By on June 3, 2013

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Every so often, the same tired rumor will pop up again, like a particularly resilient pimple that habitually reappears in the same conspicuous spot. Thanks to the incessant hunger for clicks among auto websites, these rumors refuse to die, no matter how asinine they are. How many times have you seen a “BREAKING” or “EXCLUSIVE” story on the next Toyota Supra or some absurd BS fabrication regarding a diesel Mazda MX-5?

The latest round of bollocks concerns the Holden Ute, another car that tickles the fancy of enthusiasts on all sides of the globe, but would be a commercial nightmare if they ever tried to export it to America. One Australian publication is now claiming that a guerilla marketing campaign showing Mark Reuss lapping the Nurburgring in a brand new Ute is part of a ploy to export the Ute to America. Of course, other car blogs have been lathering themselves up into a frenzy over the prospect of a very expensive quasi-pickup that they will not purchase once it gets here.

Holden claims that there will be some kind of major announcement regarding the Ute next month. I’m going to be the first to say it will not be related to any Ute exports. There are two simple reasons here: the US-Australian dollar exchange rate is abominable as far as exports are concerned, and there is likely little to no demand for a very pricey product that is neither fish nor fowl. Who is going to pay $50k for Corvette powered pseudo-pickup wearing a Chevrolet badge. Did we discuss the UAW’s reaction to an Australian built pickup, or the whole “cannibalizing GM’s new ‘lifestyle pickup’ thing “either? Both of those matter, but would require their own articles to really get into.

One thing that is not a factor is the chicken tax. Not long ago, Holden used the chicken tax as an excuse for why it’s been unable to export Utes to America. TTAC commenters soon produced plenty of evidence showing that Australian cars and “light commercial vehicles” (i.e. pickups and Utes) can be brought to America duty free. So that excuse is out. I feel for Holden though. The Australian domestic car industry is going down the tubes, their signature product is about to become just another boring front-drive appliance and all they want to do is send some good product to world markets.

The problem is nobody wants it. No matter how loud the internet cries out for it.

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125 Comments on “We’re Not Getting The Holden Ute, But Not For Reasons You’d Expect...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    Well, we would have gotten the Pontiac G8 ST – an El Camino by any other name – had Pontiac not died. Of course, back then Aussie exchange rates were probably more favorable to the export.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I don’t like the Holden Ute, and I never liked the El Camino. But I wish we could have gotten that G8 wagon…

    • 0 avatar
      mklrivpwner

      …”a very expensive quasi-pickup that they will not purchase once it gets here”.
      I’d like to echo those sentiments. I love it. We should have a version (as a Pontiac dammit)! I would never(*) buy one.
      *Note: Should I happen on a job that will pay me double what I am making now, I would gladly buy one and have it customized (and misbadged to Pontiac) to match my trailer-queen motorcycle.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    just imagine how goofy the club and crew cab versions would look. Seems like almost no one buys a 2 door truch any more.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I would like to see an automaker push the internet’s buttons a bit on this stuff. I’d like to see a carmaker who has a supposedly “unobtanium” car say “Okay, if you want the car, MSRP will be this. We need X units to be profitable bringing this to North America. We will accept $5000 deposits and if we get X deposits in 12 months, we’ll bring the car over.”

    I think it would be a graphic demonstration of internet fanboyism’s relationship with reality. It would probably be a PR disaster and so not attempted, but I’d love to see the results anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      You could have a web site for the project and call it “CarStarter.”

    • 0 avatar
      Easton

      It’s sad, but true. Average people just don’t drive anything even approaching fun anymore. Dreary, silver, FWD, 4-door sedans with 4 cylinder engines and automatic transmissions. The automotive landscape sure is a dull one these days.

      I, personally, wouldn’t buy this car or a lot of cars I would like to see exist simply because I cannot afford to buy a new car every year. But, I like cars, and even seeing something cool, new, and that stands out from the crowd. Variety is the spice of life they say.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Who drives for fun?

        Much driving is commuting, often in bumper-to-bumper traffic where an automatic transmission, sound deadening materials and a good stereo are the accessories you really want.

        Then there’s kid-schlepping, which is a giant drag, and excessive kid-schlepping drains the family of time. Associating driving with that just makes driving so much less appealing.

        • 0 avatar

          Child chasing isn’t driving. I do a lot of it, and the big SUV is the ideal thing to pick up three kids and lacrosse gear. Not the 3 series, not the manual diesel (almost) wagon.

          The big, bulky, thirsty bus……

          Now, if I have to drive 200 miles for work, the bus stays home, and we clatter out of the driveway.

          Different tools for different jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Some people buy them in black and gray too.

        Life’s too short…

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I don’t care what you or anyone says. I want one and I’ll cry about it as long as it takes.

    • 0 avatar

      Me too. I would love to have an LSx powered car that I could stuff a Rotax kart into and drive up to Mosport while turning mid-20 mpgs on the highway. But my job is to analyze, not be a cheerleader, so I will continue to write things as I see it.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        It’s OK to cheerlead the things you want and love. It is! Who gets excited about cynicsm?

        • 0 avatar

          As a guy who bought a manual Volvo wagon, my personal tastes and the realities of the market don’t always align – and people don’t come here to read about my personal tastes.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I may have missed its fate, did you end up hanging onto it, or did it go away after the stranding?

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            “… people don’t come here to read about my personal tastes.”

            Except when we do. There’s room for both, so don’t hold back. And, yeah, I’d like to hear about the stick Volvo.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m writing about it as part of my Father’s Day piece. If you don’t want to wait two weeks, email me, derek at ttac dot com

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Derek, I think there is room for market realities and your personal tastes. Maybe not in every article, but certainly some.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “Who is going to pay $50k for Corvette powered pseudo-pickup wearing a Chevrolet badge?”

    We’ve already run that experiment, in the form of the SSR and the answer appears to be “almost no one.”

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      The UTE is based on a work horse so is in fact useful, the SSR is a retro show piece. Try lift a load up over those rear fenders.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        I think the suggested $50K price effectively removes it from consideration as a “work horse.”

        • 0 avatar
          Beerboy12

          I quite clearly wrote “Based on a work horse”… FYI In Australia there are “lesser” versions that are very much work horse vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            The emphasis on “based on” doesn’t change anything. Over here, at $50K, its “work horse” pedigree accomlishes nothing.

