By on July 7, 2013

Detroit is finally dropping the mask and says what it really wants in U.S. / Japanese trade relations. It wants to keep existing barriers that frustrate importation of Japanese cars, and that, for all intents and purposes, prevent importation of  Japanese trucks. For the next generation, Detroit wants to be in your pocket without outside interference.

Japan is formally joining negotiations on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement next month in Malaysia. Despite, or possibly because of shrill rhetoric based on lies and deception, Detroit could not prevent it.

Last week, a U.S. government panel led by the Trade Representative’s Office held a hearing to get advice on negotiating objectives for Japan.

“Now that Japan is part of the negotiations,” wrote Reuters,  the American Automotive Policy Council, a lobbying group representing GM, Ford, and Chrysler, “is trying to hold on to the current 2.5 percent tariff on Japanese cars and the 25 percent tariff on Japanese trucks for as long as it can.”  The unions joined the pleas to keep trade barriers against Japanese imports in place. “Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff for the AFL-CIO labor federation, said eliminating the 2.5 percent duty on Japanese cars would gut the Detroit automakers’ profit margins, especially for small- to medium-sized cars.” Reuters says. “Getting rid of the 25 percent truck tariff would eliminate the incentive for Japanese companies to build trucks in the United States, putting U.S. jobs at risk.”

According to Reuters, “Japan already agreed in principle that the phase-out period for U.S. auto tariffs would be the same as the longest phase-out for any other product in the pact.” The longest phase-out would be the pact with for South Korea, which eliminates the 2.5 percent U.S. car tariff after four years and the 25 percent U.S. truck tariff after 10 years.

Detroit and the unions finally drop the charade that all they are interested in is an opening of the allegedly closed Japanese car market, which has been wide open.  The 25 percent chicken tax, along with skewed CAFE rules created a protected market for overpriced trucks that are safe from foreign competition. Detroit wants it to be protected for as long as possible, and the price to be paid by the American truck buyer.

In its representations to the panel, the AAPC still reiterated that Japan “maintains the most closed auto market in the developed world,”  but nobody except Detroit and the unions believe the tired lies anymore. Hard pressed to name the non-tariff barriers it blamed for the low sales of American cars, the AAPC lamely demands that Japan adopts more UNECE rules, while the U.S. does not adopt any.

In contrast, the Japanese Auto Manufacturer Association JAMA delivered short and very polite comments:

“At times during the Japan TPP debate in the U.S., misunderstandings have led to statements that Japan’s market is closed to imports.  In fact, Japan has zero auto tariffs and no restrictive customs or regulations only apply to imported vehicles.  With regard to dealerships, there is no restriction on the brands or vehicles dealers in Japan can sell and Japanese automakers cannot intervene in these dealer decisions.

In the case of the Japanese market, it is essential to note that Japanese consumers overwhelmingly prefer very small cars, which U.S.-based automakers rarely provide.  In 2012, smaller passenger cars, those with up to 2,000cc in engine capacity, had a 90 percent market share in Japan.  However, the U.S.-based automakers offered only five models in this segment while European automakers offered 87 models.  Accordingly, European car sales and market shares have been rising.  These realities confirm that a critical factor to success in any auto market is to offer sufficient choices of models that appeal to local consumers.”

 

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217 Comments on “A Game Of Chicken Tax: Detroit Drops Pretenses, Wants To Keep Japan Out For As Long As Possible...”


  • avatar
    Flybrian

    The US fullsize truck market is safe from competition by the very foreign entries in the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Not so safe. Once compact trucks come back into the market, the manufacturers will HAVE to compete or lose more than half of their existing market.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Why would they lose 1/2 their existing market? The ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion/explosion hardly made a dent in the full-size market.

        • 0 avatar

          It’s not so much a question of competition as it is global market share. Repeal of the chicken tax would mean a few more small, Japanese trucks would sell in the States, but no full sized American trucks would sell anywhere else.

          Just look how many Ford Transit Connects you see these days. All made in Turkey, all shipped to the States with backseats and rear glass (to qualify as cars, skirting the tariff), which are immediately removed and shredded, as they’re marketed as light utility vehicles here.

          The issue is that big, American trucks will not sell much, if at all, outside the North American market. They’re too big for the roads and far too inefficient for countries paying double what we do for fuel. No commuter is going to buy a truck that costs US$200 per fill up, and no contractor will buy a truck that can’t get to the job site.

          American consumers are likely to buy Hiluxes and Tritons which suit 90% of their needs, deliver improved fuel economy and lower operating costs, and maybe, just maybe, send a message to the Big 3.

          I spent 2 weeks in Europe last summer. In that time, I saw 3 full sized American trucks. One was a promotional vehicle for Monster Energy drinks, the other two belonged to US servicemembers, who have access to subsidized fuel on base.

          Compare that to the 3 Mitsubishi Tritons I saw per hour in that time, across five countries. Even the turbo diesel Mitsubishi ASX4 crossover I drove cost nearly US $200 to fill at the pump, but it got 67mpg with a 6-speed manual. I’d buy one in a heartbeat if it were available here.

          Enjoy your closet fascism, folks.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @DR1665,
            As well as “Pickups” the Europeans are more concerned about Vans, Cab Chassis variants of Vans,and Cabover MDT/HDT Trucks they produce in vast numbers.
            Agree about the attributes of the Triton, but like the Europeans we have a lot of Light /MDT, HDT Cabover Trucks and Vans that do not exist in the US. The US has a lot of Pickups and seemingly little anything else. As a result it is a very different “Truck Market” to other countries.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s just as crazy to think small Asian trucks will make more than a small dent in the US truck market, than it is to think US full-size would take over the world. But there’s definitely a world wide need for full-size even if they don’t realize it yet.

          First, US pickups would have a diesel for world markets, not unlike the upcoming Ram 1500. 2nd, US trucks would be a welcome alternative to 1/2 ton vans (and up) and cut-aways. Each have specific advantages, but if vans were always the clear choice, why even have small trucks when there’s always small van that can do its job?

          Mostly, Asian import trucks would cannibalize compact to mid-size cars and SUVs sold in the US. Mostly Asian cars and SUVs.

          Despite UAW propaganda, Asian trucks imported to the US would do way more harm to Asian (brand) autos and trucks.

          The difference in MPG and over all dimensions, Full-size vs mid-size is negligible. You may not want to use either for a long commute. Big, far away contracting/construction jobs need to pay big dollars to be worthwhile anyways.

          And it would be nice to haul all your tools and materials in just one trip. The more you can haul the better. And the MPG of small trucks get exponentially worse, the more you load them to full capacity.

          I can guarantee, more US full-size trucks would be sold around the world than Asian trucks would sell in the US, given open trade.

          And US full-size pickups in Europe are grey market only. Their 22.5% tariff on US trucks means you’ll see hundreds of small trucks to one US pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            While I agree that perhaps the market for Asian mid-sizers in the US is not that great in the near-future… again… you’re overestimating the demand for US Full-sized pick-ups elsewhere, based on the presumption that private buyers elsewhere have the same needs as US buyers… or even remotely the same budget.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Besides work ethics, and maybe US trucks in world markets could never match the lifestyle, luxury or cowboy fetish they do in the US, but anyplace around the world you see a small pickup or any work truck/van, including medium duty (or even just bigger SUVs), a US pickup could be in its place. Not in every circumstance and maybe just a small percentage, but that’s still a lot of US pickups in a lot of places.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: You only prove you don’t know the world market. There IS no world market for full-sized American pickup trucks simply because they are too big for the vast majority of world cities. Wide streets like ours in the US simply don’t exist in most world cities, making it almost impossible for an American full-size truck to even maneuver. Unlike you (apparently) I’ve been there and seen it. What full-sized cargo trucks there are in Europe and Asia are decidedly short wheel based and have far, far tighter turning radiuses than any American-built full-sized truck. Chop off that long nose and put the steer wheels under the driver’s seat, then maybe an American full-sized truck would work. The engine? Between or behind the seats.

            Conversely, global trucks are usable almost anywhere–EVEN in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Every major US city and beach community I go to, parking an F-150 can be a problem. Including Vegas. Worth it? F-yeah!

            But you act like there’s a world of difference between my super cab and BAFO’s max’d out BT50. Not so much actually.

            Yes everyone in Europe lives in a Medieval village, got it. But then parking a mid-size there is no picnic either.

            But then google “street view” is everywhere now, so show me a street that’s too narrow for full-size, but a mid-size would fly right thru. Euro full-size vans seem to get around just fine.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Denver, why do you work so hard to make connections that don’t exist? Not once in this discussion have I mentioned ANYTHING Big Al has said to you, but you have to try and tie him and me together simply because we disagree with you. As I have said many, MANY times to you, the bloomin’ full-sized truck is MORE HASSLE THAN IT’S WORTH to me and to many others who are now driving SUVs because they don’t have any other choice.

            Sure, I like the feeling of power; but I don’t need a 20-foot-long whale to enjoy that feeling. I certainly can’t park such a beast in front of my home–I can only barely fit my standard-cab, long-bed beast there without hanging over both sidewall and curb like so many others in my neighborhood. When the snow plow comes through, you can clearly see who has the too-big trucks by the fact that the plow has to drive around them and not fully clear the road.

            Oh, and maybe you should look at that Google Street View again in Europe–there are some towns where even a Fiat 500 has trouble getting around, much less one of those “Euro flu-size vans”. Some of those cities have streets no wider than your single-car garage door and alleys even narrower. Deliveries in these towns are more often made by push-cart instead.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Whether you drive a mid-size truck or full-size van in a Medieval village, eventually you have get out and hike the rest of the way. There’s no standardization for mid-size, or any-size.

            But show me a street that would stop a full-size in its tracks while allowing a mid-size to fly right thru.

            It’s an individual’s choice what the “right size” is. Or what the right HP/Tq is. Your completely justified in size requirements. And so what? One to 2 million full-size trucks and SUVs “whales” sell in the US despite parking being a challenge in major cities and beach communities.

            If my living/parking situation changed, I wouldn’t have a problem with owning a Frontier, Tacoma or an upcoming Colorado. Great trucks and how bad can the Colorado be?

            Just pick one already and move on with your life… I’m sure you would reject all the global trucks if you had a choice of them. You’re way too picky if you can’t stand the thought of a Frontier, Tacoma or Colorado. Sounds more like you just like to hear yourself complain.

            Then don’t complain to me. I didn’t cause your situation or your lack of choices. Blame all those that stood in a showroom looking a Mighty Max, Raider, Dakota, Ranger, Canyon, D50 or B2300 and their hands couldn’t reach their wallets.

            And it’s not like full-size truck buyers have many more choices. Oops, forgot the Tundra and Titan. But lots of consumers forget those too.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You’re trying too hard NOT to find what I suggest. The simple fact that a compact truck can and should be more than a foot narrower without having to fold in the mirrors means that said truck can go through places the full sized monsters can’t.

            As for Tundras and Tacomas, they’ve become quite popular in Pennsylvania.

            Oh, and who said I wouldn’t like a Colorado? I sure didn’t say it. But I would like it to be somewhat smaller than the previous version which was still dangerously close to full-sized. In fact, the last model Colorados on the Chevy lots were almost the same size as my Full Sized F-150. Still, they are smaller than the Silverado and modern F-150, aren’t they?

            My wife’s family normally drove Dodge/Chrysler/Plymoth and she has a hankering for a RAM or Jeep truck. We’ve almost decided to give the F-150 to her dad and will–if Jeep does come out with a pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So what you really want is OEMs to build you a selection of regular cab ’80s mini-trucks? If they did, will your hands reach your wallet? Are you saying a reg cab Taco is too wide? What’s the deal? You have to tell OEMs exactly what you want. Or how can they build it for you? Trust me, they will build it for you. But then you’ll have to pay for it BEFOREHAND. And you’ll have convince at least a couple million others (for each brand) with similar demands to do the same.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Lupine, yes there are places that a compact can fit where a full size cannot and that is useful to a point. I love my Scout pickup just because it is so small yet can still carry 1 ton. There are many cases where I use it instead of my F350. When I built a retaining wall on my property I took twice as many trips with my Scout since I could drive it right to the location and put the blocks directly in place or shovel the gravel to back fill directly out of the truck. I also used it extensively doing trail maintenance at a local park since I could drive it on the foot paths. However the new global midsize trucks are not that small and wouldn’t do the same job.

            If I didn’t have the luxury of having two pickups to choose between I’d have to go with the F350 since there are times I’m not willing to make twice as many trips, I’m carrying a big stack of plywood, drywall, 2x’s, or I need to tow a tandem axle trailer with a back hoe/front end loader or project vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: You’re almost right in your last response to me; I DO want them to build me what I want, not what they THINK I want.

            While I understand that A La Carte ordering is more expensive on the manufacturer, go ahead and let the customer order a truck or car based on their personal desires if they want and pay some of that cost. I personally don’t like MFT or Sync on Ford products; let me buy a truck or car without the infotainment stack and install the kit I want, whether it be from Panasonic or Pioneer. Let me get the grill type I want instead of forcing me to buy a higher model just to get the surround painted. Maybe I want a luxury model with 18″ wheels, not 20″. You don’t know what I want or don’t want, so don’t try to assume you do.
            And NO, right now the manufacturers will NOT do that–it’s take what we offer or go someplace else. The problem is, their choices are either Not Good Enough or Grossly Over Equipped. With modern Just In Time logistics, it should be cheaper and easier to build a la carte than ever before and would let buyers get exactly what they want without argument or complaint. And no, it won’t have to be “a couple of million others” as no brand sells that many of a single model in the course of a year. A couple hundred thousand? Perhaps.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Scoutdude: I’m a fox, not a wolf; but that’s beside the point.

