By on August 10, 2014

Small and midsize pickup truck sales chart
It’s difficult to possess anything other than low U.S. sales expectations for GM’s new pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, even before you know the exact prices, or the prices people actually pay for new Silverados.

Toyota Tacoma volume, prior to this year, was perking up, but not nearly to the level it was at in 2006. Similar statements can be made regarding the Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline. Numerous other pickup trucks have disappeared, and remaining competitors haven’t been able to take advantage of those disappearances.

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181 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Why Colorado Sales Expectations Are Low...”


  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s not so much a decline, as much as things slowly returning to normal.

    Prior to the late ’70s, early ’80s mini-truck explosion, small pickups were a tiny niche market. All the stars lined up and the rest is history.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      I think we need to acknowledge that the US is a secondary market for GM’s smaller twins. Thailand and similar tier-two economies are the main focus for the Colorado / Canyon pick-ups; these sized trucks are staples in the such places. I think GM is just leveraging its ability to design in one place and market in a lot of places, just like they do with Opel, Holden and GM Korea. The Colorado / Canyon may very well be a success in the US – there’s every reason to think that smaller might actually sell (who’d have guessed that Buick Encores would leave showrooms in such numbers). If GM’s small trucks succeed here, then that’s just gravy on top of the meat-and-potatoes that these trucks will be overseas.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I agree with your general point that GM is now planning product based on a much more global vision, and that they will leverage their economies of scale by utilizing fewer chassis’/platforms from which to develop more vehicles, but the Colorado is way too large a truck given economics and preferences of buyers in places such as Vietnam, Thailand, China, South America, etc, IMO.

        The Colorado is as large as full size U.S. Pickup trucks of just 20 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        amca

        In short, it’s a crapshoot. At least the twins are cushioned by their importance in other markets.

        If anything, they do have the virtue of putting into place a vehicle that could survive a bone fine energy shock. Which, given the way things are going in the Middle East (straight into the toilet, that is) might prove a good bet.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Secondary market, yes but the Colorado they are building for Thailand and Australia, is not the same and no surprise is much more capable. The real leader outside the US is Toyota and everyone is trying to knock them off

  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    I do not understand why the market for new small pickups is in such a decline.
    There certainly seems to be a healthy demand for used Tacomas and Rangers.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Supply vs demand. Not enough consumers willing to take the initial hit on something that’s a 2nd or 3rd vehicle for weekend warrior stuff, The Home Depot runs, dump runs or other chores. Plus a kids 1st car and to learn to drive. Too many seeking smaller used pickups that may be parked Monday thru Friday and are sure to be banged around and beat up anyways. Smaller used pickup are the prime choice for the handyman, landscaper, etc.

      And Mexico imports up to a million or so, US pickups. Clean examples of our used pickups are their *new* pickups. Of course they prefer smaller pickups. Note new pickups are in excess of 1 in 10 new vehicles sold in the US. And around 1 in 25 on the road. Also Mexico banned the import of cars less than or older than 10 years old. It’s a one year window for cars/SUVs/mini-vans/etc. Pickups OTOH are accepted imports for Mexico, up to 25 years old, but older than 10. Or a 15 year window.

      • 0 avatar

        @Denvermike : If you compare midsize trucks to fullsize, the FS trucks will always win. They have volume on their side in addition to a lot of higher trim sales. Since they do not compete it is not a fair comparison. A Fiesta is not that cheap to build compared to a Fusion, the volume is much lower and margins are non-existent. Why would Ford go through the trouble? Is it possible that auto companies know more than armchair CEOs trolling internet forums?

        Company A builds a 2700 lb subcompact and prices it <$15,000. They sell around 50,000 units a year. Subcompacts are expensive to build, need exclusive engines, enhanced safety features to make up for less mass and less flexible assembly lines.

        Company B builds a 3900 lb midsize truck (that everyone agrees will not steal sales from more profitable FS trucks). The engines, platforms, transmissions, stamping and assembly are shared with already existing products. They will sell around 100,000 units a year with atp around $30,000.

        Which company is smarter now?

        • 0 avatar
          Ridgerunner

          alluster – Travel outside of North America and see how many Fiestas are sold. Remember this is a global market place now with cost and sales across the entire planet, except those the State Department says is a no-no.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Can’t have a “used” one without somebody buying a “new” one. Since only Toyota and Nissan are building mid-sized trucks, the only used ones available any more are Toyotas and Nissans. Anyone with a Ford, GM or Ram mid-sized truck is either unwilling to let go of it, is trying to make a huge profit off of it OR died out from under it. Considering current prices for these older American-Made mid-size to compact trucks, there’s definitely a demand that some here refuse to acknowledge.

      • 0 avatar
        cronus

        When the price of a used Ranger is greater then an equivalent F150 I’ll acknowledge a demand for them. Right now the Ranger is not even close.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Around here, the prices are almost identical between Ranger and F-150 for any model older than ’05 depending on condition.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            By new car standards, prices are almost identical between every model older than ’05. Beaters is beaters.

            Investing several billion dollars in a new truck for the $4000 and under craigslist crowd would be unbelievably stupid even by GM standards.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That ASSUMES that the only buyers are the $4000 and under craigslist crowd. You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME things, don’t you?

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            If those new small truck buyers actually exist, where exactly were they when the Ranger sold just 180,000 – a third to fleets – in its last three years on the market?

            The Colorado/Canyon took four full years to sell 180,000 – 40% to fleets – and GM killed that one too.

            The small single cab Tacoma sells so badly that Toyota is going to kill it.

            Meanwhile, full sized trucks sold 170,000 copies in July alone.

          • 0 avatar
            Chris FOM

            The used market older than ’05, where you mentioned Ranger and F-150 prices are almost identical, is synonymous with the $4000 and under Craigslist crowd. Get any newer and the prices between an F-150 and Ranger diverge considerably, and not in the Ranger’s favor.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Dan: As I said before, THERE ARE NO SMALL TRUCKS, only smaller than full-size trucks. By 2001, they were all significantly larger than the trucks of the early ’80s which is the size most small-truck proponents really want. THAT is where they were–unwilling to compromise for something simply too larger for their wants and needs. I will also point out that the people who WANT small trucks refuse to buy LARGE trucks–they’re why the CUV market is so huge right now. Give me a truck with an extended cab AND a six-foot bed that is no longer than 16 feet, no taller than 5 feet and no wider than 66 inches, including mirrors. When you make one of those available, THEN we’ll argue as to whether anyone wants them or not.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “no taller than 5 feet”

            A Versa Note is taller than 5 feet. So are the Mazda 5, Kia Soul, Scion xB and Nissan Cube. The Honda Fit is exactly 5 feet tall.

            You certainly don’t want to enter that land of giants, understandably.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “… no wider than 66 inches, including mirrors.”

            Add current side impact standards and you’re describing a one seater. The smallest car on the market today, the Smart, fails your test by three inches.

          • 0 avatar
            turboprius

            When we bought our Ranger used back in 2008, it was 11 grand and had 20K on the odometer. Granted it was a scam, with worn out tires and ripped out sensors, but that’s a good price. For a basic, regular cab truck with a four cylinder, automatic, and is only a year old, THAT should be the price, not twenty grand or however much comparable Rangers go for now.

            As for height, yes, the Ranger has been shorter than me since I was 12 (Ranger is about 5’6″, 5’7″), but five feet? For a truck? My 4’11” friend is the height of her Focus hatch, and those things are short. Unless a Commodore Ute for North America sounds ideal (which it does not), then five feet is a no no.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            C’mon, already, Vulpine. Why don’t you just buy the regular cab Taco with the 73″ bed while you still can? It’s as close as you’re ever going to get to what you profess to want in a new truck. Under 20K. If you can’t swing that then you can’t buy any new truck.

            No one is ever going to bring out another Chevy LUV.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Petey, you haven’t been paying attention. Both GM and FCA already have a vehicle that comes quite close to what I’m looking for–a lot closer than the Tacoma. I don’t care if it’s under 20K, I do care that it’s under 16 feet WITH an extended cab and a six-foot bed.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – You don’t know what you’re talking about. You can have an extra cab, but not with a 6′ bed. And the one’s with the 6′ beds are regular cabs. Those little fwd pickups can’t do both on the same “truck”. And I’ll betcha dollars to donuts you won’t want one when you get to see/touch/drive one. If you do, you’ll wait for a used one…

            And if you were in any way serious about them, you’d be driving a Rabbit Truck or Plymouth Rampage right now.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            If you took a Tacoma extended cab and sliced off the front end of it where the footwells start, the bed and passenger compartment alone are about two fingers shy of 13′ long.

            That leaves three feet for front bumper, crumple zone, and engine. About halfway between a Smart and a Fiat.

            Demanding not just unsaleable but literally unbuildable. Can’t tell if troll or just extremely stupid.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “Petey, you haven’t been paying attention.”

