Battle of Pickup Trucks at Detroit’s Auto Show 2013

Anyone cruising the North American International Auto Show floor at Cobo Center here this week will see the evidence: the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, the Ram 3500 heavy duty, and an as-yet-undisclosed surprise from Ford.

“We are calling this year the year of the pickup,” said Michele Krebs, senior analyst for Edmunds.com.

General Motors gave reporters a peak in December of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, today at the show is their first public exposure.

“From hood to hitch, these are the most refined, best engineered pickups ever,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss. “GM has been a truck engineering leader for more than a century. I think we engineer our trucks better than the others guys do.”

The new Ram 1500 pickup has been on sale since October. The upgraded Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy duties go on sale this spring with more muscular towing capacity. They’ll be on display here.

And Ford is expected to show Tuesday a concept of the design direction of the next-generation F-Series which could arrive in the fall of 2014 as a 2015 model.

F-Series ended 2012 with sales of 645,316, up 10%, according to Autodata. Chevrolet sold 418,312 Silverados, similar to the prior year, while the Sierra sales rose 5% to 157,185, giving GM a total of 575,497 full-size pickup sales.