Automakers are reviving hefty sport-utility vehicles and trucks that hearken back to a bygone era when vehicles like the Jeep Wagoneer and Ford Bronco were synonymous with big engines, living large, and when gasoline was no obstacle to affordable driving.
Bringing back some famous vehicles known for their fuel thirst may reflect a bid to capitalize on the Trump era, with an energy policy expected to bolster oil production and fuel economy regulations possibly loosening. But the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three automakers aren’t ready to fully dive back into those good ol’ days again, saying they need more policy clarification from the next administration.
That wasn’t stopping them this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit from announcing plans to bring back truck and SUV models with nameplates that were heretofore out of favor.
Ford CEO Mark Fields revealed plans to resuscitate the Ranger mid-size pickup truck and Bronco SUV for sale beginning in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
And Fiat Chrysler not only confirmed plans to bring back the Jeep Wagoneer, a four-wheel-drive SUV remembered fondly for hauling soccer teams and scout troops in its day, but said it will make a Jeep pickup truck.
Volkswagen signaled that it may revive the old microbus, a throwback to its hippie heyday, only to this time make it a long-range electric vehicle.
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