By on August 9, 2013

TTAC_small-trucks-vs-F-Series-chart

Big trucks are really quite good at being many things to many people. Consequently, many people buy big trucks. Sales of full-size trucks in the United States are up 23% this year as the overall industry has grown at an 8% clip. Big trucks are relatively affordable, more fuel efficient than they were in the recent past, and much more liveable than they were even a decade ago.

Small trucks – by which we don’t necessarily mean “small” – are sadly not much more efficient, nor are they significantly more affordable than big trucks. Neither are they as effective as big trucks at replacing the conventional family car.

Yet as you saw on TTAC, General Motors isn’t about to let North Americans go without a small truck from the homeland, by which we mean Thailand. Still named Colorado and Canyon, the Chevrolet and GMC competitors for the Toyota Tacoma should go on sale next year.

Toyota’s certainly not going to give up on the small truck market. It’s a small market, but they own it. Nissan achieves decent volume with the Frontier. Honda clearly feels they have a moral obligation to provide truck buyers with a trunk.

Suzuki is dead in North America, and dying with it is the Equator, a Nissan Frontier copy. The Ranger is gone. So is the Dakota. So there are five left, and the five account for 11.6% of the overall truck market, down from 16.2% in the first seven months of 2012.

Those two numbers are, in one sense, are hardly comparable. The Canyon, Colorado, Dakota, Equator, and Ranger contributed 30% of small truck buyers in the early part of last year, a figure which fell to 3% this year. On the other hand, there were potentially 29,000 truck buyers this year who either fled to the full-size market, bought a car or crossover, didn’t buy anything at all because they’re dissatisfied with the current offerings, or are patiently waiting for the new Colorado.

A strict look at the numbers quickly reveals the Tacoma’s current domination. From 45.1% in the first 58% of last year, the Tacoma’s market share in the category has risen to 65.5%. (The Tacoma’s market share in the overall pickup truck market grew from 7.3% to 7.6%.)

It’s a sad commentary on the Nissan that, without a Ranger and any real competition from GM dealers, sales of the Frontier haven’t improved at all.

Last year, Ridgeline volume rose 44% from its lowest historic level to its second-lowest historic level, and sales are up enough to figure that Ridgeline sales in 2013 will be better than they’ve been since 2008. Perhaps 18,000, maybe 19,000 will be sold this year. Honda sold 50,193 in 2006.

—-

Auto
July
2013
July
2012
July
%
Change
7 mos.
2013
7 mos.
2012
YTD
%
Change
Chevrolet Colorado
207 4096 - 94.9% 3241 25,553 - 87.3%
Dodge Dakota
19 - 100% 478 - 100%
Ford Ranger
413 - 100% 18,855 - 100%
GMC Canyon
22 720 - 96.9% 898 6361 - 85.9%
Honda Ridgeline
1645 981 + 67.7% 10,665 8250 + 29.3%
Nissan Frontier
5615 5611 + 0.1% 34,931 34,996 - 0.2%
Suzuki Equator
167 - 100% 448 1115 - 59.8%
Toyota Tacoma
13,882 11,350 + 22.3% 95,070 78,503 + 21.1%
Total
21,371
23,357 – 8.5% 145,253 174,111 - 16.6%
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274 Comments on “Cain’s Segments: July 2013 – Small Trucks Versus The Ford F-Series...”


  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Now that Fiat is building the Doblo in Mexico, and the van version is selling here as a Ram, it will be interesting to see if we get the Fiat Doblo Work Up pickup as a Ram also.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @racer-esq.
      This segment struggles in Australia. Holden just canned its Holden Combo(similar to the small Transit Connect you get in the US). Not that many uses for the Peugeot, Citroen and VW Caddy. A shrinking market here.
      http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/0/C01D943113D1237ACA2576E000065560/$file/Holden_Combo_Large.jpg?OpenElement

  • avatar
    Broo

    No matter how good and fuel efficient they become, they still won’t get me to buy a full size : too big. Lower them so I can easily access the bed.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      And they don’t fit in garages, either.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        That’s a terrible excuse, I doubt there is any garage that could fit a fullsize truck in the US

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Actually the minimum Uniform Building Code specs are 12′ X 22′ for the single car garage. Garage doors are a minimum of 8′ X 7′. The crew cab F-150 4X4 is 6’3″ tall and 19′ long.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          There is no such building code in the US.

          My step brother is in the building game in the US.

          Building codes are set by the state/county/township.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- RE: US building codes-You are correct, I am delighted to be able to say!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What township, county or state would endorse garages so small that you can not fit a full-size SUV or pickup? And why? It would negatively impact property value if you had to park these outside, at the curb or down the street for townhouse owners. Lame if they do, but name a community that does this.

          • 0 avatar

            Lots of new garges here in CT won’t fit a fullsize truck. My brothers house in Mass was built less than 5 years ago and the garge is ony 8′ x 18′ not really big enough to park a fullsize

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I guess, but why not make it a little bigger for the sake of not having to squeeze out of a Camry? I’m not calling you out on those dimensions, but when you combine the width of a Camry and the thickness of the doors, you’d have to be a stick figure shimmy out of the car. And the garage door has to be no more than 7′ wide with an 8′ garage.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike
            Like I told you I’m more American than you might ever realise:)

            You continually spruik talk like you’ve had to many candy bars.

            Or you have had magic mushies to eat.

            If you want to debate start to be factual. I’m not part of the UAW rank and file, I will not be stirred up by your untruths.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Well, whatever. 8′ wide isn’t a garage. He’s either confused, trying to park in a tool shed or both.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            The only vehicle I have owned that will fit in my garage in Army housing on Fort Knox is my 90 Miata (and my 8 foot Starcraft pop up camper). But it is like 80 year old housing with a garage that was added in the 60′s sometime. Hell it still has a hitching post. Anyway, my Frontier doesn’t fit so I don’t know what got parked in there in the 60′s…a lawnmower maybe?

          • 0 avatar
            cronus

            There is no federal building code in the US but there is a Uniform Building Code http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Building_Code now International Building Code which is a standard that is followed by many (most?) states. It works the same way the National Electric Code works. State laws are either amended to include the new code or the code is automatically put into effect after a fixed delay.

            Also there is no way that a 8×18 garage was built in modern times. Not only would the door be too small to fit a Camry through it would impossible to get out of the car. To put it in perspective the minimum size for a parking space in Massachusetts is 9×20.

          • 0 avatar
            billwat

            It gets even more complicated, because while building codes are set by the state or local government (depending on what state you are in). Some of them haven’t been updated in quite a while. For example, it wasn’t too many years ago that Mass. moved to a version of the current International Building Code (IBC) from a very outdated BOCA code.

            Also, the current/most recognized standard for home construction (1 to 4 dwelling unit buildings) is the Int’l Residential Code (IRC)

            Also, just because there is a state law doesn’t mean there is someone to enforce it. Many rural areas are still ‘unincorporated,’ and frequently do not have staff to perform plan reviews, permitting, or building inspections.

            When we last moved, we looked at several homes in which I could not drive my Silverado into the garage.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          You need to leave Denver, and come to where everything is old and space is limited. Here in New England, tiny garages are everywhere.

          Does it make sense? Not if you’re driving an F150, but most people fit their Minis in just fine.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            True, but we’re talking newer construction, say since the 1950′s. A Mini might fit OK in an 8′ wide tool shed, but not a minivan or Camry.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Plenty of tiny garages in Denver. Mine is 9′ x 18′ with an 8′ x 7′ door. Built in 1931, it was probably designed for 67-inch-wide Model A which is about as wide as a late model Corolla. But you can only open the doors on one side of the car.

          • 0 avatar
            amca

            My two car garage in a 2006 Phoenix, Arizona townhouse is less than 20′ wide and less that 20′ long. Parking two cars in there must be done with great care.

      • 0 avatar
        CGHill

        Certainly not in my post-WWII 10 x 25 garage, unless I never, ever want to open a door.

  • avatar
    Ion

    The Tacoma’s days are numbered. Toyotas been slowly killing it off trim level by trim level. Eventually the small pick up market will die in the US. The Australians will come in here and blame the chicken tax but the truth is there’s little demand for small pickups here.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Not only is Toyota not going to give up a segment they owned, have competed in successfully for decades, they’re also not going to give up the enormous amount of younger buyers that buy Tacomas. The Tacoma is getting a redesign for 2015.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Between the Colorado/Canyon making a comeback and the regular cab Tacoma going away in 2015, the Tacoma will be lucky to sell a small fraction of what it will sell in ’13 and ’14.

        The the Colorado/Canyon will offer regular cabs although with 7′ beds. Reg cabs will be the bulk of their sales, unfortunately. Not to mention fleet sales.

        Tacoma sales took a nose dive in Canada when they took away the reg cabs. Now the Hyundai Veloster and Audi A4 both outsell the Taco in the Great White North.

        http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2011/10/29/canada-september-2011-honda-civic-reclaims-passenger-cars-1-spot/

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @84Cresida- Dream on! It won’t be their choice. Do you think they are choosing to fail with Tundra after they built a complete assembly plant in Texas presuming they would succeed?
        Are you aware that GM is presently outselling Toyota globally and that in spite of Toyota’s ~2 million to nothing advantage in their closed home market?

        The main reason Tacoma is the leader is they are the only game in town. They actually delayed their full effort new Tundra to avoid the embarrassment of being beaten for Truck of the Year by Silverado.

        Just as Honda will be increasingly marginalized with the big boys now going after their turf with a cost basis that will let them compete, Tacoma will become the backmarker.

        (How’s that for stirring! Recovering from knee surgery, need some stimulation!)

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @84Cressida,
          180,000 now and Toyota is about to takeover Ford for 2nd position in the US, the 2015 model could be a great springboard for the maker.

        • 0 avatar
          wsn

          “Are you aware that GM is presently outselling Toyota globally and that in spite of Toyota’s ~2 million to nothing advantage in their closed home market?”

          In 1985?

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @WSN- Catch up! GM outsold Toyota globally last quarter, are still behind for the first half of the year. These are current facts, your notions are history. Inform yourself- look it up!
            @RR- Toyota did surpass Ford in America for one month, but has sold only 81,000 Tacomas in America in the first half, a number that is 9% of the 870,000 full size pickups sold by Ford, GM and Chrysler. Since Tundra does not make the top 10 selling truck list (Tacoma is 10th) I have no idea how many fewer of them were sold, but they are going to wither. Can’t compete. Read and learn, better yet, look to some unbiased sources of hard data.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Doctor olds,
            No it did not. GM is currently second Globally closely followed by VW, Toyota is on track to pass Ford again in the US and Honda could challenge Chrysler . Could be a very different Big 3 in a few years time.
            The Tacoma is a Midsize Pickup so as everyone has said and not competing against Full Size Pickups. It very much is the leader in its segment.
            Toyota is not worried about the Tundra or Tacoma as they are secondary lines for them, same applies to Nissan . Nissan is probably looking at US sales of its Van, does it breal even and make a profit.
            The GM twins will expand the Midsize market, but not unseat the Tacoma as it is going to be eventually changed as well.
            VW sell what its wants to sell in Japan, mainly Audi’s, LamboGhini’s Porsche’s etc. A very profitable niche market for VW, Pickups are not sold in Japan even by the Japanese.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RR- In fact my statement That GM outsold Toyota in the most recent quarter is a fact: “For the second quarter alone, GM had a slight edge, outselling Toyota by about 10,000 vehicles.”

            http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130727/BUSINESS/307270027/Toyota-top-seller

            Toyota is still ahead for the first half- they sold 4.91M to GM’s 4.86M, but GM is growing away from them in both the US and China, with a reasonable potential to overtake them for the year. As GM’s product pipeline is just starting to flow after the disruption of bankruptcy, I’d bet a dollar to a donut that they will end the year again as the #1 automaker in the world. They are roughly 2M ahead of Toyota everywhere outside of Japan.

            VW talks big, but talk is cheap, and they are already starting to fall off in America.

            Both they and Toyota are far more profitable than GM at this point, which makes them the most successful automakers in the world, in my book.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Doctor Olds.
            Nice try, but both Toyota and VW are making twice the profit of GM(see article about Toyota on this blog) and Toyota is currently the largest Automobile Company in the world,
            I am waiting for another collapse from GM probably in two years time.
            http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/07/26/toyota-maintains-reign-as-world-top-selling-automaker/

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RR- Can’t you read, or is it a comprehension problem? I wrote,”Both they (VW) and Toyota are FAR MORE PROFITABLE THAN GM at this point, which makes THEM the most successful automakers in the world, in my book. What a fool. Can you begin to understand the difference between fact and opinion?

            This fact is incontovertible, GM SOLD MORE VEHICLES GLOBALLY than any other maker in the last quarter, just as I originally wrote. FACT.
            Toyota’s lead is shrinking, FACT and likely to be gone by year end, OPINION.

            GM is still making a good deal of money FACT and have no risk of collapse in the foreseeable future, OPINION.

            You are entitled to you own opinion but there is only one set of FACTS.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds
            “@RR- Can’t you read, or is it a comprehension problem? I wrote,”Both they (VW) and Toyota are FAR MORE PROFITABLE THAN GM at this point, which makes THEM the most successful automakers in the world, in my book.”
            That must be painful you to admit the obvious. Yes Toyota and VW are vastly better than GM.
            So Toyota was slightly edged out for one quarter So what? they Toyota completely outsold GM for the rest of the year.
            Talking about lack of comprehension,@DO one up period ,does not mean the Company as a whole is going to prosper.
            If that is your idea of an indicator of overall success I suggest you do a basic business course as your comprehension is poor.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            I am not at all pained to understand and express the facts. My goal is always truth.

            Suffering nitwits like you is a pain, but I have a philosophy “Don’t let the assholes get you down.” Your ideas are ridiculous and anyone with a head on their shoulders knows it.

            In addition, you must need a basic arithmetic class. GM was #1 every year until 2008 when the US Market collapsed and Toyota first overtook them.
            Toyota was also #1 in 2009 and 2010, then GM was back on top in 2011, Toyota got back ahead in 2012, and for the first half of 2013, Toyota is a whopping 1.2% ahead of GM and losing ground the last quarter.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Hey Doctor Olds,

            I approved your comment (it was stuck in the queue), but please be civil. Thanks!

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @Jack Baruth- Thank you for the appropriate chastisement. I deserve it and sincerely apologize, ashamed of my lack of civility. That’s easier to say the next morning, but I have to work harder at it!
            I appreciate the opporunity to express my views and share my knowledge.
            Frankly, I would rather you delete it, wishing I hadn’t used those word.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor Olds
            “I am not at all pained to understand and express the facts. My goal is always truth.

            Suffering nitwits like you is a pain, but I have a philosophy “Don’t let the assholes get you down.” Your ideas are ridiculous and anyone with a head on their shoulders knows it.”

            If you want to go childish rants please do them elsewhere. Try and keep some common courtesy As far truthful statements, you have been consistently deceitful on this thread and on other posts on TTAC. Why would anyone believe you? Try some facts next time verifiable ones.

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Good lord, the vicodin or Kool-Aid is strong in you. Toyota is on track to sell over 100,000 Tundras this year and expects to sell even more this year. A failure it is not. So you’re saying that Toyota delayed releasing the 2007 Tundra and instead launched it in..2007? Only to try to avoid GM’s trucks for a meaningless award? I suggest you take the prescription pad away from yourself, doctor.

          The Tacoma mopped the floor with the GM twins when they came out on the market back in 2004, not to mention the Frontier, Dakota, and Ranger, and Toyota will no doubt be able to contend with the new ones.

          And what the hell do global sales totals of GM and Toyota have to do with the Tacoma? Not to mention Toyota still leads GM YTD, not that it matters anyway. And the Japanese market is wide open for GM to sell anything they want.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @84Cressida- Toyota was expecting to sell enough to support a 200,000 unit plant. They built the plant and hand to mothball it for a time before repurposing it. As an empirical fact, they delayed the Tundra just long enough that it was not in the running while Silverado won the award. Coincidence? It is clear and understandable they wanted that award for advertising purposes.

