The U.S. market's decade-long appetite for large pickup trucks and SUVs – and the large-displacement gasoline engines that powered them – barely abated in 2004. But auto makers and suppliers seemed to sense an inevitable shift in consumer tastes was on the horizon, as alternative powertrains that promise greater fuel economy than standard gasoline engines captured the lion's share of attention in the powertrain sector. Although Ford Motor Co. sold more F-Series pickups in 2004 (939,511 ...

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