            If they bring over a $20-25k version, that might be different.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I am not sold on the “Americans won’t buy it” thing. This car is undeniably cool, super unique, has the rear drive V8 thing going on and Americans like all of that. As a lifestyle vehicle (carries a Rotax cart!) it’s pretty practical to. Also, think, smallish, successful business owner who wants something a bit different to run small deliveries or pick up supplies etc.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      A sucessful business owner would buy two or three Transit Connects, and slap their business graphics on the side, instead of a Ute. If they needed a bigger vehicle there are a slew of excellent large vans that can be had at the same price as this LS powered kinda-truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        Sure, but a Transit does not have the “cool” factor no matter how shiny you make the decals. At a guess the V8 Ute could carry more of a load than a Transit.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          If a business owner is making decisions about what amounts to work tools based on their “cool” factor, I would not recommend investing in his business.

          A bakery, a florist, a dry cleaner, etc, don’t need “cool,” so much as they need “reliable” and its friend “cost effective.”

          • 0 avatar

            You’ve not seen Ford SVT Raptor pilot vehicles accompaining manufactured home rigs?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            The “cool ” factor is a major component of Auto repair shops here, they use Sports Utes as the “Company cars”

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Pete,

            To tell you the truth, no. I wouldn’t be surprised if some do and the SVT is also their personal vehicle. However, it seems like it’s pretty often something cheap that they can run the wheels off and dispose of, like a ’97 Saturn. The pickups delivering fifth wheels or other hefty trailers are usually some kind of fleet-grade vehicle, too (although they are often quad-cab).

            RobertRyan,

            For an automotive-oriented company, yeah, maybe something with some “cool” factor would be as good as large advertising decals but the auto shops I deal with here don’t use anything like that. It’s a ’99 Caravan or some old fleet-grade pickkup.

          • 0 avatar
            Beerboy12

            If the business is successful (as originally mentioned) the owner can drive whatever they want.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          In the US, this thing would not have the ‘cool’ factor, either. People would look at it and say: “Is that an El Camino? How dumb.”

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Differnt countries have what is “cool”. it is “cool’ here and that is what matters. In Europe it is a HDT Cabover Scania truck.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            If the discussion is on whether or not GM should import it here, what’s “cool” in Australia is a lot less relevant than what’s “cool” in North America.

  • avatar
    skor

    I always had a thing for the Falcon based Ranchero. Let’s face it, that type of car is as dead as the Sedan Delivery.

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2380/3532076028_8c6bc52caa_z.jpg

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I have the solution to everyone’s problems. Make it 4 doors.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    I rode in a RHD Holden Ute in New Zealand a few years ago. There are clear and obvious reasons GM stopped building the El Camino and argued that the S-10 was its “replacement.”

    It has all the market rejection of small pickups, only with the complete lack of a four wheel drive option. Four wheel drive is the virtually mandatory popular pickup option that made small pickups almost as expensive, gave them almost as bad of gas mileage as a full size pickup, with 1/2 or less of the capability.

    This stinker only sold because of the domestic market restrictions in NZ and Australia.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      No got it wrong there. The Holden Pickup in the photo is a “Corvette with a bed”. Remember in this part of the world and many other places a 1/2 ton Pickup is a “stinker”

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Too bad I *think* .

    Me , I’d like it but if equipped with some sturdy small engine suitable for work use , like any REAR Ute has .

    The SSR died because GM never advertised it ~ I never once saw any print nor TV ads for it .

    Same deal with the HHR ~ no one ever saw any ads .

    If no one knows it exists , no one will buy it plain & simple .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      SSR was a waste of a glance, it has no redeemable factors other then the engine, it was just a “me too” to Chrysler.

      HHR was another “me too”, and again to Chrysler.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The biggest problem I see is the cost, there is no reason it should be in the 50k range, not even top trim.

    It’s base cost shouldn’t exceed a 1500 chevy for what it is, utilizing a simple (non fuel management BS) engine, with a 6l60e, on a frame, should not cost as much as gm makes it out to be.
    Give it corvette mpg with 1500 power and price, and they would absolutely sell tons.
    It’s shouldn’t be marketed at a sports car, but a worker, of course it will be used as a sports car, but making it a worker, more solidly built, gives people more to build off of.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      +1

      No reason on earth one of these should be more than a Silverado.

      They’d sell easily at pickup-truck prices. But never for Corvette money.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      This is not a Silverado replacement but a Sports Car with the capacity of a F150. Concept that does not exist in the US. The SSR was not a Ute as much as as a Kei Pickup is a F150.

      • 0 avatar
        Greg Locock

        The Holden ute is a car based pickup. It has no rear ladder frame as such, it has a rear floorpan. That’s why it is not available as a chassis/cab. It uses an IRS not leafsprings, hence its load capacity is limited, in practice. Many years ago it was a light truck, with rear ladder frame and leafsprings. Many years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Has about 1600-1800lb depending on model. The Ford Ute has a Cab Chassis and roughly 2,700lb. It is a “Ute” not a Pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Those “rating” are totally comical and would NEVER “fly” in the US. Got links? (for an LOL) The ‘payload’ ratings I found for the Holden Ute said: “N/A”

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike
            Tired of Trolling on on PUTC? Now thought you would troll here?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No. Seriously though, let’s see the links you’re working (the crowd) with…

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Holden doesn’t post payloads for these things on their website. They treat tehm like cars, although they do mention that they can tow 1,200-2,100 kgs, with the greatest towing going with the least powerful engine. That suggests that higher equipment equals less capability. Webwombat lists payloads for the Ford and Holden utes ranging from 500 to 650 kgs. That’s 1,430 lbs at the top. It isn’t a useless amount, but the towing capacities are below typical pickup truck capabilities, even those of the littlest trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Aussie and SE Asian trucks don’t respect SAE standards or nowhere near. If the Nissan Frontier/Narara twins are any indication, Aussie trucks are overrated by around 90 to 100% vs US capacity ratings.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @CJ in SD
            Ford has payloads of 2650lbs for the Cab Chassis version.
            http://www.ford.com.au/commercial/new-falcon-ute/specifications/spec-options
            Payload (maximum): 1-tonne 1214kg 1063kg 1205kg
            Roughly 2,700lb.

            http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=42714&IsPgd=0
            For the Holden (Payloads decreased )
            Payload* (kg)
            Man/auto 775/794kg 634/633kg 617/597 kg 528/508
            1750lbs maximum,

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Aussie and SE Asian trucks don’t respect SAE standards”
            The UAW has spoken, notice you pointed out NON UAW aligned manufacturers that “cannot be trusted” Spoken like a True Troll

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – Thank you. Ford of Australia has to align their “ratings” with the rest of OZ. Otherwise, THEY get laughed at. And Aussie “ratings” are left completely to the OEM’s sense of humor… No SAE or equivalent.

