By on May 9, 2014

Fiat-Strada-Adventure-Aggressive-and-a-Spirit-of-Offroad

At this week’s FCA investors conference, the floor was opened up to a Q&A session for journalists and equity research analysts. One scribe asked FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne about the prospect of a mid-size pickup, and Marchionne’s answer confirmed what many of us already knew.

According to Automotive News, Marchionne stated that

“We’ve gone through this issue now for five years, and we can’t flip the frame right.”

Autoblog has Marchionne sounding a bit more optimistic

“I think there is room for a Ram 1000…We’ve tried this … we’ve actually taken it to clinics…response has been lukewarm.”

Not long ago, sources told TTAC that a small truck, based on a front-drive car architecture, was being considered. But those plans now appear to be off the table.

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

381 Comments on “Marchionne: Mid-Size Trucks A Non-Starter...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The problem with US buyers is the FWD part. I just don’t see a FWD pickup truck selling in any form of volume. Plus the Ram trucks are priced well to begin with – I don’t see them having enough price differentiation between a moderately equipped base engine powered Ram regular cab.

    [INSERT STUPID AMERICANS AND THEIR NEED FOR BIG TRUCKS HERE]

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      To your point – The Honda Ridgeline, fuggetaboutit.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        I’m not sure the Ridgeline illustrates an inability to sell small trucks. It’s 4-doors, nearly $30K MSRP, has mediocre fuel economy and the bed isn’t very long, so it’s not terribly useful.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      In speaking of FWD trucks, a Chevrolet Tornado (Mexican market FWD trucklet) has appeared in front of a neighbor’s house in the last week. I think it actually looks cool.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Gross. That looks like el cheapo crapo.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed, the Chevy Montana is a weird thing. And can’t hold a candle to the Fiat Strada for work or play.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          I just have a soft spot for truly small pickups, and it was the first truly small pickup that I have seen in awhile. Not that I would ever own one; I simply don’t have need for a pickup truck.

          • 0 avatar
            jim brewer

            I have a soft spot too, but I can see how the economics don’t work. Smaller trucks are practically a specialty vehicle now.

            The street price for a Dodge starts at $19K in my area. Pentastar, 25 mpg highway (better than Nissan Frontier) AT AC Loads of overall capability.

            If you are a manufacturer, how are you going to beat that and yet, not cannabalize your full-size truck sales? I don’t blame Fiat one bit.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Meanwhile, I would own one, because my truck needs exist, though they are minimal–like the Montana. I never carry more than 500 pounds–after passengers. I do carry bulky–like a refrigerator that is too big to fit into ANY crossover. Every single truck currently available in the US is simply too big and too expensive for my needs and wants.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’d be quite happy if someone came out with a truck 2/3rds the size of the most current full-sizers. They’d likely also cost about $10K-$15k less.

      Economy? Personally, I think it’d be better, especially with improved aerodynamics, but even if not, the smaller size is more important to me than the fuel mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        I don’t think any auto maker is going to sell a trucklet for $10,000 in the USA.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Read what I said again, Hi5; I said $10K LESS… meaning sell it for $20K-$25K, NOT $10K. I can guarantee there’d be a lot of trucks sold at that price at that smaller size.

          • 0 avatar
            jim brewer

            Vulpine, 20K IS the starting price for a new full-size truck. One that gets better highway mileage than a small truck.

            http://www.truecar.com/prices-new/ram/1500-pricing/2014/27B71C4D/

            You mean a truck that costs about as much as the cheapest car in the lineup, don’t you? That’s the way it used to be. Not now. What’s in it for the manufacturers? If they can’t convince people to option up and they can’t because of the competition from their own full-size trucks, there’s no chance for big profits.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            True, Jim; starting price. They quickly rise to well over $35K when you start making them comfortable. But they’re still TOO BIG in physical dimensions to work for some people like myself.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      He is more interested in global products and the Fiat Commercial products

    • 0 avatar
      Manic

      That FWD part could change if/when RAM (Fiat) vans will be accepted by Americans as viable transport tools.

  • avatar
    srh

    The last time I was looking at pickup trucks, the mid-size options (Nissan and Toyota) were price at ~$35K, and the mileage didn’t look much better than the full-size options.

    So I walked down the street to the Chevy dealer where I was able to pick up a very nicely optioned 4×4 crew-cab Silverado 1500 for $30K.

    All things considered, I’d have preferred a mid-size if I could have saved $5K and saved some gas. That was before the advent of the Colorado. Maybe there are some better options now?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      For GM specifically, I think the question is what will the pricing be on the Colorado/Canyon.

      GM has “over priced” the Silverado/Sierra twins, but even with the discounts/rebates/incentives/unnatural acts according to analysts in their last quarterly release, they made a surprise profit because of the high price point.

      If GM value prices the Colorado/Canyon they could have something.

      The early word published here and on other sites, however, is that the interior room in the upcoming Colorado/Canyon leaves a lot to be desired.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Without trying one out, I simply couldn’t say. But “leaves a lot to be desired” on interior space in itself leaves a lot to be desired. It might be quite cozy and comfy for someone who doesn’t like HUGE!

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Tacomas have never been cheap but when was a Frontier ever $35,000? The most expensive one I could build in Nissan’s online configurator stickers $35,600 which ought to come in under 30 before taxes in the real world.

      That’d turn into 25 with the sense to leave off the profit padding moonroof, heated leather, etc. which a $30,000 Silverado doesn’t have either.

      • 0 avatar
        pennintj

        You could buy a “stripped” Toyota Tacoma (base, 2 wheel drive, standard shift, no A/C, vinyl interior) in 2001 for $12k + TTL. I was looking at one then bought a used Ford Ranger instead. The fact that *nobody* sells anything close to this price point/model anymore is why “Medium Sized Trucks” don’t sell.

        As for a FWD trucklet, you bring me a VW Saveiro TDI and I’ll *show* you a market.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      The 22k I paid for my Crew Cab Frontier with V6 and Auto begs to differ. Fuel economy wise it seems about the same as my friends with full sized trucks only this one fits in my garage.

      I’m not even sure you can get the pro x 4×4 with the lockers and offroad goodies up to 35k.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    I’ll bet Jeep could sell a bunch of profitable little pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Then bring forth the Commanche :)

      The only issue with Chrysler is, that if they made such a vessel, it would start at roughly 30K.

      Boooooo.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      This here is probably the exception that could work if it were besically a Wrangler with a cab and pickup bed ala Gladiator. This could work because the limited sales could probably be justified by the fact that a good portion of the design work is pretty much done as seen with the kits offered by Mopar, and the rest would rely very heavily on existing product. It would be however a fairly low volume specialty product, it’d be unlikely that Orkin would buy a fleet of them.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        If you can make money off a product that already has a lot of its R&D work done, NOT making that product seems a little silly.

        Then again, video games get canceled at the beta stage all the time…

      • 0 avatar
        Hoover

        @ Danio 3834….except that they are already selling every Wrangler they can make. The plant is at capacity. So for FCA to sell a wrangler based pickup, it would have to be at a price that justifies not building a wrangler in that space. Which I suspect makes it more expensive than the market would be willing to bear, as well as competing with the ram pickup. They ran into this with the comanche many years ago. It took up a spot in the plant from the extremely profitable XJ. They determined they could make more $$ by building more XJ’s, not more comanche’s and less XJ’s.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Actually, the Dodge truck division claimed that the Commanche was stealing sales from their own truck line–of which the Dakota was its direct competition. Guess what? There’s no more Dakota. That means there’s no more internal competition. BRING BACK THE COMMANCHE!

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I would actually go for that, Danio.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    This here is some quality trollbait for the resident small pickup jihadists.

    The two responses by Marchionne written above illustrate both sides of this issue nicely. It’s easy to *believe* a new small or midsize pickup entry could survive profitably in today’s marketplace, but once the business case is studied close enough, it doesn’t wind up making sense to execute.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “If you believe something will happen, it will happen.”

      -Jeremy Clarkson, Bolivia Special

      Ha.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I don’t think it is that they can’t be sold profitably in and of themselves, it is just that they make WAY MORE profit on the big trucks. So from a business perspective you certainly can’t blame them.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It isn’t a matter of big trucks vs. small trucks. There isn’t much cross-shopping between these two segments; the large truck buyers in particular aren’t inclined to downside.

        This is a matter of small truck vs. other segments. A lot of these buyers could be steered into compact crossovers; there’s no reason to make a special vehicle for a small audience of diehards that refuses to consider any other vehicle type.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Pch101 – there are those that do cross shop truck classes. I’ve owned 3/4, 1/2 and small trucks all based on my personal wants and needs. Obviously… a guy with a 20K trailer isn’t going to look at a Tacoma.
          1/2 ton trucks are just as likely to compete against other segments as small trucks. Part of the reason pickups are up in the top 10 of total vehicle sales is the fact that they’ve added seats and doors to them. Large SUV’s have seen a decline while full sized pickups are still growing in the marketplace.
          1/2 ton trucks are the last bastion of V8’s and are a cheap platform to buy into for the performance oriented crowd.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Your personal anecdote is just that: an anecdote.

            Of course, there are some cross-shoppers, but there aren’t enough of them to justify a special vehicle being built just for them.

            Selling a small pickup in low volumes doesn’t make much business sense for the OEM. It makes even less sense once one takes into account that small trucks sell at average prices that are below the passenger vehicle average. Of course, it’s next to impossible to expect fanboys to have any business sense, since they have no interest in and even less knowledge about profit.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            The problem is the US market can’t support the number or manufacturers we have in our small Austraian market.

            This is due to the controls that are in place in the US commercial vehicle sector.

            If the artificial constraints were lifted in the US, particularly affecting and/or protecting the pickup market manufacturers could import a small number of alternatives to all commercial vehicles.

            This is called freedom of choice. Not a socialised and subsidised controlled limit of choice.

            Your mate, the President of the US of A, Bin Banana and the EPA have deemed the 1/2 pickup as Lou has suggested a SUV.

            This is why CAFE will affect them and not the Class 3 and up commercial vehicles.

            The Class 3 and up will us a system similar to what the Europeans are using, as it is a fairer system. US business would cry foul if CAFE affected the large vehicle commercial fleet.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You don’t speak for all Americans, Pch, only some of them. You really don’t know how many people want a smaller truck, you just assume that because the Colorado, Dakota and Ranger died from disinterest that nobody wants one–while ignoring the fact that all three models had grown to the size of previous generation full-sizers. You also conveniently ignore the fact that all three were QUITE popular when they were significantly smaller and that some still go out of their way to locate and re-build an 80’s vintage model.

            No, if mid-size truck means the same size as the 1990’s full size, then they are not truly mid sized–they’re proper full-size without the exaggeration brought on by attempts to bypass CAFE economy laws.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I understand that pesky things such as data mean nothing to you, Vulpine.

            But reality doesn’t favor your fanboy tendencies. The segment is declining, and it is dominated by Toyota and its brand-loyal buyers.

            As I’ve already pointed out to you previously, there is also an issue of platform sharing. As the market moves to crossovers and away from smaller body-on-frame SUVs, it makes that much less sense to make an oddball small truck when a car-based crossover will sell in larger numbers and appeal to a broader audience and generate more profit.

            This business is about profit and cost amortization, not about pleasing a small contingent of bargain-hunting fanboys and their oddball tastes. It may just be a hobby for you, but it’s an actual business for the automakers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Again with the assumptions, Pch–and again with a total lack of support. Show me where demand for a compact pickup is “declining” considering that there is literally no data to support the argument; THERE ARE NO COMPACT PICKUPS TO PULL DATA FOR!
            Mid size? Of course the “demand” is declining–they’re just 9/10ths full size for nearly the same price.

            You say there is no market for compacts and try to use history as an example, while ignoring that same history that had the compact market first taken over by the Big Three, then sized out of existence over the course of 30 years. Ergo, by your argument, there can’t be any market because nobody is building them. On the other hand, because nobody is building them, the people that WANT them aren’t buying them, are they? “You can’t have your pudding until you eat your soup! If you don’t eat your soup, how can you have your pudding?” (And PLEASE tell me you know what I just quoted.)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The data is there, you just don’t understand any of it.

            Compact truck buyers want to pay prices that are below the national average.

            That might be OK if there was a volume market. But since there isn’t, the cost of serving them is disproportionately high.

            If Ford can sell an Escape, a Focus or something else to many of its would-be Ranger buyers, then it makes no sense at all to build the Ranger.

            Low volume requires high prices. Low volume + low prices = losses or minimal profit. You aren’t worth it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Your logic failed again, Pch.
            “If Ford can sell an Escape, a Focus or something else to many of its would-be Ranger buyers, then it makes no sense at all to build the Ranger.” True–if they didn’t really need a truck and weren’t willing to pay that excessive price for a full-sized one. On the other hand, if they WANTED a truck that was small enough for their needs, there simply isn’t one available.

            “Low volume requires high prices. Low volume + low prices = losses or minimal profit. You aren’t worth it.”
            Which assumes low volume when in all honesty they really don’t know what kind of volume may be waiting for the first one to bring in a truly compact truck. Smaller size will also mean lower costs across the board, which means that lower prices don’t necessarily mean lower profit margins. We ARE worth it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Obviously, Pch, you don’t understand the definition of Profit Margin. Wake me up when you figure it out.

            Oh, and by the way; if the demand is high enough, you might be surprised how much people are willing to pay for a vehicle that actually meets their NEEDS and is not just a cookie-cutter knock-off. After all, look how many people pay near full price for Apple computers despite the huge number of cheaper Windows-based PCs there are on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Chris FOM

            What? Apple proves his point perfectly. Their volumes are (comparatively) quite small, but they make up for it with [relatively] high prices and [very] high margins to compensate. In no way is Apple a low volume/low price player.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Apple is essentially a luxury brand. Anyone who would claim that iPods prove that FCA can sell compact trucks to Americans needs to go back to analogy school.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            Apple is a luxury brand??

            So is Coke and Pepsi.

            You really talk some crap.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Apple a luxury Brand” Hilarious, that is the funniest thing I have seen on this Forum.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            @Big AL…And pray tell, how is the Australian Auto Industry nowadays.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Pch101: “Apple is essentially a luxury brand. Anyone who would claim that iPods prove that FCA can sell compact trucks to Americans needs to go back to analogy school.”

            Considering that Apple is effectively supplanting the conventional PC market, it seems the analogy fits rather well. The new Canyon/Colorado is obviously an experiment to see if the complaint about full sized trucks is valid. Unfortunately, I expect the experiment to fail because they didn’t make it small *enough*.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @mkirk
            The Aussie auto business is where it should be.

            There is balance. There will be 24 000 new jobs in the industry coming up.

            The good paying jobs of engineering and design is remaining.

            The parts suppliers are finding their feet and haven’t disappeared.

            In Australia the vehicle manufacturing sector only represents 10% of the industry jobs.

            You still have auto accessory store, gas stations, people building and maintaining roads, etc.

            The motor vehicles has many jobs related to it.

            We will now free up people from an industry to retrain for another.

            This is what happened to the candlestick makers.

            What are they doing?

            It called progress.

            UAW guys like you are happy to remain in the dark ages.

            mkirk, scared and insecure type, are you?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          There’s more than you think, Pch. But while you’re right that large truck buyers aren’t likely to downsize, small truck buyers don’t have a choice BUT to upsize. I have a 1990 full-size simply because I couldn’t find a compact. when I needed a truck.

          • 0 avatar
            jim brewer

            I’m in the exact same boat. Simply, small pickup trucks aren’t price competitive. Whether that’s a matter of manufacturing economics or pricing strategy of the manufacturers, I don’t know.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @jim brewer
            They aren’t price competitive because they are manufactured in the US.

            Remove the chicken tax if they aren’t price competitive. Force US manufacturers to become more competitive.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You small truck fanboys aren’t willing to pay prices that are high enough to justify paying attention to you.

            As far as customers go, you just aren’t worth it. You want a specialty vehicle that few people desire, yet you want it at a bargain price.

            It makes no business sense to cater to you: as far as markets go, you’re rather unappealing. Most of you will buy something else, and the few refuseniks who remain don’t matter.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Pch: Show me a small truck available in the US that sells for the exact same price as its full-size ‘twin’ before rebates.

            Even the Tacoma averages $7K cheaper than the full-sized equivalent in every body style.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The average full-size truck is selling for about $40k.

            The average compact/midsize is selling for about $28k.

            The average vehicle transaction price is about $31k.

            The smaller truck buyers are far fewer in number, plus they pay less. Not much reason to target those people, particularly since most of them will buy something else.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Vulpine
            Pch101 has gone the route of the UAW bull$hit line.

            Why remove the chicken tax because there isn’t a market big enough.

            Then if the market isn’t big enough, why have the chicken tax?? The administrative cost could be chopped from the US budget saving millions for the US taxpayer.

            My view is remove the chicken tax and then lets see.

            This is what we call freedom in Australia.

            Maybe Pch101 view of freedom is different.

            That is to have several manufacturers making many variants of the one theme.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            By the way, Pch101, I see you chose to ignore my challenge. I didn’t ask for “average”, I asked for specifics. Show me where the mid-sized version of any given body style is the same price as a full-sized version of that same body style before rebates.

            Then ask yourself, “Why are they rebating the full sized truck so much?”

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Again, Vulpine, you are keen to display complete lack of understanding of finance and business.

            If you can’t understand how low prices + low volume = problems, then it’s useless to go through this with you. These concepts are above your head, and you obviously don’t want to understand them, anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            People have been saying the same thing about Apple and the people who buy Apple computers for over 30 years now, yet Apple now sells more PCs than any other brand (when including tablets) and is showing growth when all other brands are losing sales.

            All this proves is that you simply do not KNOW who wants what–you’re assuming based on insufficient data.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – you must of read part of my post or the whole “anecdotal” comment wouldn’t of been uttered by you.
            I’ve stated that small trucks will have minimal impact on full sized. Some cross shopping does occur. Did I say that it happened all of the time?
            No!
            I have said that the profits are not there and there is no economy of scale to build small trucks in the USA.

            There is an opening for a niche market that could easily and profitably be filled by importation.

            That won’t happen with a 25% tariff barrier.

            Please reread my posts since you’ve missed the bulk of what I’ve said.

            As far as being a accused indirectly of being a small truck fanboy, my 20 ft long F150 SuperCrew 6.5 box 4×4 sitting in my driveway would tend to indicate otherwise. I had and F250 for 15 years, again more proof that I buy what is appropriate for my needs. I’ve only owned small trucks for 9 years in total. Hardly proof positive of being a fanboy of any size class other than being a fan of pickup trucks in general.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – The full-size replacement for the crew cab midsizer is the Quad cab, extra cab, super cab. If at all. Then the price difference is negligible. After rebates, you pay more for the mid-size. Consumers really have to have a small truck fetish. Even then, they’ll hold off for a decent used one. You were in the market used small truck too. Mid-sizers just aren’t worthy of a ‘new truck’ purchase. That’s why they’re so hard to find used.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou _BC – Yourself and DWF have a lot of excuses for not doing your part to lure small truck OEMs to American. Or back to America. And a lot of nerve suggesting the chicken tax blocks importation of global pickups, any more than it blocks import of so many global cars, missing from America. The VW Transporter is the only thing it blocked.

            At least buy a used one. I know I’ve owned more mid-size trucks than the both of you combined. Last month I bought a used Tacoma for a friend that’s helping me remodel a house. I know neither of you would ever consider buying a new mid-size truck. Don’t even go there.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DenverMike: “The full-size replacement for the crew cab midsizer is the Quad cab, extra cab, super cab. If at all.”

            Wrong answer. I did not ask for a “replacement”, I asked for a direct one-for-one comparison in PRICE ALONE between any one body style of mid-sized truck (this currently gives you Nissan, Honda or Toyota to choose from) and its exact equivalent full-sized counterpart–which adds Ford, GM and RAM.

            Compare a standard-cab 6-foot-bed mid-size with a standard-cab 6-foot bed full size at the same trim level.
            Compare an extended cab 6-foot bed mid-size with an extended cab 6-foot bed full-size at the same trim level.
            Compare a Crew Cab short bed mid-size with a crew cab short bed full size at the same trim level.

            And don’t forget: I want the prices BEFORE any rebate offers. Show me that the mid-size truck is less than $3000 difference under these conditions and I MIGHT agree that their price differences are insignificant.

            Now, since I’ve given the exact same challenge three times and the first two times the answers had nothing to do with the challenge, I have made the instructions Unmistakable. Answer the challenge, or SHUT UP.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DenverMike:

            “@Lou_BC – Every time yourself and DWF buy a full-size pickup, especially new, its another nail in the mid-size truck coffin.”

            The problem with this argument is assumption–again. I, (as Vulpine, RoadWhale™ and/or DWF) have NEVER purchased a full-sized truck NEW. I have purchased a compact truck, NEW.

            Nail removed.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Your direct “one-for-one” oversimplifies. Otherwise you have no argument. And you don’t. Yes, on paper, both Chihuahuas and Labradors are “dogs”.

            You wouldn’t really step down from a full-size, real crew cab to a mid-size crew cab, unless you really didn’t need the 2nd row seating for adult passengers. But who buys a full-size crew cab, when all they really need is an extra cab full-size?