            How much do I need to pay? This isn’t biblical revisionism requiring lifetimes of contention by thousands of obsessive scholars.

            You want 1986 back and you’re going to sit in the basement and sulk until someone gives it to you. Good luck with that and have a nice life. Somehow.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I know I’m getting tossed around for this, but I feel, if manufacturers could place a more realistic price on new mid/small pickups it would greatly help. Instead we get loads of infotainment features, rediculously oversized center consoles with no room because they were too cheap to put a simple column shifter, and fat door panels that do nothing but take up room.

      If they could remaster the less is more philosophy I believe the market would at least be more healthy. Utilitarian sells consistently, unfortunately frilly has high enough ups to make it worthwhile.
      The whole “un-modern” mess is stupid, I’m sorry but modern is not always better, an 80s diesel s10 gave 40+mpg, an iron duke could do well into the 30 mpgs, and a 60 degree V6 could return mid 20s on the highway while being plenty powerful enough. Just don’t tell the idiots those gassers were OHV. And why do I need a massive screen on the dash, that’s outdated before the average person pays off the vehicle. But of course adding a ton of weight, putting in an DOHC and a 10″ computer screen means it must be better!

      Take away, cheap&utilitarian, exactly like a late 90s early 00 ranger/frontier.

      • 0 avatar
        VCplayer

        I really doubt all of the features really add that much to the base cost of the vehicle. The reason why small/medium truck sell at the price point they do is because the manufacturer needs to recoup the investment on the tooling and modern design processes. This is very challenging when you’re trying to make money in what is already a relatively minor segment.

        Ford has a Ranger that they could sell in the US, but they have determined that 1) it isn’t worth the cost of getting it compliant with regulations, and 2) trade restrictions between nations make it way too costly to put a manufacturing plant in a country that the US has an FTA agreement with while maintaining competitive pricing.

        I’ve been really puzzled by GM’s move to sell the Canyon/Colorado in the US. Maybe they figured out some manufacturing synergies that make it worth while, or maybe they’re way overestimating people interested in a GM mid-size truck (that sounds like the GM we all know and love). Maybe the thought is to force Toyota and Nissan to invest in updating their models.

        Regardless I don’t think it has anything to do with the utilitarian nature of the vehicles or the gadgets attached to them.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I think the reason that GM pulled the trigger on bringing the Colorado to the US is that they listen to too many of the people on the internet complaining about the lack of choice in compact pickups. The problem is that I’m betting they over counted those people by not realizing that it was the same seven people just stating the same thing on 27 different websites, and didn’t pay attention to the fact that those people have never bought a new compact pickup and are too cheap to buy a new one.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Many of the top OEMs have brought a car or two to market, fully knowing they’d likely take a huge loss. I don’t want to mention any names, but GM is more likely than any OEM to shoot themselves in the fiscal foot, just to show they can.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Many times I’m thankful for that, its nice to see something besides gray camrys and crossovers.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            We probably wouldn’t have the Corvette and definitely not the Ford GT, if every car had to produce absolute profit. Likely most Detroit Tres Amigo’s small fwd cars barely turn a profit if at all.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            How long the Corvette stays around in the current economic climate is a good guess. Making little or no profit , not a good sign

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            We’ll dang well have the Corvette as long as military jets fly over American football games!

            Oh…wait…

  • avatar
    gregaryous

    Compact CUVs have taken over this market for several reasons:

    – Compact easy to maneuver
    – better MPG
    – enclosed cargo area with privacy glass
    – mostly women are decision makers

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      - Compact easy to maneuver: Which is why a true compact pickup would be popular.
      – better MPG: Which is why a true compact pickup would be popular.
      – enclosed cargo area with privacy glass: Impractical when you need to carry something especially dirty or too big for the cargo area.
      – mostly women are decision makers: And even women like compact pickup trucks.

      The problem is, the Colorado is bigger by far than a compact CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        I am not a truck guy – I’m not an SUV guy – I’m a big, four-door sedan with sufficient power guy. However, I saw what I thought was an amazingly nice Silverado and had to turn my head twice. It was an amazingly nice Colorado. It is a really nice full-size truck from what I remember the full-size dimensions being in my childhood. It is not even a mid-size truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Ridgerunner

        Vulpine – compact CUVs win because the are front wheel drive and feel like a car to drive. This is key in the snow belt areas – most people do not want a rear wheel drive truck with an open rear differential in snow belt areas. Once you add 4×4, the mpg hit is tough to swallow. An open bed pick-up is awful to try and bring groceries or other purchases home in. I thought I bought 4 shirts, but one must of blown out……. My wife loved the trucks when I drove them, but will not have one for her daily driver.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          So what’s wrong with building an extended cab pickup on a CUV platform? It seems GM and FCA have already done so and they’re apparently quite popular–outside the US. And with the extended cab version, your shirts won’t blow out of the bed.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You have inadvertently highlighted one of the largest problems facing modern society.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Small trucks are something that people settled for because they were cheap.

    With an ever increasing price floor of mandated equipment, vehicles that last a long time with little upkeep, and money historically cheap to borrow, they aren’t cheap anymore.

    Ergo, why settle?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Dan: Your first statement is an assumption that is only true for SOME. The size itself is of ultimate importance for others, especially those who live where a large truck is an inconvenience simply because it can’t go where they need it to go or it’s too big to FIT where they need to park it. It seems some here have forgotten how certain communities–an entire town in a couple of cases–made it illegal to park a pickup truck where it could be seen by ANYONE in the community. Oh, they were fine if you could park it in your garage–but the garages were too small to fit the trucks. (Yes, I know it’s an extreme example, but it is factual.)

      Yes, I do understand that mandatory equipment has raised prices. However, when a vehicle is 1/3rd smaller than a full sized pickup truck, do you really expect it to cost the same to build? Please tell me where having 1/3rd less physical bulk (i.e. weight) means the cost is the same?

      Smaller trucks have other advantages too, like the ability to turn with a much tighter radius than a full-sized truck; like the ability to fit in commercial parking lots beside typical sedans and CUVs instead of being forced to park way out at the end of the row and walk 100 yards to get to the store. What’s worse, some parking garages–especially in big cities–have gone so far has to allocate special sections for full-sized trucks which is usually on the roof or in the most remote section of the lot that is typically the last area to be occupied by smaller vehicles.

      In other words, price is not the ONLY reason people buy/bought smaller trucks. Some buy/bought them for the convenience of car-like agility with a real load-carrying (by volume, not weight) capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Vulpine smaller pickups were once much cheaper than fullsize pickups AND everything else on the market, except for subcompacts. That had to change. Especially with much decreased demand (for new).

        Today, some don’t mind paying more for less, if that’s what they’re really into. The mainstream would have a problem with that though…

        But you seem to think it costs OEMs less to build smaller things, simply because of smaller parts and less raw materials. You’re way off base here.

        Coke Bottling will sell you 7.5 fluid oz can of Coke, but if you’re thinking it costs less to bottle/can and put on the store shelf, you’re completely deluded.

        Again, people pay more for the 7.5 oz cans of Coke (and they have their “advantages” too), because the bottler nor the store is willing to take a loss for the rare few that demand a smaller can.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        “Yes, I do understand that mandatory equipment has raised prices. However, when a vehicle is 1/3rd smaller than a full sized pickup truck, do you really expect it to cost the same to build? Please tell me where having 1/3rd less physical bulk (i.e. weight) means the cost is the same??”

        No it necessarily wouldn’t…but it wouldn’t cost a 3rd less to build, maybe a few thousand less tops (best case scenario), and could actually cost more to build. Automakers are not going to home depot and buying the steel they need for a car one vehicle at a time. They are buying material in bulk at favorable rates. They are sharing parts across multiple cars and platforms. That is why large pickups/CUVs/SUVs (and luxury vehicles for that matter) generally have much higher margins than your typical family sedan/econobox. They cost nearly the same to build, but the market is willing to pay thousands more for them.

        • 0 avatar
          formula m

          Haha vulpine just comes on here and repeats his opinion over and over on every compact truck article. It’s getting to the point of insanity lol. This conversation goes in circles. It takes the same amount of parts to build a full-size as it does a compact. Minimal savings in materials, if any. GM will be happy to have customers come in to see their compact trucks and leave with a full-size. Dealers will probably stock 20% compacts to 80% full-size on their lots and that’s generous. If the market changes GM will have a smaller offering already available. There isn’t a BOF blazer sized suv available so these may attract some of those customers. Most people don’t need a Tahoe or Traverse sized vehicle and as the population ages people won’t be able to climb in and out of larger trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Hahaha the naysayers just come on here and repeat their opinion over and over on every compact truck article. It’s getting to the point of insanity lol. This conversation goes in circles. It takes the same amount of *smaller volume* parts to build a compact as it does a full-size. Smaller volume means less weight on average. Some savings in material when you buy BY weight.