            You may imagine 100K to be strong, but it leaves them a distant 5th among full size trucks. Their new Tundra is very likely to fall further behind, with little more than a facelift.

            Tacoma WAS a fine truck, and they have enjoyed little competition recently.That will change soon. It is rock sold guarantee that they will lose market share. Just simple arithmetic with two competitive entries coming back in. Only time will tell whether or not they keep the #1 slot. If I were a betting man…..

            The global sales facts are real, particularly about Japan, regardless of whether you want to understand. Deep pockets VW, with money to burn and products better suited for Japan’s market remains a tiny, marginal player there.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            It is a failure in that this was supposed to be the truck that put Toyota in the same sentence as Ford, GM, and Chrysler with respect to fullsize trucks and break the “Japanese build great little trucks but not big trucks” stereotype. Think of Lexus back in the day and what it did for Toyota. In that respect, the Tundra is an absolute failure that few buy without a ton of cash on the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Ion,
      The Tacoma or a rebadged 1990′s Hilux Surf, with softer springing would not sell here either. Still this “Old nail” still sells 180,000 vehicles in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      ToxicSludge

      @ Ion: I’m not into cars at all,so I have little to nothing to say about those.But,I am into trucks,and bought my first new one back in 74.I’ve lived out in the country my whole life and I can tell you first hand that the demand,and customer base for small trucks is there (here) and waiting for something to buy.If your not into trucks,you have no idea how ‘dated’ the taco,and the frontier really is.Mostly kids are buying them as they have little concern for towing or actually hauling tools etc.Since the demise of updated modern fuel efficient compact trucks in this country most went to the full size out of necessity.Offer us a modern fuel efficient compact pickup here in the USA and we will buy them and use them.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Toxisluge,
        Ironically in farming areas of the US. I was surprised that people wanted something smaller.Logically you would think that would not be the case, but farmers told me they would like a choice of something that was “fuel efficient” and smaller.
        More Urban areas are into the “bigger is better”mentality.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      “How can people know they want something, if it doesn’t exist?” Steve Jobs once said, to which I would add: “How can folks know they want a small truck, if no one BUILDS a small truck?”. Millions of tiny trucks were sold between 1960 and 1980. Millions more WILL be sold, if it is the right truck. Kinda like hybrids: Honda failed with the first Insight, and Toyota succeeded with the Prius. Build it, and they will come. Build a small, fuel efficient truck with a 4 by 8 bed, and many will buy it. Subaru had the right idea with the Baja, but the bed was too small, so it failed. Toyota and Nissan had great little trucks, but they’ve become fat and heavy and big motored (over 2 liters is NOT small!). Again, build the RIGHT small truck, and it will sell.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @jeffzekas – The Subaru Baja failure was double edged. Forester and Legacy/Outback sales took a big dip shortly after the Baja went on sale and came back, not long after it was cancelled. Now if Mazda, Mitsu or VW were to sell their global trucks here, can you say “cannibalize”?

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/charts-of-the-day-is-subarus-sales-streak-losing-steam/

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @jeffzekas,
        I think you will know when GM introduces the Colorado and Canyon. This should help the section grow in the US. At least people will have a choice of NEW Midsize platforms, not ANCIENT ones.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @jeffzekas
        You bring a valid point. How can someone know it they want something they have never experienced.

        My view is just remove the barriers and tariffs and let the rest resolve itself. May the strongest succeed.

        I do think there will be full size trucks around in the US while it has a reasonably cheap fuel source available.

        The best outcome if the US market opened up is that fullsize trucks will become cheaper. But it seems some who blog on this site don’t want a cheaper pickup. Talk about being silly billy’s.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          @BAFO- Maybe you should take your own advice. Have you ever even driven let alone used an American pickup?

          You have been presented with ample and factual reasons why the market is not nearly as protected as you imagine from your theoretical view. Your logic is sound, and I agree that tariffs are bad. Your view is also just ignorant of key facts.

          In the world of reality, Toyota, Nissan for example could just undercut the domestics if what you imagine is true. They don’t have any special tax on them.

          Any other maker can slap together CKDs in a low cost Mexican or any NAFTA plant to circumvent the Chicken tax and bring them in. They’d love to, but can’t make the business case. Americans just don’t want enough of them to make it.

          I continue to support your call for the elimination of the tax as well.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0,

          “The best outcome if the US market opened up is that fullsize trucks will become cheaper”

          The tail doesn’t wag the dog.

          What WOULD happen is small trucks would get cheaper in the US than in OZ for example, before rebates. Right now, Toyota isn’t slashing the price of the base Tacoma for it’s the only game in town. That would change from more small truck competition. ANY small truck competition.

          Small trucks in OZ start at (base) Camry pricing. In the US, they must start (before rebates) at Corolla pricing. This is due to our full-size pricing plus discounts.

          And there’s no way a small niche market would impact the the way full-size trucks are priced or discounted.

          But what’s in it for small truck OEMs to come to America and lose their shirt? Why did Mazda, Mitsu or Isuzu run away screaming? Was it all the fleet buyers, heavy rebates, bottom feeders, or other cheapskate?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike
            Why do you debate to keep the tariffs and barriers in place?

            Don’t you want to help you fellow American? Or do you want them to pay more than is necessary for a vehicle?

            What institution would have the view that you have?

            I really can’t believe you don’t want other to have cheaper pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – You’re confusing one argument for another. I agree all tariffs should be dropped and regulations equal all around. Plain and simple.

            We only disagree on how tariffs and regulations may or may not affect past, current or future import trucks.

            Two different arguments. You want to combine them to obscure the subject at hand. The subject that you happen to be wrong about.

            I won’t play into your hand. And you’re not even disputing my points, but instead, trying to distract.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike
            Then why do you keep on turning this into a pissing competition, making comparisons?

            My argument is the midsizers are very competitive, or there would be no tariffs in place. If they weren’t competitive why would the tariffs and barriers be there?

            As you well know, being a UAW stooge that it isn’t just pickups that are affected by these tariffs and barriers, but over 50% of the value of the US vehicle market.

            It’s just logic. I’m discussing the tiny attributes between these two style of vehicles. You seems to want to argue pointless arguments full of untruths (lies).

            You are either a troll or you have an agenda to confuse and misinform.

            If you don’t like the tariffs and barriers why do you blame the Europeans for the US having them. You will then spruik untruths and distorted information on the Europeans.

            Really, you lie and confuse with false data that is unsupportable. You then will say I have proven. You prove nothing.

            Who’s fault is it that the tariffs and barriers are in place then? The Japanese? The Europeans? Nigerians?

            No it’s the UAW and Big 3.

            You speak with a forked tongue.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            BAF0 – I don’t care how they compare. The trucks aren’t even competing for the same consumers. When I shopping for a new pickup, small trucks aren’t even on my mind. Small truck buyers, likewise aren’t cross shopping full-size.

            It’s you that compares them. My only point is you compare the best (payload/towing) example from one group, and the absolute worst example from the other group. You won’t say which trucks exactly, so that’s why I ask for specific models. You say “50 MPG” on the open highway, and I know they can’t all get that FE, so I ask for specifics. And I know that’s not a number we can use for (EPA) comparison.

            It doesn’t matter how “competitive” midsizers are. Their prices are too high for US consumers and profit margin too low after rebates, fleet, cheapskates, and other stripper truck buying, bottom feeders for OEMs to seriously consider the US market.

            I’m not blaming any county for tariffs or regulations. But name a market more wide open, and less restricting to imports including having citizens more open to owning foreign cars?

            This isn’t an endorsement for tariffs, but the question here in NOT whether they’re right or wrong (completely off topic), but do they impact import trucks OEMs would otherwise be selling in the US.

            I’ve asked you REPEATEDLY to show me where I’m wrong, IF I’m wrong on ANYTHING WHAT SO EVER… And you just revert back to your personal attack, childish rant and other UAW/CAW agenda nonsense in an endless loop.

            If by speaking the truth YOU don’t want to hear makes me a “stooge”… “HEY MOE!!!”

  • avatar
    JK43123

    “didn’t buy anything at all because they’re dissatisfied with the current offerings, ”

    That would be me. *SIGH*

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Same here. The current offerings are varying degrees of yawn.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Add a third one to that list. I’d love to find something to replace my ’03 Ranger. But its never going to be what passes for a full-sized pickup today. Too large, way too tall (I was annoyed enough at the four inch rise on my Ranger vs. the ’96 S-10 that preceded it, both are 2wd), just too damned big and I don’t care that it’ll get within 2mpg of what I’m currently driving.

      I need something with a club cab that can haul a Harley Super Glide or smaller motorcycle in the bed. And nothing bigger. The Ranger is already the biggest vehicle I’ve got sitting in the driveway.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I’m still harboring a badly needed desire to own that gorgeous black and silver, high-rised, chrome nerf barred, ’85 Toyota SR5 4×4 that Marty McFly is driving at the end of Back to the Future. I’d seriously consider giving up my soul for one in good nick.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    To my way of thinking only the Ranger is/was a small truck. The rest are midsize. I miss my little Mitusbishi Mighty Max.

  • avatar
    lowsodium

    I drove a S-10 for about 10 years. Used it haul all kinds of stuff, and never thought i would buy a full size truck. But after buying a F150 I wouldnt go back to a small truck again. The F150′s gas mileage isnt much worse than the S-10. Significantly more room inside, and can haul much more weight. The S-10 was a great truck, but I can see why people wont buy one anymore. In reality the only good thing about a small truck is parking.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      And the ability to access the bed from the side of the truck, without a stepladder.

      • 0 avatar
        Broo

        Amen. That’s the main reason I passed on a 2003(4?) Silverado and a 2002 Ram to buy a 7′ bed 2006 Ranger back in 2010. No way I will climb up and down the bed while loading/unloading firewood. Would have preferred a 8′ bed, but no small/midsize truck offers that anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I drove a compact Toyota PU for 11 years. It pulled my first 2 boats fine but my 3rd boat was way too much for it to tow period. It was time to step up to a fullsize. Plus my fullsize has had 3 car seats in it for close to 4 years. You’d never do that with a compact crew or even a midsize for that matter and/or tow my current boat.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      My 03 S-10 was the only dud of a small truck I ever owned. My 93 Ranger was mediocre perhaps but that S-10 was one of the last built and it showed…It was put together like someone could have cared less.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    My hope is that GM’s activity in this sector will get the whole segment out of stagnation.
    Any one who has experience with a current Hi-Lux double cab would laugh at the assertion mid size trucks are not good for family use. Americans just would not know that now, would they? The Tacoma, being the most popular small truck, is an antique.
    The full size pick up truck culture is way to strong in the US for it to go away or even be threatened by a resurgence in the mid-sizer and, for the benefit of consumer choice, it can easily give up some market share.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      GM and Toyota better be aiming high if they want mid sized buyers with the new F series looming on the horizon. The 2.7L Ecoboost will probably have a 30mpg or better highway rating. To steer a buyer from that will take some significant powertrain and structural development which isn’t going to happen. We’re basically stuck with an arms race in a size that all the chicken tax peddlers happen to hate.

      Whatever. This is ‘murica. Bigger is better.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    If the world was perfect, I would be driving a Ranger with an updated powertrain.

    Instead I’m driving a F150 that I picked up for 28k out the door, have a Coyote V8, 4×4, extended cab and I get 1 mpg less than the much less capable Tacoma. I’m getting 17.0 in the first 700 miles whereas the STX Coyote I had at work was getting 19 mpg (mixed) after break-in.

    The midsized market just isn’t worth it if Ford and GM keep spitting out ultra competitive full sized product. I just really wish that there was room in the OEM’s capital expenditure to develop the small truck. Until then, we’ll be stuck with inferior garbage that doesn’t get any attention because it won’t make money.

    I really should be thankful that I could sneak in on a inexpensive ‘garbage’ trim level which existence is only for all of the luxury truck buyers that pay $15k more than me for the equivalent of a Droid II embedded in their IP with a back up camera and 8 patches of leather surrounded by stitched plastic and maybe a piece of plastic with their VIN printed on it glued to the center console. Marketing is a wonderful thing when you’re a cheap ass.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @tresmonos
      I haven’t worked out if you are living in Mexico or the States.

      But if you are living in the States you are being influenced through regulations and barriers to drive those larger vehicles. I suppose if you want to drive a small commercial vehicle with better FE you could buy a Corolla, Focus size car.

      Even Canada is influenced by the US’s regional power in the influence it exerts.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I can’t help but laugh.

        Tell me, are these regulations responsible for the Ranger’s death?

        Or am I just on drugs to think that a company would rather steer you towards a higher yield product to make more money?

        I guess these same regulations prevent me from driving a four wheeler on the road and ensures we have seat belts in cars.

        Your country’s dollar is expensive. That is why your industry is dead. Government regulation killed the AU industry by allowing y’all to be uncompetitive.

        I was living in Mexico and now reside in the states.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @tresmonos
          The Ranger isn’t dead.

          What happened was Ford initially was going to import the T6 Ranger from Thailand.

          The FTA with Thailand fell into a heap when the coup occurred. Ford was left with a hole to fill.

          The Big 3 don’t want to have competition against the full size (1/2 ton) pickups because of profits.

          Also, the cost of setting up a production facility is quite high.

          The Chicken Tax and all of the other technical barriers are in place to prevent even a niche market. Niche markets can expose deficiencies in production.

          Imagine if 6 new midsize importers were allowed to set up shop in the US? They only sold 50 000 units per year. That is a sizeable chunk of just the pickup market.

          This doesn’t include the SUVs we get that isn’t in the US or even the LDTs up to HDTs.

          Everything from the EPA to CAFE to Chicken Tax is there to protect and create the illusion of a free market when in fact on top of the chicken tax the technical barriers are equivalent to a 26% import tax.

          I think the US vehicle market would be a lot different without these influences.

          In the end it reduces choice.

          Even in Australia Kia imports only 1 000 K2900 light trucks. They sell for the a little more than a base model midsizer.

          This can occur in the US market as well.

          I mean you can’t even grey import into the US, it sounds like a very closed market to me.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Look there aren’t many here in support of the Cafe standards, chicken tax, or the ever more intrusive EPA, but its still a whole hell of a lot better than the policy the rest of the 1st world countries have, by a large margin.

            You act like every county has the same ideals and the same vehicular needs. Midsize pickups make no sense, their extremely overwhelmed by fullsize trucks of which only posses two downfalls compared to multiple downfalls of small trucks, you repeat how out of date our midsize offerings are, well you see the newer versions would do far worse then the current out of date model does.

            Why suffer a small truck when the downside is not existent.
            Perhaps if Australia stopped screwing up their economy and artificially inflating your fuel prices you could find out what being competitive was like, given the same factors we have in America, while our fuel is expensive as hell its still cheaper than yours, if your country offered full size trucks how are you to say they wouldn’t cannabalize your mid size trucks?
            I’m not saying we’re perfect, an yes you point out gaping flaws, but maybe you should help your country which is in a much dire situation.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Hummer
            That’s the way the global vehicle manufacturing industry is heading.

            You will find a set group of vehicles that will be manufactured. They will sell in quantities that suit a particular country/region.

            Regional markets choices will play role and all regions will have more or less the same vehicles available. The makeup of that particular market will only differ by the size of the vehicle segments, ie poorer nations will have more smaller vehicles than more affluent nations. But all markets will have more or less the same vehicle choices.

            The only exception initially will be China.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The EPA CAFE and Chicken Tax do nothing to protect the US manufacturers they are affected by it just as much and in some cases even more. They spend billions per year meeting those EPA and CAFE standards. In fact when CAFE was implemented it actually helped the foreign companies while hurting the US based ones. The Japanese and Europeans had no large cars that accounted for a large part of their sales so they didn’t have to do anything to meet CAFE restrictions, it was business as usual for them. Meanwhile the US manufactures that counted on full size cars for a lot of their sales and profits had to spend millions down sizing and investing in new power trains to meet CAFE standards.

            The US manufactures do not get a pass on meeting emissions and safety standards their vehicles have to meet them too.