            There’s simply no comparison between a regular cab Tacoma and regular cab full-size. You can actually recline the seats on full-size. Plus still stow golf clubs, small ice chests and whatnot behind the seats.

            When comparing the “extra cab” full-size to the “crew cab” mid-size, the difference is in the full-size, 2nd row and passengers can spread out a bit, despite having their knees up to their chests. Passengers aren’t fighting for the center armrest or there’s room for total 6 occupants.

            Thing is ,it doesn’t matter what you want, if you’re shopping mid-size trucks. For live adults, cramped 2nd row seating is all there is. You can claim that’s not a big deal or deal breaker for most American consumers (excluding fleet and other cheapskates bottom feeders) but you don’t speak for them.

            Comparing the extra cab (Access/King Cab/etc) mid-size to extra cab full-size is equally ridiculous. Different species altogether.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Now we’re getting somewhere. When did you buy a “new compact truck”? Reagan Administration? Eisenhower???

            I knew a lot of folks (including my ‘folks’) that bought new mini-trucks during that craze/fad/invasion, but what have you (or they) done lately for the mid-size segment?

            When small trucks were sold at cut-rate pricing, dumped on our shores in mass quantities and there wasn’t much else to buy, it was the “perfect storm” for small trucks. Things have simply returned to normal is all. No need for all this talk of conspiracies, plots and agendas.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DenverMike: Exactly what I expected from you, an attempt to divert the discussion because you can’t prove me wrong. Now, let’s see what you had to say:

            * “Your direct “one-for-one” oversimplifies.” — Actually, it perfectly defines my point, hence your attempt to divert the subject.

            * “Yes, on paper, both Chihuahuas and Labradors are “dogs”.” — Yup. Different dogs for different tasks. They are BOTH, “working” dogs.

            * “You wouldn’t really step down from a full-size, real crew cab to a mid-size crew cab, unless you really didn’t need the 2nd row seating for adult passengers.” — BINGO! You hit the nail on the head!

            * “But who buys a full-size crew cab, when all they really need is an extra cab full-size?” When you look at how many of those full-size-crew cab trucks carry only a single occupant, apparently quite a lot.

            * “There’s simply no comparison between a regular cab Tacoma and regular cab full-size.” — You mean besides the $7,000 price difference?

            * “You can actually recline the seats somewhat in full-size. Plus still stow golf clubs, small ice chests and whatnot behind the seats.” — And that differs from the Tacoma… how?

            * “When comparing the “extra cab” full-size to the “crew cab” mid-size, the difference is in the full-size, 2nd row and passengers can spread out a bit, despite having their knees up to their chests.” — Unless you don’t have 2nd row passengers who need to “spread out a bit”.

            * “Passengers aren’t fighting for the center armrest or there’s room for total 6 occupants.” — And for those who don’t carry a total of 6 occupants? Pure wasted space.

            * “For live adults, cramped 2nd row seating is all there is.” — Remember? No “live adults” here. I don’t need the space.

            * “You can claim that’s not a big deal or deal breaker for most American consumers…” — I’ve never said “most”, I have stated SOME–and that SOME is more than you think.

            * “… but you don’t speak for them.” — But I do speak for the SOME.

            * “Comparing the extra cab (Access/King Cab/etc) mid-size to extra cab full-size is equally ridiculous. Different species altogether.” — A dog is a dog, even if they are different breeds. Please explain to me why such a comparison is ridiculous. Maybe all I need is a rat terrier to get rid of the rodents and not a Rottweiler to get rid of the pests.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DenverMike: “When did you buy a “new compact truck”? Reagan Administration? Eisenhower???”

            Reagan was President and I had some need for an open bed truck at the time. What I didn’t need was full-sized–even then.

            “… but what have you (or they) done lately for the mid-size segment?” — Complained that trucks of the size we want simply aren’t available. Many are paying premium prices for pre-2000 Rangers and S-10s and we’ve seen one link in this discussion showing an ’04 Dakota selling for almost $20,000. Now, why would they be priced so high if people weren’t willing to pay for something SMALLER than the current full-sized trucks?

            “When small trucks were sold at cut-rate pricing, dumped on our shores in mass quantities and there wasn’t much else to buy, it was the “perfect storm” small trucks.” — What? Did you just change your own argument that those small trucks “had no effect on full-sized sales”? Perfect storm? No competition? Make up your mind, boy!

            Back then small trucks sold for around $10,000 and full-sized trucks sold for about $15K-$18K. About the same difference in price they carry today. Ford, GM and Chrysler wanted in on that small truck market and supplanted their imported “badge engineered” models with American Made models at a slightly higher price–quickly replacing the majority of the imports with the S-10 and Ranger, with Dodge following up a little later with the Dakota. Effectively, they drove all but Toyota and Nissan out of the import pickup market and even those two were forced to build assembly plants stateside to compete at all.

            In other words, the “perfect storm” was a combination of enforcing the Chicken Tax AND having direct American Made competitors on the market. Once the small trucks were almost exclusively American, their size started to grow until now there is little difference between them and the full-sized trucks of that era. They’re called “mid-sized” because they are no longer “compact”.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – The Reagan Administration? The ’80s small truck industry thanks you!

            A $20,000 Dakota? Helps illustrate how there’s not enough “new” midsize truck buyers, but they all P!$$ on themselves for clean “used” examples.

            I said “perfect storm”, but didn’t say the small truck segment had any measurable impact on fullsize. Mini-trucks were owned by folks from every walk of life. And very popular with women, young, old, you name it. Mini-trucks were very much in fashion, with the mainstream.

            But mini-trucks didn’t start to grow until sales took a sharp decline. I don’t see a reason for it, other than OEMs were mistakenly chasing fullsize truck buyers. You’ll agree that was the wrong direction to head.

            It was just a trend that came to an end. Timing had everything to do with it, and it obviously couldn’t last forever. Sorry you’re left in the cold by OEMs obsessed with something called “profits”.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DenverMike: How about explaining your reasoning here: “A $20,000 Dakota? Helps illustrate how there’s not enough “new” midsize truck buyers, but they all P!$$ on themselves for clean “used” examples.”

            First off, it’s a practically new “American Made” mid-sized pickup truck. That high price clearly points out that there is a huge demand for “American Made” smaller trucks that is not being met. Exactly the opposite of your knee-jerk comment.

            Now you’re trying to weasel out on your own argument, because you clearly stated previously that compact trucks had no effect on full-sized sales and now state that the compact trucks had a “perfect storm”. That so-called “perfect storm”, to be such, should have had a more-than-measurable effect on full-sized sales. However, it is quite obvious that the market for such smaller trucks was large enough that every American manufacturer–even American Motors–built a more compact truck to compete. When they did, they effectively drove the Japanese competition out of the market simply due to the fact that profits fell through the floor. (Remember, when you’re running on very low profit margins, you need more sales to make the same money. Since the “Chicken Tax” forced import truck cost up, the American companies were making far more profit off their American Built models at the same price.) Of course, you won’t accept that parenthetical.

            You say it was a “trend that came to an end,” but in reality it was a trend that was intentionally ended–by the American OEMs. Now Chevrolet is experimenting to see if there really is a demand for a smaller truck–but made the mistake of making their new truck still larger than what many buyers really want. Personally, I don’t think the GM mid-sized twins will do as well as I’d hoped simply because of that size factor. It’s not small enough.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @Pch101: I agree with you completely.

          My mid-size ‘truck’ is a Kia Sedona minivan. It can tow up to 3500 lbs, has a ‘cap’ over the 8-foot bed, and can haul 7 people while towing. This makes it a 1/2-ton to 3/4-ton truck.

          Aside from misplaced masculine embarrassment, why would I buy a mid-size truck that gets the same fuel economy but can’t haul people? Just so I can haul dirt? That’s what a trailer is for.

          Marchionne is right – FCA doesn’t need to relive a failed market segment just to please a few fanboys who won’t actually buy the vehicle once they see the numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DiM – once again you live up to that abbreviation. Are you and Pch101 taking turns misunderstanding what I am saying?

            Small trucks have for the most part become a niche product. Barriers have helped in that regard.

            I am saying that the small truck segment would be viable if cheaper importation alternatives were available.

            You’ve never proven that barriers either tariff or technical are ineffectual tools at blocking imports.

            Slim profit margins make it cost prohibitive to attempt circumventing tariffs and technical barriers.

            I am sure you will trot out the Transit Connect (oops-can’t as that loophole was closed) or the knock down kit excuse.
            Who uses the knockdown kit method other than Mercedes????

            Tariffs are effective – how many niche trucks do you see imported into the USA?

            Interestingly enough the 2 domestic car companies have stated the profit margin on low end econoboxes is around 3%. Please tell me again what the import tariff is on cars?

            Don’t hurt yourself……….. I got lots of time.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @SCE to AUX – for many, a minivan can replace a small truck but there are those that don’t like that option. When the Great Recession hit I was going to buy a new truck but that insecurity coupled with some other stuff going on in my life made me delay buying.

            I purchased a ’99 Safari off of a friend of mine. It did what a truck can do but with downsides. If I took my 2 labs out to the bush or down to the river, invariably my van would smell like wet dog for days after. If I took a load of garbage to the dump, my van smelled like garbage. A load of sand didn’t smell but was real fun to clean up.
            All of this was semi-okay in my own personal van but if I did any of that stuff in my wife’s Sienna it wouldn’t of been pretty.

            Every vehicle is a compromise. Trucks for many are the most versatile platform with the least amount of compromises needed to be made.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Every time yourself and DWF buy a full-size pickup, especially new, its another nail in the mid-size truck coffin.

            US barriers fail to facilitate the entry of low volume, niche imports to American. OK, so what? You cry for global pickups and I cry for Tatas. But really, we don’t know which, if any global OEMs want to deal with and get tortured by the worst of US cheapskates.

            Knockdown Kits (CKDs) are used throughout the world. Not a US invention. It’s not an issue when imports sell with any kind of volume and or profitability. You seem to think there would be profitability (excluding the chicken tax) from 3rd world, peasant labour, building small pickups for America, despite our undying commitment to not paying SH!T for small trucks, before rebates.

            Global pickup OEMs might disagree with you.

            With econobox autos, there’s not much to be gained, is right. At least they’re cheap to build, share platforms throughout and carry decent volume. Now with small, BOF trucks that sell at niche levels, yet crazy expensive to build, comparatively, what do you expect? OEMs importing small trucks, but only paying the 2.5% tariff of autos, would be lucky to see negative 3% margin.

            It’s an American thing. No respect for small trucks is right! Used maybe, but just look at what Mexico pays for Amaroks. $24,000 USD to $43,000. And that’s Mexico! Imagine what Aussies would pay. BAF0 happily paid $55,000 USD for his Mazda BT50GT500… Say it all!!!

            Tatas and Ladas are not subject to any chicken tax whatsoever, but still decline to enter the American market. How is that even possible? No chicken tax and they still don’t come? I’ll bet they can find better ways to lose their A$$!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM and Pch101
            If the global midsizers are that expensive and uncompetitive, then why have the chicken tax.

            Your argument is quite inane.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – There’s no real reason for the chicken tax to be kept alive. But clearly some OEMs may want it kept in place. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai, etc would be the main benefactors, if any.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Boy, you are good at deflecting.

            Your very own UAW are the biggest hurdle now with the chicken tax. Not the OEMs.

            The OEMs don’t want FTAs with the chicken tax removed in Asian countries, but not with the Europeans.

            The UAW is $hit scared if the chicken tax is removed.

            There’s been a edict by socialist UAW King to have all UAW members vocalise the disapproval of the UAW in having the chicken tax removed.

            You see DiM no one has ever stated midsizers will remove the dominance of full size trucks. So, stop using that as an argument.

            So, why are you UAW guys scared of competition at the expense of your fellow Americans. Hasn’t the American citizen done enough for you guys by bailing out your pensions and the Detroit companies you guys assisted greatly in destroying?

            Talk about a selfish group of turds.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – You know nothing about which OEMs are lobbying the strongest to keep the chicken tax alive. The Big 2.5 OEMs have more to lose by preventing FTAs with places like Europe and related markets. And absolutely nothing to lose by opening the American market to global cars and pickups, imported to America tariff/duty FREE.

            Why do you think Ford is on a push to end the Chicken tax???

            The UAW is its own arm who’s only concern is ripping off autoworker members and pretending they’re acting in their behalf. They’re not.

            Think about all the world’s cheap, small cars flooding the American market. With a few small, import pickups thrown in. Now think about which OEMs, already selling in America, have the most to lose. And the least to gain by new markets opening up in places like Europe, that they already sell in. Except now they would be competing with Big 2.5 OEMs in places they never thought they would. Like Europe.

            I guess that would require ‘thinking’ on your part…

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Jackpot.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        You were so right!

        • 0 avatar
          jimbob457

          Agreed. I dunno how the ‘chicken tax’ factors into this issue – not that I agree with or want to defend it. I do know that given gasoline at $3 to $4 USD per US gallon the bigger light trucks tend to make more sense in the country. In crowded cities smaller vehicles make very good sense, but vans do the same job and are more flexible than smaller pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Jimbob457: Part of the argument here is that vans do NOT do the same job and while they may be more flexible, they are less USEFUL when you have to spend time modifying the rig to perform different tasks–sometimes in the same day.

            I, for one, have no need for a van; no need for a crew cab but absolute need for the ability to carry 8′ long tables in quantity as well as the occasional load of mulch (which can not be dumped into a van with a front-end loader) or an upright refrigerator or freezer or other oversized piece of furniture that can not be safely lain on its side. I can not shovel a blizzard’s snow into the back of a van as I clear my sidewalk and parking area. I can not set up a telescope or camera tripod in the back of a van as I try to view planets or photograph scenery over roadside barriers. In other words, a van has LESS utility for me, not more.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “Why do you think Ford is on a push to end the Chicken tax???” Is it? Pretty funny, I think it will upset the UAW at its plants. Ford wants better access to European markets for its US produced cars.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @RobertRyan – Ford has all the access it wants. But the EU tariff on US built cars is a staggering 10%! And a crazy insane 22.5% tariff on US built pickup trucks!!!

          The UAW is brain dead and isn’t even looking at all the extra cars and trucks UAW members, on the assembly line would be building and putting on a boat. But for some reason, Ford is. The UAW’s overruled…

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denmike
            Ford does have unhindered access to the European market , your right and is building the Mustang to export there. Problem is other US vehicles do not meet EC regulations.Ford wants to harmonize those regulations

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I miss my Ranger some days. I wouldn’t mind having a modernized I version.

      I don’t miss the F-150 that I ended up keeping for most of a year.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Oh no! Cheap old white guys everywhere will be devastated!

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    Then offer the Ram 1500 single cab (short bed) with the new V-6 Motori diesel. Give us maximum mileage from the lightest truck.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The 3.5 gasser is quite wonderful in it’s own right. You’re still stuck with a hood and engine bay sized for a 6l V8, perhaps even a Cummins.

      A fwd PU based on the shortest promaster may be a big boon for “utility” buyers. Low bed height, short house, hence bebeficial bed to overall length ratio. While Jeep could hold up the dirtbike/offroad end of the market.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Americans and Canadians like big pickups. Small trucks versus large trucks to quote George Carlin “Doesn’t sound manly to me, Bill. I say leave it in there and get the job done!”
    Small trucks like the Strada or even the previous Ranger are seen as less than manly trucks by many out their. The gap between the 2 sizes has closed and everyone including Toyota have neglected the segment. Profits are in full sized trucks. At one time when pickups were crude utility tools one could justify a small truck based on price and mpg. There is now virtually no price or mpg gap.
    VW has said that they’d need to sell 100,000 units to be profitable and they’ve also said the current Amarok is too small for the USA market.

    I might as well bring up tariffs as it will come up eventually. I do not feel lifting tariffs will hurt current full sized trucks but they will allow more competition in the small truck market and allow niche markets to be more easily filled. Companies could rationalize importation to fill these niches.

    Ram like Ford will not bring in smaller trucks to pluck feathers from the big truck golden goose. They know where their bread is buttered. Marchione feels that he can fund his 5 year plan internally. to do so he will have to milk the teats of Jeep and Ram for all they are worth. A Strada would sour the milk (at least for now).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou_BC
      I have to agree with you on your comment, full size trucks will take some beating, but……………….we’ll see when the ‘new’ aluminium trucks arrive.

      Economics is the biggest driver in vehicle culture. If pickups and/or fuel becomes to pricey, less will sell and alternative will be found. This ‘price’ is a concern of mine regarding the new F-150 and GM aluminium 1/2 ton pickups.

      The other problem confronting pickups in the US and globally is they are gradually becoming SUVs. As our pickups become SUVs, alternatives will be competing more and more.

      Everyone thought big cars wouldn’t disappear in the US, but they did. Everyone thought the V8 utes wouldn’t disappear in Australia, but they only have a couple of years to go.

      If full size become to expensive, then mid sizers will become to expensive eventually.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The price of the F-150 will increase like it does every time they roll out a new one. I’m just curious, how much do you think the price increase will be? It sounds like you think it will be significant.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Go to Home Depot of Lowes and price a 6′ steel ladder, then go and price a 6′ aluminium ladder.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            6′ steel ladder? All I ever see are fiberglass and aluminium. Carrying a steel step ladder or telescoping ladder around would suck.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            We have a company called Bunnings in Australia similar to Lowes/Home Depot.

            I hope the links work.

            The cheapest steel 1.8m or 6′ ladder is $44.90 and the cheapest aluminium is $79.00.

            The F-150 will cost a significant amount more. Not the same percentage difference as the ladders ;)

            http://www.bunnings.com.au/search/products?q=ladders&redirectFrom=Any&facets=PriceRange%3D%2420%20-%20%2450

            http://www.bunnings.com.au/search/products?q=ladders&redirectFrom=Any&facets=PriceRange%3D%2450%20-%20%24100

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Bennings site facsinates me. I want to rent a Ute for $35 for 2/hrs.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            The have free tandem trailers that carry a couple of tons. I used on once when I went to buy some screws or nails and bought a pile of gyprock (sheet rock).

            Most everyone in Australia has a vehicle with a tow bar.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @bball40dtw Why would you want to rent a truck in AU for $35/2hr when you can rent one for the entire day at Home Depot for $29?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2me
            The chicken tax and regulations wouldn’t allow him to drive in the US anyway ;)

            Plus it would take weeks to get from Australia to the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Stuff’s expensive there

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2me
            Yes and no. If you live here it isn’t as expensive.

            I wish we had US prices, especially on my income. But, I wouldn’t if I lived in the US and my standard of living would be lower in the US.

            There’s pros and cons to both sides. We don’t have people working for $10-$15ph either, it’s illegal, except for school kids.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Just because I want to drive something different. I’ve utilized the Home Depot truck/van rental more than a few times in my life.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Big Al from Oz – actually, I do not think full sized trucks will take much of a hit if any from small trucks. The full sized truck under current economic conditions is stable. Car companies will not expend the money to fill niche markets especially if there is a chance that it will leach sales form their core products. IIRC Ford derives over 95% of their global profits from big pickups. Car companies will not weaken full sized truck sales with smaller lower profit margin trucks……… at least not Ford or Ram. To quote Lemon Grab ” it’s unacceptable”.
        The Chicken Tax has the unfortunate effect of keeping out lower sales volume products that would be otherwise profitable. Protectionism has shaped the market and I do believe that we’ve hit a point where tariffs and trade barriers along with “bigger is better” preferences have shaped the market to the point that there is little need to continue on with those barriers.
        We will see an EU/USA FTA and eventually most of SE Asia/Asia with perhaps the exception of Japan will be on board with FTA’s. Japanese companies have enough capacity in Asia that an FTA with those jurisdictions would amount to a Japanese FTA anyway.
        time will tell.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou_BC
          I didn’t say full size trucks will take a big hit. But they will suffer a little as will most other midsize CUV, SUV.

          What I do see is the price of the US full size 1/2 ton pickup increasing to the point where it will not be as viable for business as other alternatives, ie, Transit/Ram Ducato cab chassis.

          The US half ton will solely become more or less the domain of the SUV. When this occurs, then shoppers will start looking at alternatives. My view is essentially when the 1/2 ton becomes more a ‘family’ car it will be the beginning of the end.

          The cost incurred by CAFE is screwing over the 1/2 ton………..but, the US has to have different regulations the the rest of the world……eventually to their detriment.

          Alternatives doesn’t necessarily mean a midsize pickup. The only way a midsize will become more competitive than a full size 1/2 ton is if the midsize goes the route of 6spd, diesel (maybe) or a small EcoBoost style engine and remain steel.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          @BigAl — a very good comparison, it turns out. We get the aluminum ladder for $59 — just enough cheaper that there’s no market left for the cheaper steel one.

          http://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-6-ft-Aluminum-Step-Ladder-with-250-lb-Load-Capacity-Type-I-Duty-Rating-366/100659875

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t know the last time I saw a steel step ladder at Home Depot. I forgot they even made them. Maybe we have a steel ladder chicken tax I don’t know about. Or maybe, people didn’t buy the steel ladder because the aluminium ladders, while being more expensive, had more features and were more capable. The market has spoken.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw
            Steel ladders in Australia are rare as well. It just we have them as an alternative. It seems we many alternatives as well as what you guys have in the US.