            So take the Aussie rating, cut it in half, give or take, but don’t forget Cab/chassis’ are rated without a bed, so subtract for that. Then subtract for the driver and what are you left with?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            “So take the US rating, cut it in half, give or take, but don’t forget Cab/chassis’ are rated without a bed, so subtract for that. Then subtract for the driver and what are
            you left with?”
            Pretty spot on for US Pickups. Do not tell me the UAW is so paranoid about overseas vehicles they need a Troll to patrol the websites and deride overseas vehicles?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            When you do an honest ‘apples to apples’ comparison, the Commode Ute doesn’t need the UAW’s help to look bad.

            Just having you as the blog-o-sphere, Twitter spokesman does it enough damage…

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Denvermike,
        “When you do an honest ‘apples to apples’ comparison, the Commode Ute doesn’t need the UAW’s HELP TO LOOK BAD.”
        In your case, that is what your criticism help protects. I cannot understand if NON UAW sourced vehicles are “so bad” that you spend an enormous amount of your time on sites like this running them down. Maybe more of a threat than you are letting on?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @RobertRyan – I don’t have a problem with any products from any OEM, from anywhere or who get’s paid what/how to build them. No, you’re confused about a few things… I may criticize, no different than any ‘reviewer’ may, but we all do that and I criticize UAW vehicles just the same.

          On the other hand, you’re clearly one sided! Abso-friggin’-lutely, one sided!!! And unashamedly so.

          Anyways, it’s trolls like you that I seem to lock horns with. After all, I’m just looking for a ‘balanced’ comparison, if we’re going to go to the trouble of comparing. Otherwise, we’re just spinning our wheels and chasing our tails.

          Is this “The TRUTH About Cars” or what?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I find that very hard to believe, so do a staggering number of other people. As why you have an unhealthy fascination for “midzize Pickups” and NON UAW built vehicles. You were called a Troll several time on this blog and the PUTC. The UAW really fears imported vehicles especially midsize imported ones as they could impact very negatively on the profits of the companies selling full size pickups, as you keep on pointing out.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            First, I don’t care what the UAW fears. Ask Mikey. They’re a neurotic cult (leaders) as far as I’m concerned, and may be terrorized by Tatas as much as Holdens. So who cares?

            Then the only one’s calling me a “troll” is BAFO and yourself. Name anyone else.

            It’s the same thing with all supporters and fanboys of mid-size, including global trucks that attack ‘full-size’ at every opportunity. They exaggerate the negatives of full-size and overstate the positives of mid-size. Like I’m just supposed to look the other way?

            And if I was on here or PUTC, spreading gross exaggerations and distorting the truth, *but* in favour of full-size, would you???

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            “It’s the same thing with all supporters and fanboys of mid-size, including global trucks that attack full-size at every opportunity”
            UAW through and through. It was Lou, Jeff S who have called you a troll on PUTC as well.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No, I asked for anyone “here” who’s called me a “troll”? Most on PUTC won’t come here because they’d get banned in a minute… BAFO cleans up his vocabulary 1,000% and almost sounds adult.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Hummer
      Confusing it with a Silverado, it may have a 1800lb payload, but it is a car based Ute, not a Pickup. Unlike the Silverado is a genuine performance machine One reason the price these becomes pricey.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Derek Kreindler,
    Most Aussies would say the same things about the Corvette and Viper, although they are not slow in buying Porsches and Audi’s.
    The US market is not keen on hatchbacks or Sportswagons, but they sell a lot outside NA.
    The bulk of US Specific vehicles DO NOT sell outside North America.
    That is why Alan Mullaly’s “One Ford” is a crazy concept and the collapsing of the European and now Australiasian markets(Ford used to sell 200,000 Vehicles profitably in Australia) is the start of Ford’s Global market decline.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      If an article has anything about Australia in it, RobertRyan is going to bash Mullaly. At least you are consistant Bob.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @bball40dtw
        That is true as I do not think much of him. I have been reading about his involvement in the Boeing Dreamliner and my assessment has fallen even further.
        Marchionne and that ‘Mr Bean” character Carlos Ghosn are vastly better as CEO’s than Mullaly.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          Mullaly gets a lot of admiration in automotive commentary but when one considers how well the Dreamliner is doing, it does make one stop and think.

          Still… what, specifically, do you think Mullaly could have done better? Or where did he screw up? Personally, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that much of the Dreamliner’s problems are down to McNerney but maybe the problems mostly antedate his takeover.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @KixStart
            As regards the Dreamliner or Ford?. I am currently reading an article from Air Internatonal called “787 Dream or Nightmare ?” published March this year. It goes into the ongoing problems of the Dreamliner what parties were involved in causing them(quite a few). Mullaly can be blamed for changing aspects of the plane AFTER the project plans were signed off and having so many untested new technologies ie.Batteries in a large complex project like an Airliner. The Article concludes with saying what other problems will arise with these new technologies?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The supply chain has been the biggest issue with the 787. Those were decisions that McNerney and the Boeing board made. They were skeptical of the profitablity of the Dreamliner. Passing more costs down the supply chain wasn’t Mullaly’s decision.

            If your objection with the 787 is the technology, like the Li-Ion batteries and electric heat, Mullaly is reponsible for that. I would, however, take anything John Leahy says with a gain of salt. I wouldn’t expect a high level Airbus exec to be bullish on anything Boeing.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            RobertRyan,

            Well, the Dreamliner really needed to push the envelope or there wasn’t a lot of point to it. They could stretch the 747 some more (and they have) but an aircraft company has got to occasionally make some quantum leaps (e.g., composites, dedicated compressors vs bleed air cabin pressure management, bigger windows) in order to really sell a plane.

            Maybe Mullaly was bad at risk assessment but it’s hard to say and taking an understood risk is not necessarily bad judgement in that business.

            bball40dtw,

            Is Leahy retired? Either way, maybe he has a lot of Airbus stock. That might influence his writing.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Maybe Mullaly WAS BAD AT RISK ASSESSMENT but it’s hard to say and taking an understood risk is not necessarily bad judgement in that business”

            Pretty much an understatement. I am waiting for the other technologies to start having trouble. Too much untested technologies in a large project almost guaranteed failure. In this case that is what happened.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “Too much untested technologies in a large project almost guaranteed failure. In this case that is what happened.”