            Dealers may stock 20% compacts to 80% full size IF there were any true compacts to stock and they might even SELL that 20% more quickly than you expect simply because they are so much smaller (as compared to mid-size which are only minimally smaller than full size).

            Simply put, the people who want a smaller truck DON’T want a large truck. It doesn’t matter their reasoning because any stereotype is just that, a stereotype; it may have almost no relation to actual use. And believe me, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see a full-sized pickup truck making a two-point turn on a highway to get turned around–especially if they don’t have a wide shoulder to give them some room.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Vulpine – Toyota runs the Tacoma and Tundra down the same assembly line. So tell me how the Tacoma is going to be cheaper to assemble?
        Same can be said for R&D. There isn’t going to be a huge difference between the two.

        The materials that go into it may be 10% less and that may be the only place that they might save money.

        I said this on another thread, but it bears repeating: There isn’t going to a big difference in costs between making a big truck in the USA and making a small truck in the USA. Please note the “in the USA” part.

        Any saving that could be passed on to the consumer would be from importing small trucks from a jurisdiction that makes large volumes of them more economically than in the USA.

        That would be assuming that companies importing vehicles do not use the lower manufacturing costs to maximize profits by keeping the price elevated.
        That is basically what happened when loopholes were closed in the 70’s. Prices climbed.

        Car companies are reported to make only 2-3% profit on low end econoboxes. Profits are the same as the import duty on import cars. Voluntary restraint programs increased costs and profits for both import and domestic companies.

        We won’t see economical trucks get imported into the USA until FTA’s phase out the chicken tax.

        I’ve posted my articles backing what I said but that only triggered an increase in Pch101’s arrogance and condescension. I do recall him saying they were unreliable CATO institute crap. None of those articles were from the CATO institute.

        I’ll repost my stuff once Pch101 or DenverMike posts their evidence that says the Chicken tax NEVER was a factor in shaping the truck market.

        I doubt that the chicken tax is CURRENTLY needed since full size trucks are dominant and imports would not do much harm to them.

        It does make me wonder why many Republican and Democrat law makers are against FTA’s repealing the chicken tax. Same can be said for the UAW. They send out plenty of newsletters to members to lobby for FTA’s that do not lift vehicle import restrictions.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Lou_BC: I didn’t say, “cheaper to assemble”, I said “cheaper to build”; I’m taking actual material costs into account as well, something most others here refuse to acknowledge. Using less material reduces the cost of the product. It also reduces the weight of the product even if size is the ONLY difference. Take three feet off the frame–reduce the weight 200 pounds or more. Take three feet off the body, reduce the weight another hundred pounds. Reduce the size of the engine–there goes another 50 pounds. Everything you make smaller–wheels, brake rotors, springs, pretty much anything–helps reduce weight. And of course, by being lighter overall, many of those massive suspension components themselves (including brake rotors) simply don’t need to be as big and heavy.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Even members of your own posse are against you on this. It costs MORE to build small.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Show me the proof, DM. You said it, now prove it.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            @ Vulpine You can’t say “cheaper to build” while not taking into account assembly costs. As things get smaller assembly get trickier as you have less room to play around with in packaging. Yes you are using less raw material- but as I said they are not buying the raw materials one truck at a time, they are buying in bulk (or the parts in bulk that some other company made) and those costs are fixed. You are talking about reducing the size of everything. That means making more unique parts…which ends up costing money.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – It’s common frack’n sense. The raw materials are a small part of the entire scope and entire process. Meaning going from the design room to the showroom, then hoping to sell enough of the turkeys to defuse the costs, over the entire generation. Several million vehicles may be necessary, for a generation to be profitable.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Allow me to repeat myself, whynot: “I did NOT say, ‘cheaper to assemble\'”. Building something–no matter what it is, requires labor and PARTS–i.e. materials. Labor alone does not the price of a product make–you have to have materials for the laborers to assemble. If the PARTS are cheaper, the end product costs less EVEN IF the labor costs are the same.

            That doesn’t, however, necessarily mean that the MSRP is cheaper, only that it cost the manufacturer less than the larger product.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Then show your “common frack’n sense”, Denver and realize that with TRUCKS, the profit margin is so high that they garner a return in a fraction of the time that they do from any non-truck product. One year’s worth of production could be all it takes for a TRUCK to show a net profit.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – I’m not part of any “small truck Jihad” or posse. I seek knowledge and truth.

            You and Pch have not provided me with either…. even though you two believe what you are saying.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I seek knowledge and truth.”

            That almost made me laugh out loud.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – How simple are things in your world? Detroit “D3″ pickups have obscene profitability, and you seem to think all it takes is “pickup bed” and an OEM is automatically on the road to riches…

            The F-150 is the most profitable vehicle on the frack’n planet, with the other D3 pickups close behind. But there’s not a single “midsize pickup” anywhere close behind. Right behind D3 fullsize pickups, it’s German luxury/Porsche, Accords-etc, and Corollas-etc.

            It’s possible for the F-150 to start turning a profit on the 2nd year of a generation, maybe, but midsize pickups are lucky to see a profit on their 10th year. It could easily take 20 years (of a generation). Then low volume compounds it…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Winnipeg DiM (or Spain or LA or wherever you live today)
            Obscene profits by the local US full size manufacturers.

            That’s why the full size pickup is as protected as it is.

            I don’t what the f4ck you are thinking with the dribble you present.

            Who pays you to be such a tockley with your commentary.

            Just like the love sites you used to comment in I suppose.

            You and you comrade Pch101 just don’t get it. You can try and defend the stance of the UAW or in your case the CAW.

            It might work with the rank and file, but not the educated.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “… you seem to think all it takes is “pickup bed” and an OEM is automatically on the road to riches…”.

            You’re saying that, not me. What I AM saying is that there is enough of a market to make small trucks profitable here in the US, despite all your arguments. You’ve never once managed to prove to me that there isn’t–you’ve continually argued around the point trying to show how it was the market that went away when it was really legislated away through multiple routes.

            And while the American pickup truck may be the single most profitable TYPE of vehicle in the world, that doesn’t make it the most POPULAR type of vehicle in the world–it’s only popular in North America. European reviewers call it too big, Australian reviewers call it too big, Asian reviewers call it too big–it’s simply too big for the vast majority of the world’s roads. Even here in the US there are roads that are IMPOSSIBLE for a full-sized truck to navigate without a lot of backing and wheel cranking.

            As for your final statement; stop trying to express opinion as fact, you simply don’t know how long it would take a modern mid-size or true compact to start making a profit. Your own figure is patently impossible, since no OEM would even consider building one if it took that long to get any ROI.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – You’re saying it’s a conspiracy, but want me to prove it isn’t? Why don’t you claim Bigfoot exists and have me prove he don’t???

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – When did I say there wasn’t a market for them? A tiny niche market? No doubt.

            Whether it’s a profitable one is a different story. Niche vehicles are rarely profitable. And that’s when drivetrains, platforms, mechanics, electronics, etc are common and shared through out the OEM. That’s not really an option for midsize pickups, like it used to be, up till around the mid ’80s.

            But given enough volume and years/decades in a generation, who’s to say? The simple answer is still “no”.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – They’re “protected” by DESIRE BABY!!!!!!!!
            It’s not like gubment can put a gun to 2 million Americans annually, and have them spend an average of $40K on a US “D3″ pickup of their “choice”. Can we at least pick the color?????????

            But what if an American picks a “protected” Titan or Tundra? Guantanamo??????????????????

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Vulpine,
            Cumbersome rather than large in Australia. Europe yes way too large , for the small country roads you encounter there. On the other too small for agricultural use here they were developed for NA and that is where they shine.

  • avatar
    Onus

    I imagine Toyota will be back to its peaks sales in the next few years.

    I just find it very odd that in a few short years we go from selling 200,000+ units from Ford and 150,000+ from Toyota to a abandoned segment.

    I think there is still a market. I do know many people who are very fond of the old compact trucks or who have owned one in the past and they would do it again without thinking.

    I imagine if compact pickups didn’t fall behind the fuel economy curve you would see more buyers for them.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “I just find it very odd that in a few short years we go from selling 200,000+ units from Ford and 150,000+ from Toyota to a abandoned segment.”

      It’s a matter of simple arithmetic. They started buying other types of vehicles, instead.

      Since no one pointed a gun at their heads, it’s easy to surmise that they switched voluntarily.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Come on PCH we’ve been over this before the sales people were trained by the MFG to point a gun to the head of anyone that wanted to buy a compact pickup and were forced to buy a SUV or CUV instead. No one actually wanted to buy a SUV/CUV and everyone and their brother really really wants a compact pickup.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Scoutdude
          I do think the US midsizer didn’t evolve as fast as the full size trucks. The midsizers you don’t receive are light years in front of the Frontier and Taco. Let alone that Neolithic US Ranger.