            The Chicken tax caused the big 3 to have to do final assembly of the compact pickups they imported and since they sold way more than the Toyota and Datsun it had a bigger impact on them.

            Yeah if we were to do away with those regulations then we would have a larger choice of vehicles as those marginal importers could import vehicles as is but they would still have the hurdle of actually having sales and service facilities. Ask Diatushu how easy it was to break into the US market, with the power of Toyota to cover the compliance issues.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Hummer
            A response to your economic view of Australia.

            Our fuel prices aren’t high as a percentage of weekly earnings. We much the same as the Canadians. We pay more than the US/Canada on nominal terms, but in reality as a part of our pay it’s not bad. Hence, Australia has the highest per capita ownership of performance vehicles in the world.

            As for the size of pickups, as I mentioned before not one person has advocated the production halt of full size trucks. I talk purely about import protection rackets. Not vehicle size. It’s just the midsizer is a great example of what you don’t have due to the import barriers and tariffs.

            Don’t confuse the two.

            As for economics of our two countries, trust me I would rather be in Australia’s position any day than most any other country at the moment.

            Our economy isn’t performing like it was, our unemeploymnen is at 5.6%. Our average wage is now over $70 000 per year on a dollar that is almost on par with the US dollar. But our dollar, I hope depreciates at least down to US 80c per AUD.

            Australia needs to restructure the economy to make up for the changes that are coming.

            But we don’t have the protectionist/subsidised US/Euro/Japanese economy. I think our economy is the second most open market in the world and we let market forces shape it.

            The biggest problem we are having is that the AUD is now the 5th most traded currency in the world, this does distort our currency as it battles between being a psuedo reserve currency globally and a commodity currency.

            I suppose many countries wish they had that problem.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            There were no plans for the importation of the ranger. Ever. You will have to trust me on this.

            There were plans for a mid sized truck bases on the P415 platform that got 86′d in 2007 – a F100.

            I will agree with you that the market would be different, but not as different as you would like to believe. Why do you think my country is in such sht shape? We like big expensive cars that we cannot afford.

            There was a smallish diesel in development for the F series in 2007 and that got canned too.

            The chicken tax can be circumvented with light assembly ops stateside. CAFE blows but small trucks would benefit the manufacturer in this metric when they tighten up. I’m just not buying your argument because the internet makes things seem absolute and I know that crash standards, marketing (options) and energyI regulations of all regions make global platforms not truly global. You have to move some major metal in order to justify a global product. I launched one so I have some insight on that.

            The US gov’t isn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be. I think you need to criticize our culture. For the record, I would rock a diesel older North American Ranger. The global one sucks compared to the F-150 and I have driven both. Its a mid sized cheap piece of crap when driven consecutively

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            50,000 a year won’t pay for the federalization. I wouldn’t want these unsafe polluting trucks with no dealer support on the road driving around me. Compact trucks are dumb. Even with a monopoly TRDyota quit selling their base model regular cab. Less capable than a minivan and no platform sharing. There’s no mass market for these compact trucks. New full size American trucks are the best trucks in the world.
            If Australia is so wonderful why are you bitching about the USA or just another ideologue preaching free market pie in the sky while your nation is just a raw material colony for state socialist Asian manufacturing nations

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Billfrombuckethead
            “New full size American trucks are the best trucks in the world”
            The US Pickups not Trucks are not referred too in any place outside NA and a few 3rd World countries in Central and South America,

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @billfrombuckhead
            You sound like you are obviously in junior high and every morning mama and papa have Fox and Friends or MSNBC on the TV and preach about the evils of the world when you go to school every morning.

            Are you scared of the world? Have you ever left that one horse town you live in?

            Really, where the hell do you come off writing such immature trash.

            Name the socialist Asian countries?

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          @tresmonos you are breaking my heart. I would have loved the opportunity to purchase a modern F-100.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @BAFO- That is just presumptuous fantasy founded on your own lack of understanding of North America. Canadians have a great deal of choice, in the context of vehicles, more than the US in some ways.

        They choose to buy lots of US style pickups with nothing like the Chicken tax in the way and undoubtedly perceive your presumption. It is amazing to see you think what you learn on the internet allows you to tell the Canucks (no offense intended) how it is for them in their own country!

        Likewise with America. CAFE destroyed our carmakers while giving a pass to the Japanese. As ScoutDude says, regulations have been far more harmful than helpful to American carmakers.

        Open your mind and learn.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DocOlds
          Why do you guys keep on taking what I write out of context?

          I have never stated you don’t have choice.

          I’ve stated the choice you have is regulated. If it wasn’t you would have a much larger range of vehicle to select from.

          I think you don’t understand what a free market is.

          The same goes for those stupid comments about full size vs mid size. That isn’t my argument. My argument is mid sizers are competitive to the point where the UAW/Big 3 require regulations/tariffs/barriers to protect them.

          And you can’t tell me otherwise or other nations wouldn’t complain about them for starters.

          Comprehend what is written and try not to deflect an argument into something it isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- Let me start by agreeing completely that free and fair market competition is desirable. My former employer has long supported exactly that. I don’t support the Chicken Tax, and also know the barriers for us in some of the largest markets, notably China, Japan and Korea are far higher than the barriers you imagine block competition in America.

            I don’t take your words out of context. You bring a theoretical perspective that is not borne out by reality. I actually do know what the inner issues are within the business from a rich career history, friends and family involvement, and they are more complex than most comprehend. You display that lack of comprehension.

            An adult can see a child’s lack understanding, to paraphrase Mark Twain, “my father was so stupid when I was 16 I could hardly stand to be around him. I was amazed how much the old man had learned by the time I was 21.” (maybe older, in my case!).

            So it is with some of your statements, reasonable ideas, but devoid of deep understanding and ignorant of key data. It is fascinating that you will take the word of companies who actually struggle to make it here, they claim due to barriers, but view the incontrovertible empirical reality that Japan’s market is closed and call our companies’ claims fallacious. What you really express is personal uniformed opinion much of the time.

            In fact, you argued that we don’t have more truck choices because they are blocked by regulation, not goodness and competitiveness. You lectured a Canadian on how stupid he is to not understand this. To paraphrase, You said our trucks are weaklings in need of protection. You are simply wrong in this regard, and your words betray an astounding lack of understanding. Several other posts tell you this, provide data, but you remain stuck in an ignorant state.

            Many Americans are very much more aware of liberty and freedom than you grasp through no fault of your own. In America, our freedoms and rights come from the creator and the people are sovereign. Brits, Canadians and Aussie’s freedoms were granted by a sovereign monarch and that sets they stage for them to be easily taken back by your governments. This difference seems trivial but is profound and deep. I don’t want to get into how you owe your very existence and survival to our revolution and defense of your freedom in global conflicts.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds,
            “it is fascinating that you will take the word of companies who actually struggle to make it here, they claim due to barriers, but view the incontrovertible empirical reality that Japan’s market is closed and call our companies’ claims fallacious. ”

            So the US manufacturers cannot do the same as the Europeans in Japan? Cannot sell anything there?

            Freedom, Liberty? Must have been another country I visited thought it was called the USA? its freedoms were much more limited than here.

  • avatar
    bucksnort

    I am trying to figure out a justification for buying a Raptor. It’s rated at 11/16 mpg. My current ’05 Jeep Rubicon is rated higher but doesn’t come close to it’s numbers so my rationale will be the Raptor gets better mileage and will haul a lot more…and will go a lot faster…..

  • avatar
    kkop

    I wouldn’t mind a mid-size truck if the interior was still full-sized. The Tacoma and Frontier are just too cramped for me. It’s hard to go back to that after enjoying almost limitless leg room (in front and back rows) for 8 years in my full-size.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I started with a fullsize truck in the nineteen sixties, a hand-me-down from my dad, and I can’t even imagine myself in anything smaller like a midsize or compact pickup truck.

      OTOH, I have friends who have never owned a fullsize truck and as such are very partial to compact and midsizers. They still drive them today although they are no longer made, like the Ranger, S10 and Dakota.

      Although I have resisted up to now, my next new truck will have four doors. I can live with the shorter bed because I own several utility trailers for hauling outsized stuff like lumber, wallboard, 2X4s and pipe.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @kkop,
      The newer Midsizers will be bigger, probably would suit your needs

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Ford Tardis? Because the only way the interior is going to be larger than the exterior is if Dr. Who has a hand in the design.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    You just couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie, huh Derek? Cue the “Damn you America and your fullsize trucks that are less capable than a pair of roller skates” in 3 – 2 – 1….

  • avatar
    mkirk

    And as to the Australian contingent…You guys are aware that a Toyota Camry is a vastly more practical and useable car than all of those big V8 powered RWD sedans you guys have that are nothing more than posters for your conspicuous consumption…I mean how fast do you really need to go, right?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @mkirk
      You are correct, but we have never advocated the removal of any large vehicles. I (as I can’t speak for others) personally think that the UAW/government shouldn’t be involved in shaping a market to suit a few people like the UAW workers and the Big 3 manufacturers.

      The additional money that it costs to assist these manufacturers costs the US alot of money as well.

      I (we) believe in free trade, not semi-free trade as is the case with the US vehicle market.

      Not one Australian has ever stated to remove full size trucks from the market. But to remove the dumbass regulations and taxes that impede fair trade.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        “the UAW/government shouldn’t be involved in shaping a market to suit a few people like the UAW workers and the Big 3 manufacturers”. The UAW is a labor union and the government is well, the government. Throw in lobbyists in for the Big 3, I’m guessing the Japanese and Germans go along with big three on a lot of things. That big messy bunch is crying over perceived slights and trying to gain an edge. The same big messy bunch is trying to shape the market in a very self-serving manner. All of them are hauling wheelbarrow fulls of money to K Street in D.C. It’s loud,flashy, and stinky. It’s American democracy.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        I’ve been in the retail car business since 1983 as salesman, manager and independent dealer. I’ve worked on cars since i was old to turn a wrench. I’m from a UAW family which allowed 5 kids to go to college. I minored in economics. I’ve been to Europe and was impressed.

        Australia’s economy is based on selling raw materials to socialist or more socialist than America nations like China, South Korea and Japan.
        You’re just another pie in the sky free marketer worshiping a past that never existed and an impossible free market future utopia.

        Anything that can be fixed usually is fixed. A free market can only exist in theory and the best real world cheater will win.

        Were you aginst Hyundai being bailed out? How about the Japanese flat screen industry being bailed out and restructed?. How about the French government bailing out Nissan? Do you only hate the UAW or all organizations that fight for good wages and benefits?

        BTW, whta do you do for a living Mr Oz?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @billfrombuckhead
          Actually what I do might surprise you.

          All can say to you is every morning prior to going to work sit down and worship Fox and Friends as they are very truthful, absorb each and every word.

          After reading some of your logic/argument I don’t you are capable of actually having any knowledge of politics, business, economics.

          It appears by your writings that you struggle to live day to day in a fantasy.

          Why? Look at your generalisations of the world in which you exist.

          You are one scary person. Education might be a good start for you.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            WTF do you do? Ashamed or something else?

            Did a UAW guy steal your boyfriend or girlfriend?

            BTW, the UAW built Grand Cherokee was the best selling large SUV in Australia last month, it was only 1196 units since yopur market is so small but it’s a start for UAW built vehicles in your free market nirvana. I bet the coming diesel version will expand the market share.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Billfrombuckhead
            “TW, the UAW built Grand Cherokee was the best selling large SUV in Australia last ”

            No it certainly was not, but the Grand Cherokee is a big improvement in build quality over previous Jeeps.Marchionne has improved the quality. Hemi 300C on the other hand a bit ordinary and the Wrangler somewhat agricultural and needs a lot of refinement.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- The pot calling the kettle black?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @mkirk
      Where I live they are going back to unrestricted speed limits very soon like it was a few years back.

      So, I suppose as quick as I want to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @BAFO- Just how fast can you drive on your gravel roads, even your two lane asphalt? In NSW, “hooning” can get your car confiscated and crushed (!), according to my good friend who imported and built an awesome ’68 Firebird. American’s would never accept that infringement of liberty and empowerment of police and bureaucrats.

        I sure trust him more than you as a window into the realities in your country. He appreciates America. He has been here and travelled extensively.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DocOlds
          I’ve sat on 200kph in cruise in my SUV and the same in a Camry.

          On gravel its according how good they are, I’ve sat on 160kph and down to a crawl.

          Normally now with the speed restrictions over the past couple of years the speed limit on gravel is set at 110kph. But, as I’ve mentioned they are going back to unrestricted speed limits, which is great.

          The current speed limit on the highway is 130kph unless you are overtaking, which then it’s whatever you need.

          A V8 HSV could easily reach over 200kph overtaking a roadtrain as I’ve routinely reached 160+kph in my diesel ute overtaking roadtrains.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- To enlighten you: Your government’s ongoing subsidy of the auto business is much larger in proportion to their size and your market than the loathed bailout of GM and Chrysler in America.

            Glad to see you laud that great American GM car, the Holden HSV with its powertrain engineered in my old work location right here in Pontiac Michigan!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DocOlds
            I have nothing against US vehicles, boy why are making an inference about the engines or whatever.

            I’m not anti American, I’m pro competition. There is a distinct difference. I like your pickups, but do I agree they should be protected, no.

            I don’t like MacDonald’s does that make me anti American, but I like Coke Zero, especially with Jack Daniels. That makes me pro Atlanta and Kentucky.

            Like I stated comprehend what is written as some of your deductive ability creating poor judgement.

            As I’ve stated I believe our government shouldn’t give a cent to the auto manufacturers here as well. The workers need to have a pay cut (including salaried workers). If they can’t compete close down.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            @BAFO – Jack is distilled in Lynchburg, Tennessee. It is not a Kentucky Whiskey (Bourbon) Get you a bottle of Makers Mark if you want a Kentucky Bourbon.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @mkirk
            You are right on that one!

            Sorry to all the guys who make that fine drink.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @doctor olds
          NT is not NSW. just like Texas is not California,”Hooning” got it wrong there, hooning is doing burnouts.
          NT will have unlimited Speed Limits, unlike Speed limited USA

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RR- I assumed you lived in locations with the other 99% of your countrymen. My bad.

            It’s great to know that you and the other 233,000 folks in NT can drive as fast as you want on your gravel roads spread across a state the size of Alaska which, btw, has over 3 times your population.

            Do you have a some pavement? Even most populous NSW has relatively few miles of expressway.

            Whatever your definition of hooning, and burnout accentuates the point that bureaucrats can confiscate and crush a car for doing it. That won’t happen, even if you kill someone. Maybe we are too free?

            Here is a nice Texas road with a Camaro running 327kph. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaJ3w_fAdoI

            Yes, the speed is limited to 137kph, and in my state, to 113 kph. But there are great stretches in the Wes where you can drive as fast as you vehicle will go for hundreds of miles. Michigan has nearly half Australia’s population and thus can afford many miles of expressway. I can be on an interstate in 2 minutes, set my cruise at 132 kph with little fear of a ticket and run in any direction without a stop or intersection until I run out of fuel. Even my NSW friends find this incredible, actually having driven across our country.

            You really can not understand what it is like here unless you experience it for yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DocOlds
            When was the last time you were in Australia?

            Wow, we don’t have divided highways?

            Come and visit again, you obviously haven’t been here since the 60s/70s.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds
            No I do not drive a 1950″s Buick, but your observations are stuck in some sort of bizarre timewarp. You must have had visited Australia very briefly(If you ever did) in the late 1960′s.Or some one told you about it, which is more likely.I have been around a lot of the US and the infrastructure is really poor. I guess your President is right in that it is a major problem in the US.
            I think a lot of your “observations” are from others reports they have had overseas. Which explains why your ‘facts” are really bizarre.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- I spent 4 weeks in your country in Autumn, 2010. We visited Cairns and snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef. I travelled with my parents and sons to a national Ford T meet centered in Richmond, NSW, rode extensively around the Sydney area with Aussies in their T’s, met a lot of delightful folks from other states as well as NSW and enjoyed talking about life and politics “down under”. We especially enjoyed staying in our Aussie friends’ homes about half the time.