            Also, steel ladder here sell in tiny numbers and aluminium and glass ladders are much more prevalent.

            Still, with the difference in sales the steel ladder is much cheaper than the much more popular aluminium ladder.

            Aluminium will cost the consumer, or the your cheap discounts will end on pickups. If this occurs then midsizers will be more competitive.

            I bet this is what GM is hedging the Colorado decision on.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Let me correct that, Lou. “MOST Americans and Canadians like big pickups.” But if you need big just to be “manly” you have it for the wrong reasons. I was quite happy with my 1983 Mitsubishi when I had it. Now I can’t find a new one of that size for love nor money.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Vulpine – I do agree and many will not admit that they buy a full sized truck more on appearance or image as opposed to actual need.
        That is why I posted the George Carlin quote.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I think FCA should look outside of the US regarding pickups.

    A unitary FWD isn’t what is required in the global markets.

    A full chassis is required, and it has to be called a Dodge, not Ram.

    In Australia Rams are regarded as dumb animals, which they are a little smarter than a chicken.

    The engine choices should be the 2.8 4cyl VM diesel, 3.0 VM diesel a Pentastar and a large 4 cylinder gasoline engine.

    Maybe FCA isn’t really regarding the SE and E Asian markets as doable.

    Keep the front end looks of this vehicle, make a bed to suit a full chassis.

    If FCA made this Dodge midsizer it would sell.

    Sergio, what are your so called design experts thinking.

    https://img.4plebs.org/boards/o/image/1395/02/1395027920408.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Big Al from Oz – I do believe that Marchionne and associates DO know what they are doing. Dodge or Ram or what ever they choose to call their pickups is basically a NAFTA zone phenomenon. The rest of the world uses vans and MDT’s. FCA has all of those markets covered through Iveco. They are positioning Jeep as the only North American product that will play to the rest of the world. FCA has an ambitious enough a plan without getting all “GM” on everyone with the need to build multiple platforms to fill every possible market category.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou_BC
        We rarely ever disagree. But, you are wrong. The global midsize market is huge.

        The East and South East Asian market (not including China) must have a 1 million vehicle market for pickups every year.

        I think Thailand sells 600 000 per year, Australia is around 150 000. Then you have smaller markets with several hundred million people in SE Asia, which would still be in the 10s of thousands per country.

        I would think outside of the US the pickup market is easily 1.5 million vehicles per year. VW stated it wouldn’t make the Amarok in the US if it couldn’t move 100 000 per year. I would think a similar situation would be for most any vehicle assembly plant globally. VW are going to manufacture pickups in Germany. Nissan manufacture the Navara in Spain. South Africa also manufactures a large number of pickups.

        I would think the Chinese would have a million plus market for midsizers, but there midsizers are made in China.

        Counting China the global pickup market is much larger than the US pickup market in total. If you only counted 1/2 ton pickups which would be equivalent to a midsizer in competitiveness the global market is much larger.

        • 0 avatar
          mike89

          They announced a new mid-size pickup to be sold under the Fiat Professional brand in 2016.

          http://www.fcagroup.com/investorday/PresentationList/RAM_FIAT_PROF.pdf

          skip to page 10

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @BigAl – it does appear that globally pickups are also moving towards the SUV segment as far as cross shopping. FCA is going to be spread thin with its ambitious 5 year plan and in my mind it makes no sense to try to build a product that is already dominated by Toyota and well represented by other brands. Anyone really wanting a work vehicle has vans and MDTs or even smaller commercial offerings.
          FCA needs to focus on its plan and leave pickups (at least for the short term) to North America. The rest of the world does not have the same hangup about pickups being the only suitable work tool. That was more my point.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            If Fiat made a Dodge like the one I have shown I would seriously look at it.

            So long as it can carry more than 2 kids, the wife and a picnic basket before it’s overloaded.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            I think we will see a clearer delineation between commercial vehicles and work vehicles down the track in the US, more closely related to the way the Europeans have their commercial vehicle sector’s makeup.

            Commercial vehicle SUVs ie, pickups aren’t popular in Europe.

            The biggest area globally for pickup sales growth is our region in SE and E Asia.

            Most of these will become SUVs as well as the region becomes affluent.

            I think Asian tastes are overall similar to NA and Australian tastes with pickups and SUVs. Not the same vehicles, but similar vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou_BC
        I think Sergio is looking into the future. Chinese and possibly Indian pickups will saturate the global market within a decade or two.

        Cummin powered Chinese pickup.

        http://tunland.co.za/img/tunland4x4.jpg

        Tata Xenon, India

        http://www.themotorreport.com.au/content/image/t/a/tata_tuff_truck_concept_1_1-0823.jpg

        These trucks will be marketable and will sell in the hundreds of thousands globally, eventually.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          It’s hard to get a proper impression of size with that Tata, but I’m guessing it’s more compact than mid-sized by its style.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Vulpine
            It’s around the size of a Taco. It comes with a 2 litre diesel and get around 35mpg on the highway in 2WD form.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Vulpine,
            The one in the link has a kit designed by a HSV designer as well.

            That’s why it looks fantastic.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            The Tata we have here in Afghanistan is smaller than my Frontier. It does not feel as well built.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @mkirk
            What Tata do you have?

            Tata make several different pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Lou,
        Jeep is the big driver for FCA outside NA. I cannot see a Pickup version as viable. Sergio is going to stick with RAM in NA. Bring in European Vans as required.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @RoberRyan:
          Yet a Jeep pickup truck–based on the modern JK Wrangler, is a ‘locally’ manufactured vehicle for the Egyptian and other middle-eastern military services. If it works for them, why can’t it work for us? Very little additional engineering needed and even if it was assembled in Egyptian plants, I’m betting there are plenty of Americans who would want one. Why don’t we have it? Politics.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @RobertRyan
          Jeep doesn’t have the same ‘rugged off road creed’ outside of the US.

          Developing and European nations don’t view Jeep as much more than a status symbol.

          Even here in Australia, even a diesel Jeep Wrangler doesn’t have much creed.

          Jeeps globally are like Can Hardly Davidsons. The ‘look at me’ types buy them.

          A Jeep midsizer would be nice, but a lot of marketing will be needed to break away from the image Jeep has marketed.

          Not many hairdressers drive a 4×4 trayback ute.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al from OZ,
            “Jeep doesn’t have the same ‘rugged off road creed’ outside of the US.”
            True, but Jeep does have a strong Off Road pedigree Globally and that is what Sergio will be pushing.
            He maybe selling Hairdressers cars on the back of that.
            Jeep sells the image more than the substance, that is what FCA wants.

          • 0 avatar
            Johannes Dutch

            @ Big Al, correct. A Jeep Wrangler is a status symbol. An off-roader to enjoy at a 4×4 event or short trail. Nothing wrong with its 2.8 liter VM Motori diesel but the rest of it is just too light-duty for daily professional use.

            A Nissan Patrol, Toyota Land Cruiser or Mitsubishi Pajero with a (circa) 3.0 liter diesel engine are the ones to have to do the job. Even some Korean SsangYong 4x4s were pretty successful some years ago.
            Legal towing capacity for such cars is about 7,700 lbs. Install air brakes on both car and trailer and you can double that number. I’ve seen a Land Cruiser 200 V8 diesel towing a 22,000 lbs trailer. That was one impressive rig !

            A Land Rover Defender is too expensive, too spartan and its small diesel engine is not powerful enough. A Mercedes G-class is capable yet WAY too expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            As far as marketing, there ought to be a way to combine hairdressing and Jeep events. Also, Jeep should consider coming out with a “Hairdressers Edition.”

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            How about a “So You Think You Can Dance, Little Hairdressers?” Jeep special edition? That ought to drive some traffic to the dealerships.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Don’t forget, the Mahindra brand is cored on the old Willys Jeep, as is the Land Rover itself. True, they are now completely independent brands, but Mahindra still bases their cars and trucks on the original Willys concept.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    There’s a difference between Mid-size and Compact. I’d say, ‘wait and see’.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    Sergio might as well camp out and let G.M. see if they can make the case for a truck segment below the full sizers. If the Colly and Canyon are successful perhaps it will influence his product plans.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @mikehgl
      The Thai midsize market is the largest in the world and Thailand has the second largest pickup market globally, and this doesn’t include all of the other surrounding Asian countries and Aust/Nz.

      The problem in the US is small pickups would initially come as ‘niche’ vehicles (if the chicken tax was removed).

      To build pickups in the US, VW stated that the market has to be 100 000 per year, just for VW.

      The chicken tax will stop the importation of compact pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        VW said the Amarok was too small for the USA. Any true compact pickup for the most part would have to be a niche vehicle. Unlike Vulpine, I don’t pine away for a 70’s era compact.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou_BC
          The Amarok is larger than the Colorado. It is the largest midsizer we get other than the Chinese Foton.

          I think we’ll have a better idea if the Colorado does reasonably well. When I state reasonably I’m stating as well as the Taco.

          If the Colorado can’t do as well as the Taco the Colorado is dead in the water in the US.

          But, I think midsizers will increase in size with the affluence of the countries they are sold in.

          I wonder if VW will increase the size of the Amarok?

      • 0 avatar
        mikehgl

        The chicken tax is an import duty, correct? So the domestic market would be served by vehicles assembled and/or built here.
        I would like to see a return of the true compact pick up to the states. It has been mentioned before that the so called ” small” pick up that the General is rolling out is equivalent to what a full size p/u was about 10 years ago.
        It seems to me that a capable and modern small pick up could be a viable vehicle as long as it is affordable. Apparently the public agrees as the used compact p/u market has strong resale value.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @mikehgl – there is a persistent myth that current mid-sized trucks are the same size of trucks 10 to 20 years ago. Cargo capacity and towing is comparable but there is a difference in size. I had a 1990 F250 for 15 years and I would not have a hard time finding it in a parking lot full of Tacoma’s. I’ve been in small trucks like the Tacoma and it isn’t really a direct size comparison.
          Safety features have added a considerable amount of weight to new vehicles and in that metric, our current mid-sizers are probably similar in mass to a 20 year old truck.

          It is too costly for a car company to build a factory in the USA, Canada or even Mexico to make small trucks for a small volume segment. That is the biggest reason why most car companies rather focus on big trucks. Importation on the other hand could easily fill low volume niche segments.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It’s not a myth when you put the new Colorado next to a 25-year-old 1500/F-150. Their size is almost identical.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Fiat already make a ‘small’ pickup, which is 1800mm wide and can carry one ton. I has a couple of diesels and the 1.3 turbo diesel is getting over 55mpg (UK).

    This is more of a work vehicle and not a daily driver, CUV style vehicle. So it’s appeal to the average guy is minimal.

    http://vans.autotrader.co.uk/van-news-reviews/fiat/doblo/fiat-doblo-work-up-2013-expert-van-review/02d5bdea-5535-4625-8ecf-a268c634e167

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Nice!

      As glance, it looks like it fixes everything that annoyed me about my Ranger (which I still miss)! Flatbvdd with drop sides, front wheel drive, diesel – those asre all things that would have made my Ranger better. Oh, and the extended cab on my Ranger was useless.

      I’m glad this exists. Trucks like my Ranger, but slightly better, should exist. I can’t buy it yet, but it’s a start.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’m beginning to see that the meme for the compact PU truck is a lot like the one for the brown wagon diesel stick, everyone says they want one, but if they actually could get one there would be few takers

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      If “everybody” means ten guys on the internet, then sure, these things are all the rage.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Pch101
        Have read, and travel around the world. The US is a great place….but remember there are 6.7 billion others, actually there are 7 billion others, other than you.

        Why does this pickup have to be sold in the US. I can’t because the chicken tax will prevent its import and there isn’t a market for 100k so manufacturing is viable.

        http://wardsauto.com/sales-amp-marketing/pickup-trucks-reign-thailand

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Big Al from Oz – the scary part is that mitochondrial DNA indicates that those 7 billion all share a common mother from Africa.
          Thought I’d throw that in for those who seem to think that the inhabitants of some countries are more exceptional than others ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Stovebolt

      I’ve wanted to respond to you for a while. Had a brown 1979 Volvo 245 with a stick shift (and real overdrive). Thanks to our then two year old. it was even called “Brown”. I would buy another if it were possible.

      Just bought a 2002 Tacoma regular cab, presumably a “compact” pick up. The current ones seem to be about the size of a limo. Probably should buy another, while it’s possible. Most have 250k+ miles, which tells me plenty. In the meantime, “regular” pick ups are the size of a Freightliner–with the face of a “Frightliner”

      • 0 avatar
        mikehgl

        Full size p/u’s are huge. At times absurdly so. I have no need for a mini – Freightliner that barely fits in my garage.
        And ,yes, I understand the need and utility of such a vehicle but the market would be better served by different size trucks for different needs.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Lie2me – looks like we are all cousins…… a billion times removed ;0

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      To be fair, I think the recent success of the Transit Connect has changed the landscape that once favored small pickups for commercial applications. And the ingenuity of the Grand Caravan/T&C Stow & Go has provided a vastly better solution for the DIY homeowner.

      Two years ago I was one who squawked for a small pickup, especially an FWD version, simply because full-sizers had become so egregiously bloated and expensive. But now I can use a small van to haul more than a small pickup can while keeping it dry and allowing the cargo space to convert for passengers if need be.

      Granted, I wouldn’t shovel a load of gravel into a van but my days of doing that stuff are pretty much over anyway. So, there are new TC Wagons in Green Bay and I’m headed there tomorrow for a look see.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The Transit Connect proved there is demand for a compact VAN. Unfortunately, not everyone who wants a compact truck wants a VAN. It’s still not a “vastly better solution” if a front-end loader can’t dump mulch directly into the cargo area.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Correct, if you tow stuff or haul landscaping supplies, the TC is not better than a compact pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And that’s my point; I’d rather do things at my own speed and in my own way. That way I know it’s right. I’ll admit I’m “persnickety”, and honestly I don’t care. I’m not a sheep, I’m a fox. I’m independent and prefer to do things my own way–though I do enjoy tweaking noses on occasion.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          If you’re doing that much of that kind of work then, yes, a pickup is the only answer if you don’t want to constantly tow a trailer and a full-size pickup with an 8′ bed is best of all.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            … except that the full-sized pickup is simply too large a vehicle for the need when a much smaller truck with a six-foot bed can perform the same task. I don’t need a gigantic V8 under the hood when a decent i-4 can give me 200 horses (as much as my current 5.0EFI V8 in my 24-year-old full-sized Ford). I don’t NEED two thousand pounds of hauling capacity–even if I do deduct the weight of the passengers. I don’t NEED 6,000-8,000 pounds of towing capacity when the most I’m likely to tow–EVER may be 3,000 pounds.

            Why buy more than I need? Where’s the sense in paying $40K or more for something so grossly oversized in all dimensions when I can save $10K or more for something that serves me much better in every way? And still have an open bed?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written. I’m just thinking like a 59-year old guy who’s done due sweating and would now rather pay someone else for what you’re doing.

            A dresser here, a table there, a few sheets of paneling… that’s all I want to haul.

            I mean, I grew up with pickups and love them, in their older dimensions.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yet I’m a 59-year-old who’s not yet willing to give up that task.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            For your needs yes. But for those putting mulch and gravel in trucks everyday, a SuperDuty Chassis Cab dump truck is the best answer.

            I wish the Ranger was available here, but it doesn’t make business sense for Ford. Even if the GM midsizers hit their sales targets, Ford will not be motivated to bring the Ranger over.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Vulpine,
            Frankly, it pisses me off no end to be less self-reliant than before. That’s why I’m secretly hoping the hip surgery I’m about to arrange next week (if I don’t procrastinate again) will get me a little mojo back.

            I salute you for still going strong.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “except that the full-sized pickup is simply too large a vehicle for the need when a much smaller truck with a six-foot bed can perform the same task. I don’t need a gigantic V8 under the hood when a decent i-4 can give me 200 horses (as much as my current 5.0EFI V8 in my 24-year-old full-sized Ford). ”

            A basic Ram 1500 V6 reg cab with a V6 and 6’4″ bed is 23k without haggling. Sounds like it would fit your bill exactly. You’ll cry it’s “too big”, but you already seem to be getting by just fine with an F-150 when you could have chosen any one of the remaining Rangers or S10s roaming the Earth.

            You’re a perfect case study of why the automakers are marketing a wide range of full size trucks instead of making compacts. People say they want them, but won’t buy them. The only compromise from your list of “wants” is a little extra size, which you’ve already shown you can make due with just fine, like the vast majority of buyers in your situation.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @danio: “You’ll cry it’s “too big”, but you already seem to be getting by just fine with an F-150 when you could have chosen any one of the remaining Rangers or S10s roaming the Earth.”

            If you call putting a mere 3,000 miles on it in two years, “getting by just fine”, then yes. But I needed a truck on next to no notice and there simply were no available Rangers or S-10s in the places I went. Paying $2,500 for it didn’t hurt either, though I had to spend another $2500 to make it road legal before I could register it. It needed work, but runs ok now. Not great, it still has a nit-picky problem, but it serves the need when I actually do need the bed. It almost never gets driven otherwise. Had I a smaller truck, I’d be driving my Wrangler less often.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        A TC Wagon is a perfect small truck alternative for many people. The downside is not having a bed or a tow rating about 2000 lbs. I have access to trucks and I’ve found that getting landscaping materials delivered actually saves me money and time. Plus, I don’t have the liabilty of driving around in a truck full of pea gravel.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Kenmore – hip surgeries tend to yield great results. 3 months is the average healing time with 6 months to a year being the time that one needs to be more cautious about dislocations. There tend to be two viable options with men – hip resurfacings or hip replacements. Hip resurfacings depending on the prosthesis have 15-20 year lifespans and there are some ceramic replacements that have been lasting 25 years.
          The biggest surgical complication is infection at around 1%. There is a slight chance of nerve injury and mal-union of device.
          There tends to be minimal post operative pain easily managed with NSAIDS and/or acetaminophen. At worst Tylenol 3’s or Tramacet will cover any real aches and pains.
          Hospital stays tend to be 3-5 days.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        The Transit Connect does seem to fill the slot where a lot of fleets used a compact pickup (Ranger or S10 size). My BIL owns a company that is in the process of swapping their smaller pickups for Transit Connects: better fuel economy, FWD, and lockable internal space for storage. Anecdotally I am seeing the same thing where I live.

        When the small pickup market loses fleet sales it is game over. There are not enough retail buyers to make a business case for small pickups. Those (few) buyers will have to buy a full size pickup or a landscape trailer.

        I will grudgingly admit that Ford, GM, and maybe Chrysler know a thing or two about selling pickups, and if there was a business case for them they would build (or import) and sell them. The fact that they are rolling them out about as fast as brown diesel station wagons should tell us something.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Transit Connect doesn’t sell in the US at anywhere near the volumes of the E-series vans.

        However, it doesn’t make much sense in today’s environment to develop a replacement for the Econoline that nobody outside the US will buy. Similarly to compact trucks, Americans won’t buy enough or pay enough for them to justify the cost of a US-specific van.

        As a result, we end up with European leftovers. We won’t buy as many of them, but it’s more profitable in this case to sell fewer copies of one van than more copies of two entirely different vans. This wouldn’t be the case if the vans were more popular or sold for higher prices, but the fair-to-middling volumes and relatively low prices won’t support it.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Pch101
          A new Econoline wasn’t designed because an alternative by Ford already existed which meet the US’s regulatory requirements.

          Why re-invent the wheel if the Europeans are already in front of the US.

          That’s why the US doesn’t have many indigenous vehicles of its own and they import engineering.

          You’ll most nations have already been where the US is now regarding vehicle requirements.

          The difference is they don’t have that dumbass CAFE regulation and use weight.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “The Transit Connect doesn’t sell in the US at anywhere near the volumes of the E-series vans.” — Considering the number of Transit Connects that I see on the road, I would almost challenge that statement.

          “However, it doesn’t make much sense in today’s environment to develop a replacement for the Econoline that nobody outside the US will buy.” — Better be careful there, Pch, you’re beginning to make sense.

          “Americans won’t buy enough or pay enough for them to justify the cost of a US-specific van.” — Whups! You backpedaled. You just said the E-series is a failure because people won’t buy enough of them. The E-series is effectively dead, with only limited numbers of chassis-cabs to be produced for another few years. What are they getting replaced by? Transit and Transit Connect. Apparently, smaller is bigger.

          * “We won’t buy as many of them, but it’s more profitable in this case to sell fewer copies of one van than more copies of two entirely different vans.” — But didn’t you say the E-series was more popular? Now why would they abandon something so popular just because the Euro-models are easier to obtain? As those E-series vans age, they’ll have to be replaced by something and apparently the Transit series is Ford’s only option for the future. We may not buy as many right away, but they WILL become the dominant Ford van.

          “This wouldn’t be the case if the vans were more popular or sold for higher prices,” — but you just said they’re less popular (Transit) and Ford is still replacing the E-series with them. Your argument is so circular now that even you don’t know what you’re saying.

          The point is that if the E-series is shutting down, we can soon expect either the end of the F-series as consumer trucks, to be flat-out replaced by the Ranger, or the F-series shrinking again and focusing on separate consumer and professional classes of truck somewhat in the way that Ram has headed. Bigger may be better for professionals, but they’re serious overkill for consumers, and people are starting to notice.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Considering the number of Transit Connects that I see on the road, I would almost challenge that statement.”