            It’s really hard to take you seriously if you’re declaring the Dreamliner a failure. I suspect you actually don’t know that much about its portion of the aviation market in order to judge. Planes like this are routinely late, for example.

            The order book *increased* during the 100 day grounding:
            http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=a46a1ffe-03e3-44e4-9295-0dce002950b2

            In addition, the fact that it was only a 100-day grounding suggests that the problem was likely quite minor.

            I’ll take Singapore Airlines’ opinion over your uninformed one.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Contrillo,
            Japan Airlines does not share your opinion.
            http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/353340/after-dreamliner-ana-mulls-airbus-to-replace-b777

            “ANA is the single biggest operator of Boeing’s flagship 787, which has been beset by difficulties since the testing phase. More seriously, the worldwide fleet of Dreamliners, touted for their fuel efficiency.are desperately looking to reduce costs, was grounded in January after two next-generation lithium-ion batteries proved defective. Regulators ordered planes everywhere to be grounded while Boeing worked…

            :http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/353340/after-dreamliner-ana-mulls-airbus-to-replace-b777. .”

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Last year at this time, Boeing was trading for $70-75. Now it’s at about $100 with a P/E of 18. It seems not everyone shares your dim view of their prospects.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            KixStart,
            I am criticizing the Plane and Mullay’s involvement in those problems, as CEO he signed off on the project.
            No Boeing is quite happily selling 777’s and other much more reliable and profitable planes.
            The “Dreamliner” has been a blotch on their record.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            As yet another example of being uninformed. JAL is not the same as ANA.

            In addition, it’s not a surprise that an airline would consider both Airbus and Boeing planes for replacing a 777. Every airline does the math. If you read the article carefully, they consider the current Dreamliner issues to be largely irrelevant to their decision, partly because they think of things on a long time line. All this article says is that they are opening to using either one.

            And before you jump on me with more uninformed commentary, I’ve seen the article that JAL is considering splitting their order between the two companies. You always play the two competitors off each other to make sure you get a good deal.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Controillo,
            JAL is finding the Dreamliner is well the worst sort of dream a Nightmare. happened two days ago.
            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-02/jal-dreamliner-grounded-after-sensor-glitch-kyodo-news-says.html

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      You’re defining “One Ford” wrong. See this very intelligent comment about One Ford:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/how-does-the-ford-escort-fit-with-the-one-ford-policy/#comment-2039808

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @contrillo,
        I have read excuses like that for “One Ford” and they are excuses. Meanwhile Ford globally is going backwards.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          Please explain how it’s an excuse. There is no evidence that your interpretation of One Ford is correct.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Conrollio
            Give me your reasons why Ford has been losing massive market share globally?

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            That’s orthogonal to the point I was making. Nice try though.

            Please explain where Ford has said that your interpretation of “One Ford” is what’s being implemented. I’ll give you a hint — that article on the Ford Escort is evidence that weighs against you.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Contrillo
            Ford Globally is going backwards, well what is “your interpretation’ to see if you are on the same page.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    “Passing more costs down the supply chain wasn’t Mullaly’s decision”
    As I said Mullaly was not the only culprit, there were several including McNerney , Mullay contributed to the problems faced by the project.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Something this size with the 3.6L engine or an even smaller diesel would be quite economical for actual truck purposes.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      They are sold down here with the 3.6 V6 as the base engine. The cargo box is big enough to swallow a couple of dirt bikes… or Derek’s rotax kart.

      I see lots of tradies using SV6 and to a lesser degree SS utes, also the Falcon ones.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        I have seen service companies replacing their Asian sourced Pickups with either Ford or Holden Utes. They are a lot better to drive on the road and accessing the tray/cargo box is a lot easier.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        When visiting Australia I saw a few with flat beds and drop sides. They looked pretty practical to me.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Hard to explain how they are used here to someone from outside Australia/New Zealand, they really do not fit into the “SSR” or “F150″ stereotypes. Yes they are extremely practical. Price is one thing that has not been in their favour, the Asian sourced Pickups being a lot cheaper.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Actually, this ‘Commode’ Ute would be extremely USELESS. It packs all the payload of a Camaro, neither of which list a ‘GVWR’. Can it “handle” or can it handle a load? It can’t do both.

            It’s joke to compare it to an F-150’s capacity, heck it’s a joke to compare it a small truck’s. No kidding, it’d be crazy to bang around a $50,000 ‘anything’ and subject it to dirty, hard work.

            I do see lots of Raptors with company signage and used to ‘pilot’ wide-loads, etc. At least businesses can write-off part of or the whole truck, even if it’s a muscle truck. That’s one thing it has going for it.

            Around the ’80s, a famous custom-home builder in my area had a newer El Camino with a lumber rack, advertising the company. Obviously, he never put it to hard work, but it was available in a pinch to grab a couple sheets of drywall, etc. For that, I can see a purpose for this Ute, but otherwise, it falls into the SSR category.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @bball40dtw
    “If your objection with the 787 is the technology, like the Li-Ion batteries and electric heat, MULLALY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT.”
    That is one of the things I found hard to swallow. Here is a major complex Aircraft project using so many untried technologies, it was never going to fly , figuratively and in a actual sense.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I am not sure that the US has a similar demographic to the typical Aussie ute owner. Sure there are tradesmen who find them a more comfortable alternative to a truck based pickup but the sporty versions are often bought by country boys or young trade apprentices. These workers can only afford one car. It serves as a workhorse during the week, is fancy enough to impress his girlfriend on Friday night and is mean enough to tear up country towns on the weekend. It is a sort of working guy’s sports car.
    Check out http://www.deniutemuster.com.au/

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Spike in Brisbane.
      “I am not sure that the US has a similar demographic to the typical Aussie ute owner.”
      It is unique to us, nothing like it in the US

  • avatar
    MK

    good lord. That is ridiculous.

    All the space and comfort of a single-cab pickup combined with the towing capability of a midsize sedan, coming soon in a package priced more than either a sports sedan or a pickup truck!

    Where does the line start to buy it!

    (Bonus points that it’s a completely unattractive design AND a GM product).

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @MK
      “good lord. That is ridiculous”
      Yes it is , not that it would happen in the US. It is a “Ute Culture” HD Diesel Pickup racing anyone? talk about riduculous

      http://image.dieselpowermag.com/f/events/1109dp_ts_performance_outlaw_drags_2011/32265062/1109dp_06%2Bts_x_benchmark_diesel_event%2Bdodges_drag_racing.jpg

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    After reading through the comments I can see a lot of people who don’t have a clue of what goes on in the world outside of their one horse lifestyle in Middle America. Again American Exceptionalism.