            You’ve just proven that a smaller truck can be just as useful as a larger one, depending on the need. Unlike you I don’t have a tandem-axle trailer to tow; I don’t have stacks of lumber to haul. The largest load my current pickup has carried is twenty 8′ long event tables for a yard sale and that’s certainly not enough load to make an F-350 practical and only barely enough to make my old F-150 worth the $2500 I paid for it (before repairs). I already know that I’ll be giving that F-150 to my father-in-law if/when Jeep markets a pickup of their own. (Or later when I finally do buy a new mid-sized truck)

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      It is safe by definition. Nonone outside NA builds a US Spec Pickup. All so called “Import trucks” are built in the US/Canada/Mexico all part of NAFTA.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @RobertRyan
        Many of our NA/US bloggers on this site have never driven a good small diesel vehicle like our current generation of midsizer.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al from Oz,
          Very difficult to explain to them what does not exist in the US. Petrol(gas) engines are in the process of being phased out here for Pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You guys like your diesel engines for some reason that does’t compute with us former and current diesel owners. Just say you also like vegemite sammishes and we’ll let it go at that…

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Just say you also like vegemite sammishes and we’ll let it go at that…”
            You like Dr Pepper.Yuck

  • avatar

    Worse than France

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Yes the US market is definitely worse than France and other EU members as regards freedom to choose the vehicle you want.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Yep. Let’s see the EU drop or bring to reality, its ridiculous 10% tariff on import cars or insane 22.5% tariff imposed on import trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @RobertRyan
        You will find the union delegates responding by trying to change the flow and bash Europe as well.

        The Big 3 with considerable assistance from the UAW/CAW have destroyed the US auto manufacturing sector to the point where the US doesn’t build competitive high volume products that are accepted globally.

        What caused this can be explained by Charles Darwin. Look at the Galapogos Islands as and example of animal evolution. Isolation.

        The US’s insular protective car industry hasn’t created anything that is wanted or needed globally (in large quantities). The US has to come to Australia for a high performance platform, platforms for police cars etc. Europe and Asia for car platforms etc.

        Now to the Europeans for commercial vehicle platforms to remove 30 year old vehicle from production. I couldn’t believe the US Ranger was still in production until recently. The last pickup I had of that generation was a Datsun 720.

        The US doesn’t even have the best pickup in the world, that went to the global Ford Ranger. Where is vehicle design in the US? Where are exports from the US?

        The UAW and the Big 3 have themselves to blame for this situation of being uncompetitive.

        The chicken tax, technical barriers etc stifled vehicle development and export.

        And what I can’t believe the UAW wants to continue on as it previously had, dictating what Americans can and can’t drive. Then have the hid to ridicule other countries for dumping etc. The UAWs language is used to instill fear to gain support, not relay truth that they are inefficient and need socialist protection.

        Like the press release stating Japanese pickups will arrive in the US if the chicken tax is removed. What crap, Japanese pickups come from Thailand. But, what’s wrong with a fearmongering story, even if it is a lie.

        By the way I’m not anti Union, I’m pro competition and pro US vehicles. The UAW along with CAFE, EPA, chicken tax non signatory to the UNECE regs that the US went against to protect its market and reduce Euro imports.

        The German vehicle unions accepted that they have to become part of the world.

        The chicken tax and other technical barriers have to go to keep the US vehicle manufacturing industry and your full size pickups.

        Or one day the Japanese, Chinese or Germans will buy out Detroit.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Big Al you ask where is vehicle design in the US you only have to look at your FORD BT50 for that answer. It was designed in the US to be able to meet US standards. However between the time of the first click on a mouse in the CAD software and the time it was ready to order tooling the market for compact and mid size trucks disappeared in the US so they choose not to make or sell it here as the F100, and drop the Ranger as well. If they did think it would sell worth a darn it wouldn’t take much to make it legal to sell in the US just put the flame retardant fabrics in it, US spec air bags, stability control and an engine that meets US EPA regulations. Of course that would add to the cost and weight and having it rated at capacities that the US lawyers would approve would mean that it is not the bargain that it is to the rest of the world and in reality it would cost about the same as a F150.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scotdude
            Hate to burst your bubble, but the Ford Ranger and BT50 were designed in Australia by Ford and Mazda.

            They weren’t designed for any NA standards. They were designed to meet UNECE regulations.

            The same goes for the Colorado, which was designed in Brazil. That’s why there is a little redsign work for the Colorado to be manufactured for the US market.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Sorry Al, Ford Australia and Mazda love to say how much they contributed to the T5 project, but the bulk of the ground work was done in the US and it was originally designed to meet US standards. Ford officially announced it was to be offered as the F100 in the 2000′s but as the compact/midsize market collapsed they decided to not offer it in the US and let Ford Austraila and Mazda do the final sheet metal designs.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude
            The BT50/Global Ranger came intially from Mazda who wanted a new Global platform. So like in the past as in the case of GM/Isuzu they shared costs and developed a commonn platform.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Robert, that is some funny stuff. Since the late 90′s Ford dictated exactly what Mazda could spend its engineering budget on and they only thing they got to do any of the serious engineering on was 4cyl and rotary engines, manual transmissions in the power train dept and for vehicles the RX-8, small and mid size cars they were only allowed to do cosmetics on trucks hence why they sold the re-badged Explorer, Escape and Ranger. Only the US engineers were allowed to play with trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scotdude
            Are you a troll? or UAW.

            The Ranger and BT50 (global versions) were designed at Ford in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia by a team of Ford and Mazda personnel. From memory 250 Ford personnel and 50 from Mazda.

            The team was headed by the F-150 designer. The cost of developmet was approx. $3 billion US.

            The engine developement for the 3.2 diesel was done in Sth Africa between Ford ZA and Ford Racing ZA. They used a previous generation Global Ranger that was based on the Mazda platform (BT50) to test the engine and drivetrain componenets.

            Ford ZA and Ford Racing ZA are currently developing 5.0 Coyote V8 Ranger. This is odd considering Ford Australia’s demise. Maybe a V8 Ranger replacement for the Falcon ute.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Scoutdude,
            Not really.
            “A full model change of Mazda BT-50 was revealed on October 2010 at the Australian International Motor Show.[13][14] It is based on the Ford Ranger (T6).

            While the BT-50 version was designed by a MAZDA TEAM based at Ford Australia’s design center in Melbourne, both Ford and Mazda worked independently. Of the exterior panels, only the windscreen, roof and rear screen is common between the Ranger and BT-50, although the underpinnings are largely the same.[15] Mazda BT 50 is produced in Thailand and South Africa.

  • avatar
    JD321

    I doubt the average American has the ability to figure out that they are being robbed by Detroit with these tariffs. Of course Detroit will fight for these since they make…What…About $10K PROFIT per truck. Stealing money out of 300M fellow Americans pockets in big business in Detroit.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    “Getting rid of the 25 percent truck tariff would eliminate the incentive for Japanese companies to build trucks in the United States, putting U.S. jobs at risk.”

    Savor the implications of that.

    We insist that you colonize us, o negai shimasu.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Belabored point, meet Bertel. You should merely title your weekly editorial “American cars and manufacturers bad – everywhere else, good”. Be it advertising, processes or marketing, your point of view is so adversarial that it makes me wonder if someone stole your girl in a Chevrolet when you were 15. My own is admittedly also biased, as I made my living from the American OEM’s for my entire working life. But, I am also willing to learn and give credit where it is due. No matter who accomplishes it. Surely there is something to be said for someone, somewhere, working for an American manufacturer doing something right? Even if it’s just a good cafeteria in a design studio, or a PR flack with an umbrella.

  • avatar
    raph

    ::Shrugs:: I suppose this is important for the small and medium truck market but as I constantly forget and frequently reminded, all of Japan Inc’s full size trucks are built right here in ‘murica neatly avoiding the 25% tariff.

    I guess at this time (unless Ford and Ram are planning on jumping back in the small truck market) only GM would benefit from keeping the Chicken tax going.

    Dropping the 2.5% tariff on cars might be a good thing in the econobox segment where it might amount to something but frankly if the domestics are having trouble competing with the tariffs in place why would I as a foreign manufacturer drop 2.5% increase in price (assuming they are passing the cost on to the consumer and not just swallowing it in some fashion). Maybe competition would drive it down because somebody out there might to lowball everybody else but If I were a foreign manufacturer I’d push for the drop in tariffs and then make a generous contribution to whoever passed it and thank them for the increase in profit.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Those tariffs are designed to raise the selling price of the product by at least that much, to supposedly prevent the Japanese companies from “dumping” cheaper products on the American market and making them supposedly more ‘competitively priced’. Interestingly enough, there are enough references to show that not only were the prices of Japanese products raised, but US-made products also rose by a similar amount, resulting in higher profits on some vehicles–trucks especially. Even now, many trucks carry a minimum of 50% profit margin and in some cases far, far higher for the more ‘extreme’ models. How many of you would buy a Ford Raptor if it looked just like any other F-150 at that price?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The Chicken tax hardly, no didn’t even prevent Japanese from dumping cheap cut-rate trucks on US shores by the millions during the whole entire ’80s mini-truck craze.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          All they had to do was import an “incomplete vehicle” ie a truck w/o a bed, make and instal a bed in the US and then the final assembly point was in the US. That is not unique to the US it happens around the world to avoid tariffs.

          Of course the fact is Americans don’t buy mini trucks anymore, and for the most part no one in the world does. Otherwise Ford wouldn’t have discontinued the Ranger and made replaced it in the rest of the world with a Mid-size truck. Mid-size trucks don’t sell very well in the US either so that is one of the reasons we are not getting it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Scoutdude
            “That is not unique to the US it happens around the world to avoid tariffs. ”
            That is UNIQUE to the US, not something you will find anywhere else.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No, but it should be “common”. It’d be nice if the EU allowed US trucks with such a simple, local bed-install ‘loophole’. NOPE. Pay the ridiculous 22.5% tariff or pound sand.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Actually, they do. The S-10 and Ranger are in huge demand in Pennsylvania–commanding higher prices on the used market than full sized trucks of the same age.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Robert, yes it has happened all over the world. If you go over to the verse that is Hoon you’ll see a recent post of trucks found in Greece, you’ll see that those Toyota and Isuzu trucks look just like those we got in the US until you get to the bed and those are unique to that market. You’ll also find unique beds on trucks sold in South Africa and down in Australia you’ll see different beds on the older trucks too. Yes in some cases those tariff have gone away but in the past it has been done in many countries around the world. There is also a CKD or Complete Knock Down loophole that is or has been used around the world too. The Sprinter makes it into the US using that loophole.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Vulpine, yes on the used market the Tacoma and particularly the Ranger in my area have strong demand and high resale values. The problem is that the people who have made that happen never bought them new and that is all that matters to manufacturers. Had those people bought new compact pickups we would still have them for sale in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            But again, Scoutdude, you overlook the simple point that people ARE buying them because they’re the only choice available. Maybe, just maybe those people owned one before and ran it ’til it died and now need a replacement. Without a NEW replacement available, they have to buy used.

            After all, not everybody chooses to buy a new car every two or three years. With only certain exceptions I have never driven a car less than 4 years (one crashed, one blew the engine) and I usually drive them for 8 years or more. That means that even if I had bought a Ranger before they disappeared, when it comes time to replace it, I don’t have an available equivalent except for Toyota or Nissan–neither of which are brands I really want despite the fact that both mid-sizers at least meet the need. When I DID need a truck with VERY short notice, I was stuck buying a full-sized whale that had sat unused for over 10 years. I was purely lucky that with the exception of the brake lines it was in remarkably good condition, needing the brakes fixed and replacing one exhaust manifold to make it street legal in my state. Being that it sat under a lean-to for all that time, it doesn’t have the typical winter road rash called rust all over it. But it is definitely not what I wanted.

            All you’ve done is proven that the American manufacturers don’t care what their customers want, they want the customer to buy what they have, like it or not.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @raph Except for boutique Luxury cars the manufacturers are NAFTA based with some foreign ownership.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    I’m sure Japan will be more than willing to keep the chicken tax in place, or have it expire in a decade, like the US wants, as long as they can keep as many of their agricultural barriers in place. Its a bad trade-off.

    And its not just Japan, America as the leader of the TPP, and the country convincing everyone onto free-trade terms (and binding all members to US-style IP rights), must negotiate to remove distorted trade barriers with all TPP members (which comprise 60% of the world’s GDP).

    Really, negotiating for the chicken tax is a horrible deal for America. The chicken tax only helps 3 US companies, and worse, the real threat of full size pickups being made and shipped from Japan doesn’t really exist.

    What’s good for Detroit isn’t good for America. The TPP is a platform that will allow the US a platform to project its economic sphere of influence, the chicken tax, and other antiquated tax barriers, just weaken America’s position on impactful free-trade deals that need to be made.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @L’avventura
      You are correct those Japanese with their agricultural protection, what socialists’!

      Oh……….those damn corn farmers in the US with their $125k-250k yearly subsidies per farm, yes. Geez, how much a gallon is ethanol subsidised and how much should gas be.

      Those damn dairy farmers in the US with a protected and regulated market.

      How dare those socialist with their protected markets dare complain.

      The chicken tax and all the technical barriers, what are their purpose if people think they have a marginal effect?

      The US can afford all of this, we are rich.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        Agricultural protectionism is prevalent everywhere. There is no moral high-ground in this discussion, only the arithmetic of who benefits most.

        The consensus seems to be that subsidies are alright, but tariffs are not, from a free trade perspective. Countries prefer tariffs as they don’t cut into government spending which subsidies do.

        The US has most to gain with exporting agricultural goods. Beef alone is worth several billion a year to Japan in American exports, add in pork, poultry, rice, corn, soybeans, dairy, etc., and the amount of money we are talking about is massive (tens of billions of dollars).