            Of course you would. You’ve already established that you aren’t smart enough to simply look at the data on Ford’s website.

            Ford releases monthly deliveries reports. The E-series vans outsell the Transit Connect by over 3:1. Go look it up for a change.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “You’ve already established that you aren’t smart enough to simply look at the data on Ford’s website.”

            Actually, I’m smarter than that. Let me ask you again, if the Transit Connect isn’t selling as many as the E-series van, why are they dropping the E-series van?” The answer goes far beyond “the data on Ford’s website.” Ford is having to react to pressure in many ways. They are trying to stay ahead of a trend that is inevitable and which will have an effect on the overall pickup truck market eventually, whether you like it or not. What is hinted at by Ford is not that American full-sized pickup trucks will go Global, but that global pressures will eventually see a return of the full-sized truck to a 1980s scale. Are you willing to bet that by 2025 the F-150 won’t be at least 10% smaller than its current size? Are you willing to bet there will not be a new Ranger on the American market–possibly 25% or more smaller than the current full size? Ford’s “One Ford” policy pretty much means that any Ford model found in America will be found in the Global market and that any Ford model found in the Global market will be found in America. Every new model we’ve seen so far demonstrates that fact–with even the new model Mustang headed for international markets and re-designed to make it appealing to those markets. Meanwhile, we’ve just gained the Transit in the American market–almost fully replacing the E-series vans.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The E-series vans outsell the Transit Connects by more than 3:1.

            This information is available. You obviously lack the brainpower to find it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Rather, Pch101, you appear to lack the brainpower to see beyond it. The numbers you quote so happily are history. The E-series van is no more. That 3:1 ratio is DEAD. Will the Transit outsell the Transit Connect? Probably by 3:1, since the Transit Connect replaced the Aerostar or whatever the last Ford minivan was.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Ford was the one that pioneered the idea of separate consumer and commercial oriented pickups when the F150 became a separate vehicle from the Super Duty class trucks. Of course it didn’t work out quite the way that they planned in that a lot of commercial fleets still buy F150 and a lot of consumers buy F250, F350 and even F450 pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Ford was the one that pioneered the idea of separate consumer and commercial oriented pickups when the F150 became a separate vehicle from the Super Duty class trucks. Of course it didn’t work out quite the way that they planned in that a lot of commercial fleets still buy F150 and a lot of consumers buy F250, F350 and even F450 pickups.”

            True, but the question still arises as to WHY people were buying those heavier trucks. Many, if not most SD and HD-class buyers actually do have a need for them. Most dually-equipped trucks that I see really are used for work, while the F-150 in particular appears to be more play. What comes in a little more interesting is that the RAM heavy-duty trucks tend to be more popular than the Ford models–as RAM traditionally sells more than Ford according to many different analysts. BUT, this doesn’t address the argument about smaller, lighter trucks.

            On that argument, your response to me was, “When it did exist people didn’t buy them so now they don’t exist anymore. Sales of less than full size pickups started falling back in the 90’s and continued to fall until most mfgs realized that it wasn’t a segment worth competing in.”
            For whatever reason, you choose to ignore that the OEMS themselves sized themselves out of the small truck market–mostly to stay just ahead of the existing CAFE rules where bigger size let you get away with worse economy. As long as those trucks remained visibly smaller than their full-sized siblings, they remained relatively popular. In the ’90s, the Ranger, S-10 and Dakota still held a decent market, though they’d already grown 25% larger than their original versions. However, at the turn of the century they grew yet again–to the point that they weren’t visibly smaller than their older ‘big brothers’. They’d lost their “Compact” label and become “mid-sized” and even “mid-sized” was almost as large as the previous decade’s full size. Meanwhile, the full sized trucks grew for the same reason–larger size means less stringent fuel economy rules. Today’s full sized trucks are as much as a full ton–that’s two thousand pounds–heavier than their 1980s ancestors. Sure, they now have bigger engines with more horsepower and ‘better’ economy, but they’re also hauling around more weight which means that the economic benefits of more efficient engines are wasted. Those same engines in a smaller body WOULD have better economy, but rather than doing something sensible, they instead put smaller engines into that smaller body which means the power to weight ratio is essentially unchanged.

            In other words, it’s not that “it wasn’t a segment worth competing in,” but rather that the segment was abandoned in order to avoid fines for not meeting regulated economy standards. It’s a segment that still has a ready-made market awaiting it, that for now are making do with less-capable vehicles due to cost and size constraints.

            I have said multiple times that I would much rather have a smaller truck. It turns out my step-father has a 1994 Ranger that he is no longer able to drive and I’m doing my best to convince him that he should sell it to me. Then I can sell my current Road Whale™ (1990 F-150) and have what I really want in a truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Vulpine, the Ranger never really grew. Yes they did stretch the length of the regular cab by a few inches in the 00’s but otherwise it kept the same basic footprint it had since it was the best selling compact pickup in the US. The other mfgs moved their trucks to midsize well before the footprint based CAFE standards came into effect or were even proposed.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Vulpine, there you go making things up again. CAFE didn’t make any consideration whatsoever for size (other than exempting 3/4 ton+ trucks) until the 2006 law change. By which time the small truck was already close to a decade dead.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            However, Scoutdude, the primary reason they claimed they were dropping the Ranger was that, “The new model is too close to the size and price of the F-150 to be worth the added expense of production.”

            They DID grow and demand for the ’04+ model died because it simply wasn’t updated once it reached that fourth generation. The older models are still visibly smaller than even the smallest of the full-size trucks.

            Oh, and I just got word that I will almost definitely get my stepfather’s truck– admittedly a ‘stripper’ model, but at 20 years old it only has about 30,000 original miles on it. I’ll be able to do what I want with it, and to it to make it last as long as possible. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find a way to drop that 2.7L EcoBoost under the hood.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Many, if not most SD and HD-class buyers actually do have a need for them. Most dually-equipped trucks that I see really are used for work,”

            Most, as in 70+%, SD/HD trucks are bought by fleets which are extremely cost conscious. When they buy these trucks, it’s because they need them.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Those Ford SD and HD-class trucks are also F-250 or higher in almost every case. At least, for the ones I see around here. If it’s an F-150, it’s typically a poseur.

  • avatar
    EMedPA

    Part of the problem is that any chore that can be done with a small pick-up can be done by a CUV (or SUV) pulling a small utility trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      But why pull a trailer if you don’t need to? Some communities don’t allow you to park a trailer where it is visible from the outside–even if it’s behind a fence.

      • 0 avatar
        EMedPA

        The whole point of a trailer is that you only use it when you need it. The rest of the time it sits parked. As for zoning, I’ve never heard of that kind of rule and am fortunate enough to live somewhere where it’s not an issue.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          You never had a HOA then, you’re very lucky but what he says is true. This is a big reason people don’t want full size PUs, if you can’t keep it in the garage, you can’t keep it

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2me
            That isn’t the reason.

            I had no inkling of the chicken tax a couple of years ago when I started blogging on these types of sites.

            I bought a pickup myself and was looking at reviews on the BT50 and came across PUTC with the Ford Ranger.

            That’s where it all began.

            I also work with American’s quite frequently and they have wondered why they didn’t the style of pickup we have and the vehicles in diesels.

            The American’s I work with are very pro American, ie, Marines. We get on fantastically well.

            The US should be happy to have a country like Australia that shares extremely similar dreams and paradigms as nations go.

            Australia should be equally happy with our relationship.

            I initially was like most here and thought the reason for the lack of selection of midsizers in the US was due to the popularity ONLY of the US full size.

            One day a guy who used to be known as DenverMike debated and I researched what he stated as most of what he stated appeared to be misdirected and insincere.

            It actually surprised me that one of the freest nations in the world has such a protected industry.

            That’s when I read the history of the UAW starting back in the 1920s and the harm they have done to Detroit, that is the city as well as the large Detroit auto manufacturers.

            The US auto manufacturers and US government with the UAW had nearly destroyed the large auto manufacturers in the US.

            But it was the US citizen that saved them all.

            That’s how I learnt about the chicken tax and why I comment on the chicken tax.

            The people of the ilk of Pch101 and DiM and some of the other socialist/protectionist clan don’t like competition and are prepared to destroy the US economy.

            Even right now the chicken tax is a sticking point with the pan-Pacific FTAs that are occurring.

            The US can state that that some of the Pacific rim nations don’t want to adjust their agricultural barriers. But the US isn’t willing to do much about the chicken tax.

            So, if the US isn’t prepared to do much about the chicken tax, it must a very important and effective barrier preventing the types of vehicles that even you Marines like very much.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I know all of this Al, what I don’t know is why you’re obsessed with it when it clearly doesn’t effect you.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2Me
            There are several reasons.
            1. I’m extremely interested in economics and how policy affects the ‘well being of nations’.

            2. I like pickups, I actually like anything mechanical.

            3. I work in an environment with a rigid regulatory framework…….that is global. I can’t see why the auto industry can’t do the same. But, it can, except for the US.

            4. It’s people like you who asked me ‘why?’. Does it matter why, unless you have a reason for not wanting to hear what I’ve learnt from my research.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @EMedPA – trailers for cargo have their limits as well. I find having to tow a trailer regardless of size in the back country even on better gravel roads slows you down. Instead of 20-40 mph one can end up down to 10-30 mph. I’ve done it. Same can be said for more inclement winter weather. Most SUV’s I see are replacements for the soccer mom’s minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @EMedPA
      Because you midsizer don’t tow as well.

      That’s why the chicken tax needs to be removed. So pickups from other than US 1/2 ton manufacturers can be made available.

      http://www.pacificrv.com.au/Images/Tow%20Vehicles/2013-03-06%2016.38.19-400.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        EMedPA

        I’d beg to differ, Big Al. My Escape will tow up to 3500 lbs, and the smaller utility trailer I own is plenty for 99% of the hauling chores I have.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Al thinks the most pressing issue in this country is the chicken tax. He thinks we’re an oppressed society who will never know the joy of being able to buy any PU on the planet, even if we don’t want them

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @EMedPA
          3 500lbs……WFT???

          Do you even know what you are stating?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            That a Ford Escape can tow 3500lbs, why do you seem surprised?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2me
            No.

            It’s just you can’t compare an Escape with my BT50 towing a 30′ fifth wheeler.

            My point was the US DOES NOT receive these pickups due to the chicken tax.

            And if they sell only 40 000 BT50s a year in the US it will still increase competition with all vehicles that can tow something that large.

            At the moment you guys don’t have 420ftlb midsizers, let alone a 350ftlb midsizer.

            No Escape will equal that in towing.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          EMedPA,
          You will find cars tow upto 5000lbs in Europe no problems.

          • 0 avatar
            EMedPA

            Yeah, so I’ve heard. I would love for EU and US tow ratings to be common so I could compare apples to apples.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      EMedPA, to tie in with your comment, I saw something interesting when in San Diego, CA, a couple of months back.

      A guy driving a black Terrain turning out of the Home Depot parking lot with a fullsize Refrigerator (still in the box) strapped to a cargo carrier plugged into the receiver-hitch of the SUV.

      I have been using a cargo carrier plugged in to the receiver hitch of my wife’s Grand Cherokee to carry 4) 5-gallon jugs of gasoline on long trips into California. That way I pay Arizona prices instead of California prices for gas.

      But this was the first time I have ever seen someone carry a fullsize fridge home on a cargo carrier.

      Necessity is the mother of invention.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I want a Strada very badly.

  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    I’ve wanted to respond to you for a while. Had a brown 1979 Volvo 245 with a stick shift (and real overdrive). Thanks to our then two year old. it was even called “Brown”. I would buy another if it were possible.

    Just bought a 2002 Tacoma regular cab, presumably a “compact” pick up. The current ones seem to be about the size of a limo. Probably should buy another, while it’s possible. Most have 250k+ miles, which tells me plenty. In the meantime, “regular” pick ups are the size of a Freightliner–with the face of a “Frightliner”

  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    For the best–and worst–of both worlds, check this out:

    http://rdsprt.com/vehicles/CONTRA+COSTA/CA/1999+Dodge+Dakota+1133134

    Big truck economy, small truck capability.

    Perfect for hauling–well, something.

    PS No personal interest in this vehicle, just find it remarkable.

  • avatar
    7402

    I spent way too much time in a Datsun 620 pickup during the mid 1970s as the delivery driver for a small business.

    While I’d love to see a truck that size again (100″ wheelbase, 169″ long, 62″ wide, 2,286 lbs, with a payload of 1,441 lbs), I think commercial users are better served with a Ford Transit Connect.

    Still, it was economical, fun to drive, could carry over 60% of its weight, and extremely reliable (except for that pesky slave cylinder at the clutch housing). It was easy to reach over the side and pick up stuff inside the bed–good luck finding a modern pickup that offers that luxury.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @7420
      Those pesky Datsun slave cylinder assemblies!

      I built a racing ‘620’ for rallying back in the early 80s and used a pressure plate from a 308 (5 litre) Holden V8 on my fly wheel. To make it all work I had to use a Toyota throw bearing assembly and fork.

      It took massive strength to use this clutch setup, but the clutch was either engaged or disengaged. The engine idled at 1400 rpm, with little torque, so I had to rev the engine to over 2 000rpm and essentially dump the clutch. It was a fantastically fun and dangerous vehicle.

      Blew the slave cylinder the very first time I used the new clutch setup!

      I had a slave cylinder go on me in a GN521 Datsun pickup as well going up a mountain.

      I think in total I had them let go 4 or 5 times. I had a spare kit in the glove compartment for the slave cylinder in the end.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    In your opinion, what ONE factor is most crucial for a compact pickup to succeed in the USA?
    -Superb fuel economy
    -Very low price, or
    -High utility factor in a small package?

    Choose one

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Answer: -High utility factor in a small package? And that means a 6′ long open bed.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Why must the bed be open? My minivan has an 8-foot closed bed, and can tow 3500 lbs.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Why must the bed be open?”

          Do you do any fishing, hunting, or gardening?

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            Not weekly or monthly. I carry fishing gear to the lake in my van. I once brought home a tree from Lowe’s in my former xB1 (sometimes called a ‘truck’ in parts catalogs).

            I don’t hunt, but I do camp – just not in the wilderness.

            I assume you mean people with trucks also like to go AWD in the woods for those activities. A van won’t work well for that – true.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          It can’t carry 25 8′ long event tables. It can’t carry a half-cubic-yard of mulch. It can’t carry a full-sized upright freezer. It can’t carry an 8’tall set of bookshelves.

          Need I go on?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Answer: Low price – it will make any utility look good. But nobody seems to want a stripped truck these days.

      Nobody seems to car much about fuel economy either, when the F-150 is selling so well.

      High utility won’t mean much if the thing costs $30k. People will just move into a full-sized truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I won’t buy a vehicle that won’t fit in my garage

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Do you have room to build a bigger garage?

        The one car garage behind my 1929 house was designed for a Model-T. I could get my old ’95 Nissan into it, but couldn’t get out of the car (no running boards). My 2005 LeSabre won’t even fit, and there’s no room for a bigger garage. Solution: a carport, and as a bonus, I have 288 square feet less lawn to mow.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I don’t have room to build ANY garage. And the rig I have laps out onto the street where I have it parked. Fortunately only by a bumper. There’s a bunch of crew cabs that extend as much as 2′ out over the street in my neighborhood and you can tell the owners are concerned–they’ve added reflectors to either end of the bumper to make them more visible at night.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s bizarre and I can’t picture a garage less than 18′ from curb to drywall? A street so narrow that traffic rides along the curb? No sidewalk? Obviously no street parking, room for a 2nd car and visitors have to hike in?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    1. Those 70’s mini-trucks had the crash-worthiness of empty beer cans duct taped to foam rubber. I had a Ford Courier.
    2. Manufactures will make their vehicles bigger if they will sell. Witness the Honda Civic.
    3. Tacomas and Frontiers are built in the US but oddly don’t pass the “chicken tax saving” on to the consumer.
    4. A tiny truck will only sell to cheapskates or those who will find out they can’t by get by with a ball hitch and a trailer from Harbor Freight.
    5. I imagine a Z71 Colorado will be within 5K of a Z71 Silverado. Your Chevy dealer will really be pushing the Silverado.
    6. This is quickly becoming the brown diesel MT station meme.
    7. The rest of us will laugh and know you’re the guy who digs for change in his pocket to leave an exact tip. $3.65 for a tip? just put 4 one dollar bills down. 35 cents won’t break ya; but you will take perverse pleasure in leave $3.65 and not four bucks.
    8. BTW, Oh Sir Cheaps-a-lot; there’s not that much better fuel mileage or a cheaper price in a smaller truck. Ranger XLT V-6 vs F-150 XL? Bout the same price when I bought my Ranger. I just wanted the Ranger; which is what we should be talking about on car site; not what are the best truck buys in the Thrifty Nickle.
    9. Enjoy your weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @El Scotto:
      1) So what? We have vehicles today that are MUCH smaller that are more crashworthy than those 40-year-old models. You think somehow new ones won’t have the same safety requirements as those tiny cars?
      2) Manufacturers will make their vehicles smaller if they will sell. Witness the Honda Fit.
      3) Tacomas and Frontiers built in the US are manufactured at US labor rates–driving the cost up to American truck rates. Only a tiny savings WHICH IS VISIBLE in their prices–averaging $7,000 cheaper than their full-sized equivalents.
      4) A Tiny truck will sell to those people who have no space, no desire and no NEED for anything bigger. And even if they could tow a trailer with something else, some simply don’t have the option of storing a trailer if they owned one.
      5) I imagine a Z71 Colorado will be within 10% of the size of a Z71 Silverado. Sales will be weak as much because of its size as because of your assumed price. (I expect the price to be a minimum of $5K cheaper–before rebates.)
      6) People want brown diesels, too. I, for one, am sick and tired of nothing but black, red, white or grey. I want some variety in color!
      7) Those of us driving smaller will constantly wonder if you’re compensating for reduced sexual prowess.
      8) Fuel economy isn’t the ONLY reason we want smaller. Those Road Whales™ are simply too big!
      9) Enjoy yours–and hope the gas prices don’t jump so much that you simply can’t afford to drive your mock-Freightliner (hey, I like that line) when they eventually reach $6/gallon.

  • avatar
    TW5

    [broken record] Congress needs to add some kind of exception to CAFE regulations for light trucks so that all BoF light-duty trucks are regulated according to the largest footprint (23mpg EPA combined by 2025) [/broken record]

    If that exception is put in place, manufacturers will work diligently to put people into small fuel efficient trucks, rather than conning people into giant crew cab longbed behemoths, as stipulated by CAFE 2025. The CAFE exception would also save the Wrangler, Xterra, and 4Runner.

  • avatar

    Looks like the naysayers are out in force with same old tired arguments and outdated data to back their claims. Most of you would be singing a different tune if Ford was resurrecting the Ranger had GM sat out.

    “Midsize trucks are a declining segment”
    Truck buyers prefer domestic and 4 out of 6 brands were discontinued. Of course the segment is declining. Watch this segment outpace the entire industry once GM returns.

    “Midsize trucks will never sell as many as full size”
    They wont and I am sure everyone agrees midsize trucks will only be a small fraction of the full size segment, the same way sub compacts and compacts never outsell mid-size cars. Should Ford kill the Fiesta and Focus because the Fusion sells better? Should Honda kill the Fit? The Mid-size truck segment maybe small however there will only be 4 brands. The sub-compact segment maybe large, but with almost 10 entries each brand sells a fraction of what GM MS Trucks will sell.

    “FS buyers will not cross shop”
    Good. GM is hoping that not many Full Size truck buyers downsize to a mid-size. For the few who do they still want towing and payload capabilities. The Colo will be class leading in that regard.

    “CAFE”
    Selling full size trucks will get more expensive. GM would rather up the price and make the same profit selling fewer full size trucks. If FS trucks get pricier guess which segment stands to benefit?

    “Gas Prices”
    Once gas hits $4 or more a gallon guess which domestic truck maker has a fuel efficient 2.5L truck on their lots? The average truck is 12 years old. How many of these people are waiting to replace their fuel hogs with a rightsized fuel efficient open bed truck?

    “But but GM can’t do anything right without screwing up”
    Lets look at how GM vehicles in the last 4 years have fared
    Aveo: Last in retail sales and transaction prices
    Sonic: First in retail sales and highest transaction prices
    2013 Impala: 7th in retail sales and 7th in transaction prices
    2014 Impala: 2nd in retail sales and 2nd in ATP
    Cobalt: 5th in retail sales and 7th in ATP
    Cruze: 3rd in retail sales and 1st in transaction prices(excluding the jetta)
    Camaro : Mustang is so far back in retail sales there is no competition
    Malibu : Screwed up – I’ll give you that
    Silverado: $5000 more per sale with little loss to market share
    Buick : $13,000 more per sale compared to 2008
    Equinox and Terrain: You must live under a rock to not know how impressive their growth has been.