            We originally planned to return for the every three years T meet which will be centered near Adelaide in the next month or two, but my father died of complications of surgery last year and he was the T enthusiast. When we learned our closest friends from the Sydney area were not planning to attend, we cancelled.

            My parents have visited Oz (9) times, drove first a Model A Ford around the entire circumference in 1998 and again in 2007 with a Model T. They have spent over a year in your country, btw. A dozen or so Aussies have come to America and stayed with me in the Detroit metro area and my prior home outside of Lansing, Mi.

            I personally drove a wonderful, brand new Commodore SV6 from Sydney to Kiama, down the coast to Melbourne, visited Canberra and returned on the inland expressway. I got a kick out of the RSL’s my father favored for less expensive meals. We stayed with a friend in the small town, Cootamundra. At the RSL their, an Aussie man heard my accent and loudly asked “What the hell is a yank doing in Cootamundra!” I also had the chance to drive around the circuit on Mt. Panorama, sadly, the day AFTER the Bathurst 500, attend drag races in the Sydney area. As I often write, I love your country and people, and my knowledge is extensive over time- hosted the first Aussie visitors in ’93 or so-plus other times through 2012, most recently, through my father’s experiences, and my own more limited travel.

            If you have found “a lot of poor infrastructure here in America”, I’d like to know where? We have hundreds of thousands of miles of wonderful expressways across our nation, amazing to our NSW friends who have very clearly told me there is nothing like them at home. My own experience did not refute them.

            My knowledge directly and indirectly through many conversations with Aussies and my father is not flawed. It is just that much better here, if you are into driving long distances on great roads at high speeds.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’re qualified… During the 1996 Olympics I hosted members of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Even Lord Mayor Sartor visited a couple of times. I enjoyed the lively conversations of similarities and differences between the two countries. I remember they being amazed at our hwy system. They reflected exactly what doctor olds is saying… to a “T”

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @lie2me- One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about getting to know Aussies is those discussions about differences and similarities. The similarities far, far outweigh the differences! We had the opportunity to spend the evening with long time friends, meeting their daughter’s prospective in-laws. Right off the bat, the future father in-law said, “We used to have competitive activities with the Yanks when I was in the service. We always beat them!” The reparte’ after that was great fun, lots of teasing, but no hard feelings on either side.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        What is that you do big Al?

        You come either off as a butthurt American Mahindra dealer that lost out on the scam but still sees hope or a professor of Austrian economics from the University of Mars.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          Why has this discussion about why compact truck sales are failing and fullsized trucks are thriving in the American market degenerated into an anti American and anti union screed with insults?

          What about the Mahindra truck Americans didn’t want?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @billfrombuckhead
            I haven’t seen any comment that could be construed as anti-American.

            Just because you don’t like what you read doesn’t mean it’s anti American. Who has put America down? No-one.

            Another reality you might have trouble adjusting to is the promotion of anti-competitive behavior by the UAW.

            The UAW instigated the Chicken Tax against German Imports (Kombi’s).

            The UAW support and actively promote all of the technical barriers. Have a look at the EPA regulations. Read up on you vehicle design regs. What about the support the UAW gave for impeding Grey Imports?

            EPA has regulations reducing the competitiveness of diesel.

            Just the regulatory aspect of US vehicle protectionism is equivalent to an additional 26% tax.

            Now, imagine importing a midsizer (even SUV) into the US. First the technical barriers present an equivalent of a 26%, then add the 2.5% import tariff on all vehicles, then add another 25% for the Chicken Tax. This equates to a tax on any midsize pickup of 53.5%. What company can compete with those ridiculous tariffs and barriers.

            That is why you don’t have a midsize market. CAFE alone with its footprint method of determining FE also reduces the chance of a midsizer being competitive to a fullsize truck.

            Yeah, mate, I’m anti American? What a joke you are. Read up and learn before you spruik off with some garbage.

            So, you tell me why the USA doesn’t have a healthy midsize market?

            The US market is geared to protect fullsize trucks at almost any cost. Like I stated if the US wants to have FTAs then it had better start creating a fair and equitable playing field.

            Also, I’m not saying midsizers will kill off fullsize trucks.

            Remember 50% of the US market has a 53.5% barrier protecting it.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            I don’t believe the Chicken Tax is applicable to a midsize SUV as this would be a passenger vehicle and not subject to the Chicken Tax. Plus Toyota, Nissan, even Hyundai will sell you a good ol’ Body on Frame SUV. We don’t have a healthy midsize market because the market has spoken and we prefer fullsize trucks. I would be inclined to agree with you were it not for the fact we had a very healthy small/midsize market a few years back with all of those “Barriers” in place.

            One thing we can agree on though…CAFE is silly. and not kind to these trucks. Though I see it as more of an unintended consequence that outright protectionism. However it does beg the question…If our fullsize trucks are not particularly good or well engineered, how come the Japanese have yet to crack the nut. The Titan and Frontier are market failures and have had some significant quality issues (rotting frames and bad transmissions to name a few).

            It is like 1970 in the truck world though…we are in a golden era. You can get horsepower AND decent fuel economy. Even my lowly Frontier has a 260HP very understressed motor. The big trucks are even better in this respect. You can get a base Tradesman truck with a Hemi and the performance goodies all the way up to a king ranch. No, we don’t get the little diesels, but when we did no one purchased them so no great loss. And those diesels are increasingly more complex anyway unlike the mechanical injection motors from back in the day…they were harder to stop than start. Diesels arent a free ride. The fuel costs more, they cost more to maintain, they cost more to buy and they are more complex nowadays. My V6 petro motor doesnt require a tank of urine.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Mkirk,
            Just get rid of it completely, as you say ,most will shrug their shoulders and buy a full size anyway So why keep it? Only needs to be there if there is a reason for it to be in place.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – There’s no question industry wants to keep the Chicken tax. The question is whether the “need” for it is rational. It’s not an OEM’s or UAW’s job, to be rational. The same with the NRA. Overkill? It’s their job to lobby and keep pushing their agenda and propaganda.

            And it’s more than likely Toyota and Nissan lobbyist are dumping most of the cash on DC to keep the Chicken tax alive and well. They have the most to lose. Frontier? Tacoma? Never mind the Titan and Tundra. That’s if it was rational thought. Every OEM that sells mid-size to compact autos, SUVs, cross overs, wagons, including mid-size trucks in the US would be more impacted by a global pickups craze/fad/invasion than would full-size truck OEMs including Toyota and Nissan.

            If it truly was a rational thought. Foreign OEMs have the most to lose from a 2nd small truck craze/fad/invasion coming to the US.

            Either way, you’re not rational either. You ignore all the simple facts like existence of the Transit Connect, Sprinter and the entire ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion. And the steady decline of small trucks in the US as their prices went up, their fuel economy went down, and the size of small trucks grew to full-size proportions. Full-size except for narrower with much limited capacity.

            And with all the small truck “choices” you have in OZ, sales are still dominated by Toyota and Nissan. And without full-size choices, do you really have a choice but to buy small trucks? If our full-size in OZ sell for 3 or 4X the price of your global trucks, don’t tell me that’s a “choice”.

            And if we’re not talking about a full on small truck craze/fad/invasion, what’s in it for small truck OEMs to endure many years of taking a loss in a niche market over saturated with global and domestic competition plus deep rebates along with bottom feeding cheapskates and fleet sales? Or cannibalizing profitable US sales of their own line of cars?

            Get over it. The only US trade barrier faced by global trucks is the same the one Japan imposes on import cars… The “TLDWYJ Barrier” also know as “The Locals Don’t Want Your Junk” Barrier.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @DenverMike- You wrote, “There’s no question industry wants to keep the Chicken tax.”

            I don’t think that is so much the case, as that they want reductions in barriers to American imports to other countries in exchange for easing access to our market, though none of the domestic CEO’s have told me that, personally of course. It would be to the advantage of the Detroit 3 to have easier importation of vehicles they produce elsewhere, as the Transit Connect is an example.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @doc olds – I believe you’re right. And I’ve always said it would be to the benefit of Big 3 OEMs to have a world without tariffs and other barriers. But for the sake of argument, simplicity, and lumping the entire auto industry (all OEMs, Unions, lobbys, politicians) into one neat package (like our Aussie friends like to do), it’s safe to say the industry as a whole, wants tariffs and other “barriers” kept alive, however small, pointless and insignificant those “barriers” may be.

            But under all the smoke, it seems Toyota, Nissan, VW, Mazda, Mitsu, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai and others have the most to lose from the ending of the Chicken tax and sale of global pickups (and other imports) in the US. And they have nothing to gain from the easing of US tariffs and whatever barriers. Most already build in the US or NAFTA.

            Not that we would get ANY new cars or global trucks after ending the Chicken tax and other barriers.

            These ‘foreign’ OEMs are already in most significant world markets and have nothing to gain from a world without tariffs. Or what they gain from zero tariffs is lost by new competition around the world and (possibly) in the US.

            And these foreign OEMs could easily be behind 100% of the push to keep the Chicken tax and other tariffs/barriers going, while Big 3 OEMs get all of the blame.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Yep

  • avatar

    Ridge is not small or “mid-size” by any stretch of imagination. Its bed is enormous, as large as on large trucks with crew cab (F-150′s cargo box is a bit deeper nowadays, but the point stands). Its problem is that it’s not a particularly lightweight design despite the supposed advantage of its unibody. It weighs 4300 lbs, which is greater than, for instance, Jeep Wrangler – a rugged BOF SUV with a live axle in front. Since Ridgeline is so pudgy, its fuel burn is uncompetitive when compared to e.g. F-150. I suspect it’s mostly bought by people who’re enamoured by its looks or the clever rear gate. It’s also comfortable inside. But then again so is F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I do like that trunk under the bed thing, but not enough to buy one.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        The trunk is exactly the reason my neighbor bought one.

      • 0 avatar

        Ironocally, my Jeep has exactly the same feature, and I keep the compressor there. Result is that I only air down when I am in a local off-roading area, and never when in an expedition and the jeep is loaded to the top with all the camping junk, guns, ammo, gas, water, and recovery equipment. Also, I dread a flat tire. I do hear grumbles about the need to unload before you can reach the “trunk”. Note that in both Ridgeline and Wrangler it’s enough to off-load partially. Still, it can be an annoyance.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The Ridge is a full 2 feet shorter, 4-6″ lower, and 1200 lbs lighter than a half ton crew cab. It may not be small but it’s certainly smaller.

      Its mileage problem isn’t the weight, it’s the early 00s disinterest in aerodynamics combined with an undersized minivan motor that needs a lot of rich, open throttle leaning to move the thing.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        The problem with the Ridgeline as a fullsize argument is that my midsize Frontier can out tow it by 1500 pounds.

        • 0 avatar

          Sadly this shameful loss does not make Ridge any less humongous. Also, it is a result of unreal tow rating of Frontier. Frontier exceeds Ridgeline by the same amount Ridgeline exceeds Tacoma.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            I don’t know. I have had 5000 behind one. You could tell it was there but it didn’t feel overburdened. I am sure I will get to throw 6000 pounds behind it soon enough the next time my Land Cruiser has some random 250 dollar part break.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This article does really show how the US light commercial vehicle market is shaped by regulations and tariffs. The demise and lack of new smaller commercial vehicles really shows how much the barriers/tariffs affect the and form your distorted commercial vehicle sector.

    The US doesn’t have any real competitive small commercial vehicles, whether it be van, pickups, LDTS all the way the HDTs. Even SUVs live under the mantra of a cotton wool protected segment.

    The UAW and Big have pressured successive governments to enact and pass legislation/laws/regulations/taxes to protect these larger style of vehicles.

    Now the large vehicles have become part of daily life and from what I’ve read on different sites many Americans’ have come to believe that what the rest of the world uses wouldn’t work or sell in the US. If this is your view, then have those ridiculous socialist measures removed.

    You COULD have midsize pickups that can get up to 40mpg on the highway as they are available in other parts of the world. They might not be able to do 0-60mph in 7 seconds, but they can move several thousands of pounds efficiently and at more than the posted speed limits.

    The midsize pickups can’t really be called a compact unless a comparison against a F-350 is made. Nowadays these midsizers are a far cry from what the US currently has on offer.

    These size trucks are as capable as a 1/2 pickup, even more so than most when it’s payload is taken into consideration.

    I can forecast the day when 1/2 ton pickups being solely used as SUVs. The Ducato/Transit style of trucks with small diesels will become the workhorses in NA. The US vehicle market will look similar to the European market with lots of economical vans used in industry/work.

    Even the little Kango style of van used in Europe/Australia with little 1.6 litre diesels can carry a similar payload to most 1/2 ton US pickups and still get well over 40mpg. These little vans can also sit on 80+mph on the highway.

    As I’ve stated many times in the past the US only has competitive full size trucks and nothing else. Why? They are protected.

    Don’t get me wrong, full size trucks will always have a place in the US market place, but I think there are a lot of consumers who want a more varied choice.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Honestly you are wrong. The shift towards large trucks has largely been due to CAFE…which has done more to shape the US Vehicle market than any “protective tariffs.” We used to drive really big cars. The Government legislated them away through CAFE so now we prefer really big trucks. The Big trucks as we know them came about not because Detroit wanted to stomp out foreign competition but rather because the US Government legislated away the large cars people actually wanted to buy. Detroit simply exploited loopholes in the legislation to continue selling Americans what we wanted all along…large vehicles. The Country Squire in the driveway became a Suburban and the rest is history. Welcome to unintended consequences of not well thought out laws.

      Besides why do we need little trucks that can carry several thousand pounds and get 40 MPG when we can buy an old Ford Panther Platform that can do all this AND get 50 mpg while driving through a minefield.

      Those buyers who wanted more choice had it several years ago and they chose to buy F-150s and Silverados. Keep in mind too, the F-150 is technically Fords smaller offering. If it is too small or has too little a payload they will happily sell you a Super Duty.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @mkirk
        Read what I wrote, then respond. Regulations covers the hurdles like CAFE, EPA, design regs, etc.

        This comment you made.

        Besides why do we need little trucks that can carry several thousand pounds and get 40 MPG when we can buy an old Ford Panther Platform that can do all this AND get 50 mpg while driving through a minefield.

        Who are YOU? Why do some of you think you can tell people what they can and can’t buy. Let the market work it out.

        Like you stated regulations shaped your market, then don’t you think your market could be distorted? Really, comprehend what you write.

        • 0 avatar
          Ion

          The problem is you have no idea what our market will and won’t buy. The demand for diesel is low only a small fraction of buyers opt for it when presented the option vs a petrol motor.

          The Toyota Camry is the best selling car, yet as far as being competitive it excels at nothing compared to an Accord and the majority of the other midsize sedans.

          look at the G8 and the GTO in your market both cars thrived as Holdens yet they were complete failures here. Small pickups do not sell well here. Toyota and Nissan now this, its why they’d rather spend the R&D money on the Tundra and Titan.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I would pay an extra 25 cents for a bar of better chocolate, hell I’d pay an extra 5,000 if I liked what a truck had to offer over the competition, not our fault so many countries are screwed up from dangerously high wages for jobs that lack skill.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          We’re already told what we can buy. Some of us go on rants on car blogs about the usgovernementuawbig3deathstarminiturepoodles distorting the market. The market is what it is. We vote with our wallets, not some governmental/economic/sociological treatise on the American car market. Small trucks? I pine for my last Ranger but it cost as much as a comparable F-150. Yes, I had the loaded one and no I don’t want to go down the truck pricing road. If small trucks had been truly competitive in the US, the Japanese would have kicked our asses. Outdated designs with few upgrades killed the small truck in America. Not the usgovernementuawbig3deathstarminiturepoodles vast untold conspiracy. I’ll get the 1st round and you can try to explain to thick yank what they’re doing in Australian Rules Football.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @el scotto
            Just like if you only had Hershey’s chocolate available, because all other chocolate was restricted through taxation of 25%.

            What chocolate would sell the most?

            Set two stores, have one with an additional 25% tax and tell him to out compete his neighbouring store with no tax.