        For the US, making any deal in regards to the chicken tax, worthless to all except Detroit, only hurts American interests as it becomes leverage for bigger (more lucrative) issues. And its not just with Japan, SE Asian and Latin American countries that are also part of TPP negotiations are huge agricultural exporters.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @L’avventura
          What about Australia and NZ?

          Australia deregulated much industry, its more or less survival of the fittest.

          What this has done is create a highly efficient farming sector here. The most productive farmers in the world.

          Most of the farming protection is done by the US, EU and Japanese.

          Have a look at those economies and tell me if subsidisation, protection and tariffs is good.

          How many hundreds of billions of dollars are given to the farmer in the US every year.

          Have you been reading how much the farm bills is costing the US public?

          No wonder you guys are in debt, trying to protect inefficiency. This might have worked when the US had the resources to defend its agri industry, actually all industry.

          As I have said the US, Euro, Japanese don’t have those resources now.

          I appears the only way to save your economies is to remove the protection they receive, so you can live within your means.

  • avatar
    tuffjuff

    Speaking of Japanese trucks, is it bad that I really reallllly want a Toyota Hilux?

    I don’t need a truck for much, if anything. I just think they look cool.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Why not go whole hog?

      Somebody’s going to buy this : http://tinyurl.com/l49sq9f

      Can’t believe the bidding is up to $70K.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Whoa….

        That would get you laid/elected/married/adopted in any Wisconsin county. Even Dane.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Well, look at what they’re asking: $149,000, and the bidding, up to $68,000, still doesn’t meet the reserve. It looks nicely restored, but Chrysler didn’t begin using the “powerwagon” name until 1946, and the original engine was likely a flathead six that was unique to trucks. Too bad they put in the Cummins diesel and ruined the authenticity.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          Well, they did a bypass on me and ruined my authenticity but I’m not complaining.

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          Lorenzo – the auction copy specifically requested that sticklers for authenticity NOT contact them. There are plenty of authentically restored Power Wagons on e-bay and they don’t cost more than a loaded Boss’s truck. If I were looking for a truck to haul stuff, I’d sooner look at those than a modern truck.
          (There was a humongous king cab sorta Power Wagon listed a few weeks ago – also wanted about $150K.)

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Historical and Niche vehicles can get inflated prices for the small market they attract.We have it for HD US Pickups that a used as tow vehicles for SOME Caravans and to a lesser extent 5th wheelers here in Australia.

          • 0 avatar
            Dimwit

            I’ve want one of these for ages. I’ve never seen one with the 5.9 before. Usually the engine is too long. If you get a Cummins in it it’s a 4bt.

            $149K is too much. You can get a “new” one for $120K in Wyoming.

  • avatar
    Dubbed

    So far I see these two things as being good policy from an American perspective. The 2.5% tariff doesn’t really appear to be much of a hinderance especially when the value of the yen is down such as it is now. And since a giant percentage of Japanese branded vehicles aren’t even made in Japan it would only affect a few models.

    Since the chicen tax forced Honda, Toyota, and Nissan to build its trucks here, we win. Because if the Detroit 3 can’t build and sell im, I’m just as happy if its somebody else building here and selling.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “Because if the Detroit 3 can’t build and sell im”

      Me no savvy…. trucks are the best selling vehicles the Detroit3 make.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      As Honda, Toyota, and Nissan also build most of their cars here, I’m not convinced the truck tax is a win for American workers.

      As Ford, GM, and Chrysler have raced to build their trucks (and cars) in Mexico instead of here, I’m not convinced trucks at all will stay a win for American workers either.

      It’s ironic that the UAW is wrapping themselves in the flag for American jobs when they’re a wholly owned wing of the party that’s built their platform out of spitting on and burning that flag.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        “It’s ironic that the UAW is wrapping themselves in the flag for American jobs…”

        What strikes me as bogus about the AFL-CIO’s claimed concern for American jobs building Japanese stuff is that most of these jobs aren’t union, are they?

        So this really is only about keeping Japanese trucks under the 25% tariff and nothing else. Best choice for protecting union dues.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          And that’s really what the UAW is all about… protecting union dues.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Summicron. The UAW has a plan to try and unionize those jobs and bring those jobs back to the US. Still they do provide jobs for some workers in the US as it now stands.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            “The UAW has a plan to try and unionize those jobs and bring those jobs back to the US.”

            Isn’t that contradictory? Why would foreign automakers create jobs in the US if there’s any chance that their pay & benefits structure will be hijacked my union mafioso?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Summicron,
            Glad you can see the absurdity in what the UAW is trying to do. They obviously cannot.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        There is no race to Mexico by the Detoit3, the Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont is moving back to the US and the Fusion is coming to Flat Rock Michigan. The only new products going into Mexico are ironically Mazda/Toyota and Honda.

        The production of American vehicles isn’t that high and besides Mexico buys a lot of American cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Dubbed
      How can you win?

      What has occurred is a less competitive market has developed and you are paying more than you have to for a pickup.

      Take a look at things to come in regards to the US pickup. What is CAFE’s affect?

      Look at the Baby Ram with the 8spd, Pentastar and 6′ 5″ bed, all this for, yes, $27 000. The truck has the capabilties of a FWD medium size wagon. What can it tow? What can it carry?

      We in Australia, a country that pays a lot more than the US for vehicles can get a cheaper diesel pickup that will tow 7 800lbs, carry 2 800lbs, and its Japanese.

      Lots of bloggers from the US on these sites live in a very insular world, have a look at what is available outside of the US.

      Your commercial vehicle market is limited.

      Why? The UAW and Big 3. Make them accountable for such an uncompetitive market, stop spoon feeding them.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        That Ram is more than competitive with assembled in America Japanese V6 compact trucks in capabilities and price and is certainly more modern than any truck the zaibatus sell anywhere in the world.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @billfrombuckhead
          Competitive against an American midsizer, maybe, but not in price.

          Competitive against a global midsizer, definitely no.

          Your midsizers are really a inferior. They are built not to compete against a full size truck, we don’t have that.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            You can buy fullsize V6 American trucks fro around the same price as Tacoma or Frontier.

            The Pentastar Ram is rated 25 hwy mpg better than Tacoma or frontier and the diesel Ram will be comparable to your so called global truck.

            BTW, Australia is no great run economy, just a raw material colony for China and when once you’re mined out you’ll just be West Virginia with beaches.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @billfrombuckhead
            I will educate you.

            Australia has what is termed a ‘post-industrial’ economy. It is based on service industries (70%), manufacturing (15%), and the rest is tourism, agriculture and mining. Don’t forget agriculture is very large here as well.

            The pickups you are describing are purely US manufactured. This is what this discussion is about, the lack of imported pickups (an import is something that come from outside of NAFTA ie, US, Canada and Mexico).

            You are saying 25mpg is good, well we have pickups that are getting 35mpg. You guys don’t have access to these because of socialist taxes and barriers.

            We actually have on midsizer that can get 40mpg. These are highway figures.

            My 3.2 litre diesel AVERAGES 27mpg, not highway miles and it weighs a little more than a full size 2wd, I’m also turning a 4×4.

            Those taxes and barriers create a market where Detroit (GM, Ford, Chrysler) can charge more for a truck. Why? Because there is reduced competition.

            This also reduce the choice that American have in purchasing a vehicle. The vehicles are limited to what the UAW/Detroit/government want you to buy. As you said Americans are the freest in world?

            If I were you stop listening to others and hit the net, google chicken tax, technical barriers, farm subsidies, the cost of EV subsidies. Not just in the US but globally, you will realise everyone is trying to feather their own nests.

            In the end all of this feathering costs the ‘normal’ people in society. Subsidising corporations creates false markets that will eventually cost the people.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Big al, I don’t think you understand the US truck market, the Detroit 3 make the best trucks, mid sizers don’t sell to justify them no matter how much you want the rest of the world to be like Australia, Japan cannot make a competitive full size as is shown now.
        Nissan thinks somehow its frontier platform is good enough to support a full size, with major breaks proving wrong.
        Toyota has a truck with a terribly inefficient DOHC, that has several major design flaws, Honda doesn’t even try.

        As far as truck sales there’s no reason to fear foreign companies causing a scratch here.
        The downfall for American automakers is that the trade agreement only helps Japan.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Hummer
          If you think the full size trucks are that superior why does the US have the most protected market in the OECD?

          Your full size trucks will get a run for their money if a global midsizer arrives, ie, VW Amarok, Izuzu Dmax, Colorado (global), Mazda BT50 etc.

          I’m talking the latest generation, you can’t look at a Frontier and Taco and assume that is what we get, we don’t.

          I do like US pickups, but lets be realistic, the chicken tax is their to protect them.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Your countries ideas of pickup use is different.

            Your VW and chevy trucks for example would never fly here, the front end looks like t is lifted straight off a CUV.

            We lack a major segment because of our regulations, we have no choice but to use pickups for family haulers. The added benefit being the bed, towing ability, comfort, capability, etc.

            Why would be want to cramp into a midisIze to ride around town or go out of town?
            We can do that in the majority of what we have today.
            MidisIze pickups offer nothing to the table for the majority of buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The VW would compete against the Tacoma and may bring a couple buyers over, but after the new wore off and the normal VW quality problems set in, it would probably drop below the frontier.
            The new Colorado would struggle to compete with the old Colorado from the very beginning.

            I can’t see pickups being what Detroit is worried about, they would be more worried about their small and midsize segments.
            If they can’t keep those profitable they will have to operate those at a loss to comply with govt regulations.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            If Toyota or Nissan actually thought there would be any market for those trucks you get over there they would build them here like they do for the current Tacoma and Frontier, though of course we couldn’t have the same power trains since our trucks need to be as clean as our cars. As I said elswhere the Chicken Tax is great to hate but in reality it doesn’t do a darn thing to prevent trucks from being sold in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan


            If Toyota or Nissan actually thought there would be any market for those trucks you get over there they would build them here like they do for the current Tacoma and Frontier,
            As I said elswhere the Chicken Tax is great to hate but in reality it doesn’t do a darn thing to prevent trucks from being sold in the US.”
            Changing Engines to meet a import requirement, is basically redesigning the vehicle no easy task

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Hummer
          Where are your VWs made?

          Using aesthetics as an excuse is sort like hitting the bottom of the barrel.

          Like I have stated, your midsizers are not competitive with ours. They are designed for different applications.

          Our midsizers are designed for work first then play in the global market. Outside of Australia, Eurozone, etc they are work trucks.

          Just look at the global Ranger, if they were imported from Thailand or Sth Africa with a 3.2 diesel they would sell in the US.

          But they can’t come because of the tariffs and technical barriers. They would be more competitive against a F-150. Read up on the global Ranger, you will be surprised.

          My argument isn’t about a comparison, it’s about a level playing field for all manufacturers.

          The comparison comes in when it is evident that the Big 3 are scared of competition. They have a monopoly in your market.

          Also, these barriers affect more than you think in your market, what about CUVs, SUVs, Vans, LCVs, MCVs and HCVs.

          These vehicles are all protected.

          What about cars? Differing design regs, also CAFE.

          Really Hummer have a closer look at how your market is shaped by tariffs and barriers.

          How much are these costing the American public. They already had to bail out the Big 3.

          The argument that the US needs large family vehicles is also a bit of a half truth. Why is the US different, people are people.

          Australia used to be a large vehicle country, but look at Holden and Ford here, Corolla, Hyundai, Mazda are outselling them.

          But we have one of the most open and liberal car sectors globally.

          If the barriers and taxes were removed in the US your market will eventually be very similar to ours. Why? Because like Canada our country isn’t much different to the US.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            I wold agree that as an American I do not understand the intracies of the Australian market. I like your utes and honest 4×4 vehicles however BUT

            You fail to understand the US market. Many truck buyers in the US have no use for a midsize truck or any truck that cant haul a bunch of plywood sheets. Fuel economy and offroad prowess are not the only considerations.

            I have been exposed to many of the global midsizers and the diesels through Military deployments. I would love one in my Land Cruiser. However were I building houses or actually using my truck here in the US I cant imagine wanting one over a US full-size. I will grant you the global midsizers are quite good…better than our market, however our Full Size trucks are quite good. Different tools.

            Having said that I am getting a Frontier. I need 4 doors and dont want to spend 30 grand. If I could make do with a regular cab though it would be an F-150…no contest.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Mkirk,
            “However were I building houses or actually using my truck here in the US I cant imagine wanting one over a US full-size”

            We would not even entertain the thought of having a US Full size anywhere near a housing project.Nowhere near the capability of the vehicle mix you get outside the US. Yes I have noted what you use on construction sites.
            On the other hand a HD Full Size pickup has its uses towing a heavish caravan
            http://www.bushtrackerownersforum.com/forum/userpix/5_F350_and_van_02_4.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            You keep stating that the Chicken tax is what keeps these trucks out and the reality is the only vehicles the Chicken tax every kept out of the US was the pickup and cargo versions of the VW transporter.

            The original wave of mini trucks got around the chicken tax by importing them as incomplete vehicles w/o a bed and then building and installing a bed in US or Canada. To this day there are still trucks that dodge the chicken tax. Ford puts some seats in the Transit connect that are removed and shredded once the truck hits our shores so that it is imported as a passenger vehicle. Mercedes removes the engine and transmission of a completed Sprinter puts it in the back and they reinstalls in in the US to make it a CKD or Complete Knock Down. That should be familiar to you being from OZ since many vehicles for your country were imported that way in the past to avoid the tariffs your country had at the time.

            As far as the regulations that just isn’t going to happen. For years trucks didn’t have to meet as stringent safety and emissions standards as cars did. However that made little sense. Do family members not care that someone died in an accident just because they were driving/ridding in a truck instead of a car, I don’t think so. Emissions standards certainly do limit MPG and cost the manufacturers a lot of money to comply with, but it brings up the same sort of question. Why should a vehicle be able to pollute at a much higher rate just because it is a truck? Fact is emissions standards have done a lot to improve the air quality in many areas in the US where we actually have high population density and the reality is anyone who ever experienced what it was like in some areas before would never want to go back. In the 60′s and early 70′s the sky over Southern California was often brown or grey instead of blue.