    1. The ute would not sell for 50 000USD. For that price you will get a ute that would have any one of your pony cars for breakfast, even on a race track.

    2. DenverDick the UAWs official spokeswoman on these sites continually bashes any product that is none UAW. His comments verge on the ridiculous most of the time ie, M series BMWs were conceived to counter SVO Mustangs, there is a viable full size pickup market in Europe, and the US doesn’t have any technical or tax based barriers that affect imported vehicles.

    3. I work in the aviation industry and the 787 is causing more concern for Boeing than is being stated. Saying the share price of Boeing is rising due to the Dreamliner is a bit over the top. The Dreamliner is having more teething problems than EADs A380.

    4. A Ford or Commodore ute is more practical in many instances than a full size truck in the US. They don’t have the towing capacity but they will match and even exceed the payload of a 1/2 ton truck. With a 6′ 4″ by 8′ tray on the back they will carry a greater volume as well.

    As for the performance versions just google HSV Maloo ute the quickest pickup in the world. Google Top Gear test track times and you will see how well they go around a race track, even quicker than some Aston Martins.

    These utes have better performance than any 1/2 ton pickup with the added advantage of much superior handling, while taking your trail bike/quad, camping gear, fishing boat etc away and driving to work in a reasonably sized vehicle returning better economy than a 1/2 ton pickup.

    It isn’t for everyone, but it will do 95% of the work that US 1/2 tons are used for. Really, I don’t see many half ton pickups towing or even with a scratch in the bed. That is similar to a lot of our Holden and Ford utes.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Let’s say for the sake of your little rant, that I am the UAW official spokesman. Please answer the following questions, you being the representative spokesperson for Australia and SE Asian truck industry. And a rocket scientist, apparently…

      1) Does your truck segment have ‘capacity’ guidelines similar to, or equivalent to ‘SAE’ or the “Society of Automotive Engineering”?

      2) Aren’t your ‘capacity’ ratings or GVWR, GCWR, etc, simply arbitrary figures devised by OEMs for their for own trucks?

      3) How do these ‘figures’ compare to US or SAE capacity standards?

      4) If your truck industry held to US/SAE standards, wouldn’t that leave a gaping hole between mid-size trucks and industrial HD trucks or class IV?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I ask a simple question an the 2 of you jump down my throat so fast with UAW accusations that I don’t realize I’m being trolled. I’m too amazed by the wild accusation.

        Anyways, I realize now, it’s extreme trolling and sidesteps the question before you realize what’s happening. And you don’t realize how lopsided and bias your views really are.

        You should teach a class in ‘extreme trolling’…

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Denvermike,
        I have no fascination with US Pickups as out Unions do not deal with them. Your UAW needs to on the other hand “bring the overseas” product down just in case a mooted Free trade agreements with Europe and some South East Asian countries are signed.
        Last thing they would want in their mind “hordes of ‘stripper vehicles” with little profit being imported. It would really make life difficult for the members. They want Full size Pickups built in NAFTA.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Robert Ryan – Why would the UAW (leaders), if they had a rational bone in their body, care about potential “hordes” of SE Asian, mid-size trucks showing up on US shores??

          It’s not like the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion had much, if any affect on US cars and trucks. Actually, those mini-trucks were the ‘stop gap’ when the import of Japanese cars slowed after the “voluntary restraint agreement” in 1981 (of Japanese import cars only, not trucks). I mean until Japanese car factories fully came on line, in the US.

          There was a specific reason for Japanese OEMs dumping massive quantities of cheap, stripper import trucks on the US market. And there’s absolutely no reason for another pending, foreign truck craze/fad/invasion. Is there?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            They care as “hordes” of Pickups, Vans, trucks from outside NA would impact on their profit line and eventually hurt the UAW. The UAW does not want to see the “chicken tax” repealed.
            “There was a specific reason for Japanese OEMs dumping massive quantities of cheap, stripper import trucks on the US market”
            You have just outlined the fear of Automotive Unions. Noticed your use of “dumping” the Buzzword of the Unions now aimed at the Chines and Indians as well as the Europeans.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – UAW “fears”, don’t necessarily have to be rational. I actually fear the “Boogie Man”. So what? There’s definitely no indication of an invasion of “hordes of Pickups, Vans, trucks from outside NA”. If there was, it’s not my problem. I don’t care either way, but explain why an import truck craze/fad/invasion is about to happen.

            “The UAW does not want to see the “chicken tax” repealed.”

            Again, the UAW may not have a rational bone in their bodies. It’s their position that will always push for tighter controls on foreign competition. Any competition. Nonunion, US factories too. So what?

            The “Chicken tax” doesn’t affect the US truck market any more than the “tariff” on import cars affects the US car market. Now, do you think the UAW would be in favour of dropping the tariff on imported cars?

            The UAW is the UAW. But you tell me what the difference is between OEMs spending hundreds ‘per truck’ circumventing the Chicken tax AND spending hundreds ‘per car’ on tariffs?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am not sure how well this truck would sell in the USA, but I agree with Big Al and Robert Ryan that Denver Mike measures a truck by how much it will tow and haul which most people do not really care. Every discussion that has been posted on PUTC regarding anything but a full size half ton pickup, Denver Mike brings up towing and hauling capacities along with the power of V8 motors. If one is using a truck in a trade or personal use that requires having heavier hauling and towing requirements then yes that would be a consideration and then you might need a heavy duty truck instead of a full size half ton. Not everyone that uses a truck is concerned about those things.

    I really don’t care what the UAW’s opinion is on what kind of truck I should buy. Let the consumer choose what they want and a consumer should be free to buy from whoever provides the product the he wants regardless if it is domestic or import. Drive what you like not what someone else tells you to drive. It’s your decision and you have to live with what you buy.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Jeff S

    “Let the consumer choose what they want and a consumer should be free to buy from whoever provides the product the he wants regardless if it is domestic or import.”

    Consumers have spoken loud and clear. Past mid-size truck buyers aren’t coming back for more. And where were YOU?

    The segment was never built on solid ground and was a symptom of CAFE and several (or more accurately, ‘lack of) market trends, if not ’80s pop’ culture.

    “Drive what you like not what someone else tells you to drive. It’s your decision and you have to live with what you buy.”

    First, who telling anybody what to buy? And you can’t make up your own mind? On you’re own?