          The lack of fair imported competition in the US midsize market allowed it to devolve.

          The Colorado will surprise many. This truck is deemed the worse of the new global midsizers here in Australia. One thing in the new global Colorado it its off road ability. I have yet to drive one off road, but I’ve heard it very capable.

          I do think neglect and the bread and butter full size trucks and the fact that the midsize manufacturers in the US also build full size trucks was the cause. Combine this with a lack of imported competition due to the chicken tax, cheap fuel, lack of fair diesel policy has led to this.

          The lack of a decent midsize market isn’t just due to the ‘consumer’ not wanting them. A plethora of influences has made this occur.

          Things will not change much as the US full size manufacturers don’t want midsize pickups to compete with the expensive R&D and setting up of the newer aluminium full size pickups.

          The full size pickup will remain very protected with reduced competition in the US.

          Look at your car market, does everyone drive road whales? They used to.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            Al, i think your spot on.

            Plus vehicle regulations are no help. Look at your own country you have like a dozen manufactures selling these trucks and your market is tiny in comparison.

            But, between protection and regulation we have a high cost of entry.

            We should at-least see the regulation side change soon with the european free trade agreement which should be done soon. It will be mutual recognition and not harmonization but, it’s something. I know ADR’s were like that you can use the old standards as alternatives IIRC.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @BigAl: “Look at your car market, does everyone drive road whales? They used to.”

            Not everyone, Al. Granted, the majority did back in the ’50s and ’60s and even the ’70s, but there were always those that simply didn’t like the road whales and drove something smaller. My first car was a Chevy II, not an Impala. My second car was a Cutlass, not a Ninety-Eight. My first truck was a Mitsubishi, not an F-150. I’ve never been a fan of oversized vehicles for numerous reasons that basically had to do with the fact that I simply never needed the size. Sure, large road whales rode soft and cushy, but their road manners were horrendous!

            I drove what made me feel good. I drove what I liked as much as possible and I never liked barges. I still don’t.

        • 0 avatar
          Chris FOM

          There should only be 3 vehicles available. Minivans for moms with big families. Diesel manual wagons for the dad if mom has a minivan, or both parents if the family’s small. And a compact pickup as a third vehicle. Everything else is an unholy compromise that people have been tricked into thinking they want, but what they really should have is one of the Three True Vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “No one actually wanted to buy a SUV/CUV and everyone and their brother really really wants a compact pickup.”

          Would-be truck buyers are obviously out of touch with their feelings. (The guns obviously aren’t helping.)

          Perhaps they should have counselors at the dealers who can get them out of their crossovers and back to where they belong. What else can explain a 64% decline in sales during a time that the overall market fell 8%?

          • 0 avatar
            VCplayer

            Honestly if they think there’s a market for small trucks they should just chop off the back of a CUV and put a truck bed there. Explorer SportTrac anyone? Heck, if I wanted a small bed for every now and then I’d consider it.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Pch101, I went from a Ranger XLT extended cab to an Escape. I flip the Escape’s rear seat down and I lose 6 inches of hauling space from the Ranger. Yes, I lost the unlimited vertical hauling space but gained a dry cargo area and two more real seats. Messy, icky, stinky stuff? Put a mat behind the rear seat and haul them. The new refrigerator or the Beidermayer wardrobe? Pay someone to deliver that stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I went from a Ranger XLT extended cab to an Escape.”

            Infidel!

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Pch101, still loling. My blasphemy goes much further. Much further; 4.0 for 3.0 and shift into 4wd to 4wd kicks in when the sensors tell it to. But Washington DC is a city of many police jurisdictions. Image the sheer number of tickets I’d get hauling two 13 year-olds back from baseball practice in the bed of a Ranger.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Al, be realistic.
          This thing can’t go very far at all offroad, that front bumper is so low it would snag a parking block. All the angles are pretty poor. The trucks also going to require quite a lift to put appropriate sized tires on, which obviously will kill its CoG.
          Furthermore the embarrassing plastic front bumper seals the deal.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    FS crew cab PU’s aren’t going to enjoy the sales success they currently have forever. The market will change, it always has and always will. They will still be around for the people that really need the capability they offer but eventually something else will be popular as the trendy thing to own. When i bought my new compact Toyota PU in ’93, extended cabs were all the rage. As were BOF SUV’s like the Explorer. Now extended cab PU’s have been replaced by crew cabs and SUV’s have been replaced by CUVs. The Tacoma, Frontier and new GM twins are hardly small. They are huge next to my ’93 Toyota extra-cab and damn near as big as my ’04 GMC HD crew cab PU.. That said just as the market moved from Explorers to Escapes, it could easily move from FS PU’s to midsize. Or maybe something else. Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      An SUV buyer may have a dilemma, fullsize or midsize. But it doesn’t seem like it works the same for pickup buyers. Especially those wanting an HD. Midsize and fullsize pickups aren’t truly competing for the same consumers. And that’s what midsize pickup OEMs don’t seem to understand.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Size in trucks is much like size in any other vehicle. Larger offers more utility and if the cost premium for this is low then US customers tend to gravitate towards that choice. However, that is not to say that there is no market for smaller cars or trucks as some customers prefer the smaller vehicles either as just a personal preference or due space restrictions for either parking or tighter urban environments.

    The cut throat competition in the full size segment has definitely offered customers great value for money which has driven from the mid-size segment but part of the recent decline in the mid-size segment has also been decline in the quality of the products on offer. Given that all the current choices boil down to either a Tacoma or a Frontier its amazing that there is till demand for 250K mid-size/compact trucks per year. The choice of some new competitive products in this segment will most likely give it a modest boost.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Not necessarily true, carguy. Larger does not offer more utility if you can’t reach into it for loading and unloading for some people. Larger does not offer more utility if you can’t even climb into it if you happen to be short yourself (for example, a 5’4″ person trying to climb into a full-sized truck that sits 18′ or more from ground to doorsill). Larger does not offer more utility if you can’t even get it close to where you need the load for pickup or delivery. Larger does not offer more utility if it’s simply TOO BIG.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Where would loading up a full size pick-up be more difficult than loading up a mid-size pick? A front end loader is needed for bulk items; stone, mulch, etc and you’ll want the extra hauling capacity in volume or weight or those item. If its on a pallet; the forklift needs to get in to load you. I find your logic non-existent in this area. Lemme guess; you wanna cite some built in 1827 house on the east coast with four feet on each side and no alley as why full size trucks are bad. It doesn’t matter to a contractor; lots of stuff will be moved by hand anyway. The new McMansion designed for full sized truck access to the back yard. We’re not talking about a Mack dump truck and yes; I used to drive on suburban yards all the time.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          1. Lifting things over the side; i.e. waist high vs shoulder high.
          2. Lifting things onto the tailgate; i.e. knee high vs waist high.
          3. Getting the truck close enough to the door; i.e. narrow passage between house and fence to reach back door. Or worse, even being able to squeeze through a stone gateway to the door of the house where one was built to much older standards.

          Always you insist that the full sized truck is the answer to all things and sometimes it simply isn’t–it’s too big for comfort for many people; it’s grossly over-capable for many people and it’s simply far too much of EVERYTHING for most people as exemplified by the fact that more than 50% of the CARS on the road are much, MUCH smaller than a full sized truck. As I’ve stated multiple times, many of those now driving compact SUVs and CUVs would probably be much happier with a true compact pickup truck.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            1&2 don’t want to unload/get things out of the truck? You’re fired. 3. Again you cite small distances where most things be they mulch or cabinets have to be unloaded by hand anyway. Won’t unload and carry a few extra feet? Won’t use a wheelbarrow? You’re fired. You cite small, tiny examples that are exclusive to your personal situation. I cite contractors out on a job site. Guess who the commercial truck market is geared to? Everyday vs once a lifetime/once a decade/once a year jobs? Even you can figure this out.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            As for 1&2 does it matter if a machine is doing the loading? The loader operator and the fork truck driver don’t care. FWIW I’ve driven crew cab F-150s all over DC and drove an F-150 Lariat in from DC to NYC (over 7 months) doing commercial work installing corporate satellite dishes. If anything, a large truck is much more preferable in an urban environment. Sometimes gross tonnage is a good thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @scotto: I didn’t say “want”, dude; I said CAN’T. Not everyone is a six-foot-five gorilla that can toss hundred-pound bags of mulch over those high side rails. If you did that with MY stuff, I’d not only fire you, but I would dock you for damages to anything you’d thrown into my truck that way. If, for example, I were a TV repair shop trying to load one of the old, heavy, rear-projection sets, you simply couldn’t load one into the bed of a current pickup truck from the ground. They were hard enough loading into the bed of a Chevy Luv that sat one heck of a lot lower than today’s trucks.