        • 0 avatar
          Aqua225

          What’s the major breaks in Titan? What are these so called design flaws in the Toyota Tundra V8? Best that can be gathered from the net, the DOHC is quite efficient for its hp rating, and the camshaft breakages in the Tundra motor were due to supplier quality issues.

          I am a happy Titan owner (and I do use the trucks capabilities from time to time), and I know many happy Tundra owners.

          Next time you pick on design flaws, try mentioning them. Like the Ford Triton cam phaser issue? Or the GM smallblock cylinder deactivation periodic check engine light with no explanation? I know real owners with those problems. Tundra and Titan owners: none.

          Titan did, back in the earlier years, have problems with front end brake rotors & rear axle longevity. Those two issues no longer exist.

          I’d buy a Titan or a Tundra any day of the week before the union made junk from Ford, Chevy, GMC, or Dodge. Dodge transmissions are a running joke in any non-city truck buyer area.

          People still buy them though, ’cause they are the cheapest.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The sales numbers speak for themselves.
            Titan is using an extremely small frame with running gear the same strength as in the frontier, the rear axle as you mentioned is a joke, there still having problems with those axle seals, the front diff is no better either.

            Toyota is using a DOHC in a truck, which ther not alone, as I’m pretty sure Titan does as well as ford, this alone speaks loud about a glaring problem, a DOHC does not belong in a truck meant to tow and is beat hands down by pushrod engines, the Toyotas are getting very low fuel economy with outdated power figures. They make a tailgate that can’t support the weight of a person poor power train quality.

            I’m not just talking out my ass the sales numbers prove it, and don’t berate dodge, their doing better than either, with a much better truck.

            I haven’t extensively used the cyclinder deactivation but the 20-30k miles I have would agree it’s a failure. Thus why you will never see me putting them on a podium.

            Truck buyers that need something dependable and cheap, especially businesses, aren’t going to consider the dismal quality of the foreign makes.

  • avatar
    Onus

    The chicken tax is stupid.

    The threat of pickup trucks in completely inaccurate. Think about it no one buys full size trucks except the US and Canada.

    On a side note the us should adopt un / ece rules too.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      That, I think, is the meat of it now though. There are some VERY nice mid-size and compact trucks out there, that would steal sales from the 10-ton behemoths that dominate sales right now. I don’t doubt that trucks carry the highest margins out of the iron that Detroit sells.

      A small TDI pickup would sell in the US. “Go big or go home” isn’t for everybody. However, the rules (chicken tax, CAFE footprint classifications) are rigged to favor the house. Japan isn’t the real “closed market.”

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    I’m not much of a truck guy, but why don’t GM / Ford / Dodge offer competitive, small pickups?
    Is there no market? Do they fear cannibalizing large truck sales?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Maybe the Big 3 should offer small truck. Maybe they should offer roadsters to compete with the Miata too. Yes small trucks would cannibalize full-size to some degree, while costing as much to build. But small trucks would also cannibalize an OEMs entire lineup of profitable compact to mid-size cars and SUVs.

      The thing is, small trucks and full-size aren’t really competing for the same customers. Small truck OEMs made that mistake and keep making compact trucks bigger and bigger. Their sales keep getting smaller and smaller because of it.

      OEMs don’t have to fill every niche just because. Just like there’s only so many folks you can talk into a Miata.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Small trucks would offer more profit than small cars. Why? Because they wouldn’t need as much of the more expensive components that go into those smaller cars. A metal bed doesn’t need the soundproofing, the carpeting, the insulation–so many of the things that make a car comfortable. It’s also one reason why full sized trucks have so much profit over American larger (I won’t say ‘full sized’) cars. A huge portion of the SUV market will flat die when the smaller trucks return because they’ll offer the gas mileage of the SUV while offering more load-carrying capacity (I don’t mean by weight but rather by bulk).

        Honestly, you should hope for the Chicken Tax to finally be repealed because it will drive the price of all trucks DOWN by 10%-20%, making them more affordable AND generating many more sales of the still-more-profitable trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Body ON Frame RWD trucks are a Hell of a lot more expensive to build than stamped body FWDs. And loved by fleets as the lowest common denominator of trucks.

          And I do hope the Chicken tax is repealed. Who said I didn’t?

          Small trucks will remain a niche market in the US, however, full-size trucks would then enter new foreign markets, even if also a niche there.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @DenverMike: “Small trucks will remain a niche market in the US”

            As the former owner of a Ranger who has spent some time with a F-150, I’d love to own a small truck again.

            You can’t talk me in to owning something as big as an F150 (or a used cargo van), until I have the budget for a machine shed and a proper daily driver.

            In other words, I won’t own a truck again until someone serves the small-truck niche. There may be a Ranger restoration in my future.

            The F-150 is an excellently engineered vehicle, it just misses the mark. It’s just too tall for me to access the contents of the bed easily and too long for the amount of cargo it actually holds. If they’d cut the macho crap and optimize the machine to actually do work (rather than look badass), then most of my objections would be engineered away.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            The current F150 can work, just I personally have to work around it’s badass monster truck proportions in order to use it for actual truck stuff.

            I would likely choose a Ranger with a flatbed over an F150 for most circumstances, even with the mandatory restoration project. Or commercial van.

            In other words, as member of the small-truck “niche”, I’m effectively shut out of the new truck market. So, I just pull a trailer with my Sienna. I miss my truck sometimes, but the Sienna+trailer is a big win given the distorted choices I have.

            P.S. I’d LOVE do design the small truck of the future. Small, diesel, FWD/AWD, still on a frame so that you can put a flatbed on it. Cheap/durable/hosable/replaceable dirt/glove friendly interior.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Forget the F-150. If I can’t talk you into buying a Tacoma, Frontier or upcoming Colorado, what chance would I have to put you in a global pickup? The Nissan Navara is simply a Frontier with different badges and RHD. They must not sell ANY of those? There’s not much difference to speak of. The Ford Sport Trac was as global as any of them, but no one could reach their wallets before it was taken away. So what have US and global truck building OEMs learned about US consumers? Short arms?

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @DenverMike:

            The Tacoma is pretty much a full sized truck now. I haven’t stood next to a frontier in a while.

            Seriously, though, everyone seems to say that updated version of the good old Ranger (or even a truck that is approximately the same size) is too much to ask.

            Or maybe you’re just supposed to be over 6’3″ to be able to use a truck these days. I keep walking by trucks where the hood is at eye level, and the bed is at chest level. That’s a monster truck, not a work-tool.

            If/when I need a truck again, I’ll pick up a used Ranger or Colorado and then update what I can myself.

            So, maybe you’re right about the EXISTING truck market only accepting full-sized trucks. But I was in the truck market, and I’m not anymore, because I don’t like the product anymore. Fix the product, and I’m in the market. One way to fix the product would be to eliminate the tariff and non-tariff-barriers which would allow small runs of World trucks to be profitable. If there are a few hundred thousand guys like me out there, then the pickup market gets way bigger.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I don’t see what difference global trucks would make. They’re as big as our mid-size. What you want is the ’80s mini-trucks to come back. Work that out with the OEMs because they seem to think you want bigger. Or they mistakenly think they can steal a few full-size sales if they build them big enough.

            But what makes you think global trucks would be much more profitable in the US, minus the Chicken tax? That’s a few hundred dollars per truck, after loophole ‘workarounds’. Shouldn’t there be at least the 2.5% tariff import cars pay, in its place? That’s also a few hundred dollars per car. And why should import trucks get a FREE ride while import cars don’t?

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            A 25% tax is punitive. And circumventing it is no laughing matter. The extra cost in terms of workarounds are a waste of resources. The US should either drop the tax and make import tax flat for all kinds of vehicles or close the loopholes and apply the tax to the product based on what it is sold as, not what it is imported as.

            Of course, I totally agree that dropping the Chicken Tax, at this point, won’t radically change the truck market. Rising gas prices, though… will. But with the new footprint-based CAFE requirements, it’s likely that large trucks will still rule over the next decade. At least in the United States.

            Not to get in the middle of an argument, but no… the Ford Explorer Sport Trac was not global, not in any way, and did not compete on an equal basis with global-market pick-ups of the time. Engine too big, bed waaaaay too small, capacity pathetic, price too high.

            Go ahead, carry on.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Niky,
            He will tell you Full Size Pickups will fly if you allow him.
            As the UAW does not produce any midsize vehicles in the US, it is his PR job as part of the Union to deride these vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: So now you prove you can’t do math. Or is it that you want to minimize the real effect of a 25% tariff? If we base compact/mid-size truck prices on the current price of the Tacoma as an example, 25% of $17,000 is $4250, meaning that if an import truck would normally sell for $17000 before the tariff, it is automatically bumped to $21,050 and tagging the bottom end of the full-sized American trucks, making them economically impractical.
            Without that 25% tariff, it puts more trucks in that $17,000 range, giving the Tacoma and others more competition, buyers much more choice and–for those who simply MUST have a full sized truck–a potentially lower price, making it a win-win all around. As I’ve said before, I, personally, am not willing to pay luxury car prices for something guaranteed to get scratched up and damaged by using it for the tasks it was built for.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      In a word: YES.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @ihatetrees
      You sound like one of those pre organised questioners.

      You are UAW and your are DenverMike.

      What gave it away the way you write and ‘canabalizing.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        Ummm… No.

        Furthermore:
        a) I have a track record here of being a (sometimes harsh) union-skeptic.
        b) IP checking of comment origins by TTAC’s web gurus should easily control any sort of self-generated commentary.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      They did, for years the Ranger was the best selling compact pickup but sales of compact pickups kept shrinking and shrinking until it wasn’t worth bothering with the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “They did, for years the Ranger was the best selling compact pickup but sales of compact pickups kept shrinking and shrinking until it wasn’t worth bothering with the segment.”

        No surprise there. If you do not update the product people will driftaway. If the F150 was left as a 1993 model, the same would happen to it.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    ihatetrees, they did, for awhile, but the Tacoma blew all of them out of the water. In its day, the Tacoma was the best small pickup for the money. Drove Dakota, Colorado/Canyon and Ranger into oblivion.

    Regrettably, Toyota has opted not to do anything to upgrade the current Tacoma because they have no competition in that segment.

    One much sought after option is a small (Isuzu) Diesel in the Tacoma. Another is the much expected 8 or 9-speed automatic transmission with Automatic AWD.

    The trend Ford , GM and RAM push these days is to try to sell a potential buyer on a full-size truck with a 6-cylinder engine and a 6 or 8-speed automatic transmission.

    As if, somehow, these posers are real pickup trucks.

    I started with pickup trucks in the days when 6-cyl and three-on-the-tree were the norm.

    Why would anyone in their right mind go back to the 6-cyl full-size truck after having owned a V8 with an automatic?

    If people have to worry about fuel economy, mpg or the price of fuel, they ought not to buy a truck!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The US truck market is protected the same way the Japanese auto industry is protected from imports. It’s called “The Locals Don’t Want Your JUNK” barrier…

    By the way, aren’t the Tundra, Tacoma, Titan and Frontier just as “Protected”???

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Except that the Japanese auto industry is NOT protected from imports–only that they don’t want our Road Whales™; they’re too big for Japanese roads.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Right. It’s not “protected” except Japanese consumers aren’t looking for foreign cars and trucks (in Japan) in the least. It’s the exact same with US truck buyers. There’s absolutely nothing standing in the way of foreign/global pickups aside from US consumers not being remotely interested.

        Including loophole workarounds, “Barriers” against global pickups are not any greater than “barriers” against foreign cars. But what “barriers” would have to be dropped for French cars to sell like Hot Cakes in the US?

        And it’s not clear why US full-size trucks are even in the same articles as mid-size trucks. Different market segments. There may be some cross shopping going on, but global mid-size trucks pose a bigger treat to mid-size thru compact cars and SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Does the UAW ever give up?. These FTA’s must be scaring the living daylights out of them, as it now seems the present US Administration may actually sign a FTA with the EU

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s the UAW’s job to “never give up”, scared or not. Obviously there’s nothing to be scared of, but part of the union’s job is to lobby for the sake of lobbying.

            Assemblers working on the line know little about foreign policy, market trends, import duties, loopholes, etc. Not their job. But they sure know all the money getting robbed from their paychecks better see lots of performance down in DC.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I am still part of a Union(although retired), but I know when a Union is not doing its job and the UAW is failing US workers in this regard. The pie will get smaller and smaller

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Your “cheapskates?” rebuttal fails the logic test.

            Why? Because I clearly stated that these people were willing to pay MORE for the small truck than an ‘equivalent’ full-sized truck. Does that really sound like a “cheapskate” to you? A “cheapskate” wants a product at the lowest possible price, rarely considering any other factor about the product.

            And you are right to some extent, small trucks should not be in full competition with full-sized trucks, which is why they should remain smaller than full-sized trucks; that’s only logical. The simple fact is that whether you want to call it a fad, an invasion or whatever, there was and IS a demand for smaller trucks today and with the exception of Nissan and Toyota, we simply aren’t being given that CHOICE.

            The minivan essentially wiped out the station wagon and the SUV has essentially wiped out the minivan. If you bother to pay attention, you’ll notice that the modern full-sized crew cab pickup has essentially wiped out the full-sized BoF SUV and I fully expect that a compact crew-cab pickup would do the same for a huge portion of the compact/mid-sized SUV. I, personally, think they would also pull some of the full-sized truck market too–for those who are buying them now because they’re the only game in town.
            Believe what you will; obviously, only when facts are un-ignorably evident will you change your mind. That’s fine. Everybody is allowed to have an opinion. Just don’t try to pass off that opinion as unalterable fact without data to support it.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The barriers are still there and people DO want the smaller trucks. And yes, they do count as trucks because they serve the same types of duty, just not to the typical heavy-duty specs. A truck is a truck is a truck. An SUV is NOT a truck, though it has become classed as such because it gets used as a truck because there are no smaller trucks on the market to serve the need as a truck.

