There is a serious philosophical pick up battle that is preparing itself.
Perhaps you remember when pick ups were physically much smaller, most had 8 foot boxes, a fender side was a toy truck. They were made out of steel with a wood floor in the box, the rear step bumper was always an option.
The simplicity of a pick up (compared to a car) was a cool factor...
The 1/2 ton pick up was for light work, the 3/4 ton remains the work tool, the 1 ton was a specialized tool. In the day manual transmissions were the choice especially in a 3/4 ton. Back to the simplicity, tradition.
Pick ups have grown dramatically in size through the years.
If there is one segment in North America that has not been "cracked" by imports its pick ups. The Detroit 3 own the segment, the F150 is the best selling vehicle in Canada for longer than many folks are alive. GM upholds the tradition of a GMC and Chevrolet truck. Chrysler in the early 1990's started the "big grille" trend.
With stricter fuel economy ratings on the immediate horizon, the landscape of the battlefield is clearly defined for all the contenders.
Lets focus on 1/2 tons since a 3/4 ton due to its GVW is usually above the fuel economy ratings.
Ram: gets the ball rolling with the Eco Diesel V6 touting compact car fuel economy on a full size pick up. Its a good strategy to have a smaller diesel available to surpass the fuel economy ratings.
GM: the redesigned pick ups, although competent, and full of features, for one reason or another did not capture the imagination. Bold grilles, smoother lines, full complement of luxury features. The other strategy deployed by GM is to revisit/re execute the mid size pick up. Mid size, small diesel engine...
Ford: focuses on weight, if you reduce weight, need a smaller engine, gain in fuel economy. Aluminum is the old school / classic way to reduce weight. Easy...lets do an aluminum pick up.
It will be revealing in the ensuing months to observe which strategy is the best, and most enduring.