            My examples are REAL WORLD examples where I’ve actually had to do most of these things.

            And “sometimes” does not equate to “every time”.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Vulpine, this is where you and have radically different pints of view. Don’t be shocked but mini-marts sell bags of mulch and; wait for it, it’s truly shocking! People put bags of mulch in the trunk of their car! Oh and it gets much worse in actual truck usage. Hay bales get thrown out of the barn with mostly accurate throws! Some mulch suffers the same fate and still gets spread. Oh, show up where the good old boys drink coffee in the morning and give them your litany about bags of mulch scratching your truck bed. They’ll laugh at you. If something is heavy, new cabinets for someone’s house, or an ancient huge TV; send two guys. If two guys can’t load a big old heavy ancient TV; they shouldn’t be doing it. Sometimes you gotta pay someone to do a job or ask your friends for some help. A near mythical mini truck won’t help you haul it you can’t load it. At the very, very far back of most trucks there’s this thing called a tailgate. I’ve been told that many people lower these newfangled tailgate things; well to make it easier to load their truck.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Always about the exaggeration… You’re comedy alright…

            Shoulder-high sides? How short are you? Or are you talking 4X4 F-250 with a lift kit and 38s?

            Knee-high tailgate? ’80s mini-truck on 13″ wheels and lowering blocks???

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I’ve never been much for lifting anything over the side of any of my pickups and I’ve owned small, 1/2 and 2/4 ton trucks. That is why they come with a tailgate.

            As far as more capacity, the only place a full sizer has a “big” advantage is obviously interior room and in towing.

            Unless you get a max cargo F150 or Chevy, A Tacoma is pretty close to a full sized 1/2 ton for cargo ratings.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I propose a moratorium on these small truck articles until the new Colorado has been available for 6 months.

    Otherwise you’re gonna give Vulpine a stroke.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Yeah, I too am tired of these empty flame wars. Let the data tell the story. Defenders of the smaller pickup, I love you, but please open your wallets or shut your mouths.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      I agree. The only thing left to write is an actual product review and follow up sales data.

      To a very small group of TTAC commenters small/mid-size pickups are their automotive Rapture. However, we will see if they actually buy one with their own money; most likely not since there is always some design/price/equipment flaw that prevents them from actually pulling the trigger. Lots of talk, little action.

      Small pickups have been the recent reincarnation of the brown diesel manual wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Toad,I agree wholeheartedly. There is a small but fanatical small truck jihad on TTAC. Outside of them; I have these things to say. No one wants to go back to the Chevy Luv/Ford Courier that barely had crash resistance against errant shopping carts. No one really wants a stripper 4cyl, 4mt, 4 tires stripper truck. They only sold as company vehicles or cheap bastards the dealers didn’t really wan to do business with. Guess what my first company truck was? As for you can’t drive or park a full size truck in the city? I call BS. I’ve routinely driven full size pick-ups in Washington DC and even hauled trailers on I-395/295/495. Yes, those same trucks got parked in parking garages. Sometimes valet parked, depended on my hotel. (No, not with the trailer attached)As for “It’s illegal to park a truck on the street in my town”, I give your a few options: 1 Buy an old small truck, 2 Buy a small SUV, 3 sue over the ordinance, 4 move, 5 quit using TTAC to whine about their not being any small trucks available. Members of the jihad have been offered alternatives and solutions and they decline; only a small non-existent in the US truck will suit them perfectly. These guys want quality work boots but won’t pay a dime over what Wal-Mart sells their work boots for. Won’t use a trailer? too cheap to pay a delivery fee for a once a year mulch dump? or won’t haul icky/sticky/stinky things in your trunk? Naw, you’re not a real truck guy; you want a fashion accessory to try to convince people of something. Oh, so you keep plates and insurance on old truck for those reasons? Yeah, that’s so much cheaper than delivery fees. In the end; you’re just blowhards who might as well join the “I wish AM radio still played Top 40 jihad”. I’m writing this as someone who spent a good 320 days a year with his keister in a pick-up for 20 years. Be quiet; we find you irritating.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          No, scotty, you think you have all the answers; but you don’t. You think the full-sized truck is the be-all, end-all of personal trucks and that anybody else must be a poser or a whiner. I’ll bet your wife just LOVES driving that full-sized truck around everywhere because you just refuse to even consider anything smaller.

          Well, go ahead and boast. Go ahead and talk about your huge engine; that massive carrying capacity; that nigh-unbelievable towing capability–and tell me, how do you REALLY use it? Is it empty ALL the time or just 95% of the time? Do you love the way it throws its tail around in the wet or on ice when you forget to dump a few hundred pounds in the bed? Did you know that full-sized pickup trucks suffer more fatalities in single-vehicle accidents than any other type of vehicle. Did you know that full-sized pickup trucks cause more fatalities in multi-vehicle collisions to occupants of those smaller vehicles? Did you know the full-sized pickup truck is the MOST DANGEROUS single vehicle type on the road simply BECAUSE it’s the biggest, heaviest privately-owned vehicle on the road? Want to make a bet on whether or not future owners will need a CDL just to buy one?

          Pickup trucks used to serve a real purpose; for some, they still do. For the rest, they have become the big, luxury status symbol that says, “Hey! Look at me! I can afford to blow my money in a gas-hog while you’re driving those dinky little rice-burners!” Just try to tell me I’m wrong.

          Sure, pickup trucks are popular now; nearly everyone who drives one outside of true revenue work is using it to replace the old Caddy, Lincoln, Buick, Oldsmobile, Chrysler, etc. road barge luxury cars. Pickup trucks–or rather their SUV equivalents–have become the limousine of choice simply because they’re so big and easy to stretch since all those other cars I named have effectively disappeared. The vast majority of pickup drivers would much rather have their Panthers, Coupe deVilles, 98s, Mark VIIs, etc. but those cars are long gone for cars you feel are beneath your station.

          But the people who want smaller trucks don’t necessarily want them as a “lifestyle” vehicle–that’s just an excuse made up by the few who don’t understand why ANYONE would want something smaller. Is the Montana a “lifestyle vehicle” in Brazil? Is the Strada a “lifestyle vehicle” in Argentina? Or are they truly WORKING trucks that actually get as much done as a ‘typical’ American pickup truck (as compared to those revenue-earning trucks)?

          Go ahead and laugh. Keep laughing. Laugh all the way to the point where your full-sized truck is relegated to Class V status and you can no longer drive it without a commercial license. That day WILL come. It’s just a matter of time.

          • 0 avatar
            LectroByte

            Let me guess, your boyfriend won’t let you get a real truck and you are just here venting your frustations?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Don’t let Denver Mike see that you said that; he’ll be livid!

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Vulpine, it’s not personal; it’s business. I used to run a fleet of about 25 F-150s, 5 F-350s and 2 or 3 Rangers we kept around for errand/office trucks. About 2f of the F-150s were XLs with AC/AM/FM/Single CD. Same for the 5 F-350s. Acouple of XLTs 150s for the foremen, Lariat F-150s for my uncle and I, and a King Ranch F-150 for my Grandpa. All of the XLs had bedrail and tailgate guards and spray-in bedliners when they came out. Almost all of these trucks rolled out the parking lot 5 or 6 days a week. They where used as work trucks. Work being the operative word here. Beat-up, banged-up, and used hard? You bet. The F-350s where used for hauling equipment. That’s how things worked at my business. In closing I have 11 words, a comma, a period, and an exclamation point for you. You want a fashion accesorry, not a truck. Good day Sir!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I have a different set of words for you, scotty: I want an open-bed utility vehicle, NOT a blooming Class Whozit TRUCK. I want the bed to be long enough and wide enough to comfortably hold a sheet of plywood–gate down is fine. A four-foot bed won’t do it since it would risk tipping out even with a tie-down. Eight-foot sticks of lumber also need enough support to prevent them from tipping out. This means an absolute minimum of 5.5-foot bed, assuming an 18-inch tailgate. A load of eight-foot by three-foot by 3-inch event tables need to be able to stand on edge to carry twenty-some-odd number of them and they need enough support out to the edge of the tailgate to keep them from tipping out. Very few CUVs offer the capability of carrying ANYTHING longer than four feet and even with the back seats folded down you’re lucky to get six feet. Certainly I can’t carry the materials to build a model railroad or repair ceiling and walls in my Jeep Wrangler–even with the back seats folded. I need a large, flat load area with an open top to carry outsized items. What I don’t need is a full-sized pickup truck when a compact truck could do the job just as well.

            Yes, believe it or not the RAM high-mileage version WOULD meet my load needs–I almost never carry more than 800 pounds, but the thing is simply too physically big for my practical use.

