort.
Whether with the rollout of an allnew model or via all sorts of enhancements made to standard and optional equipment, OEMs are highly tuned to improving the total cost of vehicle ownership for truck fleet owners.
This cost focus means changes are being made to vehicle offerings that will ensure next year’s trucks are more fuel-efficient, less expensive to maintain, and more productive for drivers to operate. OEMs are determined as well to deliver trucks that are safer and greener to run.
The heaviest influx of new models this time around is into Class 8, where six OEMs have recently or will by next year roll out entirely new models. Meanwhile, Class 1-3 and Class 4-7 truck builders, many of whom brought out new models in recent years, are now generally holding steady with their lineups. The biggest exception is Ford, which will begin phasing out its venerable E-Series van as it introduces its all-new and European-bred Transit van.
However, across the GVW board from light to heavy, nearly all OEMs are introducing more and more alternative- fuel powertrain options. Especially notable for 2013 is the large number of both compressed and liquefied natural gas engines that will be available as well as more propane engines and hybrid-electric drive powertrains.
Fleet owners will find that whether they run light-, medium- or heavyduty trucks, either as revenue generators or as vocational tools, this special annual section lays out for them all the significant changes coming to North American trucks in 2013. So turn the page and take a test drive or a few.