            Really, this is just simple economics.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @MKIRK – The sad reality is that the last remnants of big American cars are built and sold in Australia by American companies, though they would have been just average to small mid-sizers pre-CAFE in America. They are dying in large measure, because Aussies can’t afford to buy the fuel for them, despite all the spin otherwise.

            BAFO presumes to lecture and is impervious to comments from those who really do understand. He is quite ignorant of the realities here in NA, and apparently at home as well.

            Everyone cries the blues about the “high” hurdle- being good enough to meet our standards (most shared by Canada, btw) and compete here. NA actually has the richest most competitive market in the world. People in and knowledgable about the auto business know this, and it is the reason the Detroit Metropolitan area has operations from every major and most minor carmakers in the world. If not for foreign protectionism, all the cars built in Japan might still be American. That is true the world over, though most here aren’t old enough or familiar enough with history to grasp this truth.

            @BAFO- Interesting to see you bring up Hershey chocolates. I was surprised when a friend from Sydney asked me to buy 10 of the large bars to ship there. Apparently, it was cheaper to pay $50 to ship them from America rather than buy them at home!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DocOlds
            You are almost wrong in your assumption that our rear wheel drive cars are America.

            The Holden Commodore started out on an Opel Kadet modified platform. The current Omega platform is purely Australian. The current platform has a closer relationship to a 7 Series BMW than any GM product.

            The closet an Australian Ford comes to a US Ford goes back to the early 70s. Other than that they are an evolution of that platform.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- In fact, Holden and Opel are General Motors brands, an AMERICAN company. They are managed down to quite low level, particularly Holden, primarily by North Americans from the United States.

            The engines and automatic transmissions are engineered in entirely in Pontiac Michigan, the bulk of the cars subsystems in Warren, Michigan. Open you mind to reality.

            Can’t speak to Ford, other than it also is an American company, no doubt similarly managed.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds,
            “BAFO- In fact, Holden and Opel are General Motors brands, an AMERICAN company. They are managed down to quite low level, particularly Holden, primarily by North Americans from the United States.

            The Companies are NOT US Companies the Umbrella GM organisation is.
            No they are not ‘Micromanaged” by GM in Detroit, contrary to what you are saying.Ford did that in the later years of Ford Australia with a very detrimental effect.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RR- “The Companies are NOT US Companies…”
            Of course they are! Holden is just a GM brand with a tiny local engineering capability, and, well, Ford is Ford!

            Do you imagine Toyota of Australia not to be just a tiny part of Toyota?

            As usual you are ignorant of reality. Most atounding is your refusal to learn. Since you are appear to be too close minded or lazy, here is the link: http://media.gm.com/content/media/au/en/holden/company.html
            Just click on each name to see how most have been rotated through many global assignments.
            The Chairman is Canadian
            The Executive Director of Engineering is American.
            The Design Director worked in America.

            Strategic Product planning is located squarely in Warren and Detroit, Michigan.

            GM is an integrated global company and Holden represents about 3/10 of 1% of it. Sadly, they account for a larger share of GM’s losses.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          LOL…The Ford Panther comment was tongue in cheek. There is a small, and vocal group that love these things on this forum but they tend to post fuel economy numbers that give others pause for what a big, RWD BOF car should be doing much like the 40 MPG number for your loaded trucks.

          And as to CAFE, I don’t believe the big 3 have ever lobbied to keep or increase CAFE. It was instituted in response to the gas crisis in the 70′s as a means to curb our dependance on imported oil, not as a means to protect large trucks which at the time were not primary transportation as the Suburban had yet to replace the Country Squire in most families driveways yet.

          Also, with respect to family haulers, I don’t know how Australia is but here in the US it seems a kid has to be in a car seat until sometime around Junior High school. Safety is good but this does have the effect of causing families to buy larger vehicles and is a key reason I feel that there are so many third row vehicles nowadays. My Frontier would not be optimal if my kids were still in booster seats as the rear doors are smallish.

          Of course our market is distorted as any market is distorted to the tastes of those in the market. We like big trucks. You say that this is because we don’t know any better. I say it is just America, love it or hate it. We have the space and the fuel cost to make such vehicles work (fuel that is less and less likely to come from Areas of the world outside of North America). America is unique in anywhere I have been in the world in our personal space requirements…our vehicles reflect this, again, love it or hate it. Japan has there Kei cars. You have your utes which are both unique to a specific market and would not sell elsewhere in large quantities. Are the big 3 just supposed to stop selling products Americans have demonstrated they want to buy?

          Anyway, I digress. Point is CAFE is not protectionist in nature. In fact, overall I think it hurt Detroit when you look at what they were producing when it came about. It required a complete paradigm shift for the big 3 in building cars when compared to say the Japanese and it is one we really didn’t get until recently. But with trucks they responded differently because they realize, we really like them. This is why you can get a Ram with an 8 speed that gets good mileage now. The amount of engineering to do that is significant. It would have been much easier for them to just make smaller trucks. But they have to actually sell what they build and the market has already spoken on that issue.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If you only had small trucks to buy, which trucks would you buy the most?

        If global trucks really got 40 to 50 MPG, we’d have those instead of Prius’ or electric cars. 30 MPG is more realist and optimistic for diesel regular cab and 2wd global trucks.

        CAFE didn’t make small trucks bigger, but they allowed it by exempting them as “Light Trucks” in the early ’90s. Small trucks with full-size footprints are what we’re heading for, regardless. The “small truck footprint” on the 2025 CAFE schedule is a tiny Chevy S10. The last regular cab, short bed Tacoma will roll off the Tijuana assembly plant in 2015. The regular cab, short bed Frontier died a long time ago and before CAFE suggested it’s death.

        But in theory, small trucks should get much better MPG than they do. Not worse than full-size.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          @DenverMike- I like a lot or what you write, but hope you know that light trucks have never been exempt from CAFE. They just were allowed a lower fuel economy standard, which is why the Honda CrossTour, for example, is certified as a truck. Honda needs the help. All those CAFE credits they “earned” by importing little cars have been used up as their fleet has gotten bigger and thirstier.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @doctor olds – Right. I meant “exempt” from the Gas Guzzler tax (in 1991, along with all vans and SUVs). After this change, we got the crew cabs the rest of the world already had. And the crew cab, long beds they still don’t have. And worse MPG than full-size.

            This up-sizing has more to do with the mistaken belief “small” trucks can capture significant full-size sales if they grow enough. Really, small truck buyer were more interested when they were truly “small”.

            Now the only thing small is the small truck market.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Mkirk,
        “We used to drive really big cars. The Government legislated them away through CAFE so now we prefer really big trucks.”

        Replace V8 cars with V8 Pickups. “really big” No, but they are at least shorter than the roadwhales of the 1970′s.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          @RR- for your further education: The pre-CAFE Oldsmobile 98 was the longest car built by GM that year, probably by any maker, and rode on a 127″ wheelbase.

          A 2013 Silverado/Sierra Double Cab Short box rides on a 143.5″ wheelbase.
          A 2013 Suburban/Yukon XL on a 130″ wheelbase.

          We aren’t talking about Volvo commercial trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @doctor olds,
          The SuBurban is a a SUV, No it certainly it is not as useful as a full Volvo truck and a lot smaller.
          The US Pickups replaced the “Full size US Car of the 1970′s. In other words they are used in virtually the same way as most cars of that period were. They are primarily transport a “SUV with a bed”

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RR ignorant again- The Suburban is a passenger vehicle with great hauling capability. Since you have no lakes, you can’t appreciate how many we have (67,000 in Michigan!)and the number of pleasure boats folks like to pull with their family and stuff. They are wonderful conveyances, as a matter of fact.
            The Pickups have completely different rear suspensions, and the heavier duty versions are different again, though a surprising number seat 6 people with four doors.

            You can’t judge a book by its cover, but that is all you are able to see. Open your mind, try to learn.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Nothing is stopping Ford from putting a diesel in a small truck besides consumer taste. Blame the consumer.

      An Australian blaming government intervention on their woes is the pot calling the kettle black. If your market was so competitive, why did Ford piece meal away all if its operations there?

      If your country was viable for design and manufacturing, cool cars like the FPV Falcon could have integrated into Mulaly’s plan. Auatrailia auto industry is only viable when protectionist policies protect the politicians purchased vote.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @tresmonos
        There is a difference between manufacturing and the market.

        Ford or GMH moving production out of Australia has nothing to do with how competitive our market is.

        It is how competitive we are at manufacturing, there is a huge difference.

        The US is competitive at manufacturing because of lower wages, which translates to lower overall overheads.

        The same as Mexico has lower overheads compared to the US. But does that mean Mexico has a more competitive market to the US, because they earn less?

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Australia had a lot of engineering that got split up and shoved into Ford Asia Pacific which means less future jobs for Australians. It wasn’t just manufacturing. Plus you effectively lose the launch engineering, integration and on site development associated with regional platforms.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tresmonos
            I don’t support an American style protection system to protect those Australian jobs.

            Why do we need them if we can’t afford them.

            Do you overspend your credit? Why should Australia follow the US/Euro/Japanese and live on credit as countries to protect unviable industry.

            We will as a nation have to find other ways to make ends meet. Manufacturing is going the way of agriculture. One day down the track advanced economies will have much better technologies to outcompete the developing world in manufacturing, just like agriculture we can outcompete them.

            Look at the textile industry. Most fabrics are made in the poorest of nations. But the beginning of the industrial revolution textiles were ‘high tech’.

            Now who provides the agricultural products to support the textile industry. It is primarily advanced economies like the US, Australia with our agri products.

            So agriculture which was high tech during the ancient Roman days is now the domain of advanced economies.

            Why do you think factories are ‘imported’ into lower wage economies and are successful. The advanced economies should look at other avenues to compete.

            Guess what? We are doing that now and we are also taking a cut in living standards to compete.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @tresmonos,
        Several factors :60 brands in a relatively small market, the High Aus Dollar made exports almost impossible for manufacturers. If there was only several brands and a very favourable exchange rate not a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’m sorry but the UAW has nothing to do with regulations and the “Big 3″ are against most of the regulations that have been enacted and fought to prevent many of them. They don’t get a pass on meeting safety and emissions standards just because the vehicle is made in N America or by a company that is based in the US.

      Plain and simple the fact is the the majority of US consumers tired of the compact pickup and left that segment over 25 years ago. Our tastes are different and the mfgs have catered to what the US buyers want. The Toyota small pickup did not diverge from the ones the sell in the rest of the world because Toyota wanted to offer a less competitive product. In fact the reason they went a different way was to make their offerings more competitive in the US. Which they have done a fine job of eventually taking over the top spot in the segment from the Ranger.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Scoutdude
        WTF???????????????????????

        Use google and read up on the lobbying the UAW has done with the Pacific FTA going on at the moment.

        How about the UAW’s involvement in the rescue of GM and Chrysler.

        That is a very uneducated comment. Really?

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Big All, the UAW does and can spend it’s money anyway it damn well pleases. Do I agree with them? Depends. This is America, unions are allowed to that. I pay dues to some trade associations and veterans groups that look after my self-interests. The UAW does the same for their own. Why is this shocking?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @el scotto
            I have nothing against unions as such, but when a few can impact the many I do object.

            In a free society, freedom should be allowed, until it impacts other’s freedom.

            The UAW impacts the freedom of the average American.

            How much tax dollars did the US government subsidise the UAW pensions, not including the bailouts?

            Why should someone on $10 per hour pay for some person and institution like the UAW.

            Other unions should be forced to bail our the UAW pensions. You want to be part of that team, then pay for it yourselves and don’t use tax dollars my family pays in the US for your own greed.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- The entire cost of the Auto bailout here equals about a week’s interest on our debt, or 2/10 of 1% of our annual GDP. It is trivially insignificant for those who understand the real differences between millions, billions, and trillions.

            It may be difficult for you to comprehend, but our second most productive state, Texas, alone has a 35% bigger economy than Australia on a PPP basis. It is 15% smaller than AU on a nominal basis, to be fair and illustrates your much higher cost of living. The point is not to belittle Oz, but bring a sense of proportion to things.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds,
            “@BAFO- The entire cost of the Auto bailout here equals about a week’s interest on our debt, or”

            No the cost of NOT BAILING OUT the companies would have been disastrous for the US Economy.

            What Texas has got to do with the overall Global Automobile production is irrelevant, it is a drop in the ocean globally. As far as I know Texas does not manufacture any type of Automobile, that is what the thread is about.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Ryan- Little boy, Quantifying the cost of the bailouts to illustrate who is more protectionist and bring some perspective is not contradictory to the huge cost of failing to do so. Your statement starting with “No.., is false.

            Confrontation for its own sake is rather childish and certainly ignorant.

            Texas is the location Toyota chose for their failed Tundra plant, hoping to tap the truck market for their failing effort and also has, by far, the highest pickup truck ownership of any political subdivision anywhere. They buy more pickups than all the cars sold in Oz (That’s a hip shot, but I defy you to check the numbers if you want to present a rational argument based on facts. I’d love for you to actually share something real.)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds,
            “Ryan- Little boy, Quantifying the cost of the bailouts to illustrate who is more protectionist and bring some perspective is not contradictory to the huge cost of failing to do so. Your statement starting with “No.., is false.
            Condescension all round, Doctor olds, ignormaus, if it had not happened then we would not be talking about your Automobile industry, it would be past tense and so would a greater part of the US economy. The Bailout was INTERVENTIONIST it did happen and a conservative US Government did what a SOCIALIST govt would do. So who is arguing.?

            “Confrontation for its own sake is rather childish and certainly ignorant”
            Right now we know why you are doing this then let us get on with the thread.

            “Texas is the location Toyota chose for their failed Tundra plant, ”
            Probably a few others in the past but it DOES NOT HAVE ONE NOW

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DocOlds
            There is a lot more money than the actual bailout money that Americans pay.

            Aren’t pickups keeping the Big 3 afloat at the moment?

            So who is paying more than necessary for a protected product? Ukranians or Americans?

            So, the American consumer is paying extra to support inefficiencies.

            If you think that is a great business model and you claim to have been one of the ‘movers’ at GM I can see why they are not doing very well.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RRyan- Who is the ignoramus? Mr, Truck expert who knows everything about Sweden and all sorts of trivia?

            Toyota’s plant in San Antonio is in fact operational, just had to be re-purposed because they can’t generate enough volume to built the Tundra exclusively per their original plan.

            I have never claimed to be a “mover” at GM, but I assure you I had a long rich career ranging from dozens of plant floors to dozens of dealer showrooms and service departments to the top executive suites, which provided me first hand experience as the business evolved. I began to know the business intimately through my father, another Product Engineer, beginning in 1961, myself starting with Oldsmobile in 1969. I Have been interested in cars and the industry even longer.

            What is your base to presume such profound knowledge? It appears to be google, from your comments.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Doesn’t GM still build SUVs at Arlington where the B-Bodies were built?

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @mkirk- Yes, GM is investing over 1/2 $Billion in the Arlington facility to build the next generation full size SUVs, a segment they continue to absolutely dominate, commanding higher prices for the Tahoe than Lincoln navigator.

            http://www.dallasnews.com/business/autos-latest-news/20130617-gm-arlington-plant-should-begin-building-new-suvs-late-this-fall.ece

            I spent time in that plant in 1990 when they used the Olds V8 in B Wagons and big Cadillacs. It was modern and well run then.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Agreed DoctorOlds. I am a Ford guy at heart but were I in the market for a full sized SUV it would come from GM.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds,
            Who is ignorant? Toyota shifted its Tundra and Tacoma production to Texas when the joint GM/Toyota NUMMI facility closed down in Indiana.
            For a while the Texas facility was closed,(my understanding) but Toyota now wants to move Tundra and Tacoma production there. Toyota is in two minds what to do with the Tundra and Tacoma as both are sideline operations for Toyota.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RR- The salient fact is that Toyota built the plant in San Antonio for the stated purpose of building Tundra. They can not generate the volume to use it exclusively for that product, and will fall further behind in their poor performance in the segment.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            @RobertRyan – So would Toyota then be looking at building the next generation Tundra and Tacoma on a common Frame? If so I would submit that it hasn’t worked all that well for the Frontier / Titan. Also, is the Sequoia built in Texas? What about U.S. 200 series Land Cruisers since they are at least related to the Sequoia

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Scoutdude
        Who do you think created the Chicken Tax?