        • 0 avatar
          Monty

          El Scotto – you’ve described me. I wanted, and now own a used (very used) 2001 Ranger, 4 cyl manual tranny with rubber floor and no options. I love it, but would never buy a new small truck; used only.

          And therein lies the problem – nobody was buying small trucks as new vehicles. Sales declined precipitously, and if it weren’t for fleet buyers, the Ranger would’ve been mothballed a decade ago.

          Even though I love my little Ranger, I would never have bought a new one.

          • 0 avatar
            LectroByte

            I had a ’93 Ranger XLT, 3.0 V6, 2WD extended cab. Nice truck for its day, but the 2001 full size that replaced it had a V8, much more interior room, towing capacity, slightly better MPGs and the out the door cost was roughly the same, allowing for inflation. I think the small trucks are kind of like air-cooled VW beetles, we remember them fondly, but no way would we want to drive one today, except for the get-off-my-lawn cranky old dude down the street.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        First we NEED a “small pickup” to get a measurement off of. The Colorado isn’t “it”, but I still expect better sales than most of you simply due to the fact that they’re not as big as full sized. What we really need is someone like FCA to bring a true SMALL pickup into the market.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Why yes; until the unibody gets a dent or some off road frame damage or guys find out the 4cyl engine won’t haul their Snapper lawnmower or have a bed large enough to haul said Snapper mower. Why it will sell in the hundreds! Hundreds, I tell ya. Until guys figure out they need a bigger truck. Or they worry their underwear matches their t-shirt because its so important to accessorize and the marketing department has declared their ride a truck and it’s really just an accessory.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      Haha well said

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Not sure how Ridgeline sales started in 2004. You couldn’t buy one until 2005 (as a 2006 model year vehicle)…Regardless, I think the issue is/will be the price delta between full and mid-size trucks…meaning not much. If you have room to park a bigger mid-size i.e. the Ridgeline, you probably have room for a full size. I own a Ridgeline more because of features and my max towing needs. For a daily driver I’d also rather have a unibody with cross members than body on frame.

    Still, I’m interested in trucks like the new Colorado/Canyon, especially in the upcoming diesel. One note, if you actually equip a lot of full size trucks like a LOADED mid-size, the real net price paid difference can be $10k or more.

    • 0 avatar
      turboprius

      +1, for both the thing about the Ridgeline and the thing about truck pricing.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      You can’t really compare the two, fully loaded, midsize and fullsize. First, there’s no King Horn or Platinum Ranch of midsize. And crew cab midsizers are directly comparable with extra cab fullsize, in combined f/r legroom (and 2+2 vs 3+3). After rebates, you’ll pay thousands more for the similar fully-loaded midsize.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Note where the Ridgeline’s purple line begins, at zero in 2004. I’ll see if the chart can be made so the purple line can appear at the ’05 mark.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It might help if you added a stacked graph. (Here’s an example of what that is: http://i.stack.imgur.com/81KbD.png ) That would show the total segment as the top line and show the overall decline of the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Why? Obviously if no Ridgelines were sold in ’04 then the line would be at zero. If subsequently a number were sold in 05 then the line would rise to that figure. The chart is accurate because it shows truth.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    If I was buying a truck, I’d probably get one of the full-sizers, just because of the interior room. Even the Tacoma and Frontier crew cabs have pathetic rear seat space.

    Besides, when the dealers need to move the Colorados, they’ll discount. Hard. Look at the Mitsubishi i. Dealers are selling those for 13 grand brand new, because no one is buying them.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Oh give me a a break. The Tacoma can’t be THAT small inside as it’s not larger than the Dakotas I used to own and I had no problem riding in the rear seat in both of them. And I’m 6’4.

  • avatar
    TW5

    The US market has no small pickups or midsize pickups. The manufacturers can call the segment whatever they want, but modern midsize trucks are essentially fullsize trucks, built smaller and less capable than the the trucks in the modern fullsize segment.

    Midsize trucks sales are plummeting because the manufacturers don’t differentiate properly. The new CAFE regulations will prohibit them from differentiating, which will be to the detriment of fuel consumption.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Small pickups have mostly grown in length and height, but their track is close to the same. Three-across seating is not likely to happen. And extra cab midsize (Access, King Cab) trucks still have a smaller “footprint” than regular cab fullsize (short beds). It’s just and illusion that midsize pickups are now equal to “older fullsize”.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Small pickups have mostly grown in length and height, but their track is close to the same.”
        * True, true and false, in that order. While small pickups have grown in both length and height, they’ve been forced to grow in width for several reasons–not least of which is safety. A taller truck has a higher center of gravity, making it much easier to roll over in an accident. The so-called Mid-sized truck of today is over six feet wide where once they barely touched 5 feet. Of course, said older small trucks also sat much lower to the ground from the factory–with a 2WD version with maybe 5″ of ground clearance and a 4WD version maybe 7″ of ground clearance. They also had a much lower step-in height and much lower tailgate height–not needing the Ford “sissy step” or the GM “step bumper” to climb into the bed.

        “Three-across seating is not likely to happen.”
        * Nor is it desired by the people who want a smaller truck. Odds are they’ll carry a MAXIMUM of four people and more likely will carry just one person over 99% of the time.

        “And extra cab midsize (Access, King Cab) trucks still have a smaller “footprint” than regular cab fullsize (short beds).”
        * But not by all that much; and even with full size we’ve heard that the “regular cab” is going away as the “access cab/extended cab/king cab” offers lockable storage that a regular cab doesn’t without adding a bed-shortening permanently-mounted steel toolbox.

        “It’s just and illusion that midsize pickups are now equal to “older fullsize”.”
        * An illusion that is verified by simply putting one of the new mid-sized trucks next to a 25-year-old equivalent. The differences in every dimension can be measured by one hand and with the new Colorado, I question if the difference is even THAT much.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DiM,
        Our midsizers have approximately the same amount of room in the front as a Commodore/Falcon. The rear is one par with a Camry for leg room. Many families buy these vehicles.

        I suppose these families are wrong in their purchase decisions and don’t know what they want.

        Or, are you attempting to protect poor decisions by your brethren at the CAW, Winnipeg Branch.

        I really don’t think a Canadian like yourself who has never encountered much has the ability to know what we have globally.

        Judging by your comments you have very little clue as what goes on in your local Canadian market, let alone the US.

        Stick to real left wing ideals, like public health and pensions, you apparently have no clue about the auto industry.

  • avatar

    The pricing situation reminds me of buying milk. A gallon is about $2.49. A half gallon is $2.19. I rarely use more than a half gallon before it expires, but I can see why someone in my situation would by the full gallon, just in case.

    Having said that, smaller vehicles for everyone!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The decline of this vehicle in the US can be attributed for several reasons;

    1. Chicken Tax, other socialist protective and anti competitive measures,

    2. Poor choice and quality of midsize pickups on offer,

    3. Uncompetitive pricing,

    4. Midsize pickups limited to full size pickup manufacturers in the US,

    5. Lack of decent engine choice in midsizers, ie small diesel that return up to 40mpg (US) on the highway. and

    6. Large enough full size market to support the indigenous US full size manufacturers (economic cutlture).

    Point 1 has been argued on this site many times. But as Pch101 pointed out a couple of day ago in the Californian EV article taxation and subsidisation can be used to shape and influence markets.

    The midsize market has been heavily manipulated by draconian taxes.

    Point 2. The range of midsize pickups on offer tended to be built with less capability than their global counterparts. The overall quality of the vehicles were below what was expected from a global pickup, but over this period of time US manufacturers realized they must build quality to remain competitive.

    Point 3. Due to the lack of competition and cost of manufacturing a midsize in the US and the lack of imported midsize pickups due to a 25% tax makes them unviable.

    Point 4. The manufacturers of US midsizers all offer a full size counterpart. The current global midsizers are as capable as the US 1/2 ton pickup. The manufacturers don’t want to reduce full size production as they are the bread and butter, the profit makers.

    Point 5. Self explanatory. The US’s energy regulatory regime supports gasoline and penalizes diesel. Everything from lower quality diesel and taxation on diesel, harsher EPA standards, etc.

    Point 6. What creates vehicle cultures is based on a few influences, economics being the biggest driver. Cheaper energy, and infrastructure to use larger vehicles has allowed the existence of these vehicles.

    But I see the future of midsizers making a resurgence, even with CAFE being more favourable to full size trucks, the 25% chicken tax limiting competition and weird energy policy.

    The US hasn’t received these newer midsizers like the Ranger, BT50, Amarok, Colorado, Dmax, etc. These trucks are as good as a full size and in some cases exceed them in quality and performance.

    But they are roughly the same cost as a full size currently. Hopefully when the expensive aluminium pickups come out the midsizer will become more attractive.

    The US’s overall direction for vehicle design, especially CAFE is altering the US’s ability to integrate successfully into the world vehicle market.