          What that means is that SUVs will be the first victims of a resurgence of small trucks on the US market and the sales of light-duty full-sized trucks will probably drop as well, their purpose served by something more compact, economical and less expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The barriers are not so much there and people don’t so much want small trucks. And their high resale value is just supply/demand. Not so many lined up to buy new. Too many prefer used. Does this point to cheapskates?

            Not that small trucks and full-size are in direct competition although some cross shopping goes on, I’m sure. I know the rise and fall of the whole mini-truck ‘empire’ of the mid ’80s had little affect on the full-size truck market. That craze/fad/invasion drew in consumers from most all market segments plus those that were dying or dead. Custom molester vans? Muscle cars? Full-size coupes? EL Camino/Rancheros?

            When more and more consumers abandoned mini-trucks, they didn’t all migrate to full-size trucks. The SUV boom was starting to kick off by then. Sports cars, pony cars and sporty compacts were making a comeback.

            I don’t know who’s expecting a renaissance of small trucks without the Chicken tax, but nothing would change. Still a niche market at best.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          It is NOT the exact same with US buyers as we are not given the CHOICE.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Tacomas are already being built in Tijuana so American jobs will always be at risk. So there’s no real reason to build in the US if you’re already and ‘import’ brand. Heck, GM crew cabs and RAM HD pickups are already being Hecho’d south of the border. So there’s obviously nothing sacred about US jobs.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    There’s nothing that indicates import trucks pay any more than import cars once the Chicken tax loopholes/workarounds are done. Both pay hundreds of dollars only.

    Why anyone snivels about the all trucks that can’t manage that with absolutely no mention of all the wonderful French cars that the 2.5% tariff barres from our shores is a mystery.

    And where the Hell was this so called “Chicken tax” during the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion/explosion???

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Maybe the chicken tax needs to stay in place because O***a’s CAFE is going to do for full sized American trucks what the original CAFE did for full sized American cars. The parallels are there, and it seemed just as inconceivable in 1978 that Caprices and LTDs would see sales so low that they wouldn’t be worth investing in then as it seems our demand for huge pickups won’t survive legislation by hacks now. Full sized trucks that meet the regulations will be too expensive to sell in huge quantities to the diminished America of high energy prices. Anyone whose job survives that still needs a truck will be better served by the sort of smaller, diesel pickups used in the rest of the world. The Japanese have far more credibility in that segment than the UAW-3 do.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      Well, *something* has got to be done about the insane success of these Tea Party troop carriers.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @CJinSD
      “Anyone whose job survives that still needs a truck will be better served by the sort of smaller, diesel pickups used in the rest of the world. The Japanese have far more credibility in that segment than the UAW-3 do.”

      You still not going to get the “Chicken tax’ but a “Chicken Little” scare campaign that the sky is falling or you will be “flooded,by an
      explosive Invasion” of “dumped” foreign vehicles from UAW posters on this site.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The Japanese would shoot themselves in the foot by dumping/flooding the US with cheap pickups. They already have too many cars here and would get harmed the most by small cut-rate trucks cannibalizing their fleet of profitable cars.

        The Japanese had absolutely nothing to loose during the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion. The 1981 “Voluntary Import Restraint” severely capped (with quotas) import Japanese cars. So while the Japanese OEMs scrambled to put up US factories, dumping millions of cut rate mini-truck on the US was a perfect ‘stopgap’ solution.

        Japanese import trucks were never part of the VIR “agreement”.

        And the US was never ‘naturally’ drawn to small pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Bull. Many who use there truck have no need whatsoever for the tiny beds on these “midsize” trucks. Yes, the average dude who buys his truck to go back and forth to Home Depot can get by, but for the dude building houses and using his truck as god intended the fullsize is where its at. If you need to haul drywall which would you rather have and dont give me that “hook up a trailer” BS. I can hook a trailer to a Subaru.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          To paraphrase: “Many who don’t use their truck have no need whatsoever for those huge beds on those ‘full-sized’ trucks.” You see, it goes both ways when you realize that many people now buying those full-sized trucks almost never load them. For these people, a smaller truck might meet their needs far better.

          You also ignore the fact that even the compact trucks of the ’70s could carry drywall and plywood almost as well as their full-sized cousins; most rigged with a means to stabilize those 4′ wide panels on the wheel wells rather than between them, allowing smaller purchases like loose lumber and tools to be carried beneath them, protected from wind and rain. And yes, some of them even had 8′ beds.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            You ignore the fact that trucks have other uses than work, trucks make excellent daily drivers, most people that buy trucks couldn’t give a fiddle and a banana for how well plywood or drywall fits into the bed.

            You will never win full size truck buyers over with a small truck, bed be damned, you could make it hold more than a long bed full size it won’t change the sales numbers on full sizes.

            The full size pickup is why people want as family haulers, govt regulations have killed our full sized cars, and now seeing how much better trucks do the job anyhow, why waste time on anything smaller?

            Again no one has told me why full sizers are so bad? People don’t buy trucks for fuel efficiency, in fact a large number of people don’t care what their fuel economy is given its not less than 10.
            Without the fuel economy argument your entire argument falls apart.

            Why buy something that will be “good enough” for the purpose when you can just buy something to exceed your needs and be ready for what may come.
            People that don’t forward think get themselves into a lot of problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Not really, Hummer. For many, the current run of full-sized trucks is “good enough” simply because nothing smaller is available outside of Toyota and Nissan. Not even the Canyon/Colorado is currently available as we wait for Chevy/GMC to get their act together.

            I do notice that you chose to simply ignore the fact that smaller trucks are simply easier to drive; capable of going places the full-sized truck can’t (unless you want to leave it half a mile away from your destination, that is.) I’m talking about the jungle–both wood and concrete. A shorter wheelbase vehicle can maneuver between obstacles that a bigger truck has to detour around or try to force itself over.

    • 0 avatar
      VA Terrapin

      Obama’s CAFE regs have some massive loopholes like less strict fuel economy standards for vehicles with larger footprints, credits for alt fuel vehicles that can be applied to gas guzzlers and overly generous EPA fuel economy calculations that make it easier for auto companies to comply with future CAFE standards. If anything, Obama’s new CAFE regs favor bigger trucks over smaller trucks, at least in the short term.

      Personally, I think CAFE should be scrapped because it’s a joke of a top-down mandate that’s filled with loopholes and forces car companies to build features and even entire cars that hardly anybody wants like flex fuel capability and poorly implemented electric cars based off of regular cars.

  • avatar
    wmba

    We get the same ridiculous mantra from the CAW in Canada. They hired an economist some half-dozen years ago, one Jim Stanford, a nominally pleasant fellow with exceedingly bad hair. His remit is to get on TV and spout labor guff straight out of the 1960s about unfair foreign competition and how it affects Canadian jobs.

    Because the Canadian TV and radio program presenters have no knowledge whatsoever of the auto industry, they lob him easy questions which he hits out of the park. I’ve written and complained to CBC and CTV: the responses I receive are bovine in their tranquility.

    Stanford’s latest target is Korea. They’re devils don’t you know. They don’t buy any Canadian cars from us and sell us millions, all subject to a 6% tariff, which he never mentions. Nor does he say, of course, that Canada has no car industry of its own to protect. No, he’s merely shilling for his union’s leaders who represent people working for Ford, Chrysler and GM, all foreign companies.

    And he doesn’t neglect telling off Toyota and Honda, who also have branch plants in Canada, for not “letting” their workers join the CAW. Same BS the UAW bleats in the US.

    Yup, it’s the same hackneyed story line from the 1960s, when broken-down Canadian UAW workers stood for hours in the bitter cold of a mid-winter day, lining up for a nourishing bowl of cabbage soup, out of work due to the onslaught of that Teutonic megalith, Volkswagen and its rusty Beetle. It was fiction then, and it’s fiction now.

    Hyundai, who had a factory in Bromont, Quebec 20 years ago is the target. In those years, Hyundai built Sonatas of questionable quality (like rear shocks that seized solid) and eventually fled town, having bitten off more than they could chew in their first foreign assembly venture.

    Stanford wants the Koreans to buy Canadian made Fords, Chryslers and GMs, apparently confident that the Koreans would love Camaros, Impalas, Cadillac XTS, Town&Country minivans, Chargers, Edges and MKTs. Yes, what a sterling lineup to attack the Korean market head on! No wimpy small cars, let those Koreans live large! Buy some prairie-sized Canadian iron in return for all those Elantras, currently the best-selling Canadian market vehicle.

    Of course, Stanford never mentions this wonderfully diverse lot of models of union-made, US-owned Canadian-assembled vehicles. Might spoil his plot, whose purpose entirely escapes me. To what end is he really striving? The protection of Detroit, a foreign entity? Why?

    It’s so much dung, piled so high, so brazenly put, that people don’t even listen to the horse manure he spouts. Except, of course for our dumb-beyond-belief media, who invite the con-man back time and again to spread his one-sided idiocy, without entertaining any thought about how inaccurate the message is, or why it is being put forward in the first place.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    I want one too!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What I’m about the write will position me as a target by the pickup guys.

    If the US drops the Chicken Tax and all of the other technical barriers the US pickup market will alter dramatically within a decade.

    There will still be a large full size market, don’t get me wrong. This is what terrifies Detroit. They just can’t compete.

    If you look at the number of manufacturers supplying pickups in the US compared to the number of car suppliers you will find the number of pickup manufacturers is proportionally small.

    Also, if you look at the profits Detroit is turning with pickups then you can get a clearer picture.

    There is plenty of room to allow for a change, a big change in the way the US approaches these tariffs and barriers.

    The global midsizers will give a full size a good run for its money. The latest midsizers are leaps and bounds in front of the antiquated midsizers you have in the US.

    I know I own one, a 2012 Mazda BT50GT, 350ftlb of torque and over 30mpg at 60-65mph. It can tow 7 800lbs and carry 2 600lbs.

    Detroit has to be weaned off of government assistance if it expects the world to accept what it wants from us. This is the part that the US must understand, it can’t dictate like it used to, it’s losing it’s economic influence. There are plenty of countries to buy from and sell to nowadays.

    But, when is all said and done the US is still powerful and will play its hand until the end, then maybe it will be to late to save Detroit and the Chinese can buy them out. Is that what you guys want?

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      The rest of the world is far more socialist and subsidized than the US. Americans are the only ones to go for the globalist BS because Wall Street benefits at the expense of Main Street.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @billfrombuckhead
        The US is not even in the top ten countries for personal and economic freedom.

        Socialist? The US GDP is 40% government spending!!!!

        You had better hits the books and stop watching MSNBC and Fox.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Even if the international trucks show up, our diesel rules will still exist, meaning a lot of those trucks will have to be offered with gasoline engines to be price competitive. And the diesels that are offered won’t exactly be the same.

      There’s also the issue that towing and payload capacity seem to magically disappear when an international vehicle is sold in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @ajla
        The reason why your diesels are so expensive is due to technical barriers limiting diesel as a choice in the NA market.

        Read your EPA site and you will see the difference between diesel and gas.

        Your energy companies and government want diesel fuel for heating oil, not light vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          The only major auto building nation with more so called economic freedom than 10th ranked USA is Canada!
          http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

          Those great capitalist Japanese are 24th.

          Post industrial? What a joke. Without mining Australia would be close to nothing economicswise. A beach for rich Asians.

          Japan bought off it’s unions with national healthcare and lifetime employment. Germany has the strongest unions in the world and South Korea among the most militant.

          • 0 avatar
            juicy sushi

            Actually there was a fair amount of brutal repression as well back in the 1950s. All in the cause of anti-communism.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @ajla
        Towing and payload capacities magically disappear when US HD Pickups are sold in Australia, by several thousand pounds.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Does Australia have an official way to rate towing/payload?

          In the US it’s pretty much whatever the manufacturer wants it to be.

          The SAE is trying to make a towing standard, but Toyota and GM seem to be the only two companies that are making any attempt to follow it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @ajla
            “In the US it’s pretty much whatever the manufacturer wants it to be. ”
            Before I get a UAW troll saying otherwise, that cannot exist here, you have to satisfy the Australian Design Rules regulations and inspections before you can sell it here.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Foreign and domestic trucks sold in the US, hover around SAE capacity guidelines, but not aggressively over. Australia leaves it ENTIRELY up to the OEM’s sense of humor!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAF0 – Ask yourself what the Chicken tax and US regs did to slow down the ’80s foreign mini-truck craze/fad/invasion.

      Or what “they” did to raise the price of foreign mini-trucks. Or what effect the mini-truck craze had on full-size trucks…

      Unless you answered “ABSOLUTELY NOTHING”, you’re dead wrong!

      But then, are you STILL denying the ’80s ever happened??? I wish Rick Springfield never happened.

      Face it. Your OZ and SEA trucks would loose much of their appeal/reason to buy, in the US. Along with much of their magic capacity and MPG.

      Your trucks have to pick up the slack of the missing segment between small pickups and commercial heavy-duty trucks. Of course they have overrated capacity.

      There’s 1/2 ton and up, “vans” but that’s not quite the same as pickups. No, there’s a TREMENDOUS missing void by the lack of full-size and HD pickups,

      Or would you be happy with a minivan if small trucks weren’t available? Of course not. Vans aren’t pickup trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      Your analysis is sound regarding the Chicken tax. But you underestimate technical barriers, like EPA small diesel emissions and NHTSA crash standards.