        Lyndon Johnson was approached by the UAW in the 60s to tack on the Chicken Tax onto vehicles to counter the importation of VW pickups.

        The Chicken Tax has remained on vehicles since then. DOT was formed in 1967. Look at the divergence of vehicle design since then as compared to the Euro vehicle designs, the European countries formed the ECE in 1952.

        Read up on the history on what has shaped the global auto industry. It is quite a fascinating story. And some Americans will realise how much influence by the UAW has shaped and protected the US vehicle market with the Big 3.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – Small pickups lost the Pepsi Challenge of trucks. Cry all you want, but the economics don’t work in their favour. Not for small truck buyers and not for small truck OEMs.

          If you have any doubts, ask Mazda, Mitsu or Isuzu why they ran away screaming from US fleet buyers and other cheapskates. Ask the buyers that opted for the strippers or opted for anything except for small trucks. I mean after the mini-truck craze/fad/invasion.

          The things is, Americans where never really into small trucks before Japanese OEMs dumped mass quantities of them on us at cheap, cut-rate pricing. There wasn’t much else to buy back then. We were really tired of the ’60s and ’70s fads and wanted something, anything new and fuel efficient. Mini-trucks were an absolute hit, but so were Rubik’s Cubes, big hair, parachute pantz and mullets.

          It doesn’t matter who or what started or kept the Chicken tax going. It does zero to stop ‘viable’ import trucks, if OEMs think they can sell 50 to 100K units a year. And not just strippers, but a healthy mix of well equipped, crew cab 4X4s. Otherwise, why take the loss?

          And where the hell was the Chicken tax during the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion???

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            “And where the hell was the Chicken tax during the ’80s mini-truck craze/fad/invasion???”

            Of course it was right there all along with holes big enough to drive a truck through which Toyota, Datsun, Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Plymouth, Mazda, Isuzu and Mitsubishi proceeded to do, until of course we got tired of them.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Actually, the ECE trade organization was formed without safety regulations for autos. It didn’t get around dealing with auto safety until the ’70s and years after the US DOT was formed. Then the ECE cleverly and carefully devised regulations to screw US OEMs.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DenverMike
            My granfather was killed in a Volvo in the mid sixties.

            What did they use back then as an advertising slant? You are so full of $hit.

            Maybe another ‘old timer’ might be able to enlighten’ our local UAW misinformant.

            Go back and read some more on US building codes and the global vehicle market.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Sorry about you Grandpa, BAFO. But you have a real chip on your shoulder for no good reason. Sorry too about enjoying the hell out of our full-size trucks maybe a little too much. If we woke up and full-size pickups were gone, there would be a huge missing void between small pickups and commercial flatbeds and vans. This is your daily reality and you seem to have adapted quite nicely……………………….

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- Volvo was caught installing additional steel reinforcements to make their roof stand tall in a line of cars being driven upon and crushed by Monster Truck. The AD was was intended to boost their safety image, and it was a LIE. The brand is near failure in American- they can not compete either.

            In the same vein, Honda was caught by their own government installing double thickness floor pans in cars to be crash tested to make them appear better than they were.

            Your mind is closed in so many ways, especially the idea that our trucks are not competitive. We have very aggressive competition among the entries here produced by (5) global competitors, apparently you keep forgetting that Toyota and Nissan really try to compete,don’t have any tax not also paid by the American brands and even in spite of Toyota building their plant in Texas in hopes of winning them over.

            They are extremely profitable vehicles- Reportedly generating 90% of Ford’s Global Profits,60% of GM’s. That doesn’t alter the fact they are very profitable because they are very desirable

            From: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2013/06/truck-makers-take-the-truck-wars-to-texas.html

            “According to recent sales data from R.L. Polk & Co., as reported by Automotive News (subscription required), one in six pickup trucks produced in the U.S. are sold in Texas. In fact, the combined pickup sales in the cities of Dallas and Houston number more sales than in any other state.”

            Ford took the lead during GM’s collapse into bankruptcy in 2008, but that is likely to end by next year.

            That data, btw, suggests that around 15% of Ford’s global profit comes from Texas alone! 10% for GM.

            You, of course don’t know any of these details as you presume to lecture North Americans on what it is like here.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Big Al from Oz,
      The light commercial vehicle market in the US is in the dark ages.What is with the “Home Made Vans” or step troughs as you call them. Total waste of space. Why do they not have as 4WD option for dirt workplaces?

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        We have paved roads, and plenty of 4WD trucks. Your undeveloped state skews you perspective, on top of your ignorance of just how many options are available in our consumer paradise.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DocOlds
          What the %uck is that, undeveloped state?

          Australians on average support more miles of road, electric lines, water, sewrage, rail, air almost any form of infrastructure per capita in the world.

          It seem the US would be less developed than Australia, per capita.

          In other words each and every Australian provides more of everything.

          We have to our country is the size of the US with the population of NYC.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @BAFO- I was referring to the State, NT. With the area of Alaska and less than 1/3 of the population, that is not a slam, a statement of fact, not a value judgement.

            I love and respect the Australian people. I am a numbers nerd and am trying to talk facts without emotion (I fail this at times with mr ryan to my own shame.)

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Uh, where are these examples of small trucks that could be imported into the US? Where are the Amazon order numbers for these books on what has shaped the global auto industry? Expect a variation of the usgovernementuawbig3deathstarminiturepoodles conspiracy in 3, 2, 1.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    @BAFO- I’m delighted to agree, for a change, in the narrow context that the UAW and their political friends pushed regulations to benefit them to the detriment of the automakers and consumers. I have often written how their influence structured CAFE to extremely damage the domestics.

    I note that you like to read about the industry. Many of us have actually lived it, probably longer than you have even been alive. My family’s knowledge and experience in the business goes back to the early days of Stutz and other of the 1,600 or so carmakers who have existed in America. Personal experience began around ’61, and my career with GM in ’69.

    Open your mind, try to learn the truth. Much of what you “know” is simply wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @doctor olds
      “@BAFO- I’m delighted to agree, for a change, in the narrow context that the UAW and their political friends pushed regulations to benefit them to the detriment of the automakers and consumers. I have often written how their influence structured CAFE to extremely damage the domestics.”

      As @Big Al from Oz and anyone else not affiliated with the UAW would say, that has distorted the free Market of the US. It would appear there maybe a “correction” as the say in economic terms.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @RR- Subsidizing your domestic makers distorts your market too, doesn’t it? You can not name one single significant market in the world free of government and other societal distortions. Grow up.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Perhaps Afghanistan. In my experience if you could get it there you could own it. Best of luck once you get it there.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            Check out Belize. Just pay the nearly 50% import tariff and your set. I can’t find any vehicle rules at all but they mostly have old usa stuff since importing new is quite costly.

            It seems some cars have km/hr speedos, some miles. Even though the country uses the imperial system.

            No emissions requirements either. But, their diesel is 2000ppm import from Venezuela so euro II at best.

            Mind you i haven’t been there this is just from internet searching.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @doctor olds,
          Being “Free of Government Influence” and having the State takeover the means of production as happened in the US are two very different things.
          I suggest you keep your childish comments and try a bit more logic.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @RR- The state did not take over the means of production. They financed bankruptcy restructuring in exchange for stock equity, most of which has been sold. You are wrong, as usual.
            @BAFO- The price of entry to the US market is high- you simply have to build good enough products to meet high standards, even better to compete successfully. CAFE was immensely and uniquely damaging to the US makers as I tried to summarize in my long post. Many posts here have also poked holes in the Chicken Tax real impact, which is nil today.
            Your comments on America being the only big industrial economy left standing after WWII are on the money! I notice many of my countrymen don’t understand this, thinking that we are somehow fundamentally superior, when in actuality we have been blessed with sitting on a mountain of resources and being undamaged by war. We are still very, very competitive, producing nearly as much output from our 314M population as the EU manages with over 500M. US carmakers are second only to the Japanese, well ahead of the Germans in global market share. We will have to pick up the pace to keep ahead, and our current government’s policies push in the wrong direction. Relative decline of America was inevitable and “good”, in the sense its primary driver is the growth of other economies around the world, China in particular.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DocOlds
          That’s the ‘Old World’ view on trade. Now with FTA’s countries are demanding more equitable trading positions.

          And believe it or not the US’s vehicle barriers and tariffs are constantly attacked.

          A lot of the global markets have started freeing up, especially in the past decade. These changes in buying habits and market forces will take a couple of decades to take hold.

          We’ve had that experience in Australia. Australia was one of the first OECD economies to free up our trade starting back in the early 80s. It has taken 30 years for our vehicle market to balance out after the tariffs and barriers we had in place. Change will not occur overnight.

          Even take the Hilux, a simple change with far more capable vehicles is taking time to overcome the consumers’ perception of that particular vehicle.

          The German’s started back in the late 80s to change their economy, but they had to restructure to take on the old East Germany.

          Freeing up the markets is showing that the freer global markets aren’t as much affected by the GFC. The subsidised economies (US/Japan/most of the EU) are struggling. Why? Because there industry is dependent on instruments like the Chicken Tax, CAFE, Design regs, etc differences for their very survival. All of this costs money, just look at those economies.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Isn’t the UAW comparatively weak when compared to Korean and European auto unions?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I don’t know of any Korean or European auto union that managed to collectively bargain two of their employers into bankruptcy and financial collapse, which resulted in the failed automakers being nationalized and their debts assumed and liquidated by the taxpayers.

          • 0 avatar
            LectroByte

            Any object evidence for that claim? From my experience in the supplier business, unions are way less powerful than they were 25 years ago or so. But since GM and Chry didn’t declare bankruptcy back then, I assume the source of their recent problems are not majorly on the hands of the unions.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I assume the source of their recent problems are not majorly on the hands of the unions.”

            I understand that is the belief and position of the UAW and all unions as they attempt to rewrite the automotive history of the United States; that the unions had no impact and no involvement in the death of GM and Chrysler, nor the financial problems of Ford.

            OTOH, there are others like myself who are realists, not alarmist revisionists like UAW leaders seeing their influence diminish, who believe that there was at one time a need for labor organization and unions, but that time has long since passed because of government mandates and regulations governing labor and employee rights, too many to list here.

            Those mandates, regulations and employee rights however, did not stop the UAW from demanding ever higher wages and ever richer benefit packages from their employers that could not be supported by the quality of their assembly work, nor the sales of their products.

            Then again, the UAW blamed Management for ill-fitting assemblies and parts that fell off during even the most routine and gentle of usage of the vehicles.

            Many of us on the outside looking in don’t buy into that because the UAW has never assumed any responsibility for its screw-ups, also too many to list here.

            The buying customer was not so easily deceived either and voted with their feet and ran into the waiting arms of the foreign imports and transplant, thus declining domestic brand sales even further.

            Union membership has declined, forcing mergers and combined efforts with other unions, because of their past performance and finesse in forcing Management to accept their terms or face crippling strikes, go-slow campaigns, outright sabotage by leaving off fasteners, and paying for Job Banks and other unnecessary UAW positions within the organization.

            In foreign countries the whole concept is different because governments are actually heavily and deeply invested in their industries. Their industry is part of their national investment strategy to support retirements and social programs.

            No foreign union can demand and get away with the demands of the UAW or American unions if it affects the profitability of the industry that its national government relies on for a part of its national investment.

            That’s why the UAW is marginalized by Sergio and the BoD at Fiat because they, and they alone, call all the shots at Fiat, and in turn Chrysler, that determine wages and benefits for its employees.

            So as far as a merger-of-equals is concerned it would appear that Fiat is more equal than Chrysler since ALL of Chrysler’s profits go to Fiat.

            I don’t know of ANY foreign union that could have pulled off in its country what the UAW did to cause the demise of the American auto industry.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            White collar corruption doomed Detroit not the UAW. Chrysler was the most profitable car maker in the world when Mercedes took over and stole all the money.

            “In May 7, 1998 Chrysler Corporation and Germany’s Daimler-Benz (owner of Mercedes) shocked the business world by announcing their intention to merge. What led to this largest industrial merger of all time? How did Chrysler-which not too long ago needed government-backed loans in order to survive-transform itself into not just a partner coveted by Daimler (the gold standard of European car makers) but the most profitable car company in the world? And what does their mega-merger portend for consumers, governments, shareholders and workers around the world?”

            http://www.amazon.com/Guts-Business-Chrysler-Hottest-Company/dp/product-description/0471295612/ref=dp_proddesc_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            Hyundai and Kia were bailed out and restructured by the the Korean government.
            http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/hyundai-group-history/

            Hilarious that so many Americans think these foreign car companies are some bastion of capitalism when they’re heavily state sponsored

            If GM and Chrysler went out of business our Asian frenemies would have raped American consumers by raising prices and slowing development. The bailout saved consumers billions of dollars so far and going forward it will only multiply. How about Consumer Reports best car, a Chevy Impala!

            Unregulated capitalism leads to monopoly and less competition. It’s just like the monopoly board game, when some gets a monopoly the game ends and is started over, it doesn’t go on with the winner ripping everyone off into the future. Gm should have been broken up in the 60′s like many wanted, we would have had a much stronger auto industry. All these people who want to our manufacturing over to foreign state socialist zaibatsu, chaebols and the Peoples Liberation Army are foolish.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @billfrombuckethead.
            “Unregulated capitalism leads to monopoly and less competition. It’s just like the monopoly board game, when some gets a monopoly the game ends and is started over, it doesn’t go on with the winner ripping everyone off into the future. Gm should have been broken up in the 60′s like many wanted”

            Well what do you know we have a free market socialist in our mix. Breaking up of Corporations, ending of Corporate Monopolies, that has been the mantra of European social democrats for ages.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @highdesertcat,
            The Japanese and German Unions have been constructive not obstructive. One reason Toyota(in one instance) and the German companies have been globally dominant.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Again we see how different people interpret the same situation differently.

            I do agree that the foreign unions have been constructive and actively involved in making their employers more competitive and profitable.

            The UAW has been destructive and obstructive up to and including 2008. Only when faced with the reality that they had succeeded in collectively bargaining their members out of a job and two of their employers into bankruptcy did they agree to pay restructuring and the abolishment of the much vaunted Job Bank. Long overdue if you ask me.

            But overseas it is different and largely driven by the fact that the governments of those nations are active participants and shareholders in those companies and industries.

            There’s been some whining about foreign automakers being bailed out and restructured by their governments.

            Well, DUH! The government is part of the bailed out and/or restructured company in those nations.

            Those companies are an integral part of the governments’ source of revenue and social benefits funding. IOW, a totally different structure than we find in the US.

            But as far as the US bailout of GM and Chrysler having saved the consumers billions? Billions of what? Clams? Samoas?

            Just GM alone cost the US taxpayers a bowel-cleaning $50B that went mostly to secure work, pay and benefits for the UAW, a mere six percent of the US work force.

            Basically, the other 94% of America’s workers paid for the 6% UAW to continue to live their highlife. It pays to be politically connected in America, ya?

            What this boils down to is that if a buyer supports handouts, bailouts and nationalization, they should rush out and buy a GM product.

            Conversely, if a buyer does not favor handouts, bailouts and nationalization at taxpayer expense, they should buy something else.

            Right now, the “something else vote” have it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Highdesertcat
            I do tend to agree with you on your sentiment regarding the outcome of recent history in the US vehicle manufacturing sector.

            But, I would like to point out there is a significant factor also driving the ‘US vehicle manufacturing culture’ whether it be UAW, Big 3, and of course all the government bodies, regulators etc.

            The US used to represent a significant portion of the global vehicle manufacturing sector. This doesn’t exist nowhere to the extent it was, it will only keep on reducing.

            Because of this and the living standard of the US was quite high, jobs and manufacturing was protected and could be afforded protection.