    The ‘rest’ of the world is maximising existing technologies in vehicle production, whereas the US is creating newer technologies. Is this wise? We will find out in a decade or so.

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      Unless Ford is really taking it on the chin in the profits area, aluminum trucks are barely more expensive than steel trucks if MSRP is any indication.

      I think we’re going to get aerodynamic full-size designs before we get Detroit throwing all of the money into mid sizers. Ford even focus grouped something like that didn’t they?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I’m betting Ford IS “taking it on the chin”, since they’re also making extensive use of “exotic” steel alloys to lighten their frames without losing strength. But since I expect they were already making 80% profits off of the trucks already, they’re not really hurting even if their profit margin falls to 50%.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Sorry but there are not harsher emissions standards for diesel engines. The standards are now the same. In the early days of emissions standards diesels got a free ride, no regulations what so ever. They eventually started regulating them but first it was purely opacity, ie visible smoke. They then started regulating the emissions and by 2010 they had to meet the same minimum standards as gasoline fueled vehicles.

      There is an extra 6 cents per gallon federal tax on diesel, at the state level it varies with some states having the same tax rate for both and other states having higher or lower tax on diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – All poor excuses for the decline. Sorry but small pickup sales started dropping exponentially in the mid ’80s, and way before any of your half baked excuses could ever affect any market.

      Mostly, uninformed outsiders from around the world that I talk to, couldn’t possibly believe the huge US fullsize pickup market could in anyway happen naturally without government intervention of some sort. Even though fullsize pickup trucks have been a way of life here, long before the 1st wave of small pickups hit our shores.

      But when I remind them the Titan and Tundra fall under the same regulatory guidelines, they ask “WHAT’S A TITAN TUNDRA?”

      And if the Chicken tax had any impact on the decline, please explain why it had zero affect when the mini-truck craze/fad/explosion was in full effect…

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DenverMike – chassis cab vehicles were exempt from the Chicken tax. When that loophole was closed the small truck IMPORT market dried up.

        I posted evidence to back that claim but you conveniently chose to ignore the parts that backed my claims.

        Since you don’t want to read or understand my evidence why don’t you post your evidence that comes from experts in the field.

        What I see from you and Pch101 is anecdotal evidence. It is what you see but do you actually understand what you see?

        I’ll provide a metaphor to help you two understand.

        You two are at the mall and you see an overweight puffy guy with a purple face, bulging neck veins coughing and wheezing away who is in serious distress. You call 911 and tell them exactly what you see.

        A cardiologist sees the same thing, goes over and asks a few questions, listens to the guy’s story and listens to his heart and lungs. He phones 911 and says they need to send an advanced Paramedic unit because the guy has cardiac asthma due to heart failure.

        You can tell me all you want what you see but you aren’t the automotive equivalent of a cardiologist.

        Lets see your evidence. Enough of the locker room bravado. Time to drop the towel. I’m betting that all I’ll see is a jock strap packed in ice.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Lou_BC – Well you need reread your own “evidence” again… The cab/chassis loophole ended long before the mini-truck craze/fad/explosion took off like wild fire… Dec 31st, 1979, is when that loophole ended.

          We know that to be a fact and that there were no other changes to the Chicken tax between then and now except for the end of the BRAT and Transit Connect loopholes.

          The mini-truck movement died out on it’s own merit, like all the fads/trends that came before it and since.

          And no one loves a good conspiracy like I do. JFK, Moon Landing, Golf of Tonkin, etc, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – I know what my “evidence” says.

            Misquoting it doesn’t work.

            Anecdotal evidence doesn’t work.

            I want to see your evidence from “experts” backing your side of the debate.

            Is this what you are referring to?

            “In 1980, the United States “applied” the “chicken tax” tariff to imported Japanese trucks and cab chassis, which then became subject to a 25% tariff rate. 8 In 1984, the Japanese automobile industry challenged the United States classification of lightweight trucks and cab chassis as finished trucks because the new classification significantly increased the tariffs on Japanese imported lightweight trucks and cab chassis.’ The Court of International Trade upheld the cab chassis classification and the 25% tariff and the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision.’ Once again, the cost to consumers was dramatic: over the next three years, this tariff led to more than a 23% increase in imported truck prices while the price of American-made compact trucks increased by 29%.” Ironically, the Japanese auto industry remains the principal target of this tariff despite the chicken tariff’s rather limited purpose and even though Japan imports more United States poultry products than any other country.”
            ………………………………………………………………..
            People say they will buy small trucks if cheap enough………. the chicken tax doesn’t allow for a cheap imported truck,

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – What “misquoting”, “anecdotal”? The Chicken tax went back into effect (import trucks “became subject to”) when the loophole ended.

            You say “when that loophole was closed (1979) the small truck IMPORT market dried up”.

            Nothing could be further from what really happened. The mini-truck craze/fad/explosion was yet to pickup momentum then (1979).

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “[A]necdotal evidence”? Somebody needs to wipe the dust off of his dictionary and look up what an “anecdote” is.

          What I told you to do is to look at all of the players in the segment prior to the end of the cab-chassis loophole, and to see how each of them responded to the new rules. That would be the opposite of an anecdote, as it would represent examining the entirety of the industry.

          Similarly, I want you to learn about the Sprinter because it provides a useful case study of how industry responds to tariff barriers when the market is large enough to justify the effort.

          If you studied business, then case studies would be par for the course for understanding how things work in the real world, a talent that you clearly lack. You might actually learn something for a change if you’d look at how things are done in real life by real companies.

          But since you’re apparently so wise, perhaps you could explain to me why small truck market share is lower in Canada than it is in the US, even though Canada has no chicken tax and higher fuel prices. Funny how that works.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – Interesting deflection. The Canadian auto market is an extension of the USA auto market.
            The “Auto Pact” allowed countries to import into Canada as long as they built them their too.

            When NAFTA came along it excluded everyone except the USA and Mexico.

            Import tariffs that were on the books pre-AutoPact and pre-NAFTA were never extinguished so they took effect post NAFTA. The WTO ruled that they were illegal but Ontario politicians and the CAW as well as the USA companies with factories in Canada lobbied the Canadian Government to fight the WTO ruling.

            Imports into Canada other than NAFTA face a 6.1% tariff. (IIRC)

            Every pickup in Canada comes from…….. wait for it………. wait for it……….

            the USA.

            If Americans find domestic made small trucks too expensive, wouldn’t Canadians (who have to pay more) find them too expensive as well?

            You still haven’t answered my question – where is your expert proof that the chicken tax has had no effect on the market?

            Thanks once again for the condescension.

            Like I said, no more locker room bravado – drop the towel and lets see what you got.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s hilarious that any effort to get you to think (for a change) is a “deflection.”

            Canada doesn’t have a chicken tax. Why doesn’t it use that fantastic fact to import all of these trucks that you want?

            For that matter, why do Canadians buy small trucks that are made in the NAFTA zone at a lower rate than do Americans? Apparently, you don’t want many of those, either.

            I don’t know what kind of “expert proof” is needed to know that Toyota started building trucks in Fremont, California, that Nissan built them in Tennessee or that Mitsubishi was selling rebadged Dodges built in the US. Shouldn’t a fanboy know some basic history about the object that wins so much of his devotion?

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      A minivan is better than a compact truck for everything except hauling garbage, dirt bikes and posing.

      • 0 avatar

        A small truck is good for a fridge, washer, and dryer too.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @billfrombuckhead – that description applies equally to most full sized pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Pch101 – I’ve said all along that there are many factors affecting the small truck market.

        Point is….. you say the chicken tax isn’t a factor.

        ” Once again, the cost to consumers was dramatic: over the next three years, this tariff led to more than a 23% increase in imported truck prices while the price of American-made compact trucks increased by 29%.”

        BTW – our vehicle prices are tied to American prices but with that being said, our market does not follow all of the same trends as the USA.

        I’m sure Timothy Cain could point those out for you.

        I’m still waiting for your proof the chicken tax has no effect on the USA market.

        Your sarcastic rants/laymen’s views don’t count for much.

        (Read my cardiac asthma metaphor)

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          In 1979, the last year prior to the change in the cab-chassis rules, the MSRP of a base Toyota pickup was $4,748.

          In 1990, the MSRP of a base Toyota pickup was $7,998.

          If the price had increased at the rate of inflation, then the 1990 price would have been $8,548.

          The price increase over a decade didn’t even match the inflation rate.

          I assume that you got your “facts” from Wikipedia, which is written by amateurs and is often wrong. Relying on not-so-scholarly work from Cato, a right-wing think tank, isn’t a particularly smart idea, either, but I’m pretty sure that’s what you did.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – you must submit information to Wikipedia………

            My source was published in a law journal.

            I’ll post it when I get home tonight.

            Your replies are typical of someone trying to rationalize emotion based decision making processes or that of a person who does not want to admit they are wrong.

