Saturn and Honda are considering making pickups, USA Today reports.

The newspaper says both brands are best known for economy cars and have missed much of the decade-old U.S. truck boom for lack of trucks and truck-like models.

However, USA Today claims that Honda is likely to come out with a pickup-style vehicle sooner, citing the fact that the automaker has distributed sketches of a concept vehicle called Model X, which will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January.

Created by Honda's US research and design units, Model X -- named for the youth-oriented X Games -- would be targeted at young men, typically college age, who need a versatile, reliable vehicle with an interior that's easy to clean. The newspaper reckons this contrasts with other automakers who are now targeting young female buyers.

The squared-off design is aimed at people who consider their vehicles tools for other activities, such as biking or surfing, USA Today says.

If reaction at the Detroit show is good, the X could be built in the USA on the Civic car platform, perhaps as soon as 2003.

Saturn's interest in pickups is less certain. ''That's one of the models we're considering,'' Saturn President Cynthia Trudell told USA Today on Wednesday in Arlington, Virginia. She was launching Vue, Saturn's 2002 SUV that will be on display at the Washington, D.C., auto show later this month. Vue is to go on sale next fall, starting at less than $US20,000.

The SUV is Saturn's first truck and the third model of the four that Trudell says Saturn needs to round out its line in the near future. Saturn S is a series of small coupes, sedans and station wagons and L is a series of midsize sedans and wagons.

''What's the market going to do?'' she wondered, explaining to USA Today why Saturn hasn't yet decided what its fourth vehicle line will be. ''You have to consider all options.''