            Now this isn’t the case. The US auto sector is facing many challenges and it appears the UAW and Big 3 are still trying to resolve competitiveness, by well being and supporting uncompetitive practices.

            The rest of the world aligned themselves to a common strategy that suited individual economies to resolve our differences in the manufacturing of vehicles.

            In other words we had to have the capacity to trade with each other to challenge the large US market.

            So the UNECE vehicle harmonisation ‘pact’ expanded. This has left the US/Canada on its own. Now that the global vehicle sector is broken mainly into two competing segments. It’s the US vs the globe. But the US is only 20% of the vehicle market.

            Sort of like VHS vs Bets. Who will win, I do know it isn’t the UAW or Big 3.

            China will become a signatory of the UNECE regs. Why? Because the US isn’t and who do the Chinese export their vehicles to UNECE nations. Why would the globe change for the US?

            Now the US is pushing for FTAs to counter the Chinese ‘invasion/influence’ but the US has historically traded (vehicles) ‘opposite’ to others to protect itself.

            The Big 3 are in a real problem, the US has to become compliant to us or it will lose political influence that it desperately needs, globally to take on China.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, everything you wrote has merit and is irrefutable IF the US government, Ford and the new GM will follow your play book, when it comes to the US auto industry vis-a-vis downsizing American cars and the global integration of standards.

            The mindset in the US auto industry is derived from the ravages of post-WWII and the application of the processes that what worked in war would work equally well in peace. And for a while it did. We had one hell of a living standard from 1947 – 1965.

            In short, using that theory, the US auto industry, once the industry to be emulated by all, fell behind those of the German and the Japanese. No need here to rehash the trash from decades ago and the loss of market share for the American auto makers.

            But will the US ever conform to the precepts of the Europeans and Asians in order to successfully compete on a global scale? I have my doubts, because America has always gone its own way and done its own thing (dating back prior to 1776).

            America is large enough to satisfy its own needs, take care of itself and its own demand/supply curves AND take care of much of the world in the process. It did so for decades after WWII.

            But things change. America went down hill while propping up the rest of the world.

            So adhering to a global standard for anything is more of a courtesy to fit in and play nice than it is to try to be competitive.

            There’s no way that America can ever be competitive with Japan, Germany or whatever when it comes to producing cars or anything else. Our pay scale and standard of living is much too high for that.

            Complicating it further, only 64% of America’s available labor force chooses to participate in employment, probably because they have to work and don’t qualify for the government handouts and freebies, while the other 36% basically is living the stress-free life of the gainfully unemployed, successfully making their way from day to day in the underground economy.

            So, your comment has merit. But I would be surprised if America ever becomes compliant to anything except the will of the majority of the voting public in America.

            A Voting Majority BTW, that is increasingly less than 50% of the total eligible voting public.

            To me that means that the Majority of Americans who choose not to work, or who choose to buy a foreign brand car, or even a domestic brand car, do so because they have decided it works for them, without regard to what the Asians or the Europeans think the global majority should be doing.

            Americans are an ornery bunch and they will vote with their feet at the drop of a hat. Seen it too many times over the past decades.

            The only thing new is the concept of bailing out failed companies in America and nationalizing that failure at the expense of the tax payers while union members (tax payers in their own right) continue to live high on the hog at the expense of the taxpaying general public.

            That’s new.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @HDC
            I don’t disagree with most of what you said as those events did occur, but I do not totally agree with the why and how.

            1. America pre WWII (since inception) choose to be isolationist, this attitude changed after WWII. The US hasn’t done as much as you have stated in the world. Many countries outside of the US have also done much. Especially the other post war OECD economies. The US is powerful, but it couldn’t have managed without support.

            2. America can no longer afford to be an ‘individual’ acting nation and go its own way. It needs support both with resources and finance. These two issue afflict the US more than what you are stating. The US will change because of this.

            3. The US doesn’t have the influence it once had. The Big 3 globally ran to individual markets. That was a grave miscalculation. The UAW/Big 3 should have started to open up your market a decade ago or even further back.

            The US now has to compete fairly, not so much on its own terms. And this is what we, including the US and other allies must seek to counter the spread of China’s economic more so than political influence.

            4. I do understand your generation having the view of the US you do. But in reality the US is still the most powerful nation.

            But, it also isn’t invincible. It needs help right now, something Americans really need to learn how to accept.

            The Europeans encountered this in modern history as well. After WWI.

            The US will get back on it’s feet, but it will work more in consensus than independently. It has no choice if it still wants to advance.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “It needs help right now, something Americans really need to learn how to accept.”

            Things in America have changed socially, politically and its repercussions are felt throughout American industry, not just in the US auto industry.

            Gone are the days of JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country!”.

            Under Obama we have devolved to “Money for nuttin’. Foodstamps and cell phones for free!”

            With social morals and an attitude like that it should not surprise anyone that the UAW will want to carve out its chunk of pie from the global auto industry, to wit: organizing the transplants and foreigners in America.

            I think the US auto industry has to evolve and one example is the lack of small trucks for sale in America. It wasn’t profitable in the past so Ford, GM and Dodge universally decided to drop their small truck offerings.

            This caused Toyota to become lackadaisical toward its Tacoma since it was already America’s best selling small truck.

            So maybe, since not everyone wants to buy a fullsize truck with a squirrel engine in it to emulate a small truck, Ford and GM will IMPORT a small truck sold globally to offer some competition to Tacoma. Maybe such small trucks will have been honed to be all things to all men.

            The global auto industry is a dynamic business. Things change. Fortunately for most of us, there are alternate options we can pick and choose from in America.

            The future of the US auto industry is with the younger generations and frankly, I don’t see the younger generations pursue cars and trucks with the same vigor that people of my vintage did, and still do.

            But the leadership we elect to run America will set the timbre and tone of America’s place among industrial nations.

            What we have now is the global political equivalent of “no respect” for America.

            In such an environment it is impossible to be a leader, and catastrophic to be a follower by seeking a consensus among industrial nations, thus having to lower America’s criteria and standards to match those of the other nations.

            Not too long ago, other nations adjusted to America’s criteria and standards.

            I’m not in a position to make change in America, so I vote with my wallet, like millions of other people do, especially when it comes to cars and trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @HDC
            I think the USA will end up in a position it would have ended up in if WWI and WWII didn’t occur. The past 50 years or so the USA has lived in a world that was rebuilding. The USA (Australia/Canada/NZ) weren’t as affected as other countries from the war and helped rebuild the world. That’s where our affluence mainly came from. We had a head start, now the others are catching up, along with some new players. But even some of the new players have had a hard past, ie China.

            The Europeans are the reason for the Iron Curtain, the Soviet expansion and Cold War.

            I know that the Germans’ will be blamed, but all of Europe even to this day can’t work to a consensus. This is where the USA can lead, but not by its past methods of dominance. It has to work more closely as the Chinese will try and ‘take’ business away, from us (Japan/Europeans, etc), not just the USA.

            This change is actually occurring now, even with the F-35 program. I can foresee even joint effort space programs. We are seeing manufacturing slowly becoming very globalised, like the aviation industry.

            The USA is also very polarised, I see this when I visit. You have those ‘Tea Party’ freaks and the nutty ‘Left Wingers’. Whilst a divide exists this large no consensus will even occur within the USA. The USA has to resolve from within first. It has had turbulent periods in the past it has overcome, it can do it again.

            I do believe the USA (and EU/Japan) first have to stop protectionism, subisdisation across the board and allow each country to really search for what it is actually good at producing, without the influences of those negative instruments.

            Social welfare must be looked at as well. Not just the USA but all advanced economies will encounter difficulty in the next couple of decades just taking care of the elderly. This will drain countries.

            I think the Australian/Dutch model will probably be the outcome for retirements. Self funded retirees’. Watch and see.

            Like I stated those barriers and tariffs the USA has on motor vehicles are worse than most any other country. It does cost the USA lots of money.

            As well as subsidised and protected agri business, medical, etc. I noticed over the past month or so the cost of the farm bill. This kind of expense has to be stopped. Like business, if a farmer is poor at his job, then sell the farm to someone who has a green thumb.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @Lectrobyte- The US industry’s financial problems really began with governmental policies to empower unions in the FDR era, applied to all three makers and created factors that made them so weak financially they could not withstand the financial crisis induced auto market collapse of late 2008. I will cover them in general and focus on GM numbers because I remember them in some detail:

            1-UAW monopoly power to impose contracts with unsustainable costs, particularly the entitlement: Join the UAW at 18, retire at 48 (30 & out) and receive pay and healthcare for yourself and your family for the rest of your lives. Before you had your 30 years, even when there was no longer a need for your service, you would receive 95% of your pay during layoff and then full pay to sit in a cafeteria all day with no prospect of your services being needed ever again with Jobs Bank. UAW retiree health care alone cost GM $7B/year. The Jobs bank another $.8B.

            2- Government policy, further union empowering laws and CAFE that damaged the US makers severely and uniquely. In essence, Congress banned most of GM vehicles- the large profitable cars with which GM dominated the American market in the early ‘70’s. Empirical evidence shows that “trucks” comprised 15% of the new vehicle market from the ‘30’s until CAFE drove a steady increase intheir share from about ’73 that finally stabilized and remains about ½ of all new vehicle sales. Ford and Chrysler had similar, but much smaller burdens because they did not enjoy the success GM had in large car sales. In addition, CAFE forced domestic production of small loss-making small cars. GM’s Small Car Group of the ’90′s built 1.6M cars a year at an average loss of $1,600 per car- a $2.6B drain every year.

            The arithmetic is simple- GM had a $10.4B/year drain due to cost elements that did not even exist for off shore competitors. Their financial depletion was inevitable. GM leadership warned of it for many years, but it fell on deaf ears, until Ron Gettlefinger finally negotiated a breakthrough contract in 2007 that lifted over $8B/year from GM. This contract is the enabler of all three makers’ profitability in North America today. It also required $23B up front from GM, a cost that Barack Obama’s Auto Task Force partially shifted to taxpayers in his UAW favoring restructuring.
            3-Ever more competent global competition- initially just the Japanese, with the Koreans also on the rise these days, plus some improvement in European success as well, reduced market share and pricing power. Entry of increasingly competitive imports would have deteriorated domestic market share even if they had been able to control their costs, but proved unbearable as labor costs continued to grow.
            These factors also drove business damaging behaviors- running the plants to get something out of the workers rather than pay them 95% to sit home, then discounting to move the metal and inadequate funds for product development to keep up with competitors. This contributed to product weakness that further deteriorated market share and volumes.

            None of this is to say US auto leaders made perfect decisions, but the incontrovertible fact was their hands were tied with no ability to adjust labor costs in line with their sales success or lack thereof. In fact, those costs inexorably rose with the costs of health care. I asked one of our leaders why GM had agreed to free lifetime healthcare and he pointed out it did not seem like a problem when it was $500/year, but it had risen to $20,000/year and was still growing.

            Some see Ford not being forced into bankruptcy as proof that the problems were just poor leadership at GM, but the reality is, they were on the brink, too. The only thing that saved them was Alan Mulally’s procurement of a massive $23B credit line prior to the financial collapse which was the direct and proximate cause of the bankruptcies. They are burdened today with a mountain of debt which is likely to make it increasingly difficult for them to compete with GM in particular as GM is currently the best seller in the world and Ford has fallen to 5th place. At least all three have a fighting chance with a much more competitive cost structure in America today.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Basically, the other 94% of America’s workers paid for the 6% UAW to continue to live their highlife. It pays to be politically connected in America, ya?

            Probably explains why this site has so many of those benefiting from that Bailout , as active trolls for those companies and the UAW.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    People won’t even buy a reg cab full size. Mini trucks are dead.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      The only thing that could save the mini truck is to build an electric one as that would fix the platform problem. How about a Leaf pickup? Maybe the new mini Jeep could have pickup variant. The Wrangler will someday get a pickup but that would be kind of big.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I’m willing to bet that these divergent numbers mirror the SUV and midsize sedan markets during Peak SUV. It is amazing what happens when you stop developing and (properly) marketing a segment. The midsize sedan seems to be experiencing a renaissance of sorts, now that manufacturers are paying attention the segment again.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what the new Colorado/Canyon do.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    AND THE BIGGEST REASON COMPACT TRUCK SALES ARE IN THE GUTTER? WHEN IT COMES TIME TO USE A TRUCK FOR WHAT IT WAS INTENDED FOR, IT”S BETTER TO USE AN OLD USED TRUCK OR BETTER YET, YOUR NEIGHBOR’S OR BROTHER-IN-LAW’S TRUCK!

    It helps that American trucks run close to forever.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Just don’t see how small trucks can be very profitable. I’m one of those guys who was actually in the market. Bought the bottom of the line F-150 for 21.5K. I would have preferred a smaller truck. I didn’t even look. I’m not a sap: I want 20% better price and mileage all around. Is that even possible? Probably, barely.

    Suppose Mitsu or VW sets up a plant and starts cranking out pickup trucks at an 18-19K price (4×4 included) and 21 mpg city. That’s a pretty small profit margin. Trick them up for a better margin, but let’s face it, no one is going to spend way up for a truck like that. On paper, the highly expensive plant MIGHT make a little money, but the big manufacturers can fight back–introducing the “Valu-package” Silverado– the new plant which never had rich prospects in the first place gets crushed.

    The mini-truck craze of the 1980′s in retrospect was a reaction to the “voluntary” import restraints imposed on the Japanese in 1984. The restraints didn’t apply to the trucks and a lot of people like me got chased into a mini-truck and liked them.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    at one point you could pick up a mini truck for 7 grand brand new. that’s why they were popular

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Exactly. Price is the real key here. Back in the day when a small pickup could be had for the same amount of money as the cheapest small car, they thrived.

      At current prices, it’s pretty amazing that Toyota can sell as many Tacomas as they do when, for the same amount of money, one can easily get a comparable domestic full-size.

      The only way the Tacoma and its outdated drivetrain continues to sell is perceived value over a domestic. Consumers quit buying a Ranger, Dakota, or Colorado when they could get a domestic full-size for a few dollars more. But there were (and still are) some who will pony up equivalent cash for a Tacoma simply based on the notion that the Tacoma would outlive a similar priced domestic. The ease of driving due to a smaller footprint is the other key small truck selling factor.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    most people who are into mini trucks are skinflints. since build quality went up in the mid 90′s there’s a seemingly never ending supply of used trucks in very good condition. whenever I see an S-10 with a cap on it, there’s a grizzled old cheapskate driving it.

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    @ JD-Shifty: My my,aren’t you an authority.Did it ever occur to you that people,(such as myself) need a pickup,but don’t need a full size? Did it ever occur to you that disabled people who need a pickup have a hard time with the full size? Your so damn smug in your insular little world and you know all,and have all the answers.Let me tell you something puppy,you don’t know shit.I’ve been totally disabled since my second tour in a war a long time ago that we Americans fought in.Walking has been a painful adventure for me for the last 44 years.”a grizzeled old cheapskate”?? I bought a new 2011 silverado reg cab z71.Drove it for a year but had to get rid of it because accessing the box is just to difficult and painful for me now.Maybe I am ‘old and grizzled” but I have paid my dues,and don’t depend on anyone for help.So tell me,just what have you done besides spout off pure bullshit puppy?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Sludge,

      I approved your comment (it was stuck in the cussword filter) out of respect to your service. Try to be nice to the puppies and dogs on this site, ok?

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Hell Toxic, just take it as a compliment. I drove 8 tons of vehicle with an arm and a spork for scooping up IEDs. Now I don’t need the chrome package to convey any sort of prowess to other motorists. I wear the “chaepskate” badge with pride…and the short term note.

  • avatar
    grinchsmate

    lets see if I understand.

    Big Al thinks there are no global trucks in the US due to regulation while Dr Old thinks that even without regulations Americans wouldn’t buy them.

    So isn’t the logical conclusion to scrap the regulations because they don’t seem to do anything. Surely maintaining redundant regulation is a cost that shouldn’t be carried.