    Ignoring the fact GM is amongst the market leader in pickups and the fact pickup truck buyers lean domestic, how can anyone doubt that the best looking, most modern, most fuel efficient truck would fail? Trucks are their specialty and GM is capitalizing on their market position. If the Malibu were class leading it would still get outsold by the Accord. Similarly if Honda made the best looking, most fuel efficient, most capable RWD full size truck it would still get outsold by the Silverado 10-1. I can name more than 50 no margin cars that sell under 40,000 units annually. Cars like the Cube, Xb, Xd, frs, ridgeline, titan, miata, mazda2, Tc, CRZ, have near zero margins. I don’t see their respective brands scrambling to discontinue them. Math must not be your forte if you think a 100,000 unit a year truck with, $30K ATP, built on a shared platform with shared engines and transmissions will make no money.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Years ago, a friend of mine sawed the roof and windows off a VW Squareback from behind the front seat to the tail gate and turned it into a pickup. Anyone can do the same with an old Escape, CRV or RAV4, and get the light duty pickup they want, though it would be easier if Honda or Toyota did it at an American factory. How do you say ‘El Camino’ in Japanese?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, seriously, there have been a number of people who did things like that. In my area there is an old VW Bug that has been cleverly converted into a tiny pickup truck from behind the front seats back. It’s really neat. I see the old guy at Wal-Mart once in a while. Don’t know him but he’s retired Air Force like myself.

  • avatar
    Les

    ‘Scuze me while I whip this out. *pulls out own unrefined and largely anecdotal opinion*

    The biggest problem with the small truck market is the manufacturers misjudging the market. To me they seem to be insisting on using Car logic on Trucks.

    What does Car Logic say? “Well, the only people that would want a small one would be people in the city where it’s hard to park big things.” So, they make a small pickup, market it to urban and suburban types as an Alternative to big pickup trucks because obviously that’s the only kinda people who would want them.

    And it doesn’t work, because urban/suburbanite truck buyers are 10-20% “I need/want the capabilities of a truck.” and 80-90%, “‘Murica, TRUCK-YEAH!”

    So they fail, so they take them off the market, which pisses-off the people who are not fleet buyers that Really want such things.

    Out here in rural/small-town America the small pickup is well sought-after, not as an alternative to big pickups but as a complement to them. When I visit the big city of the pickups I see only a handful are below full-size and all come with plumbing, cable, or exterminator livery and all are White and 2-wheel-drive single-cabs. Out here in the boonies more than half the pickup trucks are mid-size or below and of those most are single or crew-cab, 4×4, coming in every color of the rainbow and not a one with the sign of the Orkin man on the door.

    Out here, the ideal is two trucks. One super-duty for pulling the big trailers, hauling pallets of feed and seed, maybe even bringing in a rick or two of firewood. The other, a much smaller pickup, preferably 4WD, used to head out on the property to mend fence or find lost calves or go out huntin’ ‘n fishin’. The typical lifespan of a compact truck out here was to be bought new by/for a 16-year-old (typical first car out here is actually a truck), let them get several years good use out of it, then when they sell it on and trade-up to a full-size their old truck gets bought-up as a light-utility beater-truck.

    That niche is largely taken up by things like Gator and Razor UTVs now since the compact trucks went away, but with prices on those things going up there may be that niche opening up again..

    If only the manufacturers stopped chasing city-money with products city-folk don’t generally want.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Totally agree Les. I wish they would just take down the tax and regulatory barriers and see what happens. The type of truck you describe is used by rural folks all over the world and already produced by multiple manufacturers.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The thing is, the chicken tax is on IMPORTS of small trucks. What’s stopping Toyota, Nissan, and especially Honda from building small trucks here? I can see Ford, GM, and Chrysler not wanting to cut into big truck sales, and the chicken tax prevents them from cheaply importing their own overseas models, but how many Ridgelines can Honda sell?

        I’m always serious when I mention a new Ranchero/El Camino. Even a FWD compact with a beefed up rear suspension can handle a couple off-road bikes or the occasional refrigerator. The full size truck beds are now way too high for one person to easily load either, or even a couple lawn mowers. When empty (most of the time), a small FWD would be a comfortable and economical commuter.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Without the Tax ,alignment to Global standards, no problem for Manufacturers or persons to import vehicles.
          THAT IS THE PROBLEM. It is much cheaper to import than manufacture in that scenario.This would ring alarm bells for the Union and the US Government.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lorenzo
          You need a market large enough to manufacture pickups in the US.

          The US can’t export pickups because of the chicken tax. So have production capability and having to small a market equals a loss.

          So building them is pointless.

          If the US removed the chicken tax and other protectionist measures it would export more vehicles than it currently does.

          The UAW freaks don’t want this. As this means they have to compete and change the way they work.

          Export pickups and import pickups. If the American made pickup whether full size or mid size is good enough it will outsell the competition. The UAW knows and are scared of what we have as pickups.

          Competition and Socialism don’t mix, just ask Pch101 and DiM the official voices of the UAW on TTAC.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @Vulpine – since the naysayers weren’t willing to do the leg work on full sized versus small truck prices, I ran Tacoma and F150 through cars.com search engine. I picked those two because they are both number one in their segment.
    Tacoma – 7,857 total listed
    15-20k – 286 (3.6%)
    20-30k – 2,375 (30%)
    30-40k – 4,532 (58%)
    40-50k – 40 (0.5%)
    50-75k – 1
    not listed – 624

    F150 – 101,705 total listed
    15-20k – 88
    20-30k – 7,639 (7.5%)
    30-40k – 33,530 (33%)
    40-50k – 39,654 (39%)
    50-75k – 14,753 (14.5%)
    75-100k – 30
    not priced – 6,009

    Rebates etc. are not included.
    I looked at Ford USA web site and there were zero rebates on base model reg cab trucks. The XLT Supercrew 4×4 which is what I see the most had a 1,000 dollar rebate.
    Tacoma had a 1,0000 dollar rebate across the board for cash sales.

    It does appear that most Tacoma’s sold sit in the 20-40K range and most F150’s sit in the 30-50k range.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou_BC
      The data is quite interesting. It shows that the average American is not wanting the current midsizers. Why?

      For starters they are a generation or two behind our leading midsizers.

      This data has increased my interest in how the US Colorado/Canyon will perform. A midsizer with many of the attributes of a full size 1/2 ton.

      I’m expecting socialist guys like DiM and Pch101 to apologise to us. I’m still waiting for DiM to apologise with the advent of the 1/2 ton US diesel pickup.

      It also shows there is little competition in the midsize bracket to allow for such agricultural midsizers to be selling in your market.

      Only last year the US Ranger stopped being sold. The US Ranger was an 80s vehicle. Lack of competition can only cause that.

      Future development of the US pickup market will be interesting.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        You have an interesting sense of time Al. 2011 was the last model year of the Ranger. It was not an 80’s vehicle it did get an entirely new chassis over its lifetime as well as use 3 different era of cabs.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Scoutdude
          I’m a year out.

          For the Ranger to last as long as it had displays the lack of a competitive environment for the vehicle.

          How many 1980s Corolla’s are on the lot?

          Competition is good for progress and the winner in the end is the consumer.

          Let all manufacturers have a bit at the cherry. May the best man win.

          I suppose the US should be spotted points at the Olympics to make it fairer.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            But the Ranger was updated/redesigned a number of times even though it didn’t get an “all-new” version it did evolve. I credit Ford for keeping it compact rather than getting caught up in the bigger and bigger mentality that the other mfgs did.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude
            They were refreshed? What a really silly comment.

            I can see why Detroit went broke with an attitude like that.

            You should become part of the UAW.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – A broken clock is right 2X a day. If you throw out dozens of predictions, you’re bound to be right eventually. Some of your crystal ball predictions are downright silly, but I’ll save you the embarrassment of predictions like the time you said US industry would soon replace the US pickup with Euro style, fullsize vans. Yes and shortly after Harleys are replaced by Mopeds, Nostradumbass…

        You at least acknowledge the global pickups would have little if any impact on the full-size truck market, but still insist US full-size trucks, including the Tundra and Titan, are some how “protected” species. OK, protected from what then?

        Yes let’s let all global OEMs bring all their cars, SUV, CUVs, crossovers, vans, pickups, etc, etc, to America (with zero tariffs/barriers) and let’s see what happens. Somehow I believe we’ll just keep on buying what we already buy. And most missing OEMs will decline the invitation.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          ” Some of your crystal ball predictions are downright silly, but I’ll save you the embarrassment of predictions like the time you said US industry would soon replace the US pickup with Euro style, fullsize vans.Yes and shortly after Harleys are replaced by Mopeds,…”

          Umm… yeah. About that.
          Ram ProMaster
          Ford Transit
          Even GM looking at bringing in Euro Vans.
          The Eurovans typically have more cubic foot capacity than the conventional American full-size van–usually due to the fact that the floor is lower while retaining the same overall height. Addtionally, a raised roof on a Euro-style van appears to be much more easily built than the higher roofs on an American-style van. Additionally, the cost of construction appears to be lower in general, making it even more of a profitable shift for the auto companies.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Lou_BC: Not exactly the comparison charts I was asking for, but it DOES make my point in a vague manner.

      The most popular Tacomas (58%) ran in the $30K-$40K range.
      The most popular F-150s (39%) ran in the $40K-$50K range.

      What this chart doesn’t show is the which body style any of these are. If I go to Toyota and price match, here’s what I get: http://www.toyota.com/tacoma/#!/Welcome

      $18,125 starting MSRP. Now, let’s ‘build’ one.
      *Access Cab: $21,475 — 4P seating w/passenger fold-flat; Maximum tow capacity of 6500#
      *4×4 Standard Bed: $25,360
      *4.0L V6, 6-sp Manual: $27,705
      *SR5 Extra Value Package: $29,930
      *Accessories (none): $29,930
      Total: $29,930

      http://www.toyota.com/tundra/#!/Welcome
      $26,200 starting MSRP. Let’s build as close to the Tacoma as we can. Strangely, they want to start us with the grade first, so we go for the SR5.
      *SR5 Grade: $32,170
      *Double Cab (the closest available): $31,170 (We went down? Hmmmm).
      *4×4 Standard Bed: $34,220
      *4.6L V8 (smallest V8): $34,220
      *SR5 Upgrade Package: $35,235
      *Accessories (none): $35,235
      Summary: $35,235

      Ok, now we’ll look at an F-150 as close as we can get it.
      Let’s note that the “stripper” model is $24,735 MSRP. However, the SR5 is a little better, so we’ll go XLT at $30.045 as the closest in price to the base SR5 Tundra.
      *Super Cab (extended): $32,745
      *3.7L V6 (base engine): $32,745
      *4×4 (Standard bed, by the way): $36,170
      *Equipment Group 300A (base): $35,365 (lower again? How?)
      *Exterior options (none): $35,365
      *Interior options (none): $35,365
      *Accessories (none): $35,365
      *Summary: $35,365

      So we’re looking at a $5,000+ difference between a mid-sized truck and it’s closest body-style equivalents by both its own brand and the most popular American branded equivalent. While I will admit and acknowledge that the difference in price is not as much as I expected, it is still $5,000 or approximately 20% between them. And this is for a truck that’s still physically larger than I want but is at least smaller than a modern full-sized truck.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You really have to be a diehard fan of small trucks to pay as much or more, after rebates than fullsize, with the same mpg or worse. You at least proved that.

        The double cab Taco 4×4 gets just 16/21 mpg.

        It all leaves consumers wondering what’s the point.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          You don’t have to be a “diehard fan” to realize you have no place to park a full-sized truck.
          You don’t have to be a “diehard fan” to realize you can’t just reach into the bed to pull something out because the rail is higher than your armpit.
          You don’t have to be a “diehard fan” to realize that you’re very likely to scrape the sides on some of the narrower roads–roads on which even my Jeep Wrangler sometimes catches the occasional branch when meeting oncoming traffic. (Paved road at that–clearly marked with a center line.)

          When I say a full sized truck is too big for my needs, I mean it is really TOO BIG! It has nothing to do with fuel economy, though driven right a smaller truck should be more economical–especially if it uses the same engine as a larger model. It has nothing to do with price–though a smaller truck will naturally be somewhat less expensive simply because it doesn’t use as much material to build. It has everything to do with simply being smaller–capable of going where I need it to go every time, with no forethought needed to ask, “will it fit?”

          No, your anti-small-truck zealotry is more ‘fanboyism’ than my need for a smaller truck. I repeat what I said earlier: If only putting 3,000 miles on a truck in two years is ‘getting along just fine with a full-sized truck’, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I admit my needs are wants are different from yours; that doesn’t mean I HAVE to accept what I’m ‘given’ by the current market. I’m far from alone in my desire for a true compact pickup truck–a truck AT LEAST 25% smaller in height, length and weight and preferably 50% lighter in weight. I personally know many people–in a town of a mere 7,000 residents–that WANT a compact truck, even though full-sized trucks are very common here.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No, I AM a fan of small and then mid-size trucks. I’ve had more of them than you and Lou combined. I’m a fan of small nimble cars too. And they’ve made great 2nd, 3rd cars, in addition to my full-size trucks (bought new).

            But like most Americans, when it came down to just having one vehicle only, the full-size truck won. And just like most Americans, 2nd or 3rd cars/trucks are best when bought “used”. It just points to the fact that your personal situation and wants are unique, despite your friends and neighbours.

            I’m glad I can find exactly what I want and need at the new car dealer. But like all Americans, including yourself, I’ve been voting with my wallet all along.

            We vote for what’s on the menu 3X a day. OEMs are just along for the ride.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You just said it yourself Denver, for you. “…when it came down to just having one vehicle only, the full-size truck won.” For me, it was a sedan–because I simply didn’t have enough NEED for a truck of any size.

            Today is different for me, I now have a NEED for a truck, but the only trucks that are readily available are simply too large and I can’t take advantage of available options due to my location. I can’t store a trailer where it would be safe from theft or vandalism and every new truck that is available–with the exception of the Toyota Tacoma–is too big. I don’t WANT the Toyota because it is a Japanese brand, but if it comes down to that or nothing when I’m ready for a NEW truck (purchased new, not just new to me) then it seems the Tacoma will be my only choice. That is, unless something changes pretty soon, and I think it will.

            And unlike you, I don’t buy a new vehicle every three, four or even five years; I buy and keep until I no longer trust that vehicle–which is typically eight years or longer. Why? Because I’m able to save money by not keeping a car loan every single year and can make a larger down payment when I do buy–saving on total interest as well. I’ve owned my current Jeep Wrangler for nearly seven years. I held onto my ’02 Saturn Vue for ten years before selling it to my father in law. I held onto my ’96 Camaro for 8 years before selling it to a drag racer. I held onto a ’73 Ford Gran Torino I acquired in ’84 for ELEVEN years before trading it on a Buick LeSabre ‘T’ type. I vote with my money, but I also don’t blow my money on unnecessary items.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Again Vulpine, your situation is unique. Mine’s not. And a midsize regular cab is all you need and will fit your garage nicely, with room to spare. And handle all your tasks. 100%. So would an Access cab Taco. So why all the sniveling? Buy an extra cab mid-size before they’re taken away too!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok. Show me one made by an American manufacturer. Not a Toyota, not Nissan but a Chevy, GMC, Ford or Ram that I can buy right now off of a dealer’s new vehicle inventory.

            Why can’t I buy one? Because those three brands have ignored a ready market for over a decade.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Well where were YOU and other Americans when around a dozen OEMs had such small, tiny trucks for sale? Waiting clean “used” ones of course. So was I, (and small truck OEMs LOVE that part) and I owned a few ‘used’ ones, but I’m not sniveling. Fullsize trucks have always been my main rides.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Well where were YOU and other Americans when around a dozen OEMs had such small, tiny trucks for sale?”

            I told you; I bought one. I also told you I don’t replace what I buy until I no longer trust it.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I am sure that the chicken tax is a factor. Another would be the necessary crash testing of new imports. Another would be the unique U.S. regulations requiring re-engineering for compliance. If none of these limitations existed, those folk who want a ranger or Amarok could simply grey import one. That would expose the final hurdle – cost.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      +1 Spike. Wouldn’t that be nice? No legitimate justification for the tax, (or CAFE, for that matter.) Also, always wondered why Euro or Aussie certified safe cars weren’t good enough for US consumers. Get the steering wheel on the side God intended it and let em in. They are safer than a Cobalt, for fks sake.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Unfortunately I noticed the UAW was trying to get the US Congress to intervene in its dispute with VW regards Union representation at their Chattanooga plant. if you have that sort of clout with the Government, you not going to be too happy about allowing non UAW vehicles being sold in the US i.e Midsize Pickups

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t disagree with Marchionne on no midsize trucks for now. Fiat needs to milk all the profits they can from Jeep and Ram and use that just to stay viable. Fiat Chrysler has done extremely well considering what it has been through but they are not out of the woods yet. If the Chicken Tax is eventually eliminated maybe they could import a smaller truck based on an existing platform but for now they need to become more solid. I think there is a market for a smaller than midsize truck but it would have to share an existing platform and be imported to become profitable enough to sell at less quantities until it got established. A true compact truck will not compete so much with larger trucks, but with those wishing to downsize or wanting a truck with an open bed but not so large. For now Fiat Chrysler needs to stay focused on staying in business.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jeff S
      You raised an very good point in what resources Sergio has available the how to get the ‘best bang for FCA’s buck’.

      As for the chicken tax. My view is remove it. Let whom ever wants to sell ‘wares’ sell them.

      May the best man win.

      The winners will be the consumer.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    FCA does need to use what resources they possess to enhance their position in markets where profits are easier realized.
    Sadly, I agree with that statement.
    Ford is satisfied milking and bilking the sheeple with their full size trucks ,regardless of the true need of the buyer. Can you say ” cash cow”?.
    GM is attempting to cover a wider range of needs with out compromising the profitability of its full size line. I hope it is successful and proves the viability of a smaller platform.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    all the ranger or S-10 needed was a new powertrain and better fuel economy. some people buy a truck like that and drive it for decades. I wonder what small truck ever got really good mileage besides the joke of a rabbit PU. I think some of the later rangers could get 30. An earlier poster had it right. it either needs to be cheap or get good mileage. I remember when you could buy a iron duke S-10 for 7 grand which got you a stripped out truck with a dealer installed radio and rear bumper. they’d run for 250,000 miles easily.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, my best friend has a 1993 S-10 he bought new and he’s kept it this long. In his neighborhood, it is kinda like the goto borrow-truck for friends and neighbors who don’t own a truck.

      But the only reason he is keeping this old beater around is because he’s got so much money into it to keep it running that he can’t afford to let it go. Or so he says. I helped him keep it running and we’ve replaced just about everything that can be replaced on that truck.

      One thing though. S10-specific parts are getting harder to find. While he and I were rebuilding this AC unit, we found we needed a low-pressure sensor and cut-off switch. None to be had anywhere. The new ones won’t fit — too big.

      Finally had to go to the GM dealer who ultimately located one at some obscure GM outpost in the middle of nowhere, and charged accordingly for it, like $35 bucks for the sensor PLUS another $25 for shipping and handling. All that for a part that would have cost $5, at the most in its heyday.

      • 0 avatar
        JD-Shifty

        unless it’s a 4 cyl it seems like the AC parts would be about the same as what was on the full size. most people wouldn’t sink a bunch of money into the AC at that point unless they’re from somewhere intensely hot

  • avatar
    Roland

    I’m glad I was able to buy my base model 4-cyl 2011 Ranger std cab. I hope to keep it a long time.

    When shopping I looked at the TC, but the Ranger had better ground clearance. For my purposes that was important.

    My only complaint about my Ranger is that I wish it was smaller and lighter.

    Why should I apologize for being thrifty? The things I love about automobiles and driving don’t depend on added features.

    However, I always tip well.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Some random observations on this discussion…

    1. For the supposed lack of interest in this segment, when the topic of whether compact trucks are a good idea for the U.S. or not comes up, it always draws a lot of heated debate.

    2. I buy the argument that for the manufacturers of full-size trucks, there is little to no upside to developing or offering a compact truck in the U.S. So take GM, Ford, FCA, Nissan and Toyota can make that argument.

    3.The evidence that the compact truck market is shrinking and isn’t worth getting into is IMHO tainted by the simple fact that the vast majority of the entrants in the segment during its peak and decline were sourced from the five manufacturers listed above.

    4. That still leaves several manufacturers that are trying to increase their market share for whom trying to get into the full-size pickup segment would be a wasted effort.

    5. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, my anecdotal gut tells me that for a company like Volkswagen, an Amarok could be a big seller in the U.S. At least relative to what Volkswagen is doing right now.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Given what an Amarok would most likely cost in the US, I’d still hazard a guess that full-size trucks would sell in quantities well above what a mid-sizer would. Heck, right now you can spec out either a Dodge Ram Express or Chevy Silverado 2WT for (roughly) $25k. I just don’t see small(er) trucks making big headway into the US. Americans are adjusting to higher fuel prices, and sales of big trucks are fairly strong (incentives are helping, no doubt). And in the end, while there might be an abundance of talk surrounding smaller trucks, talk does not equate to sales (for reference, see: Discussions about manual transmission cars in the US).

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        This is the flaw in the argument; either people would cross-shop full-size and compact truck or they won’t. I would argue that they most likely won’t.