    I never bring up capacity/towing. It’s always someone like RR or BA stating how mid-size come close to, or embarrass full-size trucks including 3/4 tons.. I just have a couple fundamental questions for them and suddenly I’m a UAW representative? Is that how it works?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Denver Mike–I am not the one who comes on every site and comments on every article about non full size trucks and bring up the lack of desirability of anything but a full size half ton truck. This article is about why the Holden Ute is not coming to the USA and not a discussion of full size half ton pickups versus any other truck. You are like a broken record. It is hard for me to believe that you do not have an agenda the way you carry on about the lack of capability of anything but a full size truck. Maybe you represent Ford or the UAW because you sure act like you have an agenda. I would agree that this Ute would probably be a niche vehicle but it is good to read about something else besides full size American pickups. I like to read about different types of vehicles just like I like to listen to different types of music like Blues, Jazz, Big Band, Classical, Rock, and Country. Diversity of vehicles as a diversity of music is much more interesting and stimulating. Not everyone eats meat and potatoes all the time. Go back to PUTC and spread you propaganda.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Jeff S – Nope. I never bring up “full size” trucks or their capability on any “non full size” article. It’s always someone else, such as yourself, BAFO or Robert R. This time it was Robert:

    “This is not a Silverado replacement but a Sports Car with the capacity of a F150. Concept that does not exist in the US. The SSR was not a Ute as much as as a Kei Pickup is a F150.”

    “Has about 1600-1800lb depending on model. The Ford Ute has a Cab Chassis and roughly 2,700lb. It is a “Ute” not a Pickup.”

    I’ll give Robert credit and say he was at one time ignorant to the fact that Aussie trucks have EXTREMELY overrated capacity compared to international SAE standards.

    Robert knows better now, but the casual, unsuspecting reader/commenter will easily fall victim to his trolling, propaganda routine.

    But if I sound like a “broken record”, the ‘topic’ is a broken record. But remember who brought it up.

    Obviously, it’s sad to lose a segment of trucks, whether it’s mid-size or Utes, but what have yourself and all the other mid-size truck fanboys and trolls done? You’ve bought everything *BUT* mid-size trucks. Compact SUVs, cross overs, wagons, mini-vans, Jeeps, cars of every description.. Who else can you blame, but yourselves.

    We vote for what’s on the menu by what we eat 3X a day.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Denver Mike–I never brought up load capacity or towing, but you always bring it up. The only thing I have said if you need a truck to perform real heavy towing and hauling then a 3/4 ton pickup would be better than a full size half ton. This Ute is more like the Caminos and Rancheros of the past which were less truck and more car. El Caminos were first based on a full size Chevy station wagon platform (59 and 60)and then on a Chevelle platform (64 thru 87). Rancheros were first based on a standard Ford Station wagon (57, 58, and 59) platform then a Fairlane/Torino and then a Fairmont platform. These were never intended to be used for heavy hauling or towing. There might be some who would like a vehicle like this but the currency exchange rate for the Australian currency would make this a no go along with another V8 rear wheel drive vehicle in a market that is not sustainable in the long run. I question the success of the Chevy SS as well and think long term the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 are not sustainable except in low numbers at higher prices.

    Either you are so passionate about V8 powered half ton pickups that you can not fathom anyone driving anything else or you have an agenda. Which is it? I question your intentions and so do others.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Jeff S – You always arrive late and I assume I brought up those topics. Without exception, I never have. But those topics will come up eventually anyways, every time there’s a discussion about smaller trucks.

    Then inevitably full-size trucks are attacked and smaller trucks overly praised. I’m just clearing up some misconception and respectfully ask for a balanced review/comparo. Then I’m attacked…

    In really, and if you’d calm down, you’d see I have no agenda. And I’ve actually owned mini-trucks and mid-size. Full-size do have certain undeniable advantages, you’ll admit.

    I don’t have a problem with any trucks, what so ever. I do have a problem with mid-size truck fanboys that are clearly bias and get angry when shown the truth or asked for links.

    Bottom line? If you don’t buy, manufacturers take them away. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking trucks or tater chips…
    No conspiracy. No agenda. No probaganda.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Denver Mike–I was not criticizing full size trucks or praising mid size trucks, that is not what this article is about. A vehicle like this would be a hard sell despite it having a bed on the back. There are only so many rear wheel V8 powered cars that will sell in the US market. This UTE will not compete against those that will buy a pickup as much as it will compete against the muscle car market which is a more limited market and will diminish further as time goes by, never completely dead but more a specialty product. Full size cars are much less a factor in the market, as you would say they are fleet sales for mostly police departments and rental car fleets as an upgrade. Whether a V8 is a little less efficient or not for most people they will not buy a V8 car and even in trucks over time there will be fewer choices in V8s. They will not die but there will be fewer choices in V8s, maybe instead of 3 or 5 there will be 1 or 2 per model. There would still be a market for Hummers but they got a negative reputation even though one could argue that a Hummer is about the same in fuel consumption as a comparable Silverado or F-150. Also the price tag on a vehicle like the Holden Ute as with the new Chevy SS will put it in competition with BMW and Mercedes.

    Midsize trucks are a different market which is not as large as full size trucks but I doubt it will go away. Toyota and Nissan are not likely to exit the midsize trucks and China might decide to use midsize trucks to enter the US market. It remains to be seen how a larger Colorado will do, I will withhold judgment until after it has been on the market for a few years.

    Generation X, Y, and the Millennium’s will be buying most of the vehicles in the next 10 to 20 years and with the exception of a few like your nephew most will not be as interested in large V8 powered cars and trucks. Many of the younger generation views vehicles as appliances and want something reliable and economical. Yes as the next generation gets married and have children they will not be driving around in Smart cars but they will pick crossovers and family haulers with less concern about horsepower and more attention to function and reliability. I realize that you put little stock in the next generation and I am skeptic about some I have met, but they will eventually have to settle down as the Baby Boomers and as each generation has done in the past. Many of the Greatest Generation (WW II and Korea), our parents, were very skeptical about us as well. The passing and emergence of another generation is part of the natural order.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – There isn’t really a market for a “truck” that can corner, even in OZ. And anyone that thinks it can do a good job at ‘both’, will be disappointed.

      Just being a 2-seater kills any chances of it competing with muscle cars. Muscle cars need the ability to transport kids in the back, and in a pinch, adults.

      Mid-size trucks won’t go away, but that doesn’t mean we’ll ever see the variety and choices we saw in the ’80s. It’ll settle in at niche market similar to small, Miata type roadsters, that can’t sustain more than 2 or 3 OEMs.