    If I have misunderstood and Dr Old is arguing for regulation then what was that rant about freedom.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @grinchsmate
      That sounds like an obvious conclusion to the debate, strangely a few here will argue that although they are useless/harmless, the Chicken tax and other obstructions to free trade are essential..sort of makes sense I think.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @grinchsmate- You do understand! I certainly have NEVER argued in favor of any restriction on consumer choice!!

      @BAFO & RR- We have presented plenty of evidence to refute your OPINIONS of the impact of the Chicken tax, provable facts.
      You write as if, somehow magically, posters on this blog have any influence whatsoever on a policy implemented by politicians. What is most irritating for me, is that I have argued against such policies since before most folks here were even born, restated it as emphatically as words can convey, and you still don’t get it!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DocOlds
        The evidence you and DM have produced is identical. You have given no links. You both state you disagree with the Chicken Tax and ridiculous technical trade barriers. That is all well and good.

        But you then add and make your argument very ambiguous by stating that these taxes DON’T impact the makeup of your vehicle market. So why should those tariffs and barriers be removed.

        DocOlds
        I have debated you on several occasions and you claim to be an engineer. I will refute your claims through my observations of your performance on this blog site.

        1. Your comments on Australia, which you claim to be factual sometimes verge on the ridiculous ie, We don’t have divided highways, our infrastructure is sub standard.

        You then claim to have been to the Bathurst 500. That hasn’t existed since 1972. You made comments on the NT where I live, and you apparently haven’t a clue.

        2. Your knowledge on GMs products seem to be minimal. You don’t even know the origin and beginnings of some of the more significant GM platforms ie, Holden Commodore. Let alone some of the comments you made about Ford platforms. Yes, you are a GM fan, that is all.

        Other comments you make in the passing also reflect you have no real corporate knowledge I would have expected from an engineer. I sort of do a similar job to what you have claimed, but in aviation. It is in our interest to remain ‘on top’ with industry news.

        I think at most you were a line worker in Detroit.

        3. My views aren’t opinion but verifiable. Any discussion you want to have on economics and the impact and use of taxation and subsidies to modify a market just ask me. I will also provide as many links to justify my position.

        4. In the end you have proven that you are trying to influence and argument to support a policy, like a politician, not as I would have expected from a fellow engineer. We are trained to use science and logic.

        Your comments stem from emotive reasoning. Not good science and engineering.

        Finally, go to the UAW website and look at your argument, then look at the UAW’s policies. Seems to me I might be correct in assuming you are on this site to confuse and distort as well as DenverMike.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – Your entire platform rests on the premise that if the Chicken tax and other “barriers” exist, they must be crucial to existence of Big 3 full-size pickups? Weak!!!

          If anything, they’re crucial to the very existence of the Tacoma and Frontier. Or the Tundra and Titan, if you believe 1/2 tons have anything to fear.

          And who’s job is it to cancel a tax, tariff or other barriers, no longer or never needed? As far and anyone knows, Chicken tax workarounds don’t cost OEMs any more than the tariff on import cars. Less, according to the WSJ.

          Without a doubt, if ANY OEMs are benefiting from the Chicken tax and other barriers, it’s Toyota and Nissan (cars and trucks) plus any OEMs involved in the manufacture of small to mid-size cars, SUVs, wagons, cross overs etc. Foreign and domestic.

          These would be impacted long before full-size trucks, mainly the Tundra and Titan.

          But are you also saying American cars only exist because of the 2.5% tariff on import autos? What would be the impact of removing that?

          Would there suddenly be a great business case for all Italian cars to sell in the US? All British cars? All French cars? Soviet cars? Indian? Wouldn’t it be silly to think so? How is your entire, “Chicken tax” keeping US full-size trucks afloat ‘premise’ any different???

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            It is useless, harmless , easy to get around, but I will fight to the death to make sure it does not go.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – Your confusing one argument for another. Chicken tax “relevance” and it’s “existence” are two different topics. Oversimplification at it’s finest, but it won’t work here. Try a YouTube thread.

            And why should I sweat the things I can not change. If I could, I’d kill the Chicken tax right here and now. I wouldn’t stop there, I’d kill all the world’s tariffs and end all wars. So what?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            ” I’d kill the Chicken tax right here and now. I wouldn’t stop there, I’d kill all the world’s tariffs and end all wars. So what?”
            Correct you can kill it, but you will not as it is “harmless” Costs the US Government money to impose but that is besides the point. It does not harm anyone, but you will fight to the death to make sure it stays

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Ryan, you need psychological help. No one is for the Chicken tax. Nothing I wrote defended it. I don’t recall DenverMike defending it either.

            I refute silly ideas about the impact, but my point is to defend the very real quality leadership our car makers are demonstrating, in the specific, with pickup trucks that consumers prefer overwhelming over any foreign competitor.

            I can appreciate you need to live in fantasy and make up words to put on the months of others.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        BAFO- You finally have caught me! I meant Bathurst 1000!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathurst_1000

        Other than that minor error, everything I write is true despite your desperation to maintain your mythical and flawed understanding.

        I don’t need to go to a website for my knowledge. It is derived from a rich 40 year career and you really could learn something, if you would accept that.

        Any of the UAW guys who do post here can tell you that I am assuredly not a union sympathizer. You might know that, too, if you read and comprehend what I’ve written.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Doctor Olds
          Pinnochio lose our medication did we?

          “I REFUTE SILLY IDEAS ABOUT THE IMPACT”

          Ok what is the “Impact” from something that is harmless? a waste of time. Why are you getting so worked up about something you say should be got rid of?

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          >> It is derived from a rich 40 year career

          Just curious, back in the day did you work with Murday?

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            I don’t recall that name. Who is Murday?

            I was an Oldsmobile employee from ’69-’88 in a number of functions and locations, moved to BOC Powertrain in ’88 which moved me to the former Pontiac Motor Division campus in the GM Powertrain Global HQ or Engineering Staffs until I retired in 2008.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Tom Murday was one of the GMAD people that I worked with back when I was literally crawling all over several GM assembly plant. I had just starting out as an automation design engineer and was being sent on installations to learn every detail about auto plants and auto manufacturing. I met a lot of people (mostly GMI students) and lost contact with them.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @mcs- Thanks for the response. I never worked in an assembly plant building cars or trucks, other than some stints at various Olds plants as a co-op student.

            Upon my return from field sales/service in 1984, my responsibilities often required visiting assembly plants to understand problems and causes, or to perform drive audits to assess driveability pre-launch.

            Lansing-N, Lansing-S, Tarrytown, Linden, Arlington, Oklahoma City, Detroit Hamtamck, Wlimington and Lakewood (S. Atlanta-the old B car plant.

            I was a service rep, central office or product engineering guy, the “SOB from HQ with all the answers” some used to tease.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          As a former UAW, and CAW member, I can say, with all confidence, “doctorolds” is not now,or ever has been, a UAW sympathizer.

          That being send. I admire, and respect his vast knowledge, of the industry. Such knowledge cannot be taught,or taken from a textbook.

          IMHO,40 years of experience gives the Doc all the credibility I need,or expect.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @mikey,
            Each to their own. He commands none from me and I gather from his attitude GM would be have been a lot better off with his going sooner, no matter what capacity he worked in.
            I can now understand why GM failed if he is the calibre of Admin staff in the Company.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Thanks Mikey! I want to reiterate that I hold no malice against all the great UAW employees who, like most people everywhere, want to get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work! We all can bring something to the table and I really appreciated the support and wise counsel of lots of hourly workers. I’d put many of them above a lot of the salaried folks I can across in all those years.

            I’ve been trying to figure out if its one troll or two, they say a lot of the same garbage.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @doctor olds
            Your one troll, I guess there are several others.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @mikey,
            How many “commentators” does the UAW seed on a site like this and the PUTC. I have worked in a Union and involved with decision making?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Maybe it’s one of those conspiracies you read about

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Mikey, I grew up in the cornfields. A lot of UAW paychecks sent a lot of my friends to college while their dad worked the line. It’s easy to bash unions when you’re not involved with one. It’s a whole different story when it’s your paycheck. Yes, my family construction company paid union wages and made money.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lie2me
            “Maybe it’s one of those conspiracies you read about”

            No but they naturally have a vested interest in seeing the US Companies prosper and will use ways to push their views. As the Companies provide wages and Supperanuation benefits for a lot of “non-work” dependents.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ Robert Ryan…. I’m way too old a fish, to bite at your line.

            Have a good day sir.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Mikey,
            As a current Union man I did not expect you to answer it. Your input has been helpful nonetheless.
            If the question was put to me I would say the same thing as you.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Doctor Olds,
        The Chicken Tax let me get it right, harmless, easy to get around, useless, you want to get rid of it, but you will fight to the death to make sure it stays. Pinnochio your nose is getting longer.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          Wrong as usual.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @doctor olds…. Way back when you first started to comment here, and defend GM, I mentioned that your going to need a thick skin.

            This old lineworker kinda got that one right eh?

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @Mikey- You warned me and sure did get it right! Business has to operate on the basis of real facts and logic, with engineering requiring the most precision and discipline. Its amazing how some folks on here don’t operate that way at all.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    “I think at most you were a line worker in Detroit.” Someone like that deserves no could never be leader of say, China or Brasil. All this free market worship reeks of forgetting the past. America tried this before in the gilded age and it was rejected.

    The elitism and entitlement is so arrogant, especially from someone who won’t admit for some reason what he does.

    For someone who supposedly knows so much about economics, Big Al forgets about the economy of scale monopolistic competition market power the Detroit 3 have earned in the truck market. Bring on the Mahindra truck and Chinese copycat trucks.

    No body fights against grey market cars harder than German maunfacturers who don’t want to be undercut by used and poor representations of their products. I bet the insurance industry is no hurry to insure these cars with lower safety standards either. Which brings us back to another reason compacts trucks have whithered in America, they’re not very safe especially loaded and they have bad performance in general. For most applications a used minivan kicks their ass.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @billfrombuckhead- remember when Mr T popularized the expression, “Pity the fool!” it is applicable here. The logical conclusion to be drawn is that he lives in his mum’s basement in the sticks of the Northern Territory, and she gives them access to the internet.

      The lack of logic and reading comprehension suggests he is unemployable. Is there some reason others can’t see my firm statement that the Chicken Tax should go? It appears when I hit TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Well Pinnochios nose grows a bit longer. I would get your sourcea to get some more upto date information on Australia.

        No your reply was not an answer to Big Al From Oz, but
        a silly childish remark that has no bearing on this thread.
        By the way , if the Chicken Tax is useless what would you do to get rid of it?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @billfrombuckhead
      No I’m actually egalitarian.

      When someone makes a claim to be something, I expect a certain standard of behaviour/expertise.

      Like, when you take your car to a mechanic. You expect a certain degree of underpinning knowledge from the mechanic. But when the mechanic displays the apptitude of a janitor you then wonder if he’s for real. It has nothing to do with arrogance.

      The UAW and your views are arrogant. By not believing that CAFE, EPA and all the other technical barriers and Chicken Tax don’t affect or influence the US vehicle market. The market is set by the quality and standard of the UAW manufactured product.

      You sound very convincing.

      DocOlds has shown the information he has on Australia is quite flawed. Most every discussion about Australia is incorrect. So using deductive powers, I would assume he hasn’t never laid foot in this country.

      As for these blog sites and forums, the UAW does have people marketing their policy. Why would you UAW guys be any different from politicians.

      You bring into this debate Chinese vehicles? Why? You are trying to persuade the readers this is what to expect from freedom of trade and the removal of the barriers and tariffs.

      Most every midsize vehicle doesn’t come from China at the moment. So why those tactics?

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    What can you expect from guys who think knowledge of a Swedish consumer electronics company should be of some interest or pertinence to a car man. Silly.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @doctor olds
      Seeing you are not a car man, it is relevant. Somone with a vested interest to block Foreign companies getting into the market, yes..

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Foreign car companies are all over this market. Who next to come in? Mahindra? Great Wall? Do you really want junk like that on our roads?

        The Japanese got around the chicken tax by putting American made beds on their trucks and they flooded the market with Isuzu trucks, Mazda B series, Mitusbishi Mighty Max and yes, domestic branded variants of these trucks. They were not good trucks by modern standards. Time marches on and people don’t want these trucks in any great volume. The Tacoma and Nissan extended cabs they now sell are like fullsize American trucks from the 70′s. Toyota and Nissan have dropped regular cab compacts. If there was any market for these trucks don’t you think struggling Mitsubishi and Mazda would bring them in like they used to?

        As far as all this whining about a 2.5% tariff, these foreigners owe that to the US Navy for protecting their boats from pirates.

        BTW, watch out for unemployed Libertarian trolls dumbing down the internet.

        Building cars definitely qualifies Dr Olds as “car man”. Salute you for your service to the American industry Dr Olds!

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @billfrombuckethead,
          if it is “Junk” no none is going to buy it, right?
          Well the Japanese do not have to pay the Chicken Tax as they build primarily in the US.
          It is not just the US protecting boats from Pirates, it is Australia and a whole heap of other countries.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            Dear Robert Ryan.

            Why make do you change my screen name to “billfrombuckethead” Do you think it makes you sound smarter?.

            If it wasn’t for America, Russia and China would have split Japan up a long time ago and Australia would be the new Hong Kong. The only thing Japan does for us is buy oil in dollars thereby sustaining the American Empire government governed from Wall Street.

            BTW, why should America let junk like this into our country? Check out the junk you want in

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Robert, I usually don’t agree with Billfrombuckhead. I find your cheap shot lacking in manners, wit, and showing complete geographical ignorance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckhead_%28Atlanta%29

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @BillfromBuckhead
            I am not a great typist.Sorry about that. As far as your argument about “Junk” remember they have long memories. “Do unto others as they do to you”. If they want to play dirty fine, but if they are not well that is different.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            I have driven Mahindra and Great wall trucks and, well, never thought I’d say it, but bill is right. They are junk, especially Great Wall. The Mahindras were just tractors with beds and that is cool though I doubt theyd sell unless they were really cheap. The Great Walls though…Well I am not sure how a truck got that much rust in Baghdad.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @BillFromBuckhead
          Hope I got it right this time.
          “Building cars definitely qualifies Dr Olds as “car man”. Salute you for your service to the American industry Dr Olds!”

          Seeing the brand and division have since disappeared, quite appropriate.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            Go to You Tube and watch Mahindra and Chinese vehicle crash tests and you will see good reason to not have these trucks on our roads.

            Oldsmobile just morphed into the new Buick. I used to call them “Oldsmo-Buicks”anyway.

            The new Verano is quite nice. My brother-in-law has a very wonderful Buick La Crosse.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Billfrombuckhead
            So they are junk? Then removing the tariffs and barrier shouldn’t impact the US vehicle market?

            Do you think all midsizers come from China and India? Like I suggested earlier, get an education.

            A VW Amarok is a fine motor vehicle. Our V6 Diesel Navara comes out of Europe. We even have Landrover diesel pickups.

            We have V8 diesel 76 Series pickups, even in dual cabs. These are probably one of the toughest pickup globally.

            What about the new Ranger or BT50 from Mazda?

            I think these are the products that the UAW are frightened of.

            You call then junk because they scare the UAW.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    I like my 2000 Ranger. It’s the perfect size. I wish Chevrolet well although the bed is too high for my use. The Toyota is too ugly. The Nissan is the better looking of all of the smaller trucks available. Sorry Ford but when it comes time for me to trade I’m afraid it’s gonna be the Nissan. The F150 is just too damn big.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      It is a solid truck in all f the 800 miles I have put on mine and the 4.0 pulls well. The F150 was bigger than I like and in a usable for me 4 door form, considerably more costly.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I guess we’re no longer talking market trends and things that shape the US small truck market.

    It started out as a friendly conversation about the changes in the last decade. But once again, our Aussie friends managed to drag yet another truck tread down to a mud slinging event.

    Now we’re having to defend our character and whether we’re collecting a paycheck from the UAW to blog the truth (I guess), because they’re not arguing or disputing the facts put in front of them, but instead, they’ve turned the thread into an debate no one can win because it’s no longer about facts, stats, trends and reality.

    G’day.


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