        Size and price point are two completely different things. I use VW as my example because I am most familiar with that brand, but they need to explore other segments. They also need something to keep people in the brand. Believe it or not there are people who leave the brand not because of a bad experience but because the brand no longer offers them what they need.

        Not everyone wants a big truck, and not everyone wants a utility trailer or has a place to put one.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “For the supposed lack of interest in this segment, when the topic of whether compact trucks are a good idea for the U.S. or not comes up, it always draws a lot of heated debate.”

      The internet is a magnet for communities of freaks who are seeking community online because they can’t find it in the real world.

      What really counts is how people spend their money. The sales figures make it abundantly clear that they aren’t spending it here.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        The sales numbers you trumpet do little more than show the result of the main players in the segment – all of whom (except Toyota) not only offer their own full-size trucks but supplied mid-size trucks to their competitors – not cutting off their collective noses to spite their faces. Nothing more.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The sales figures show that OEMs don’t see a reason to invest heavily this segment.

          I’ve gone through this exercise above: Low Prices + Low Volume = Loser.

          And the math gets worse when there is no BOF compact SUV to share the platform. Cost amortization requires platform sharing, and the platform mates of these compact trucks are disappearing.

          For a wide variety of products, it’s normal over time for brand shakeouts to occur that leave behind a few winners after the others bail out. That is what has happened with smaller trucks: The strongest entrench themselves, while the rest of them give up. With a shrinking market, there’s not much justification for trying to bet heavily.

          If compact truck buyers in the US paid more, then there might be more room for a couple of niche models. But they won’t pay enough to make it worthwhile.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            Platform sharing… or selling essentially the same platform around the world. We’re not talking about bespoke vehicles for the U.S. market, which full-size pickups essentially are.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            GM has to invest nine figures into the global Colorado in order to make it suitable for the US market.

            Toyota makes a separate truck for the US market in order to account for differences in tastes.

            The Ranger platform would have to been upgraded in order to make it work for the US.

            What you’re suggesting requires hundreds of millions in new investment. Not much point in doing that for a shrinking market that won’t pay much.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @PCH the Global Ranger was designed to be able to be sold in the US market. They would have to spend some on tooling to make it legal to sell in the US; airbags that meet US standards, a Bumper/front end sheet metal that was designed more for occupant instead of pedestrian protection, DOT lighting, interior materials that meet flame spread requirements and of course emissions certified engines. It should not cost them as much as it did for GM to sell theirs that were never intended for the US market. I’m not saying the cost would be worth it, Ford obviously decided it wouldn’t which is why even after spending the money to make sure it would be able to be sold in the US they decided against throwing good money after bad.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “What really counts is how people spend their money. The sales figures make it abundantly clear that they aren’t spending it here.”

        Failure of logic. How can they “spend it here” when what they want isn’t available here?

        “If compact truck buyers in the US paid more, then there might be more room for a couple of niche models. But they won’t pay enough to make it worthwhile.”
        How do you know, when there are no models to choose from? How can people buy what doesn’t exist?

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          When it did exist people didn’t buy them so now they don’t exist anymore. Sales of less than full size pickups started falling back in the 90’s and continued to fall until most mfgs realized that it wasn’t a segment worth competing in.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I can’t understand why they don’t build them just for fun. There are at least ten guys on the internet who would think about buying one, surely it must be worth spending several hundred million dollars to see what happens.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            Again, this is flawed logic. The contraction of the small truck market was not driven by the market. Sales of less than full-size pickups started falling back in the 90’s when the manufacturers of full-size trucks – who also sold smaller trucks as well as supplying rebadged versions to other manufacturers – decided that the small trucks were taking sales away from their full-size offerings, so they stopped developing them. The Ranger when more than a decade without any substantive updates before it was finally discontinued.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The contraction of the small truck market was not driven by the market.”

            If you’re going to believe that sort of thing, then it’s no wonder that you’re missing it.

            “Sales of less than full-size pickups started falling back in the 90′s when the manufacturers of full-size trucks – who also sold smaller trucks as well as supplying rebadged versions to other manufacturers – decided that the small trucks were taking sales away from their full-size offerings”

            For one thing, market research would suggest that cross-shopping between the two size classes is not a major factor.

            But even if you were correct, your assertion is a statement that accounts for demand. If the buyers can be migrated to a different product that is more profitable, then it makes sense to migrate them.

            Your statement would also imply that offering both vehicles is less profitable than offering just one. That implication is certainly true — I’ve made that point myself — and quite a valid reason to discontinue the weaker product.

            If the OEM can cancel a product and earn more profit or achieve greater efficiency as a result, then that’s a textbook reason for reaching for the ax. The market demand for the smaller truck is obviously not that compelling: there is some combination of volume and margin that is missing from the small truck equation.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “For one thing, market research would suggest thath cross-shopping between the two size classes is not a major factor.”
            WHO’s market research? Ford’s? GM’s? Chrysler’s? “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” (Business Week, May 25, 1998)

            ” The market demand for the smaller truck is obviously not that compelling: there is some combination of volume and margin that is missing from the small truck equation.”
            If this is true, then WHY is GM re-introducing a smaller truck?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Some of you could use a new religion.

            I’m somewhat curious to know what level of OCD drives your obsession with a dying vehicle segment. It’s one thing to be a fanboy for your own sake, it’s quite another to believe that there is some sort of conspiracy to keep others from buying them.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Pch101: “I’m somewhat curious to know what level of OCD drives your obsession with a dying vehicle segment.”

            It’s not OCD, it’s need vs what’s available. What’s available is simply too large for what I need. It’s as simple as that.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Oh, it’s OCD, that’s for sure.

            You’re not just interested, you’re obsessed. You’re obsessed to the point that the facts mean nothing to you: anything that proves that your god is dead is obviously intolerable to you.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Pch101: “You’re not just interested, you’re obsessed.” — The obsession seems to be yours, since you choose to ignore facts that you don’t want to hear.

            “You’re obsessed to the point that the facts mean nothing to you:…” — so-called ‘facts’ that come from such a narrow viewpoint that they are totally blind to the circumstances around those ‘facts’.

            “…anything that proves that your god is dead is obviously intolerable to you.” — While your god, the American automotive OEM, can do no wrong. Ever. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

            Meanwhile, it seems I may have resolved my personal issue–all I have to do is carry it up from Tennessee. Now, how much is a ’93 Ranger with less than 50,000 original miles worth? I’m seeing them priced on PUTC as high as $7000–with no mention of how many miles on them. That’s almost triple what I paid form my 1990 F-150.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m just bemused that guys like you and your Aussie buddies can be as far out of touch and disconnected from facts as you are, yet so inclined to continually produce paragraphs of drivel even after you’ve been corrected on numerous occasions. The only skill that you seem to have is typing.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “The internet is a magnet for communities of freaks who are seeking community online because they can’t find it in the real world. ”

        You?

        “What really counts is how people spend their money. The sales figures make it abundantly clear that they aren’t spending it here”

        Yes the UAW would be very upset by building vehicles that have a much lower profit margin. Less money by the companies less bonuses to employees.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    How do we know Vulpine? Because we have the example of the Nissan Frontier. For what it is, its pretty high-priced. Nissan’s full-size offering is so far behind the curve that there’s little issue of cannibalizing big truck sales. Nissan therefore has every incentive to make the most of the Frontier. They don’t. That’s because they can’t. People like you who are willing to pay a premium for a smaller truck are pretty limited. Why would a manufacturer want to make a billion dollar bet on a new truck in the face of that example?

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Existing truck. I’m not expecting a manufacturer to whip up something bespoke and small for the North American market. I’d be happy with someone offering one of their small trucks here. Anything that would pass Euro NCAP could be Federalized relatively easily. The Chicken Tax is another thing that could be worked around if there is the will.

      Nissan would still prefer to sell you a Titan, as Toyota would prefer to sell you a Tundra. The problem with the argument being presented is that there is no manufacturer currently offering just a compact pickup. And as long as you’re offering a full-size truck, you’re going to focus your development and marketing dollars toward it since you have to compete against the acknowledged leaders in the segment.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    One thing that people seem to overlook is that the Ranger stayed true to the compact size it always was. Yes they did stretch the regular cab a bit but that was due to the fact that everyone else had moved their small trucks to the midsize category. One of the statements that Ford made when they announced the discontinuation of the Ranger was that they had found that the majority of consumers who bought Rangers were looking for the lowest price vehicle they had on the lot. They were not looking really looking for a small pickup. The other group of buyers of the Ranger were fleets and for a number of those fleets the first thing they did with them was to put a canopy or a hard cover on them to keep the things they carry in them dry and locked up. So for many of the fleet buyers the Transit Connect is a good alternative and for those looking for a low price the Fiesta is a good alternative with the added bonus of actually being cheaper to keep thanks to much better MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      That makes sense since the Ranger’s last major update was in 1993, which about the time the Explorer was at its peak. The Ranger became the cheap vehicle on the lot for the simple reason that Ford didn’t make any effort to update it for near as makes no difference two decades.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The Explorer didn’t reach it’s peak until the late 90’s, that is when it was the best selling passenger vehicle in the US. Yes 93 was the year that the look of the Ranger had a significant change but it got new front suspension and a cab redesign in the late 90’s early 00’s and it got some all new engines along the way as well. Like the Panthers just because there weren’t significant changes to the looks of the vehicle doesn’t mean there weren’t substantial changes under the skin. However the fact remains that they early/mid 90’s is when the compact segment started to die and Ford was actually pretty smart to soldier on the Ranger that really was a compact truck to get those buyers that weren’t interested in the mid size trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Here, let me correct that for you: “However the fact remains that they early/mid 90′s is when the *mid sized* segment started to die…” Compacts had already been killed off.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No in the mid 90’s you could still buy a “compact” truck. Yes the Dakota existed in the 90’s but Toyota, Nissan, and GM didn’t introduce mid size trucks in the US until 2004 and 2005. Why did they switch their formerly compact trucks to mid size? In an attempt to save them because as compacts their sales had been falling for a decade.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ford Ranger — First Generation:
            Wheelbase 107.9 in (2,741 mm)
            113.9 in (2,893 mm)
            125 in (3,175.0 mm)
            Length Standard bed
            1983–1988:175.6 in (4,460 mm)
            1989–1992:176.5 in (4,483 mm)
            Long bed
            1983–1988:187.6 in (4,765 mm)
            1989–1992:188.5 in (4,788 mm)
            Supercab
            1983–1988:192.7 in (4,895 mm)
            1989–1992:193.6 in (4,917 mm)
            Width 1983–1988: 66.9 in (1,699 mm)
            1989–1992: 66.8 in (1,697 mm)

            Second Generation:
            Wheelbase 107.9 in (2,741 mm)
            113.9 in (2,893 mm)
            125.2 in (3,180 mm)
            Length 184.3 in (4,681 mm)
            196.3 in (4,986 mm)
            198.2 in (5,034 mm)
            Width 69.4 in (1,763 mm)

            Third Generation:
            Wheelbase 111.6 in (2,835 mm)
            117.6 in (2,987 mm)
            125.9 in (3,198 mm)
            Length 188.5 in (4,788 mm)
            200.5 in (5,093 mm)
            202.9 in (5,154 mm)
            Width 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
            Height 68.3 in (1,735 mm)
            69.4 in (1,763 mm)

            The Ford Ranger GREW in each generation in wheelbase and overall size. It became “mid sized” in 1998, though still was slightly smaller than the 1990 full size. Slightly. It had grown more than a foot and a half bumper to bumper by that third generation. It had grown 4″ wider and almost certainly taller, though that data isn’t readily available.

            The Chevy S-10 grew in the same manner; again the information is reasonably accessible. Gaining enough inches in every dimension that they could no longer be called “compact”, but became “mid-sized”. You could NOT buy a true compact pickup truck from any American brand after the first generation.

            Compact pickups:
            The compact pickup (or simply “pickup”, without qualifier) is the most widespread form of pickup truck worldwide. It is built like a mini version of a two-axle heavy truck, with a frame providing structure, a conventional cab, a leaf spring suspension on the rear wheels and a gasoline engine usually taken from the passenger car range.

            The compact pickup was popularized in North America during the 1960s by Japanese manufacturers. Datsun (Nissan 1959, 1983–present) and Toyota dominated under their own nameplates through the end of the 1970s. Other Japanese manufacturers built pickups for the American “Big Three”: Isuzu built the Luv for Chevrolet, Mazda built the Courier for Ford (the two companies would also collaborate on the Ranger), and Mitsubishi built the Ram 50 for Dodge. It was not until the 1980s that Mazda introduced their own B-Series, Isuzu with their P’up and Mitsubishi with their Mighty Max; also at the same time, the American “Big Three” built their own small trucks for the domestic market: Ford with their own Ranger, General Motors with their Chevrolet S-10 & GMC S-15/Sonoma twins, and Dodge with their midsize Dakota.

            In Europe, compact pickups dominate the pickup market, although they are popular mostly in rural areas. There are few entries by European manufacturers, the most notable of which is perhaps the Peugeot 504 Pick-Up, which continued to be sold in Mediterranean Europe and Africa long after the original 504 ceased production. Eastern European manufacturers such as ARO or UAZ have served their home markets faithfully for decades, but are now disappearing. The near-majority of compact pickups sold in Europe use Diesel engines.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Sorry but no the Ranger never grew enough to be considered midsize and the only one that grew in length was the regular cab. It was always significantly smaller than the F series. If you want to see midsize see Dakota, 05-up Tacoma, and 04 up Frontier.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            If someone actually wants to define midsize and compact, they need to come up with dimensions for the demarcation line. When the Ranger was last available, it was within two inches in every dimension to the 2011 regular cab Toyota Tacoma. Sure, the tiny increments made the Tacoma a comfortable vehicle to use while the Ranger was still cramped, but the external differences were meaningless to maneuverability or utility.

            A 4×4 double cab Tacoma is a big vehicle. A regular cab Tacoma has a footprint about the size of a midsized sedan, just as the last Ranger regular cabs did. The reason Tacomas seem big is because few people seem to buy them without the giant cab. That doesn’t point to there being a market for pickups so small that they compromise comfort and utility.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Look at that data above again. Even between the first and second generations the Ranger grew in length–even though the wheelbase remained the same. In the first generation alone, the Ranger grew from 14.6 to 14.7 feet (I know, only one inch). The second generation jumped over half a foot (15.4 feet) while the third generation grew another several inches to 15.7 feet long. Overall, it grew more than a foot in length for the standard cab/standard bed while the SuperCab/standard bed grew to just under 17 feet. My own 25-year-old F-150 standard cab/long bed (equivalent to Supercab/standard bed) is barely a foot longer than that.

            The second-generation S-10 came out at 18 feet for the extended cab/standard bed while the third generation grew another 8 inches, making it longer than the third generation Ranger and significantly closer to the size of my own antique full size. They were definitely mid-sized by then. And while I like the looks of the coming Colorado, I’m wagering it ends up even larger than its predecessor, though I don’t have immediate access to its dimensions.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Vulpine – The prices of used mid-size trucks are getting ridiculous. I wholeheartedly agree. Ask me why I know. Supply vs Demand, simply put. Not enough Americans stepping up to the plate, for new mid-size trucks.

    And way too many buyers looking for used mid-size trucks as a 2nd or 3rd car (for cash, tax return, etc) and don’t want an extra car payment, full-coverage etc.

    You keep insisting a significant # of new mini-truck sold during that “perfect storm”, replaced new full-size truck sales. Not so fast and not so much. Funny how “new” small truck sales (“perfect storm”) started dying off, exactly as the compact and mid-size SUV boom took effect, late ’80s and early ’90s.

    Explorer, Trooper, Samurai, Amigo, Wrangler, 4Runner, Pathfinder, Montero and many others (buyers) had to come from somewhere. It was the next “perfect storm”.

    And wasn’t it YOU that traded your mini-truck for a Wrangler?

    I don’t know what makes you think building trucks in Japan is cheap. The Chicken tax encouraged US production, but eventually it became cheaper to build small trucks in the US/Mexico. Profit margins for small trucks have always been low, and BOF trucks crazy expensive to build. But at least they had volume. Full-size trucks would also be in the same boat if it wasn’t for volume. Luxury full-size trucks are an added bonus.

    But when you said:

    “…in reality it was a trend that was intentionally ended–by the American OEMs”…

    what the heck do you mean by that? Do they dictate fashion too???

    Although I do agree the new Colorado is “not small enough.”
    Yes, no one asked for up sized small-trucks. It was the small truck OEMs hoping ‘mistakenly’ to capture full-size truck sales. Staying small would have helped, but in the end, wouldn’t be enough.

    The economics just don’t work out for small trucks. Not for the OEM. Not for the consumer. It’s simply not as complicated as you make it out to be.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      DM, the law of “supply and demand” doesn’t work like that. If not enough Americans are stepping up to the plate for a mid-sized truck, the prices should be dropping as supply would be higher than demand. On the other hand, if the demand is high and the supply is low, the prices of the smaller trucks will go up until sales plateau or start to drop again. Since there are no new compact trucks (mid size is still larger than I like) the price of existing ones is going up.

      No, I am NOT insisting that they did, I am saying that if it HAD been such a “perfect storm” they should have. Your assumptions have been proven wrong way too many times. However, with the death of the compact trucks, compact SUV sales practically skyrocketed, as evidenced by the number of smaller SUVs on the road in place of wagons and compact pickups. Should compact pickups return to the American market, smaller SUVs would be the victim, not larger trucks. Though even the larger trucks would lose some small percentage–between 5 and 10 percent–to those smaller trucks.

      And to your question of fashion, the answer is “YES”, as proven by the hideous trucks we have to see on the road every day. Blocky. Bloated. Inefficient. They’ve made “boy-toys” just because some few like the idea of driving a Big Rig turned into a pickup truck.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        See that’s where you get confused a lot. Plenty of midsize truck buyers, just not “new” mid-size truck buyers. It’s called T-Rex Syndrome. They show up to the showroom when new models arrive, drool a lot, maybe go on a test drive. But when it comes time to buy, standing around, suddenly their hands can’t reach their wallets!

        Midsize trucks just aren’t considered a good value. And OEMs and dealers don’t really offer much in rebates nor incentives.

        As to full size trucks being “Hideous”, totally subjective. And “inefficient” untrue. Midsize trucks are inefficient unless your talking reg cab and 2wd. Same or worse mpg than similar but heavier fullsize.

        And consumers are very attached to their comfy, nimble compact/midsize SUVs, crossovers, cubes, etc. No real reason to switch to bronco bustin’ BOF trucks on leaf spring, live axles, and set up to haul pigs to market.

        It’s not the ’80s any more. Too many other better choices for consumers now.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “And “inefficient” untrue. ”

          I knew I’d pull you on that line. But tell me this, what is the coefficient of drag on–let’s say the current model of F-150 vs the current model of the global Ranger? Believe it or not, the shape of a vehicle does have a significant effect on its efficiency, as demonstrated by the fact that a Pentastar-equipped Charger gets almost 40% better fuel economy than a Pentastar-equipped Jeep Wrangler at highway speed. Simple aerodynamics can have a huge effect on the economy of any vehicle–especially when combined with lighter weight while using the same engine. Since very few mid-sized trucks carry the exact same engine as their larger brothers, you can’t KNOW what the fuel economy difference would be between them. I could promise you that putting that 2.7L EcoBoost in a new F-150 and a 1993 Ranger would have the Ranger showing better miles per gallon than the F-150 almost across the board.

          And don’t be so sure that ALL “consumers are very attached to their comfy, nimble compact/midsize SUVs, crossovers, cubes, etc.” Some of them are driving those SUVs, etc. BECAUSE they can’t get a pickup truck in that size.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – You’re splitting hairs, off topic. The bottom line is mpg. Aerodynamics are just wind noise decibels. They mean nothing if mpg sucks and you buy something else. It’s the regular dynamics of midsize trucks that are inefficient. Too small an engine for the weight midsize trucks. Your foot’s in it more than not. A V8 fullsize can be as efficient as a midsize with a V6. V8 fullsize can and do get better mpg than midsize if they’re both pulling at max payload or towing.

            Unlike the midsize SUVs that may share a drivetrai, midsize trucks are expected to perform much work and geared too steep to see any kind of efficiency.

            There’s not a lot you can do with the shape of trucks without super extending the nose and a rounded camper-shell. Much better technologies out there. Aluminum bodies, 10-speeds, cylinder deactivation, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Aerodynamics are just wind noise decibels.” — FALSE. If your statement were even remotely true, why are airplanes streamlined? Why do cars of the same weight but better aerodynamics as pickup trucks still get better fuel mileage? Maybe you need to learn some science.

            “Too small an engine for the weight midsize trucks.” — And who puts those too-small engines in those mid-sized trucks? The same people who put bigger engines into full-sized trucks and get the same gas mileage. Hey, guess what? If the mid-sized truck carried the same engine/tranny combo as the full sized truck (and believe it or not I will INCLUDE the EcoBoost engine) you would see the smaller truck get better mileage. Why? Because the smaller truck is both lighter in weight AND more aerodynamic–as its frontal area is smaller than a full-sized truck’s.

            “A V8 fullsize can be as efficient as a midsize with a V6.” — But put that SAME V8 in a midsize and you’ll see improved fuel mileage as the engine doesn’t have to work as hard.