      If the tariff were immediately dropped, Detroit would suffer. They have little incentive to compete with smaller trucks when their métier is making big (and bigger) trucks. Toyota and Nissan could probably capture market share.

      But give Detroit a few years to adjust and they may just step up to the plate with competitive Rangers and Colorados. They can make full size products to compete with the Tundra. They’d compete (and maybe dominate) with smaller trucks – but have to swallow smaller profits accordingly. That’s the ultimate threat (I think).

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        What makes technical barriers so harsh for import trucks, but foreign cars, including diesels, slide right past?

        But how would Detroit suffer if the tariff was dropped? First it assumes US trucks are in direct competition with small trucks and import (brand) autos are not. And it assumes import OEMs want to bring their trucks here. I seriously doubt they do. I’m certain Mitsu, Mazda and Isuzu definitely do not. Or why did they leave screaming???

        The small truck market went away, because it was artificially propped up by fears of another oil embargo, CAFE, the “Voluntary Import Restraint” as well as the cheap cut-rate import trucks that were in response to the VIR “agreement”.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Ihatetrees
        Agreed, the Detroit “Big 3″ need to get globally competitive. They certainly are not the moment. Dropping the Chicken Tax and other barriers will make them initially ‘swim’ but I think in a properly competitive environment they could produce some globally desirable vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      You seem to be forgetting that the Mazda you drive was actually designed by Ford to meet the US safety regulations so if there was demand for it here they would sell it here, though not with the same dirty engines you can get down under. They can still play the incomplete vehicle loophole if they didn’t want to actually make them in the US. However not having that dirty diesel means that MPG and/or GCWR would suffer.

      As far as there being fewer truck mfgs than car mfgs in the US that is because so many of the car companies don’t offer any pickups at all, no matter where in the world you are.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “They can still play the incomplete vehicle loophole if they didn’t want to actually make them in the US. However not having that dirty diesel means that MPG and/or GCWR would suffer. ”

        US Diesels do not meet pollution regulations of other countries that have Euro V legislation..they are “dirty diesels”

        The 3.2 disesel in the up coming US transit could not be upgraded to Euro 6 (too old a design)but was good enough to pass US regulations

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Scotdude
        You are another UAW numpty.

        Look at your baseless fearmongering comments.

        Robert Ryan might be correct in assuming the UAW are running scared.

  • avatar
    DrLou

    After tariffs were levied against Japanese vehicles, Japanese vehicles cost more than American vehicles. This gave American car manufacturers the opportunity to sell a lot more vehicles because Japan couldn’t compete on a level playing field. But what did American OEM do? They raised the prices on American vehicles to make more profit per vehicle. And who paid for all of this politicking – we did. History has shown OEMs have only their best interests at heart – not America.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    There used to be small entry level trucks at entry level pricing. No more.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    And the domestic automakers are complaining that Japan is a closed market?
    What a bunch of damned hypocrites!

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Yes, and the tired lie “The Japanese government protects and bails out Toyota, Honda, etc”. Um, didn’t OUR government just bail you guys out from literally going out of business just 4 years ago?

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        After half a century of extreme Japanese mercantilist policies we finally helped our own. Compare our debt with Japan’s far higher debt especially since we protect them militarily from all the neighbors they committed war crimes against.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Since F150s and Silverados dominate all US auto sales. Even if the Japanese nameplates were given away, they’d still never get a toehold in the US. All this talk about tariffs is a smokescreen by the importers.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    All I have to say today is competition is healthy and choice is good… This is just not that hard to understand.

  • avatar
    VA Terrapin

    With all this talk about Japanese pickup trucks, it should be noted that the chicken tax was actually a European tariff on chickens imported from the United States. What we call a “chicken tax” was America’s response to Europe’s chicken tax by slapping a 25% tariff on all imported light duty trucks.

    Free trade agreements are already starting to dismantle this trade barrier. Thanks to NAFTA, trucks built in Canada or Mexico are exempt from the chicken tax, and as pointed in the article, South Korea will eventually be exempt from the chicken tax as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Dimwit

      >>Free trade agreements are already starting to dismantle this trade barrier. Thanks to NAFTA, trucks built in Canada or Mexico are exempt from the chicken tax, and as pointed in the article, South Korea will eventually be exempt from the chicken tax as well.<<

      Yeah, thanks to NAFTA there's no trucks built in Canada anymore. Both GM and Ford pulled out their p/u lines. It's sad.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @VA Terrapin
      Correct and what has a settled dispute over agricultural subsidies got to do with importing vehicles now ..nothing!!!. That is why this Tax should be dropped.
      The UAW (and their various mouthpieces that get on the TTAC/PUTC sites) as the Reuters report suggests are adamant in keeping it. They seem to fear these “inferior” European and now Asian vehicles might wipe the floor against their “Full size superior trucks” Very strange rationale

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    They should drop the Chicken Tax.. Let the best truck win. The Big 3 make some good trucks. They have nothing to worry about.

    Americans don’t actually want small trucks in general – unless you create a special segment thats not crash worthy and sell us those Chinese made GM trucks that cost 5 grand a pop. Those would sell.

    But full featured small trucks are so close in price to full featured big trucks it just make any sense to go small. Big trucks can carry more stuff – so bigger really is better in the truck world.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Celtic Pete,
    Agreed about dropping the Chicken tax, The problem you have is US sourced midsize Pickups cannot be exported as they several generations behind the global Pickups. That being said, that does not describe the vastly different Pickup and Truck market outside NA.

  • avatar
    niky

    I’d say the US does make competitive midsizers. The Ranger and Colorado are very, very good products compared to the Japanese.

    Of course, they don’t make them in the US. Which is still a problem.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    There is one significant piece of information for us pickup fans. Most Japanese pickups, actually nearly all are made in Thailand not Japan.

    But as with any FTA in any country the UAW will oppose.

    I read one unionist delegate’s comment to fight for the people. This type of rhetoric is what killed Detroit in the first place.

    When things are going bad will the UAW help pay out some of the debt by the manufacturers. No. They cry to the government for taxpayer handouts.

    They want a say on how to run a business but don’t want to be held accountable when things screw up.

    Because of this lack of accountability the UAW shouldn’t be allowed to enter into any FTA arrangements.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Some of these comments make no sense, how would small trucks affect full size, we have two very competent midsize offerings in the frontier ad Tacoma, people that needed small pickups would go for these instead of full size to Begin with, this is crazy to think that full size would see sales drop.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      First off, not everybody wants a Japanese truck. Even so, sales of Tacomas and Tundras seem to be growing despite this. Interestingly, the Tacoma–currently the only mid-sized truck of note in the States– is seeing increased sales. I will acknowledge that at least part of this increase is due to the apparently permanent loss of the Ford Ranger (still in demand) and (temporary) loss of the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon. This increase, by the way, is despite the fact that almost everyone points out that it is effectively unchanged since ’04.

      What this means is that there is a statistically-significant number of Americans who want smaller pickup trucks and that if they can’t get an American brand, they’ll take what they can find, used or foreign. Only once in my life have I owned a Japanese-branded vehicle (a Mitsubishi pickup) and never a European one. I do prefer to “buy American”. I will admit that the appearance of the vehicle I buy matters (I’m not a fan of how most current F-150s or GM trucks look). And I will also admit that my history of certain brands does color my trust in given brands (GM used to be my #1 choice ’til they dropped all three of my favorite marks and Ford’s poor reliability for me was notorious–costing me the equivalent of a new-car payment monthly just to keep it running). However, that doesn’t mean I won’t at least look at them and try to analyze their real value to me. As such, if Japanese or European is all that’s available in the size I want, then that’s probably what I’ll end up buying unless I manage to get a ‘steal’ on a decent used one (like that F-150 I’m driving).

      How will compact affect full size? Some current full-size drivers bought what they could get and will eventually replace them. If smaller is available, they’ll likely return to compact. The biggest damage will come to the SUV market–the full-sized versions already hurting from full-sized crew cabs while the mid-sized models will be cannibalized by mid-sized pickups.

  • avatar

    Lots of people here are saying the global midsizers will give the “traditional” full-sizers from the Big 3 a run for their money, citing higher fuel economy and higher tow ratings, for one.

    The high fuel economy figures are incumbent on small diesel motors. Diesels that might not pass muster with the EPA. So any car company bringing in global midsizers will simply fit them with big four-cylinders or V6s. And there goes your fuel economy advantage.

    The high tow rating is largely incumbent on the advice of the legal department. That’s one reason why tow ratings are often lower in the U.S. for most vehicles than elsewhere. Better to play it safe by telling the consumer to tow their fifth wheel with more truck than they need rather than face potential lawsuits when they max their existing truck’s tow rating. And there goes your towing advantage.

    These vehicles have to be reengineered to pass muster with federal safety standards. There’s another barrier no one’s talking about. We should be talking about harmonizing FMVSS regs with ECE standards. Those regs are why we got saddled with sealed beam headlamps for more than 40 years.

    Then, there’s the general public. Americans want brash, bold and imposing vehicles that are practically swiss-knife in their versatility. Trucks like the Silverado, Sierra, Ram and F150 are the perfect personification of those desires – and they’re pretty dang cheap once rebates get thrown on the hood. Most people here thinks the average F150 or Silverado buyer will flock to the global midsizers if given half a chance. I don’t think so. You’ll see a small market for those trucks, but only if they manage to keep those diesels in the process.

    In short, dropping the chicken tax won’t result in a flood of cheap and cheerful Thai-produced Japanese-nameplated global midsizers. Most American consumers will want their full-size pickups and most fleets will still buy stripped-out and discounted variants of those full-size pickups.

    On the other hand, I’d be more worried about the Kei-type light pickups. You know, the ones that are about a step and a half above the John Deere Gator in size. I bet the farmers and handymen would absolutely love those, especially if the price is right.

    The UAW is whipping itself up in a patriotic frenzy just for the sake of staying relevant while protecting its interests. Makes no difference given the above.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      ^^^This. And if the US starts buying a bunch of diesels then you guys down under are going to notice the price of diesel start to creep up. I believe we export a significant chunk of Diesel we produce here. If we start using it the price is going up.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @John Williams
      “That’s one reason why tow ratings are often lower in the U.S. for most vehicles than elsewhere.”
      Other way around, towing figures are exaggerated and payloads are less , GVWR given to the vehicles is pretty optimistic . That is why a US Pickup loses several thousand pounds in towing capacity in Australia and elsewhere.
      Outside of that the “Bigger is better mentality” will make Full size Pickups more desirable you are right.
      The other issues about differing standards is a not so obvious trade barrier

      “Americans want brash, bold and imposing vehicles that are practically swiss-knife in their versatility.”
      They are no swiss knife and are not that versatile.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        This doesn’t really explain why CUVs that are sold in the US often have a 1,500 lb towing capacity while when the same vehicle is sold in Australia it has a towing rating that is sometimes more than double.

        I’m not your stereotypical US pickup defender, but I’ve towed loads that push the US rated limits of a number of full sized trucks/SUVs and never had a problem. I’ve been on farms where rated towing limits of old 3/4 ton gas and diesel pickups were being exceeded on rutted mud tracks. With 765-800 ft/lbs of torque, the latest medium duty trucks will tow things that used to require semi-tractors. When I go to the track, I see multi-car haulers with shops and sleepers being towed by pickup trucks, and most of them have to cross the Grapevine to get there. Denying that US trucks can easily tow their rated weight is silly for anyone that is paying attention.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @CJinSD
          “This doesn’t really explain why CUVs that are sold in the US often have a 1,500 lb towing capacity while when the same vehicle is sold in Australia it has a towing rating that is sometimes more than double”

          Notice over the years how the Panther chassised sedans went from roughly a 5000lb towing capacity to 1500lb, although nothing was changed? Same happens to CUV’s in the US, they are not the designated vehicle for towing in the US, are.

          “. I’ve been on farms where rated towing limits of old 3/4 ton gas and diesel pickups were being exceeded on rutted mud tracks.”
          Yes they certainly would be. You see Asian Pickups in Asia with over 4000lb in the tray. Try exceeding those limits at highway speeds and going up or down steep hills/ Mountain roads then it is another matter.

          “With 765-800 ft/lbs of torque, the latest medium duty trucks will tow things that used to require semi-tractors”

          Again the “Medium Duty” Pickup is not designed for a heavy duty cycle commercial application. It is a Light duty vehicle with seemingly modest payload and towing figures that can tow medium loads occaisonally. The F550 Cab Chassis does not have the towing ability but a much greater payload, but still pretty light by global standards.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Lots of things were changed over the years in the Panther to make its tow rating drop from the once optional 5000lbs to the 2000lbs it had at the end. To get that 5000lb rating required steeper, CAFE unfriendly, gears in the rear axle along with higher capacity cooling system components and in the early years HD rear control arms. The rear suspension also changed with the control arms used on the 98 up cars not nearly as strong as those used on the 79-91 or 92-97 cars.

            As far as the F550 C&C goes it is rated for roughly 12,000 worth of “body” occupants and payload depending on the exact configuration. Even if you’ve got a 2,500lb flat bed that is still about 10K worth of payload. The tow rating is up to 16K again depending on the exact configuration. It’s GCWR is 35K so it is rated to tow that 16K load in addition to the ~12K of load on the truck.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Lots of things were changed over the years in the Panther to make its tow rating drop from the once optional 5000lbs to the 2000lbs it had at the end”
            How can you have a chassis go backwards in capability? Nothing was changed on the Panther line to do that, except Ford wanted to phase it out.