      The media plays up the lack of automotive spirit of Gen Y’er, but most of it is lack of motivation to get a job or career, like we did. I was money hungry, out of the ‘gates’, not just for cool cars, but for everything else. Eventually Gen Y will assume all our traits.

      Full size trucks will always sell in big #s and they do serve a vital function. Muscle cars are not as vital, but do share drivetrains with trucks. And if you’re not using these for your commute, MPG is not so important, although has improved by leaps and bounds vs small cars.

      Smaller trucks never really found a true home in the US. If you don’t like the word “Fad”, then it was a temporary fixation. And in the early ’80s, Japanese OEMs methodically dumped massive quantities of imported trucks on the US at cut rate pricing. It likely won’t happen again, but one never knows. All that was in response to the 1981 Japan/US “VRA” pact, if you hadn’t heard. Interesting times…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @DlM
    No has ever stated an ‘invasion’ of any pickups. It seems to be another UAW beatup on your part.

    An HSV ute would find a niche market in the US, even at $50 000. Imagine having a utility style vehicle that would be a muscle and performance car in one package. You would only need to sell several thousand a year as most parts are already in use in the US.

    The standard Holden utes would find it awkward in the US to get a market big enough to make them competitive.

    I think you will find that your view on ‘clone’ US style pickups is in the past. Like cars there are a range of pickups globally in both range and quality, just like cars.

    People don’t just buy el cheapo Chev’s, Ford’s and Fiat’s. There are fantastic companies that make some great cars like Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Rover, Lexus etc (I know they aren’t UAW). They cost more, but people buy them.

    You are slowly seeing people take the same view with SUVs and pickups. They just don’t want a full size regulated US clone pickup. Some want quality and style, ie fit and finish etc.

    Have a look at the Australian inspired Mercedes G Wagen 6×6 AMG pickup. That is something that couldn’t be made in the US.

    You claimed to have been to Spain over 36 times and your interpretation of the world is exceptionally limited, even distorted. Maybe the planet you live on is great. Being a left wing socialist UAW man I would have thought the liberal and overt socialist views would prevail. A red neck socialist? Wouldn’t that make you a nationalist then?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @BAFO – We don’t have to imagine… EL Camino SS? Ranchero GT? If the US had a 22.5% tariff up till 1997 and gradually dropped it from 15% in 2004 to 5% today, Chevy and Ford would still be trying to pimp them.

    We’re talking niche vehicles that can only survive in a protected market. There’s no reason to get sentimental.

    The muscle car markets is relatively strong, but buyers still want a good amount of utility. Not necessarily for light-weight, bulky parcels, but for a 2nd row seating for smaller humans.

    As a “niche”, and because or their ‘actual’ utility, US full-size trucks & SUVs have a better than average chance of catching on, around the world. I mean as a niche, but also profitable. As a ‘stop gap’ between mid-size and commercial HDs around the world. Most markets don’t know what they’re missing.

    BMW, Merc, Audi and Porsche have made a ‘career’ of niche markets, all over the world.

    I agree that Ford’s “One” concept is flawed. Building small cars that the world accepts *while* still turning a profit hasn’t worked out so well. If the world won’t accept full-size trucks, oh well.

    Let the Japanese, VW, etc, make the world’s small cars and the US, full-size trucks. Why fight it?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @DenverDud
      You say:
      @BAFO – We don’t have to imagine… EL Camino SS? Ranchero GT? If the US had a 22.5% tariff up till 1997 and gradually dropped it from 15% in 2004 to 5% today, Chevy and Ford would still be trying to pimp them.

      I say:
      On what platform? An Australian Ford or Holden? Remember I stated NICHE market, contrary to MASS market.

      You say:
      We’re talking niche vehicles that can only survive in a protected market. There’s no reason to get sentimental.

      I say:
      A niche market will exist in any market, look at any country like Australia that has a free market – we still have niche markets ie grey imported US full size pickups. Look at protected markets – they still have niche markets ie, old USSR with Western goods.

      Sentimental is a term you use when you have no argument and/or your argument is baseless.

      You say:
      As a “niche”, and because or their ‘actual’ utility, US full-size trucks & SUVs have a better than average chance of catching on, around the world. I mean as a niche, but also profitable. As a ‘stop gap’ between mid-size and commercial HDs around the world. Most markets don’t know what they’re missing.

      I say:
      WTF? Yes and the Eurozone has a market for full size pickups? Also the US has a niche market for our Midsizers, alas no one in the US can even grey import one because of technical trade barriers. Europe and Australia can import ‘niche’ full size pickups, you can’t even import my Mazda BT50 and drive it on any road in the US.

      Very socialist and protected. USSR or USA?

      You say:
      BMW, Merc, Audi and Porsche have made a ‘career’ of niche markets, all over the world.

      I say:
      Yes, you do agree then an HSV Maloo would succeed in the US.

      You say:
      I agree that Ford’s “One” concept is flawed. Building small cars that the world accepts *while* still turning a profit hasn’t worked out so well. If the world won’t accept full-size trucks, oh well.

      I say:
      Did you not forget the billions pumped into the Big 3 to save their asses a few years ago?

      You say:
      I agree that Ford’s “One” concept is flawed. Building small cars that the world accepts *while* still turning a profit hasn’t worked out so well. If the world won’t accept full-size trucks, oh well.

      I say:
      Why is the Ford one plan flawed? It is logical, but not if you are a UAW person. It means off shoring and a reduction of UAW influence.

      You say:
      Let the Japanese, VW, etc, make the world’s small cars and the US, full-size trucks. Why fight it?

      I say:
      Yes, but remove the trade barriers and let the fight even out between all commercial/pickups to be imported into the US. If full size trucks are as popular and unchallengeable as you state then no barriers are needed. Are they?

      Don’t give me your usual what barriers comment? They do exist.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – It’s OZ’s outrageous tariffs that’s kept the Falcon and Commode alive for so long. Because of foreign competition, Ford and Chevy had to kill off their Fairmont and G-Bodies and go strictly FWD mid-size, by the mid/late ’80s.

        The Ranchero didn’t make it past the Torino body while Chevy kept beating the dead horse, EL Camino till ’87. They made no sense to buyers.. Sucked as “trucks” and as worse as family cars.

        An HSV Maloo would fail in the US for the same reasons a regular Commode Ute would. It makes no sense and even less business sense, outside of a protected market of once 22.5%.