            “V8 fullsize can and do get better mpg than midsize if they’re both pulling at max payload or towing.” — With the same engine, or the ones they come with?

            “Unlike the midsize SUVs that may share a drivetrai, midsize trucks are expected to perform much work and geared too steep to see any kind of efficiency.” — And this differs from full size… how?

            “There’s not a lot you can do with the shape of trucks without super extending the nose and a rounded camper-shell.” — Partially right, but you don’t have to extend the nose, just round it the same way most car front ends are rounded. And you certainly don’t need a camper shell, that actually INCREASES drag.

            “Much better technologies out there. Aluminum bodies, 10-speeds, cylinder deactivation, etc.” — Technologies that would be equally effective on a smaller truck, if not more so.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…why are airplanes streamlined?”

            I expected that to be your comeback. Hook. Line. Sinker.

            If pickup trucks looked like bullet trains, you’d complain it added 7 feet to the front. Then they’d stick out 8 feet into the street…

            Trucks still need tight packaging without windshield bottoms extending half way to the radiator.

            Unlike cars, trucks need sit up high for ground clearance with drive axles running under the engine, drrr. And run aggressive gears, which cars don’t, silly. And an open bed, etc, etc.

            I’ve pointed out the Ford Sport Trac got better mpg with the V8 than the V6. It’s common sense. Midsize trucks are creeping into full-size weight. Less load on an engine means better mpg. Drrr again. Especially when you can then go with less aggressive gears.

            Yeah all the latest tech, plus a small V8 is what midsize trucks cry out for. The V8 will never happen and the latest tech is years or decades away from midsize trucks, for lack or R&D funding. Especially full aluminum bodies.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “If pickup trucks looked like bullet trains, you’d complain it added 7 feet to the front. Then they’d stick out 8 feet into the street…”

            So why do they have to look like bullet trains? Why can’t they look like cars? THOSE certainly don’t have long noses.

            “Trucks still need tight packaging without windshield bottom extending half way to the radiator.”

            Why? Sloping the windshield more would definitely improve fuel mileage.

            “Unlike cars, trucks need sit up high for ground clearance with drive axles running under the engine, drrr.”

            What’s this about drive axles running under the engine? Again, Why? To be quite honest, a 2WD pickup truck doesn’t need more than 6″ of ground clearance, certainly not the 9″ to 11″ most of them currently carry.

            “And run aggressive gears, which cars don’t, silly.” — Really? Tell that to all the cars running 6-, 7- and even 8-speed transmissions. A truck running a high-count transmission will rarely even reach those higher gears. And yes, while I will acknowledge that SOME might need much tighter gear ratios, most certainly they don’t ALL need them. That final drive–the one in the differential–is the critical one.

            “And an open bed, etc, etc.” — Did you know that a pickup truck gets better fuel mileage with the tailgate UP, not down. It’s been proven in practical tests using off-the-lot trucks.

            “I’ve pointed out the Ford Sport Trac got better mpg with the V8 than the V6.” — Yup, because the V8 was able to loaf while the V6 had to strain. Amazing how much difference 100 horses can make. Did you know V6s now put out 300 horses? That’s 100 more than a 1990 V8!

            “Especially when you can then go with less aggressive gears.” — Don’t you mean, ‘less aggressive final gear’?

            The problem is, the Explorer Sport Trac simply didn’t have enough bed to be functional as a utility vehicle. Until fairly recently, the shortest ‘short bed’ you could get on a pickup truck was still very nearly six feet, not a measly, useless four feet.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Dang, I gotta start you with the ‘Life Math’ of trucks?

            “Why can’t they look like cars”?

            For one, show me a truck that can have its engine oil pan, 6 inches off the ground. No, the truck’s engine mounts are on its lower half and bolt to the frame/subframe, and the frame above the front axles.

            Remember the radiator needs to be wide and tall. And taller than the engine (to purge the system).

            The windshield has to be ahead of the driver, but no more than the a few inches over the engine. A truck engine is right up against the firewall, unlike a car’s engine the can be canted forward, away from the firewall.

            So truck windshields are about as raked as they can go. The reason you have to lift the cab off of Super Dutys to do the heads, is because of the way the firewall curves over the back/top of the engine. And that’s due to the very aero rake of the windshield.

            2WD trucks have to share the same platform with 4X4s. You can’t do 2 separate trucks, with a 2WD to cheat the wind a little more. 2WDs can easily accept 4X4 parts in the front end.

            Trucks can use the exact same trans as cars, but with a different, much more aggressive ‘final drive’ gears (in the rear end). Has nothing to do with the trans itself. Cars aren’t expected to pull 30′ trailers. It’s not just the weight, but wind resistance.

            By “open bed”, I wasn’t talking about the tailgate up or down. “Open” as in not covered, no roof, and obviously horrible aerodynamics because of it.

            A 300 hp V6 still has to work much harder than a 300 hp V8. The V6’s power band is peaky and comes on late. V8 hp comes on early and stays on longer. Meaning a flat power curve. So you have to compare torque and power curve, not just peak HP.

            The Sport Trac was all Ranger (super cab chassis) underneath. Not sure why Ford slapped the Explorer name on it. But the small bed is the same as you’d get with all global pickups, with no option of a 6′ bed. That helped kill the Sport Trac. 5.5′ would be the minimum acceptable, but that’s pushing it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “For one, show me a truck that can have its engine oil pan, 6 inches off the ground.” — If a BOF car like the Panther could do it, a truck can do it. VERY poor rebuttal on your part.

            “Remember the radiator needs to be wide and tall. And taller than the engine (to purge the system).” — And the Panthers didn’t have this?

            “The windshield has to be ahead of the driver, but no more than the a few inches over the engine.” — Then how did the Panthers get away with it?

            “A truck engine is right up against the firewall, unlike a car’s engine the can be canted forward, away from the firewall.” — The Panther’s engine wasn’t canted forward, was it? (If you say yes….)

            “So truck windshields are about as raked as they can go.” — False. They can be raked more.

            “The reason you have to lift the cab off of Super Dutys to do the heads, is because of the way the firewall curves over the back/top of the engine. And that’s due to the very aero rake of the windshield.” — That’s just bad design. Seems to me it would be easier to disassemble that huge grill and just pull the engine out the front. Time-wise would be little different and give you FAR better access to the engine.

            “2WD trucks have to share the same platform with 4X4s.” — It started out the other way around. Even now, 4×4 is most popular in the north, where we have to contend with snow from 3-6 months out of the year.

            “You can’t do 2 separate trucks, with a 2WD to cheat the wind a little more.” — You don’t have to. They still share the same body.

            “Cars aren’t expected to pull 30′ trailers. It’s not just the weight, but wind resistance.” The Panthers used to, before they went more unibody than BOF. I believe I told you that my ’73 Gran Torino regularly pulled a a 20′ and later 25′ travel trailer with a 302W under the hood.

            “By “open bed”, I wasn’t talking about the tailgate up or down. “Open” as in not covered, no roof, and obviously horrible aerodynamics because of it.” — and I was talking about having the tailgate up is more aerodynamic than having the tailgate down. What’s the gripe?

            “A 300 hp V6 still has to work much harder than a 300 hp V8. The V6’s power band is peaky and comes on late. V8 hp comes on early and stays on longer.” 300 horses is 300 horses. You put a 200 V6 and a 300 V6 side by side and the 300 has higher hp and torque all the way up the power band. As such, it still is more economical than a 200 horse V6 in the same vehicle. This is demonstrated by the fact that the 300 hp Jeep Wrangler getting 10% better gas mileage than the 200 hp Jeep Wrangler even when using the same transmission and final drive ratio.

            It seems I’m the one doing the teaching here.

            “The Sport Trac was all Ranger (super cab chassis) underneath. Not sure why Ford slapped the Explorer name on it. But the small bed is the same as you’d get with all global pickup, with no option of a 6′ bed. That helped kill the Sport Trac. 5.5′ would be the minimum acceptable, but that’s pushing it.” — You’re sure of that? A global pickup has no option of a 6′ bed? Hmmm. At http://www.ford.com.au/commercial/ranger/specifications/spec-options — Box Length – at floor – – – 2317. 2.317 meters or 7.6 feet. I thought you said there was no option of a 6′ or longer bed on a global pickup? Granted, it’s just under 5 feet for the CREW cab, but I wouldn’t be buying a crew cab, would I? The Super Cab (meaning extended cab, which is what I would buy) comes out at just over 6′ at the floor, albeit just under 4′ between the wheel wells. However, the bed itself is just over 5’wide, so it would more than adequately meet my needs… if it were available here in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – A Panther was the last, closest thing to a “truck” you could get, that you can’t get anymore. Similar drivetrain and BOF layout is all. But that’s where the similarities end.

            First, Panthers weren’t all that aerodynamic. And the floorboard wasn’t above the frame like in trucks. It was in between and below the frame. Meaning the passengers sat low to the ground. Not possible in trucks. The windshield didn’t have to go straight up, following the cowl. The whole car could be low profile since their wasn’t axles running under engine and under the front frame.

            Trucks are compact in nature, for maximum bed with the least wheelbase. The engine, firewall, dash and steering wheel all come in quick succession. Panthers had these more spread out.

            So show me a truck, BOF traditional truck, that has a more raked windshield than the Super Duty.

            But you’re talking about a 2WD truck with its own specific chassis, and never mind the all the engineering involved for a second. And the cost amortization the 4X4 chassis would lose. OK, the 2WD body wouldn’t necessarily work with a 4X4 chassis. But if it did, what would be the point? You want a different body to maximize aerodynamics, right? And all that trouble for marginal gains. You’d still have a big open bed.

            Big cars of the ’70s (and before) are a thing of the past. Very truck-like yes. But what ‘final drive’ were they running to pull a truck’s load? And added cooling? It was possible, with a lot of trade-offs. And running air-suspension boosters, huge goofy mirrors, truck tires and bolt-on hitch. It wasn’t worth it for most folks.

            “300 horses is 300 horses”

            HP figures and not created equally. They mean very little without knowing more engine specifics. You can get 400 hp and 400 torques from a Honda 4 cyl, which sounds adequate for a 3/4 ton truck pulling a 20,000 horse trailer, in theory, but go ahead and try it. Can I watch???

            I’m not saying you can’t get a 6′ bed on global pickups, but I haven’t seen one on a crew cab. Have you?

            You may not need a crew cab, but Americans what both. To me, crew cab midsizers with a 6′ bed look real goofy. They’re about as long as my super cab F-150 w/6.5 ft bed (similar seating with 4 passengers), but super skinny. Cartoonish really. With the driver and passenger needlessly close to one another. I don’t see the point of a mid-sizer at the point. Do you?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “First, Panthers weren’t all that aerodynamic.” — Go find out their coefficient of drag between an F-150 and a Panther.

            “And the floorboard wasn’t above the frame like in trucks. It was in between and below the frame. Meaning the passengers sat low to the ground. Not possible in trucks.” — WHY is it “not possible in trucks”? Don’t give me that axle bit either, even trucks have that driveshaft hump–or used to. Mind does, even if it isn’t as pronounced as older models carried. Just because they don’t doesn’t mean they ‘can’t”.

            “The windshield didn’t have to go straight up, following the cowl.” — You never explained why it has to now. And no, I’m not accepting that the only way it can go is forward. You could put more rake to the rear and still give the driver plenty of headroom.

            “The whole car could be low profile since their wasn’t axles running under engine and under the front frame.” — and trucks could do the same–and just jack up the suspension a bit to let the 4×4 axle pass under. After all, that’s what they USED to do.

            “Trucks are compact in nature, for maximum bed with the least wheelbase.” Really? When a crew cab takes up more than half the length of the entire truck the cab is “compact”? When you can seat three FAT men in the back seat comfortably that is “compact”? When the driver can wear a ten-gallon hat and STILL not brush the roof that is “COMPACT”? When the overall length of a pickup truck exceeds that of a ’70s-vintage Lincoln Town Car that is COMPACT? … NOW I understand your problem! You need glasses! You’ve lost all sense of scale! You think the current mid-sized trucks are tiny even though they’re still bigger than almost everything on the road EXCEPT full-sized trucks!

            Oh you poor boy.

            “So show me a truck, BOF traditional truck, that has a more raked windshield than the Super Duty.” — you know I can’t just as well as I do–because no American truck has one. However, explain to me how the Ford Aerostar had such a raked windshield. Explain to me how the Transit Connect and the Transit itself has such a raked windshield. Just because the OEMS don’t want to do it doesn’t mean they can’t. for that matter, lets drop the roofline just a bit–say, three inches–without lengthening it to reach the current windshield rake; that alone would add rake to the new windshield without affecting visibility in the least. There are many ways aerodynamics of a truck could be improved–if they didn’t have to pretend they were big rigs.

            “”300 horses is 300 horses” HP figures and not created equally. They mean very little without knowing more engine specifics.” — you have the specifics because I GAVE you the specifics. I compared the 200hp V6 in an ’08 Jeep Wrangler to the 300hp V6 in a ’14 Jeep Wrangler. The bodies are effectively identical. The drivetrains are effectively identical–except for the engine itself–and the newer model gets 20% better fuel mileage. Do, please, try to explain that away.

            “I’m not saying you can’t get a 6′ bed on global pickups, but I haven’t seen one on a crew cab. Have you?” — But why do I find LESS THAN 6′ beds on American crew cabs? Are you really wanting to go there? Ford F-150 comes with a 5.5 box as its short bed. Chevrolet carries a shorter wheelbase, so logically carries an even shorter box (they don’t say). Ram puts a 5.7 box on its crew cab. Why, if the truck is so big and the front end so “compact” is the bed less than 1/3rd and as little as 1/4 the length of the truck?

            “You may not need a crew cab, but Americans what both.” (I assume you meant “want”) — So now you’re assuming I’m not American? I neither need nor WANT a crew cab. I AM an American. You want goofy looking? A full sized crew cab with less bed than cab! But you are right about one thing, a mid-size is STILL TOO BIG! I said I want a compact truck and that I personally know various individuals in my community that want compact trucks–not mid-sized, not full-sized, COMPACT. To your sense of scale, let’s call them ‘sub-compact’ so you can get a more realistic image in your mind.

            All of your arguments against such compact trucks are purely subjective–based solely on what YOU believe a truck should be for ALL people, without once acknowledging that there are as many different people in the world as there are grains of sand on any given beach. Not everyone thinks like you (fortunately), not everybody wants the same things as you. Not everybody lives in your body (gad, THAT’s a picture, believe me!) Stop being so self centered and understand that you are just one among many and that no one person is 100% right 100% of the time–not even you.

            Oh, and one more thing:

            “Big cars of the ’70s (and before) are a thing of the past.” — True.
            “Very truck-like yes. But what ‘final drive’ were they running to pull a truck’s load?” — Since trucks rarely pulled anything back then, very similar.

            “And added cooling?” — Mandatory and easily added.

            “It was possible, with a lot of trade-offs.” — like the inability to carry things in an open bed?

            “And running air-suspension boosters,” — unnecessary — “huge goofy mirrors,” — mandatory even on trucks — “truck tires” — unnecessary — “and bolt-on hitch” — make that CLASS 3 or better bolt-on hitch. “It wasn’t worth it for most folks.” — Yet most folks that went trailer camping even in the ’70s towed with a car, not a truck. Trucks typically carried a slide-in camper until the fifth-wheel campers made the scene. And that’s just about the time that extended cabs made the scene for pickup trucks too–so a family camping trip could carry the kids in the cab. Gee, the things you learn when you just put 2 and 2 together.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – You take things way out of context. I didn’t say the F-150 was anywhere near as aerodynamic as a Panther, and I explained why the F-150 isn’t. There’s no contest. But Panthers aren’t all that aerodynamic compared to new cars in general.

            No it’s not possible for BOF pickup truck seats to mount below the top of the frame, like they do in Panthers. They’d cease being trucks at that point.

            And everything behind the driver is considered ‘cargo’, as far as front layout/design is concerned. If consumers want 6 full doors and a 2 ft bed, that’s what they’ll get. The front part of the truck would remain the same either way.

            You’re talking radical changes for marginal payback, if they were at all possible.

            The Aerostar has an engine cover INSIDE THE CAB, like Econolines. That’s why such a raked windshield is possible. And such a short nose on the E-series.

            The Transit Connect is FWD. Drrrr…

            This is fun and I maybe I’ll have more time to go into the rest of your rant, but it would go along the same lines from what I scanned… You’re wrong. You’re wrong. And you’re wrong again….

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: To paraphrase, “You keep saying that word all the time (can’t), I don’ thin’ you know what it means.”

            Just because something ISN’T done, doesn’t mean it CAN’T be done. “No it’s not possible for BOF pickup truck seats to mount below the top of the frame, like they do in Panthers. They’d cease being trucks at that point.” Why? Because it would LOOK bad? Who cares about LOOKS? Obviously most pickup drivers don’t care about looks, the best looking truck has been in the #4 place of the ‘Big Three’ for years–though I’ll admit they’re rising fast (Ram). Oh, I’m fully aware that the bed needs to ride on top, but that doesn’t mean the cab does. letting it ride between the rails as it were could improve the truck a lot in ways you can’t imagine.

            “And everything behind the driver is considered ‘cargo’, as far as front layout/design is concerned. If consumers want 6 full doors and a 2 ft bed, that’s what they’ll get. The front part of the truck would remain the same either way.” — Germany doesn’t think so. Someone tried to import a crew cab pickup truck as a passenger vehicle because of its seating arrangement and were denied because, “the cargo area (meaning very specifically the bed) is longer than half the length of the wheelbase. Therefore, it is a cargo vehicle.” Maybe if they’d put the four-foot bed on it they would have gotten away with the argument.

            “The Aerostar has an engine cover INSIDE THE CAB, like Econolines. That’s why such a raked windshield is possible. And such a short nose on the E-series.” — And who is it that says the E-series van is Ford’s most popular van… with 3x the sales of the Transit Connect? Oh, and did you know the E-series used to not have a nose at all? They stuck some of that engine out front to help act as a ‘bumper’ when Ralph Nader started screwing us all over. Sure, cars are much safer today because of what he did, but they’re appearances suffered for it. Tucker showed how to do it right, but nobody wanted to admit it.

            “The Transit Connect is FWD. Drrrr…” — Has it not been said that FWD is better handling than RWD? Hey! Guess what! All of a sudden 2WD pickup trucks would handle northern snowstorms better and would no longer need 4×4 just to handle the weather! Think hard about your response to that, because even with 4×4 unless you load that bed with SOMETHING, it tends to kick out even on a mere coating. Where I live, I see it happen remarkably often with 4×4 pickup trucks on the shoulder (in the ditches, really) more often than on the road unless they’ve got the bed loaded with about 500 pounds of sand/gravel/snow, whatever is heavy.

            “You’re talking radical changes for marginal payback, if they were at all possible.” — And see? Again you say things are “impossible” just because they aren’t done. You’ve really got to look outside the box and realize that all things are possible, if you put effort behind them.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    “The Transit Connect doesn’t sell in the US at anywhere near the volumes of the E-series vans.”

    Should be as they are not competing against each other and are in two segments. Mini Vans do not sell anywhere the number of bigger vans in Australia.
    The Econoline is dead to be replaced by another European transplant the Transit.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    I, for one, participated in the small truck purchasing carnival of the 80’s, buying two new S-10’s. I also owned a used Sonoma and also a Dakota, which I had for 10 years.
    When it was time to upgrade once again, in 2012, I found my choices had narrowed considerably. I wasn’t happy with any of the choices available. So I bought a HHR Panel. It’s not a truck. It limits my versatility.
    My preference is smaller trucks but I expect great gas mileage, comfort, sharp design and utility. So sign me up for a new CanyonRado. It looks like it fits the bill and checks all the boxes.Finally.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    they made hundreds of thousands of small trucks in the 90’s and for years before and after that period. the misers have tons of creampuffs to sort through.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Yesterday evening I was sweeping my driveway when a perfect looking 87-ish Silverado, reg-cab, blue/white two-tone rolled slowly by. I wanted to chase it like a dog.

    It was probably smaller in every dimension except bed length than the new Colorado.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    Kenmore, being a appliance fan, I kinda figured you for a Toyota person. No?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Yes, serial Camry buyer. But that is at an end because all new sedans repel me with their idiotically diminished visibility (squashed rooflines, fat pillars, mirror-in-face etc.) and the bodily contortions required for entry/exit.

      Plus, in more robust days I always had a van or truck as well as a sedan. Now I’m an American Scrooge and want everything from one vehicle, so I’m fixating on the TC Wagon.

      The Japanese big 3 were my pantheon back in the day when any strong smell of gas made you look under the nearest Chevys. But, really, everyone else has pretty much caught up in quality and reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        mikehgl

        I am having a hard time understanding how a TC wagon makes a good substitute for a truck. My father in law owns a 2012 TC and I have been most impressed by its reliability and electronic equipment but it ain’t no truck. I need a bed, not fold down seats. I need an open box, not an enclosed van. And I still like to think I have an image to maintain. A van doesn’t enhance it much….been there with lil’ kids, done that.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          ‘Cause the hardest work I’ll ever do with it is bringing furniture back from estate sales or maybe a counter top from Home Depot.

