Three new trucks on display at NAIAS - WNEM TV 5

Three new trucks on display at NAIAS

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
DETROIT (WNEM) -

The annual North American International Auto Show is underway in Detroit.

This year, the trucks are stealing the headlines. All three major American automakers rolled out new pickups and for a good reason. Truck sales are accelerating as car sales continue to slow down.

>>Slideshow: North American International Auto Show<<

"This is a big deal because of the number of significant redesigns or actually in one case, return of major pickup trucks," said Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor for cars.com.

Auto show attendees are buzzing about three new trucks.

"Three new vehicles doesn't seem like a trend, but when you think about how many models there are on the market overall, three is a big number," Wiesenfelder said.

Chevy unveiled its redesigned Silverado, Ram showed off its retooled 1500 and Ford is bringing back the Ford Ranger after about an eight year absence.

"Really, it's the perfect time for us to bring back the Ranger. We're seeing a lot of growth in that mid-size truck segment. A lot of customers, we call them the adventure customer, right. They're the person that needs the vehicle to drive back and forth every day to work, around town, whatever. And then on the weekends, they want to go to their adventure place," said Brian Bell, marketing manager for the Ford pickup truck.

Ford executives hope the Ranger capitalizes on accelerating truck sales.

Last year, pickup truck sales increased about 5 percent, whereas car sales dropped almost 11 percent.

"Consumers have been turning to trucks over the past several years partly because gas prices are low, the economy is reasonably good and there's been a return to larger vehicles overall," Wiesenfelder said.

As long as gas prices stay low, auto executives hope 2018 is an even bigger year for pickup trucks.

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