Automakers Add Amenities to Broaden Trucks' Appeal
The pickup has gone plush. In an effort to appeal to a broadening range of drivers and keep fueling sales, manufacturers are rolling out trucks that couldn't be further from those hard-riding, vinyl-seated rigs of a few years back, according to the Wall Street Journal.A few months ago, General Motors Corp. introduced four-wheel steering for easier parking, while the newly redesigned Ram from DaimlerChrysler AG's Dodge unit has grocery-bag hooks and center armrests that double as laptop workstations.Manufacturers are putting a new polish on pickups because they are highly lucrative products in an industry that struggles to earn a few hundred dollars in profit on a passenger car. Sales of full-size pickup trucks are up 4.6 percent so far this year, according to market research firm J.D. Power and Associates.