        “Niche” always equals low margin, without a high price tag. If you’re into BMW, Merc, Audi, Porsche, you’re likely not into trucks. If you’re into luxury/sports cars and do own a business/ranch/horses, you probably already have real trucks, workers and or, free delivery (of supplies).

        You say Australia is a “Free Market”, but it still hangs on to a 5% tariff, 2X higher than the US duty on foreign cars.

        The Eurozone is NOT a free market for full-size pickups.. 22.5% absolute tariff, with NO loopholes. ‘Grey market’ is an option there and EU consumers go to the trouble because there’s nothing else similar to US full-size trucks. In the US, global trucks are well represented, but smaller trucks haven’t truly found a home in the US. Smaller trucks are fast becoming the niche they were before the Japanese dumped mass shiploads of cut rate trucks on the US.

        Ford’s “One” plan is flawed for trying to compete with EU or world small cars on their own turf. It’s no different that Toyota and Nissan trying to compete with US 1/2 tons. If those two OEMs can’t compete what chance would ANY global OEM?

        At least Ford would have survived without US intervention. And they would have been MUCH stronger with GM & Chrysler liquidated and vaporized. But why is this part of the conversation?

        Remove US trade barriers and of course nothing would change. Would Peugeot and Renault dealers suddenly spring up everywhere? What about Noble, Bristol and hundreds others. The same goes for trucks by Proton, Mahindra, Ssangyong, etc. Ford ruled out the Ranger so that goes ditto for the Mazda BT50. The Isuzu is the Colorado.

        Mitubishi and VW wouldn’t want to cannibalize their car lines in the US with low margin trucks. They may sell side by side elsewhere, but US full-size limits the MSRP of smaller trucks. And the US market would laugh at luxury mid-size trucks.

        All global truck OEMs are welcome in the US, as are all car OEMs. Whether THEY think it’s a good idea, is a different story.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DenverSpin
          What tariffs? The Australian auto industry restructured 30 years ago.

          What has that got to do with now?

          Really WTF is wrong with you single brain cell, mate.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Holden and Ford of OZ have enjoyed Aussie import tariffs, the highest the world has ever seen.. Obscene. That’s going to keep your versions of the EL Camino and Ranchero artificially alive, decades longer. Same thing with the Falcon and Commode.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al from Oz–This Ute would probably be a niche vehicle, but then so is the Corvette except maybe there would be less takers. I do agree that the US market is protected when it comes to trucks. The UAW has lobbied to keep the Chicken Tax and for Ford, GM, and Chrysler half ton full size pickups are their main money maker. Pickups are the last bastion of American vehicles, like the Ute is to Australia. Australia has lifted tariffs and moved on, the US holds on. Eventually this will change, but not in the near future. More consumers have gone to vehicles made by Japanese and South Korean corporations, which in the long run will continue. Short term the American based corporations have gained, mostly in the full size pickups but in the long run dependence on mostly one product is not sustainable. US based corporations all are looking to China for their future, a future that is less dependent on the UAW. GM is looking at importing vehicles to the US from China. Labor costs and union demands have pushed more manufacturing abroad. Jobs that have come back to the US are mainly nonunion jobs or foreign based corporations bringing nonunion jobs to the US. The UAW stifles competition.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jeff S
      I don’t know if you remember I did predict the demise of the Aussie Ute a while ago.

      The reality is as good as they are there is not enough customers.

      GM should introduce HSV as a global product to counter prestige sedan manufacturers. GMH produces fine chassis’s that can take on the Euro guys.

      This would also create a market for GM that it doesn’t have. Caddy’s are like pickups, only in NA. Outside of NA they are collectables.

      The HSV Maloo ute would be a niche vehicle in the US and could command a respectable price, like the Chev SS will do.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – If you were a UAW member, watching the UAW drain your paycheck, wouldn’t you want them to lobby for the sake of keeping all your hours, if not, and theoretically, your job? As an auto worker, it’s not your job to know foreign policy or loopholes and such. But don’t you think Toyota and Nissan also have their lobbyists at work in DC, trying to keep the Chicken tax alive? Even so, what does that have to do with anything here.

      US trucks are “protected” by not having any worthwhile competition. Or are you saying smaller trucks compete directly with full-size trucks?

      Australia has “lifted” what tariffs?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I do remember you stating that the Holden and Falcon Utes would end. This is not because these were not good products, more like consumers had more choices. Performance vehicles are a niche market, whether they are Ford Raptors, Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, or Challengers. Vehicles like these will always have a market, but not a huge one. The US market has been changing as well except American full size half tons are the last hold out. Outside of North America the full size American pickup is more of a novelty which even if there were no tariffs and open trade worldwide they would not have a huge demand. US manufacturers have little incentive to change, unless they are forced to by competition and rapidly rising fuel prices. The car and crossover market is much more competitive with some great new vehicles available.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Jeff S.
      The size of the US Market will allow these to thrive for a while, but you can already see changes happening such as the proliferation of European sourced Vans. I think there is a fair bit of resistant by the Unions/ traditionalists to the Econoline being phased out by the Transit. I expect a lot of resistance to the Transits introduction by the Unions.

  • avatar
    DrLou

    I disagree with the author of this article. I do believe there is a desire for an Ute/El Camino type vehicle in NA, however not at the current asking price. If Holden, or whatever OEM, built a Ute-type pickup and had a base price of around $17K, I think it would sell well as long as it had RWD, performed well in crash tests, could haul 4 x 8 sheets and had good MPG. If a 2.0-2.2 liter diesel was offered as an option to increase MPG and low-end torque I believe there would be a very large market for such a truck. The problem is GM is about to launch 2 mid-size pickups in NA to fill the life-style niche so I doubt GM would also spring for an El Camino because it would be competing against itself.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Compact car based Utes, like the old VW Caddy/Dodge Rampage, or a number of vehicles currently on the market in Latin America, make a lot of sense. They are very cheap to produce, and with a durable enough twist beam rear suspension most of them can handle at least a ton. I can easily see one being sold in the US for $15K MSRP or less, made in Mexico.

    Taking an expensive to produce rear wheel drive, IRS sedan and making a pickup out of it is a joke. Australia being an expensive to produce in country doesn’t help, but even if Commodore based Utes were being made in a low cost country like Thailand regular pickups would make more sense.

    The Camaro, basically the same as a Ute, starts at $23,555, so that’s about what a base Ute would cost if it was built in Canada instead of Australia (with Australian labor costs and shipping the base UTE would likely cost $30,000+ in the US, even though there is no Chicken Tax with Australia). For $23,590 you can get a Silverado.


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