            “As far as the F550 C&C goes it is rated for roughly 12,000 worth of “body” occupants and payload depending on the exact configuration. Even if you’ve got a 2,500lb flat bed that is still about 10K worth of payload”
            A less than 5 tonne payload makes it a pretty lightweight vehicle none the same, more capable than the Super Duty though for commercial uses.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Once the loaded, 5th-wheel cattle trailer had been yanked up a muddy hill to the road in what was one of them impressive pieces of driving I’ve ever witnessed, we towed it to auction with a 1992 Dodge Cummins 6-speed 4wd 2500 pickup on highways and at highway speeds. Without looking it up, that old diesel was rated in the 400-450 ft/lbs range, but it towed a goose-neck cattle trailer loaded with at least 4 old dairy cows destined for McDonalds at highway speeds.

            Modest payload? A Ram 3500 has a GCVWR of 37,500 lbs now. As for not being meant for commercial duty cycles or whatever, medium duty trucks are used for that every day in the US, and they still hold up well enough to have resale value after 15 or 20 years. Was Steve the one that did the mileage champs? It wasn’t a fluke that Ford trucks were in the thick of it with Toyotas and Hondas.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @CJinSD
            “Modest payload? A Ram 3500 has a GCVWR of 37,500 lbs now.”
            That is tiny. Not trying to put you down but a GVWR of 33,000lbs not GCVWR is a Light Medium Duty Truck. Medium Duty Trucks range to 52,000lbsGVWR and roughly 115,000lb GCVWR in Australia
            US vehicles are a lot lighter than equivalent Global vehicles.
            Still the RAM 3500 makes a fine HEAVY CARAVAN TOWING vehicle. They are compact enough to park fairly easily(even a dually) and are designed as a car/truck.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            We’re talking about pickup trucks. What’s the greatest GCVWR of a Holden ute or a Ranger or Hilux, or whatever is the most capable pickup you can buy there? How many of your unladen light medium duty trucks can hit 60 mph in 8 seconds like a Ram diesel or are appropriate for wealthy land owners to use as daily drivers?

            “US vehicles are a lot lighter than equivalent Global vehicles.”

            Sure. We use pickups to haul concrete mixers, cranes, trains of 40 foot containers, coal from mine faces. That’s pretty much all we’ve got. We really ought to investigate why we don’t ever use the word heavy to describe any of our wheeled vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            CJinSD
            “We’re talking about pickup trucks. What’s the greatest GCVWR of a Holden ute or a Ranger or Hilux, or whatever is the most capable pickup you can buy there”

            Pickups are not as you say “all weve got ” in Australia. We use trucks(not Pickups) as major work vehicles. Pickups even HD US vehicles are either used by tradesmen,(as a company car), toll storage etc or by RV owners. US Pickups are used as RV towers or as a lifestyle vehicles but never as proper work vehicles.
            Most capable ? try a Holden ute slightly warmed 9 second quarter mile and a 7 minute time around the Nurburing.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            So 7,500 lbs GCVWR then? Pathetic. Might as well get a hatchback.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @CJinSD
            The Maloo and the SS Utes are Sportscars with beds(unlimited they do 180mph and 12 second quarters). US Sports Trucks are the worst of both worlds , slow, do not handle and cannot do much.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            You’re trying obtusely to create a straw man. The question is what good are your utes as work trucks, and your desperate attempts to avoid the question tell volumes. Who could possibly care how fast a truck is beyond its ability to keep up with traffic? Drivers of Maloos et alia probably have to pull their pants down to take a leak. There’s no way your making a dirt bike as a payload take .7g in a pickup bed, let alone a trailer carrying two farm tractors. You’re not even talking about trucks at this point, just two passenger cars with lots of wasted space. Those penis substitutes still wouldn’t see which way a Corvette went, which at least has more secured payload space.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            CjinSD
            “You’re trying obtusely to create a straw man. The question is what good are your utes as work trucks, and your desperate attempts to avoid the question tell volu”

            I told you what a Sports Ute does! You can carry 1300-1600lb in the bed, drive it like a Sportscar and that is what it does, A Corvette with a bed, not unlike the ‘SUV with a bed” that a US Pickup basically is.
            Can you tell me what justification is there for a “Raptor”???, Virtually no payload(900lbs),slow off road, limited range. Might as well throw in the “Power Wagon” as well with its 500lb payload! Makes a Sports Ute looks like an awesome vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The Raptor’s payload is 980-1180 lbs. The Ram Power Wagon’s payload is 1,903 lbs. Sure, they’re toys. That’s not the point. What I’m asking, and what you’re evading to an embarrassing degree, is what the work versions of the utes you pretend to be so proud of are capable of. Even a Power Wagon can tow 11,200 lbs, and it’s a costume. A work oriented Ram can tow 30,000 lbs and a work oriented F150 can bear a 3,120 lb payload. The F150 is a half ton pickup, not a 3/4 ton F250 or 1 ton F350. The top F350 payload is 7,260 lbs. If someone wants to replace full sized US pickups, then the ones they need to worry about are the ones that work hard. I’d love to see lifestyle pickups replaced with smaller vehicles, but the fact that you’re hiding from the uselessness of the utes you’re pushing suggests that there isn’t anything out there that’s better suited to a mixed role of work and personal use than what we already have.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Smaller engines alone hurt the Panther first–no longer could you drop a big 454c.i.d. engine under the hood and one of the 5liter 302c.i.d. engines would pull its guts out over time even hauling one a couple times a year (I know, I had to swap engines in a Ford that had done just that.) Sure, bigger engines today are more powerful, but with only certain exceptions towing a travel trailer became the bailiwick of the larger SUVs and pickups. The Panther simply didn’t need the high rating any more and Ford definitely preferred to sell the trucks since they made 50%-75% more profit off of them.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          CJinSD
          ” That’s not the point. What I’m asking, and what you’re evading to an embarrassing degree, is what the work versions of the utes”
          Now that is different.The work car/utes are still very much liked although they have the disadvantage of being more expensive than the Asian sourced Pickups which are 4 X4.
          The now defunct Ford Falcon(will cease in 2016) has a cab chassis version that has a 2,700lb payload and roughly 5000lb towing. Holden had a similar vehicle with AWD, but the expense of producing them was a problem.
          The work utes are very much liked for the following reasons:
          (1) They drive like a comfortable car, tradesmen like that, more so than a Pickup of any type.
          (2) Loading and unloading is very easy, better than a Pickup
          (3) More stable and better safety ratings than a Pickup.
          (4) Ford had the FPV version and Holden the AWD Cab Chassis versions that were as good off Road as a 4 X4 Pickup. problem was cost of producing unique vehicles for a relative small market.
          To sum up if the Australian Dollar keeps on dropping Asian sourced Pickups will get more expensive than the car.utes
          and possibly they will be back in favour again.
          I have just recently noticed a major Electricity supply company has gone back to using car/utes.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            5,000 lbs towing is quaint. Better safety ratings for car-based utes are just a reflection of the silliness of barrier tests. Pickups may not fare as well in single vehicle crashes, but in multi-vehicle crashes they stand up to cars about as well as barriers do. According to various internet sources, ute is Australian for pickup. I really want to know about the pickups you have, as El Caminos are for pool boys. While car based stuff is struggling to find a market even in Australia, we’re buying 2 million full-sized pickups a year. The market has spoken. I detest the UAW, but they make the pickups that can tow the things I want to tow. Even the Raptor can tow 8,000 lbs, and that extra ton and a half matter. That’s the sort of payload I’m usually involved in shifting, and I really want something that can handle a few more tons with ease. If Toyota would offer something that tows 15,000+ lbs, that’s what I want. The UAW has as much chance of organizing their Texas plant as they do of telling the truth.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @CJinSD
            It appears you aren’t recognising what RobertRyan is trying to put across to you.

            1. Holden and Ford utes sold are 70% Sports utes. That is they are sold as muscle cars and in some instances quicker than actual muscle cars.

            2. Trying to make a comparison between a ute and an HD is actually quite ridiculous. It shows you haven’t a clue what a ute is.

            3. A Ford or Holden sports ute can carry approx what a ‘normal’ 1/2 can carry. No matter what you do to a 1/2 ton full size it couldn’t ever be considered a true sports vehicle ie, racing, even drag racing weight kills them.

            A factory standard Maloo has apparently gone around Nuremburing in 8min 20sec. I’m lead to believe, I’ll check this out, I found this out today at work by one or our V8 ute guys (he’s a Holden guy, can’t trust them)

            4. I spend a lot of time in the US and your pickups are used a daily drivers and most DO NOT TOW. Some do, but not many tow anything more than what a Taco could tow.

            5. Our Japanese midsizers are a different beast, they are not for drag racing numpties at the lights. These are desinged as work trucks from the onset, also as a 4×4 then adapted to 2wd unlike US pickups which are 2wd first. This makes them quite capable 4×4 vehicles.

            Our midsizers will carry a load somewhere in the range of the lower end of HDs and can tow up to approx 8 000lbs or there abouts.

            After this class of vehicle we have what are termed trucks. LDT, MDT, HDT etc.

            Our LDTs will do much what your HDs do and a little more. They can come with up to 20′ beds on the back. By government regulation they are limited to tow only 4.5 tonnes or about 10 000lbs.

            LDTs are trucks and the diesels engines are different to an HD diesel. They are undersquare and reach peak torque at or below 1 500rpm and peak power around 2 500rpm.

            These also come as 4×4/crew cabs etc.

            As of late though we are getting intermediate light commericals like Ducato’s, Transits, Iveco etc. These trucks are very light duty LDTs that can only carry up to 5 000lbs in some cases.

            These are doing some of the work your HDs are doing.

            We also have US HDs and 1/2 ton pickups and believe it or not they are toys for towing a horse float or 5th wheel RV.

            You wouldn’t use them for work.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            CJinSD
            [1] Things get lost in Translation. The 8000lbs becomes roughly 6000lbs in Australia.The vehicle being described was bought here by Ford Australia as a base used to compare against the Global Ranger being developed.
            “Under the Raptor’s head-high bonnet sits a 6.2-litre V8 that produces 306kW of power at 5500rpm and 588Nm of torque at 4500rpm, and gives the four-wheel-drive F-150 a 2720kg towing capacity.”

            [2]I do not know how you arrived at this below. as it is untrue. An unsafe vehicle is just that.
            This is pretty unsafe vehicle, folding like paper in a crash is not better than some Chinese Pickups.
            http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/lB0araA0T_k/hqdefault.jpg

            “. Better safety ratings for car-based utes are just a reflection of the silliness of barrier tests. Pickups may not fare as well in single vehicle crashes, but in multi-vehicle crashes they stand up to cars about as well as barriers do”

            [3]“we’re buying 2 million full-sized pickups a year.”
            We are buying a lot of Pickups too and per capita basis more than the US, but they are not US pickups.

            As Big Al from OZ said US Pickups are treated as “toys” not work vehicles. As Lifestyle vehicles to drive around or RV towers. You do not GET how Utes are used.
            We are not importing US Pickups in large numbers (about 150 maybe a year), but your OEM’s are determined you are going to get Overseas Vans, Cab Chassis variants and some trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Big al, why do you act like its a big deal if people daily drive full size trucks, its their choice, obviously they could get by with a smaller truck, but then they would have made that choice to begin with, obviously wants superpose needs, therefore, the argument that they can:could doesn’t make sense.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The problem is, Hummer, that we CAN’T. I am an American and I want an American-branded compact truck; I simply do not NEED anything bigger. If it is too big for me to carry in the vehicle I have, then I have it delivered at a far lower cost than running out to buy a bigger vehicle. Obviously there are many thousands of people who WANT a smaller truck, but their only available choices are used (often worn out) Rangers and S-10/15s or new Japanese branded Tacoma and Frontier. Remember, some of the people buying still remember WWII and refuse to buy anything Japanese while others still remember the tin can quality of the early Japanese and European cars that made it to American shores. Yet others are simply so conceited as Americans that they simply must have an American name on their vehicles while others truly do want to support their favorite brand but don’t want or need a full-sized pickup.

            In other words, the market IS out there but the current management of at least two brands don’t want to take the chance of failing and aren’t willing to let anyone else prove the market to them. Oh yes, I did take a lot of business management courses which included business economics, and every single American brand right now is IGNORING what they were taught, sticking to traditional monopolistic policies until they are forced to change–again.

            One computer company proved that method wrong. One automotive company is proving that method wrong. Both of those companies have surprisingly loyal customers.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Hummer
            I make a big deal because we do the same.

            Most on this site keep on quoting, we need big V8s to tow etc.

            Not many say we buy V8s because we can.

            Just our midsizers in Australia have 4 in the top ten of vehicles sold.

            If you guys only looked at 1/2 ton pickups per capita I think you will be surprised how many are used for work and even towing.

            Just like us with utes and midsizers.

            The differences are marginal. I use my BT50 as a SUV with a bed, a daily driver.

            To justify the types of vehicles we drive we stretch the truth and actual abilities of vehicles.

            1/2 pickups are designed to be daily drivers and maybe a little work on the side.

            The tow limits on 1/2 pickups is bull$hit, as I have stated I spend lots of time in the US and the most I’ve seen getting towed a Taco can tow. If you are going to tow 10 000lbs I would definitely buy an HD.

            Utes and pickups are mainly image vehicle a sort of redneck prestige vehicle. Why? Just like Australia most are mid-high end vehicles, not work vehicles.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The Chicken Tax is not going away anytime soon because Washington does not have the will to do anything about it. Also the only way to get the law repealed is to provide huge campaign contributions and that will not happen. The only campaign contributions will be from the UAW and Detroit to keep the Chicken Tax in effect. I think the solution is let the regulations on increased fuel standards take effect and allow the fuel prices to rise with no release of strategic reserve stockpiles of oil and there will be less demand for larger pickups. Less demand for larger more expensive and less efficient trucks will then give the manufacturers an incentive to make more efficient trucks. Let the Chicken Tax stay and let the trucks become more expensive then you might see pressure put on by the buying public to provide a smaller, more affordable, and more efficient truck. Maybe a bottom line price of 60k or above in a few years would cause a change.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I still have yet to see someone here list the advantages f a midsize over our full sizes, it just seems like a lot of American bashing.
    I hate unions as much as the next person, but you can’t blame our love for trucks on them.