          It works for me now; it wouldn’t have 10 years ago.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @highdesert cat–Speaking from experience, the reason your friends truck is harder to get parts for is not as much that it is smaller but that it is older. Especially since it is the air conditioning, the systems from the early 90’s still used freon and now the use R-134. Even certain tire sizes are getting harder to find, with most stores not wanting to stock 15″ or below since all the newer vehicles have gone to larger wheel sizes. Dealers and auto parts stores have limited the amount of parts they keep on hand and are less likely to keep parts for older vehicles in stock (even many salvage yards limit how many older vehicles they have and they don’t keep them very long). The fact that you found the part is lucky. I would just pay the price with the added shipping cost if your friend plans on keeping the S-10 a little longer. I plan on keeping my S-10 a few more years, but after a while even if it is still in good shape I might get rid of it because the parts will eventually become impossible to get. I had a hard time getting parts for a Honda Accord my wife kept for 17 years and I had a Jacobsen riding lawn mower for years that I finally junked because I couldn’t even get used parts for it. Jacobsen was bought out eventually by John Deere who used the name for a few years but discontinued all of Jacobsen’s parts and eventually phased the name out. This is planned obsolescence and after a while it makes more sense to get rid of something when it gets too old. I am already having problems finding some parts for my 2008 Isuzu even though it is the same truck as the Colorado/Canyon and the last year for those trucks was 2012.

    • 0 avatar
      JD-Shifty

      that’s the nice thing about owning a domestic compact. you can get every part that you need to get it up and down the road from places like LMC truck and the aftermarket.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Jeff S, you are right. S-10-specific parts production ceased ten years after the last S-10 was last produced. And not because it was a compact truck.

      But since then, GM wised up and started using many parts in their vehicles that were already in the current parts bin (at that time). The current AC low-pressure sensor switch sports the same part number, but is what is used on all the platforms that use that AC system after the change was made, ~2004 and later.

      It reminds of the ignition-switch recall where GM used the same part number even after they made the change to the killer-switch assembly.

      Salvage yards in my area are currently selling all the metal they can in the form of crushed vehicles. I guess they need the money. They don’t keep anything over 10 years old, ever since Mexico put a ban on importing vehicles over 10 years old into Mexico.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @HDC – Yes, Mexico banned all but 10 year old US cars. But not true for pickups. They can be up to 25 years old, but at least 10. US cars have a narrow window, but more reason for Mexico to want US pickup trucks.

        Pickup trucks are almost 1 in every 8 vehicles we buy. But I don’t see that reflected on what I see on the street. Maybe 1 in 20. So we may be losing up to a million pickups to Mexico a year. Not counting stolen. And pickup trucks are also very scarce at salvage yards.

  • avatar
    solracer

    I can’t speak for other people but I can describe my own tastes. I used to have a Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup and loved it. If such a vehicle existed today I’d very likely buy one. Instead because I don’t want a full-size pickup I’ve instead bought a small Harbor Freight trailer which I tow behind my Solstice GXP (don’t laugh. it doesn’t seem to even know the trailer is there). For my needs, hauling my lawnmower, garbage and large items home from Lowes or Costco itr gets the job done. But it would be a lot simpler If I didn’t have to hook up the trailer each time I went somewhere.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    I’m the same way. Even though I own an HHR Panel it cannot do the things a truck can do, like haul mulch. So I have a trailer too. Even though I am 51 years old, I refuse to go quietly into the night. I still do all my own landscaping and almost all my own home improvement. So the trailer sits in my back yard most days, collecting leaves and taking on a rusty patina.
    I recently found my daughter’s first car for her and it came with a box … it’s a Ranger, making my trailer even more irrelevant. So I will continue to wait for a truck that meets my needs. When I find it, I intend to keep it for a long time.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    328 posts so far. Maybe change name to TTATrucks?

    Even subtracting Vulpine’s herculean efforts, that’s a lot of pent-up interest.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Hey Kenmore, if I had to guess, the interest in this thread is similar to the brown AWD manual diesel wagon. Most of the people on TTAC would like one but few enough else.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Trains wrecks can be interesting. That doesn’t mean that most of us want to be inside the train as it careens off the rails.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Pch, it depends on what you consider to be ” in the train”. I wouldn’t want to be the midsize truck program manager anywhere (in the train). But would I buy a Canyon, enjoy it, and if it was a sales flop, I wouldn’t really care because I got a vehicle I wanted while it was available.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          One good thing about these pickups is that they are well suited to towing the owner’s diesel station wagon.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Come on Pch, work with me. Your premise is that there is no demand for these vehicles. I won’t argue with you, I don’t have the stats, and I just don’t want to. In fact I am just going to say you’re 100% right.

            But you can’t say that they are going to be bad vehicles. The new GM midsize twins, the global Ranger etc. are by all accounts excellent vehicles, regardless of the demand for them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I never claimed that they were bad (although I am personally not a fan of the driving experience provided by trucks.)

            You’re a good example of what the market looks like. You like them, yet you bought a small crossover, instead. (See, you have some ‘splainin’ to do.)

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I think he bought a Buick Verano Turbo 6MT. In which case he put his orphaned-option money right where his mouth is.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Yup, Verano Turbo 6MT.

            PPLEAAASE don’t confuse me with Norm.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I have already sung Dave’s praises for praying to the Stick God. (Say Hallelujah, just don’t miss that shift.)

            Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that He will hear your prayers come resale time, so here’s hoping that you drive it into the ground or get very lucky when it comes time to sell it.

            (Edit: Damn, I was thinking that you had bought an Encore. Still, you have some ‘splainin’ to do.)

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            He’ll be OK if he posts it in the right places. It’s an obscure car collector’s unicorn. The handful of guys looking for one will be clamoring to send the contemporary equivalent of a Paypal deposit as soon as it’s listed when the time comes.

            As proof of this phenomenon, I present the 5 speed Dodge Shadow convertible I sold last year for $2500. An ass for every seat.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Oh I fully expect that its resale value will be functionally non-existent. I intend to gift it to my Oldsmo-Buick loving father in a few years (his LSS is showing its age), and then who knows. I’d seriously look then at a Canyon, assuming they are still on sale.

            Extended cab, 2WD w LSD, V6 with MT for me please.

            EDIT: What ‘splainin’ specifically?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The ‘splainin’ is why you would buy a small sedan instead of a (relatively) small truck.

            If I may, I can probably explain it for you. The truck is a “nice to have,” but it isn’t a “must have.”

            If you could have a garage full of vehicles, then it would be one thing to add a truck to the rest of the stable. But like most of us, you don’t get to own a lot of vehicles at the same time, and other priorities move to the front of the line when it comes time to pay up for the one that you’re going to own.

            Most people just don’t care about these things either way, but even many of those who do like them end up choosing something else.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Well, partly it has to due with, no small truck currently for sale interests me. The Tacoma and Frontier, while by all accounts decent vehicles, have never called to me. I once had a step side ZQ8 stepside Sonoma, SLS model. I really liked it. I wish I could find another one thats not rusted to $h!t.

            Had the Colorado/Canyon been available, it might have made me think twice. But, also, availability of certain options would have been a huge deciding factor. If I was buying a brand new one for my primary vehicle, I would have wanted the V6, stickshift, and a loaded interior. I am pretty sure the only stick shift Colorados will be base WT models. So, even though they are selling the truck, they aren’t the truck I want.

            That enough ‘splainin’ or is more required. I’ll be here all night, tip your ISP.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @DFC – I wouldn’t hesitate buying a Tacoma or Frontier if I was in the market for a mid-size truck. Great trucks. The problem consumers have with them is they’ve been here, with not much changes, in what seems like forever. People want the “strange”.

            The Colorado/Canyon will see initial success from pent up demand. Then it’ll be the same old, same old.

            When a new restaurant pops up in my town, from a famous chain like The Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Red Robin, Red Lobster, Chile’s, etc, the line to get a table is out the door and around the corner. Then things normalize.

            If the mid-size truck segment sees added growth, it’ll be short lived and consumers will soon go back to what the normally buy. And they’ll remember why they normally don’t buy a rough riding, kidney bustin’ truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You know, DM, this time you’re almost right, except…

            “When a new restaurant pops up in my town, from a famous chain like The Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Red Robin, Red Lobster, Chile’s, etc, the line to get a table is out the door and around the corner. Then things normalize.” — Yes, they normalize–at a higher level. That restaurant is able to stay in business because they have a steady income from steady customers who still line up on Friday and Saturday nights and for lunch on Sunday. And this is the part of the equation you insist can’t happen.

            Yes, the Canyon/Colorado are going to cause a surge for the first year for, as you put it, relieving pent-up demand (What’s this? There’s demand for a vehicle that has no demand?). Some of that market will come from the other so-called mid-sizers: Toyota, Nissan and Honda. Some of that market MAY come from the full-sizers, though I agree that will be marginal, most likely. But where will the rest come from? According to all your rants everybody else is happy with what they have. I’ve previously offered suggestions but you have adamantly declared that is impossible.

            But, once that pent-up demand is satisfied, things will fall back to “normal”. Now, is this the old ‘normal’ where Honda, Nissan and Toyota lose exactly the number of sales that Chevy/GMC gain, or will it be a new ‘normal’, where their combined numbers are higher than the preceding numbers? In my opinion, it will be a new ‘normal’ with higher overall numbers as there will be people buying the GM twins BECAUSE they’re not Japanese–after all, you must remember that Toyota’s increases did not account for all of the market that was abandoned when Ford quit the Ranger. It may even increase enough to encourage Ford and Ram to again offer a smaller truck–albeit too late to take advantage of that initial surge. They’ll have to generate their own surges.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @pch101: “You’re a good example of what the market looks like. You like them, yet you bought a small crossover, instead. (See, you have some ‘splainin’ to do.)”

            You used the key word yourself: “small”. For now, there ARE no small trucks available, so he bought what best fit his needs, which wasn’t a full-sized pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Franchise restaurants often operate at a loss, once things cool down. They keep taking a loss for years or even decades. That’s why they end up burning-out mom-n-pops. Once the economy comes back, the town is all their’s. That’s because winning a franchise is a long exhaustive process. It takes millions of start up capital, and franchises are not given out to lotto winners. You have to show a history of being good with money for decades or even generations.

            Auto OEMs cannot keep taking a loss. GM maybe, but normally, no. You can consider every model of cars, within a brand/group, its own franchise.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Now who’s trying to teach whom on Economics 101? Do you REALLY believe a franchisee is going to operate at a loss? The individual or corporation that opened that franchise location did so because they expected more than a short-term profit. I can clearly point you to one franchisee who went to the effort of remodeling one such location to improve traffic flow and when that location experienced a small fire just one month later, flat abandoned it–the money totally wasted but taken as a complete loss because the remodel did not improve traffic. No business will even try to remain in operation if it continues to lose money UNLESS that loss is absorbed by other locations that are more profitable. We’ve already seen in the auto industry that models are abandoned rather than retained if they don’t make a profit or their profit margins are too low.

            No, Denver; I’ve proven you wrong too many times today alone. Give It Up.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Kenmore,
      No matter what the forum, there seems to be a lot of interest. The only ones who disagree have a vested interest or are UAW members(Seems the Colorado/Canyon have become acceptable midsizers)

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Well, I haven’t seen anyone in this forum with less of a vested interest in anything other than crystal clear, fact-supported, rational deduction than Pch, if that’s at whom you’re hinting.

        But I think that empirical, dumb-guy evidence of the sort that I garner leaves at least a little space for the possibility that demand for small trucks is still significant and is presently bottled-up by the dearth of choices in America beyond the two overpriced and increasingly bloated Japanese models. I’m just no longer demanding one myself because a real minivan like the TC wagon will do me.

        Of course, the Canyons/Colorados will just be overpriced and bloated American models that won’t really alter this debate unless they are spectacular successes or rapid failures.

        The only thing of which I’m certain is that those new GM mid-sizers will gather more interest here than any new vehicle launch since the Tesla S.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          As I noted before, fringe ideas tend to be overrepresented in the comments sections of websites.

          If there was incredible demand for these things, then you would be seeing it in the monthly deliveries reports. That isn’t happening.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            These PUs are no different then convertibles or station wagons, many bemoan their passing, but the reason they passed is that the people who actually buy cars didn’t want them. Everyone will adjust and life will go on

            How come no one is raising a fuss about the dying minivan? Oh, yeah, because minivan

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Just remember, convertibles have returned. Could this mean that compact pickup trucks will also return? Wagons? I don’t care who you (generic) may be, never say something is impossible; someone will always find a way to prove you wrong. It may not happen today. It may not happen tomorrow. But whatever it was that you claimed was impossible WILL happen eventually.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I’m sure, though the only 4 passenger convertibles are pretty expensive. Even the crossover will fade eventually and some will complain about that too

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            In keeping with the religious overtones of some on this thread, I am going to open a Minivan Mosque.

            We will destroy the crossover infidels, as part of our commitment to raised vehicular jihad. There is only one true god, and His name is Odyssey (PBUH.)

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Just make sure those minivans are sporting burqas

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Don’t be ridiculous. The rear seat burkas are standard equipment.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Profiling! I’m calling profiling here.

            Not all minivans are extremists. The TC wagon for example is a moderate, peace-loving member of the community that is shamefully forced to deny its cultural heritage and present itself as the “unminivan”.

            Hate speech harms the innocent.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Oh, I don’t know… I’m aware of a four-door convertible that’s quite popular and has a built-in roll cage for passenger safety. It even has a hard top available.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The public will eventually lose their fondness for large crew cab full size half ton pickups. The prices of trucks will continue to go up as more use aluminum and lighter materials along with more complex engines and transmissions. A full size crew cab pickup is much harder to park and most are too tall for many women. Most crossovers are not as tall and are not as large and bulky as crew cab pickups. Eventually the full size crew cab pickup will be viewed as too big for most and more of a performance toy as a Mustang,Camaro, and Challenger. Many people around me are already making the switch from these full size crew cab pickups and sedans to crossovers of all sizes. Trucks are no longer the inexpensive alternative vehicle. They will still sell but there will be fewer of them. Most tradesmen have moved up to HD trucks and with the newer more efficient vans most businesses will buy these instead of trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      JD-Shifty

      The fact of the matter is people should be excited. Chevy/Gmc is bring the compact back. they’ll have everything from a 4 cyl stick shift WT truck to a loaded diesel with auto 4wd. even if they only steal the tacoma, frontier and people with 15 year old s-10’s and rangers, so what

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    “. The only skill that you seem to have is typing”
    Which is PCH101’s way of saying he has NOTHING TO ADD AS A REPLY to the thread except insults. He has been soundly thrashed in the arguments by others.Maybe his UAW Researcher cannot find the information?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      LOL! ^^^^^

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Robert Ryan
      The reality of Commrade Pch101 is that his argument in the maintaining the tariffs and barriers is exceptionally poor.

      He has yet to produce a argument with any salient points.

      The guy definitely has to be a UAW stooge.

      How can you possibly have a porous argument with no supporting evidence. If his argument was strong wouldn’t you think there would be information regarding the chicken tax on the net to marry up to his argument?

      Comrade, friend, sister and/or brother Pch101 must use the same internet connection as DiM. You know, the one that is only accessible by a very few individuals. By the sounds of it only UAW guys have access to some of these sites regarding economics, market conditions etc.

      His biggest points are;
      1. You don’t understand the car industry.

      2. What effect does the chicken tax have when midsizers are uncompetitive, so why should the chicken tax be removed.

      4. They return the same FE.

      5. They are more dangerous. (maybe, except the UAW built Colorado)

      @Pch101
      I challenge you to support your arguments with real, valid, credible evidence and links that have currency.

      I bet you can’t, because Comrade King wouldn’t have a bar of it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The public will eventually lose their fondness for large crew cab full size half ton pickups. The prices of trucks will continue to go up as more use aluminum and lighter materials along with more complex engines and transmissions. A full size crew cab pickup is much harder to park and most are too tall for many women. Most crossovers are not as tall and are not as large and bulky as crew cab pickups. Eventually the full size crew cab pickup will be viewed as too big for most and more of a performance toy as a Mustang,Camaro, and Challenger. Many people around me are already making the switch from these full size crew cab pickups and sedans to crossovers of all sizes. Trucks are no longer the inexpensive alternative vehicle. They will still sell but there will be fewer of them.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – Pickup trucks are still an excellent value, in basic to mid level trim. They’re less than what a Camry will set you back. Except pickup truck prices can quickly double when talking fully-loaded and cowboy theme. Stay away from those and you’ll be fine. Pickup trucks are sporty and fashionable to a much greater degree than Camcordtima appliances.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @DM–Yes they are still a reasonable value but I see a trend of more families migrating away from trucks and going to crossovers. I don’t think trucks are in any danger of dying but I see sales of newer ones not being as high as they are now. There are always those who use a truck as a truck and those that just plain prefer them but crossovers of all sizes are the fastest growing segment of the market especially among women who are buying them. I see more crossovers where I live than crew cab full size trucks and midsize sedans which both are still numerous but the larger number of crossovers is definitely noticeable. All the manufacturers want a piece of the crossover market, which eventually it too will no longer be as hot of an item except for most families it has more utility than most other types of vehicles. The crossover is like the Swiss Army knife of vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      For the bulk of our daily driving, we’ve gone from large SUVs and a crew cab 1/2 ton back to sedans and small crossovers. I save about $2500 a year in fuel by driving something that averages 25 mpg rather than 15. I still have a crew cab truck for truck stuff, but it only gets driven with a trailer attached or the bed full anymore.

      In addition to saving on fuel costs, driving a sporty-ish sedan makes the commute less of a bore.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Jeff S
      I concur with your comment. But, I might see it a little different on how these changes will occur.

      As I’ve pointed out the new aluminium pickups will cost more. This will put a dent in sales. It has to. How many I don’t know, but it will be significant enough.

      Commercial users will gradually move away from these new expensive SUVs with a balcony (thanks DiM) and buy more commercial style vehicles. Sort of like how the pickup started.

      The US pickup has lost it’s way in that respect. It’s moving further and further away as a cheap and cheerful work truck.

      The very rules that started out to defend the local pickup manufacturers in the US are coming home to roost now.

      As I’ve stated in the past I believe that assistance to any industry should be short term as the longer the barriers and protection is available to an industry the more reliant they become with it. Sort of a symbiotic relationship forms.

      One could assume that 50 years of protection on a product will have some influence at distorting it’s real position in the market.

      This is where full size 1/2 ton pickups are now. CAFE will make them into as DiM has stated on previous occasions ‘SUVs with a balcony’.

      The vehicle will have to move ‘upmarket’, this will reduce sales due to lack of customers. It will become a prestige vehicle, a rustic one at that.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – OK, the crossover will steal sales from a lot of segments, including full-size trucks, but I can’t really see them as a replacement for full-size trucks. Dually crew cab 4X4s? Maybe…. If anything, booming crossover sales will make it harder on the mid-size truck segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM
        It’s good to see you are realizing that full size 1/2 ton pickups have become the domain of the SUV set, grocery getter. It good to see that you acknowledge that pickups are competing with SUVs.

        A global midizer can replace most of what a full size 1/2 ton does as well.

        You can make statements about the cab size or tow ratings and crap.

        But the reality is most 1/2 ton full size trucks don’t have a scratch in the bed and tow air.

        If a full size was used for business purposes still a global midsize will do most of what a full size does.

        Remember don’t use a US midsize for a comparison. You’ve been to Spain over 36 times you’ve obviously must of encountered a global midsizer with over 400ftlb of torque?

        The global midsize will come to the same eventual fate a the US full size 1/2 ton.

        Developing nations are going to keep the global midsize from becoming a full on SUV type vehicle like the US 1/2 tons future.

        You and your UAW friends are the end of the half ton pickup as we know it.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    I really liked the 2008 Sport Trac I owned – small enough that I could drive it downtown, comfy inside. The small bed was irritating (won’t fit a mattress) but the fuel economy on the V8 wasn’t terrible. Checking the resale value of it now, it really holds up – I am surprised. I should have kept the damned thing.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    Just another example of healthy resale value for mid-size platform trucks. Why? Demand. Does that translate to new mid-sized truck sales demand?
    Ahhh….sorry I don’t have an answer for that one.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I have already noticed more businesses switching to the Ford Transit vans around me as delivery or service vehicles (heating, cooling, and plumbing companies). Many of the landscapers and builder/remodelers around where I live are not buying the half ton crew cab pickups but are driving 3/4 to ton trucks with diesels. Two guys I know personally have no interest in leather seats, navigation systems, or high performance gas powered V-8s. One who is a remodeler said he would much rather have an Isuzu midsize diesel (not a pickup but delivery size) than any of the half ton overdressed and less capable trucks. These guys get their trucks dirty and do not want to have to worry about messing a fancy interior up.

    As for crossovers, most women don’t want a massive vehicle unless they have a family and pets and most full size half ton pickups have become massive. That is one reason I drive midsize trucks because my wife is short and she will not drive a large vehicle. I think midsize trucks have a chance if they have not too small of a bed, get better mpgs, and there is enough of a price difference to give them an chance. I do agree Al that the price of pickups will go up with aluminum bodies and other expensive materials used. Aluminum will go up in price as Ford and eventually GM and Chrysler use more of it. Manufacturers will still make large profits on trucks but they will not sell as many which is not entirely a bad thing.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States