    There is no reason to buy a midsize over a full size, the argument of fuel mileage is false. We accept bad fuel mileage get off your high horse and acknowledge that.

    Full size pickups compete only with other full size

    Arguing that our pickups, of which the top two sellers in America out of all vehicles are full size pickups, are at risk of being outshines by midsize trucks, shows you have an agenda.
    Even with increased capacity over 1/2 tons our 3/4 are starting to get more and more traction, showing that our tastes are not going for smaller but rather larger.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      That’s because you don’t WANT to see any advantages. First off, there IS a fuel-mileage advantage simply because you’re not pushing as big a slab of metal through the air in both size and weight. But even ignoring the fuel-mileage advantage, a smaller truck can go places a big truck simply can’t, whether you’re talking in the wooded jungle or the concrete jungle. They’re easier to park in almost any parking lot (unless you just WANT to park half a mile from the mall entrance). They only things they lack compared to a full sized truck is the grossly exaggerated horsepower (only needed by professional haulers) and the huge physical size which effectively intimidates people driving the typical family sedan.

      And you know? That’s exactly WHY so many people are now buying full-sized trucks; not because they need them as haulers of people or materiel, but as haulers of PRESENCE–the biggest things on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I didn’t stated there wasn’t a fuel mileage increase, I simply state the average truck buyer doesn’t give a damn, maybe where your from that is strange, but for us in small town USA it’s a pretty well known fact.

        And please entertain me, I have been driving a long time and have yet to find a scenario where the size became an issue, where in the US have you ever found this?
        Other than being offroad, in which case you can easily take down a few trees with the bumper.

        And that is hilarious you actually believe the HP number is faked and there aren’t law suits, your just BSing me now.

        And now what your in charge of telling me how much HP is too much or how much I can tow?

        If I wanted something with presence I would buy an international truck, not a full size that every other person on the road is driving.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          What you said earlier was that gas mileage wasn’t an argument; it is an argument for many people and even though I drive a Jeep Wrangler as my daily driver, I try to stretch its limited mileage as much as I can. It still does better than my F-150 which can’t even reach 20mpg (yet). Every single time fuel prices approach $4/gallon, the large truck segment starts to slip. Back in ’08 it slipped to the point that there were almost more trucks and large SUVs in the used car lots than there were on the new car lots. But as you say, it’s not a consideration.

          I also did NOT say the horsepower numbers were faked, I said they were exaggerated–as in far higher than they really need to be. The only trucks that NEED 350 horses or more are the professional haulers while most of us got by just fine on 200-250 horses for decades. Even the V8 in my F-150 was only rated at 192hp. Sure, it’s got a lot more torque than a 200 horse V6, but it actually has fewer horses than my ’08 Wrangler. I also said nothing about how much you CAN tow–you CAN tow as much as you want, that doesn’t mean everyone else WANTS to tow as much as you CAN. Got it?

          And again, that’s my point. What people NEED and what people WANT are two different things. What is available today and what I really WANT are two different things. I, among more people than you want to admit, WANT a smaller truck. Farmers in Pennsylvania are willing to pay more for an S-10 or Ranger than for a full-sized truck of the same vintage.

          As for Presence, your attitude here simply demonstrates your need to be “bigger and badder”. I’m confident enough in my own self to actually want to make myself less noticeable on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            It’s not up to you or anyone else to determine what any one NEEDS. I for one NEED 400hp in my daily driver sedan, and there’s nothing that anyone can say otherwise.

            The needs of the customer are determined by the customer and the market alone. Not by a bureaucrat, not you, not anyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Maybe you do, Dan-o, but I don’t. I also don’t NEED a nineteen-foot-long Road Whale™ when a fifteen-foot-long compact truck could serve me much better and I wouldn’t have to park it more than a hundred feet away from my home (remember, some HOAs restrict vehicle sizes or require them to be parked in a semi-concealed lot for appearances).

            It’s not how much you have, but how you use it that counts.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            If you want a smaller truck get a midsize, the market for small trucks is small, why do you feel car companies are entitled to cater to your needs, needs that don’t make economic sense.
            The amount of power I have in my vehicles is of no concern to you, I’ll get whatever I want, if I want 600 HP in a truck then I’ll buy it.
            If you don’t like it don’t buy it, if you’ve done serious towing you would see the need for high TQ and HP.

            My presence?, I’m guessing that must be how you see yourself, I’m not scared to do what I want, I’m comfortable in big trucks, and if you can’t handle them, well that’s your loss

            I couldn’t give a damn for what people think about what I drive. It’s what I want, but if your going to go after something I like then yes I’ll speak up.
            Lead or get out of the way.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’d love to, Hummer. Where are they?
            Ford: Dropped the Ranger in ’10.
            GM: No new models for over a year.
            RAM: Dropped the Dakota.

            Hmmm. NO American-branded mid-sized trucks available. Guess what? I can’t get one!

            Obviously by your followup you really don’t get what I or anyone else is saying. Too bad for you; it only shows how out of touch with the world you really are.

            I’ll lead because you just can’t keep up. You’re stopping for gas far too often.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Well that further proves my point, mid size trucks are not a profitable segment, therefore as market demands, their existence is beig reduced.
            Buy Japanese, they make decent mid sizers.

            I’m out of touch? I’m merely stating what the stats show, and can moan all you want about how you don’t want that to be true, but it still doesn’t change the facts.

            Also I’ve never had much of a problem with gas getting low fast with 30+ gallon tanks.
            Sorry if even your low hits don’t ring true, The Truth has No agenda.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, it doesn’t prove your point; it only proves that American auto makers want to sell full-sized trucks because those are what make the biggest profits. For your point to be proven, nobody, anywhere, would be selling mid-sized trucks and outside of the US that’s almost all that are sold; mid-sized trucks. What the stats show are only those that the American automobile manufacturers want you to see; independent sources tend to show other things. Yes, full-sized trucks are among the biggest sellers now, but again, that’s only because that’s all that are available, too.

            As for your 30+ gallon tanks, it seems funny that I can go farther on 21 gallons than you can with 32 gallons. That is, unless you run empty all the time–at which point why do you have that big thing in the first place?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Ok don’t assume America is just like the rest of the world, obviously either other countries want midsize or they lack the option of full size.

            What I’m saying is midsize is a dying breed in America, its nothing more than a niche segment here.

            That’s fine you can go more, however notice I said 30+ so don’t assume I’m speaking of a vehicle in particular.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You know, if you actually responded to what I said instead of responding to what you want to hear, maybe you’d see that you’re only making a fool of yourself. 32 fits the 30+ figure and I can still go farther on 21 gallons than you can in your big truck with 30+ gallons, unless you want to say you’re doing 36 or 40 gallons? I certainly know it’s possible to get a truck with that much or more, but that also means it costs you more than twice as much to fill your tank(s) in the process

            And I have never assumed America is like the rest of the world; that’s the problem with it. We’ve gotten so conceited with being the supposed ‘best’ at everything that we never even noticed when the rest of the world passed us by in education and technology. We’ve become so hide-bound that we refuse to recognize that sometimes, just sometimes, what somebody else has is better than what we can get or make for ourselves. Even that blinkin’ computer you’re using was “Made in China”, don’t you know?

            Get down off that pedestal you’ve placed yourself on and look at the REAL world; the world where cars AND trucks are faster and more fuel efficient as well as carry heavier loads than American-built models. And some of those cars and trucks use diesel engines that are CLEANER than American spec, but use a different technology that is not AMERICAN APPROVED.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            So you say I haven’t answered you, yet your post pretty much skips over the original point.
            The gas tank point isn’t that big of a deal, yea gas is expensive and it sucks, but its part if the cost of living regardless if it’s .50 a gallon or $15.00 a gallon it’s not going to change my habits, its necessary.
            Granted if gas were to ever even reach $5 a gallon the country would collapse, from the pressure.
            And actually we do get the best, time and time again you pick and choose what you want to read, and again let me restate, you obviously didn’t take economics in college, assuming you went, without a valid market for a vehicle there is no reason to manufactor for the US market, your delusional thinking that all countries can get by with the same vehicles as others.
            If we want diesel we can get 3/4 plus or the new Ram

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @hummer “have yet to find a scenario where the size became an issue, where in the US have you ever found this?”

          Plenty of roads are European sized throughout New England. Taking out a couple trees – maybe, but a granite outcropping will stop you cold. To add to the narrowness of some road sections, there are some tight curves (full-size vehicles usually end up with their left wheels left-of-center on the turns) and some really narrow bridges – posted as single lane but used as two lanes by most locals.

          Things get really interesting in the winter after a few snow storms. The walls of snow start encroaching on the already narrow width of the roads.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Hummer has somewhat of a point that is proven by the marketplace. Vulpine is also correct in stating some of the advantages of compact or mid-size pickups. However, buyers were finding that those small advantages weren’t enough to keep them from stepping up to a larger truck when:

        1. The price difference wasn’t very much
        2. The fuel economy was only slightly worse

        Some people truly do want small trucks, but economies of scale dictated that those small truck owners could step up to larger trucks at minimal disadvantage, so many of them did. So the small truck market shrank, and has not been worth investing large sums into. Instead we’re seeing automakers dump the small truck development money into fuel economy of the big trucks to make them more acceptable.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Hummer
      You only look at US midsizers, not global midsizers.

      We have midsizers that are getting 35mpg on the highway and can carry 2 800lbs on the back. Ideal for many small businesses.

      No full size will even come close to my midsizer off roading. Even the Raptor couldn’t do the Australian outback, towing an off road trailer.

      Size, a midsizer will fit into most garages.

      Also, you are saying because you don’t think a midsizer offers any advantages others should be disadvantaged by allowing the chicken tax and other barriers remain.

      You are quite a selfish person, who think that everyone should do as you do.

      America bashing? Look at what you just stated. Do as I do and want.

      A very sad reason to maintain unfair taxes for others.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Again gas mileage is probably at the bottom of concerns for this segment, go over to economy cars for that.
        I can say from experience that I’ve had a 2010 1/2 ton with the tiny 4.8l engine hauling over 4,000 quite easily ratings be damned. We have much more aggressive standards for our equipment and people use these trucks overloaded regularly, ther rated low so that manufactures can say this that and the other and get out of warranty claims.

        There is no advantage for a midsize over long stretches, I don’t even care for the ford but compared to what I’ve been reading about global mid sizers I’d take it log before midsize

        You keep stating out mid sizers are out of date, perhaps this is because your updates have just made them increasingly unattractive to the American buyers.
        How does the product go out of date? No GPS or cooled seats?

        Ok seriously my parents can fit a long bed crew cab full ton into their garage and it wasn’t even designed with any particular vehicle in mind, if it can’t fit a full size then someone has done their measurements wrong.

        And finally hell no I strongly disagree with the chicken tax, but the problem lies in that every country has BS taxes for vehicles outside the local tastes, why should we get free trade to Japan when it only helps Japan, same for Europe with its high taxes.
        But regardless I’d love to see the barriers removed, so long as we don’t get the BS regulations like UNECE, those regulations are the antichrist for car enthusiasts.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Which midsize 4×4 truck is getting 35mpg on the highway? I’d like to see some little truck beat a Raptor, sounds like BS

  • avatar
    mkirk

    You small truck guys are just like the brown, diesel, manual wagon and the Panther crowd. You gripe and complain and buy Camry’s. Having said all that, I just picked up my new Frontier today.

    I will say this…All of you saying “you can get a fullsize for the same price as a compact” are not really telling the whole truth. Yes, regular cabs are not that far apart but if you want a truck to drive daily you probably need 4 doors and it is difficult to get a fullsize south of 30 grand while my Frontier was just over 20.

    It doesnt matter…American’s like big trucks. Think it is stupid…good for you. I care as much as you likely do about the fact that I think the Kei cars are a waste of steel. But I don’t live in Tokyo and you don’t live in Kentucky so who really gives a crap.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @mkirk–True a midsize truck will still be a little less expensive to the comparable full size truck when you compare crew cab with the same options. Dealers will discount full size trucks a little more because there is a higher markup. I don’t see the Chicken Tax going away especially with 2014 being a midterm election year for Congress. Also Congress does not have much time to do anything this year, they are scheduled to take 239 days off in 2013. Repealing the Chicken Tax does not make the same headlines as banning all abortions, passing laws to overturn the Supreme Court ruling allowing same sex unions, and keeping immigration reform from happening. Those topics and continued investigations of the IRS along with Syria are the hot topics. Also there is more political leverage gained from bashing Japanese vehicles. The ironic thing is some of this bashing will come from those driving Japanese vehicles made in America. I agree America prefers bigger trucks but just to make sure that this always remains so it is helpful to maintain protective tariffs and trade barriers. God bless our Congress, the best government money can buy.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    I would think something like the ford transit would satisfy the miser small truck kind of guy these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      If deep snow is never an issue. I like TCs quite a lot but platform-wise they’re just an economy car gone Pregnant Guppy.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Yes. A business owner friend of mine has exactly that–because his Explorer was too big and too costly to drive as much as he does for his business. His Explorer now sits in front of one of his shops, skinned as advertising for that shop and almost never driven. With its size it makes a great billboard.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Try between 50% and 100% profit on some models, meaning anywhere from 15K to 30K pure profit simply because they’re so easy to put together and don’t have all the different weld points and other factors that make assembly so expensive.

    Sure, they’ve got all the computer gimmickry and added luxury that will raise the materials cost somewhat, but they still draw far, far more profit than the family sedan, typical SUV (non BoF) and other vehicles. The only ones now cheaper to make are the mini-cargo-vans as they simply have no interior to speak of.


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