            Do you actually own a truck?

            I can easily explain the pros and cons of every class of truck from first hand experience.
            Can you?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I can easily explain the pros and cons of every class of truck from first hand experience.”

            Being a fanboy only reduces your credibility, as you have an emotional investment that you’re trying to recoup.

            I’m getting the pricing data from NADA, and the CPI calculation from the BLS. Those are definitive sources, and they clearly don’t support your position.

            It would appear that you forgot to include the inflation rate in your pricing calculation, which is a fundamental mistake. That’s an especially egregious error for that window of time, as the US experienced high inflation during the 70s and early 80s, so the price hikes weren’t limited to cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Nice shot there, Pch 101; you just said, “I know you are, so what am I?” So effective and so demonstrative of an inability to refute his argument.

            You say you’re getting pricing data from specific sources, yet you REFUSE to link to those sources. Could it be that, like any evangelist, you pick and choose your data to support your argument, especially when a broader look at the data says the exact opposite? Prove to us that what you say is true instead of continuing to play these boring games. All you’re doing is making yourself look like a zealot.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            You haven’t been able to prove me wrong.

            Here is the link to the information I cited.

            American University International Law Review
            Volume 10 | Issue 3 Article 3
            1995
            The Multi-Purpose Vehicle Reclassification and Minivan Dumping Disputes Between the United States and Japan and Their Consistency with United States Obligations Under the GATT
            W. Peter Cladouhos

            http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1443&context=auilr

            You still aren’t answering my questions?

            1. Where is your expert proof?
            Your interpretation of reality does’t count. I deal with people with altered perceptions on a daily basis.

            2. What kind of trucks do you own or drive?

            I’m not a fanboy of any size truck. I’ve owned small, 1/2 ton, and HD. I spent 21 years as a paramedic. Those have all been 1 ton vans or chassis cab conversions. I’ve also driven gravel trucks and other assorted pieces of heavy equipment.

            For a guy without a leg to stand on, you sure can dance.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – It’s impossible to prove you “wrong” when you’re providing endless nonsense that never applies to anything on the topic.

            Now you’re bringing up a lawsuit filed by Japanese OEMs over the case involving whether the Feds could enforce the Chicken tax on 2-door SUVs (or “mini-vans” as they’re calling them) imports (2-door: 4Runner, Trooper, Rodeo, Pathfinder, Samurai, Tracker, etc,).

            The Japanese were right in my opinion, but the new law never went into effect.

            OK, now back to the topic at hand…

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It’s obvious you didn’t read the file, Mike, as it DIRECTLY REFUTED one of your most-often repeated arguments that the Chicken Tax had no effect on the importation of Japanese pickup trucks.

            It directly refuted your argument that the chassis-cab rule was enacted in ’79–making it patently clear that it took effect in ’84, which is when Japanese pickups effectively vanished from the American showroom except in limited exclusions where Mazda adopted the Ranger platform (built in the US) and Toyota built their own assembly plant.

            In other words, this one document is PROOF POSITIVE that it was the Chicken Tax that killed Japanese truck imports and that once they were gone, the different fuel economy regulations engendered the growth of even those smaller trucks to ever larger proportions to dodge paying excessive ‘gas hog’ fines. The compact truck market didn’t “fade away”, it was flat-out SHUT DOWN by the Chicken Tax and fuel economy laws.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – That law article pretty much kills any argument from the “chicken tax has no effect” camp.

            DenverMike earlier trotted out the conspiracy theory ploy.

            I never mentioned conspiracy.

            I’m still waiting for Pch101 and more of his insults.

            Not only did I produce the ‘smoking gun” but the whole F@cking firearm.

            Lawyers who study tariffs and trade law clearly outlined the effects of the chicken tax as relevant history to the minivan reclassification dispute.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You clowns are too desperate to take a victory lap, to stop and read your own links. I know they’re up to 10,000+ words, but have your mums read them for you and give you the synopsis.

            It’s just an article and docs that mention the Chicken tax. So what? We already knew it existed back then.

            They had as much to do with killing off the mini-truck craze/fad/explosion as they did with parachute Pantz, mullets and big hair.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Denver, you should have accepted your defeat with grace and kept your trap SHUT. You’re the one who has now given us our “victory lap” by being a sore loser.

            The article was about whether or not the Colorado sales would go anywhere and YOU, along with others, had to stick your noses in and insist there is no market for them. Strangely, had you paid any attention at all to the actual discussions, even _I_ have said that the Colorado is too big to be a true mid-size. You should have left it alone at that.

            What I want is clearly smaller than either the Colorado or the Tacoma. What I’m likely to get is an old Ranger simply because nothing else is available NEW that’s small enough for ME. There is a chance that FCA may bring the Strada–but I consider the odds pretty slim. But if they do, I will be sorely tempted.

            However, another vehicle is on the drawing boards that might make even the Strada look like a gas hog; and if that vehicle hits the market, all bets are off.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I have to give you credit: You keep slogging on with the same faulty arguments, even after their problems have already been addressed.

            Let’s take this quote in question: “***In 1980***, the United States ‘applied’ the “chicken tax” tariff to imported Japanese trucks and cab chassis…***over the
            next three years***, this tariff led to more than a 23% increase in imported
            trucks.”

            During that period, the US was experiencing stagflation, with double-digit inflation rates.

            Between 1980 and 1983, consumer prices increased by 21%. The price of steel increased by 25%, from $16.20 per 100 lbs. to $20.25. http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/iron_&_steel/350798.pdf

            Assuming that your factoid is correct, the price increased with the inflation rate.

            What’s so very sad about this is that I already addressed this inflation issue earlier. Apparently, something even that obvious can’t make it through this poultry-induced haze.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What Timothy Cain hasn’t explored is the numbers relating to full size pickup sales since 2004.

    Timothy, what is the difference in total numbers of full size sales 2004 vs 2014?

    What percentage of the vehicle market were full size pickups in 2004 vs 2014?

    What is the average cost difference of a full size pickup in 2004 vs 2014.

    Somehow I don’t think it’s all rosy for full size trucks as well. The changes to full size trucks due to CAFE will further impact full size pickup sales.

    Full size pickups sell in huge numbers due to various reasons as I pointed out above. There will always be a large enough US market for full size pickups. But they will become more and more the domain of the shrinking American middle class.

    Pickups used to be a first vehicle or a ‘poor mans’ vehicle. They have transformed into a vehicle that’s more suited to a smaller demographic segment of the populous.

    Pickups and the regulations/policies protecting them will be their demise eventually.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The full size truck segment has grown as a overall percentage of the light vehicle market for a couple of decades now. Total volume did go down during the depths of the recession but the market share stayed the same or increased. Meanwhile the less than full size truck segment went from being about 8% of the market in the early 00’s to under 2% and that number continues to fall.

      You are correct that the pickup used to be a poor man’s vehicle but now they are a rich or solidly middle class man’s toy. That may change but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Full sized pickups and even small trucks moved mainstream once they started adding extra doors and seats.
        The crewcab pickup has replaced the 50’s-70’s BOF full sized 4 door V8 sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Start here (http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2014/02/usa-pickup-truck-sales-figures-2004-year-end.html), work your way forward.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Pch101 – faulty arguments from a study done for a law review journal?

      You still haven’t proven me wrong.

      Your insults don’t count as an answer.

      Why don’t you answer my simple question……….

      what kind of truck do you own now?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You’re so confused that you can’t even post your replies in the correct threads.

        If we take your source at face value, then truck prices rose at about the rate of inflation. You have heard of inflation, right?

        A person of even modest intelligence should be able to grasp the implications of that point.

        I realize that you don’t know how to perform research, but if you were to look at NADA vehicle prices during that era, then you would know that price hikes of that sort were not unusual for new passenger cars, too. When inflation is running at double digits, prices are climbing for just about everything.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Pch101 – more insults. You don’t have any evidence from credible sources now do you?

          I’m waiting for your evidence.

          You still haven’t told me what kind of truck you drive.

          Each time you post you loose more credibility.

          I am really really enjoying this.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – “victory lap”?

            This was never a contest… at least not for me.

            Sad really sad.

            It wasn’t about winning or loosing.

            It was about the search fro truth.

            Cue Pch101 and more pathetic insults.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            This is quite amazing. You seem to think that the US inflation rate of the early 1980s was some sort of state secret.

            Even a guy with a room temperature IQ should be able to find the inflation data on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Feel free to copy and paste that into Google, and review the BLS inflation data for yourself (assuming that you can understand it.)

            And I’ve already made several references to NADA. You can Google them, too. Give it a shot.

  • avatar

    Anyone who has seen these trucks in flesh will know these are the real deal.
    http://cdn.autodash.co/images/media.caranddriver.com/images/media/546211/2015-chevrolet-colorado-photo-556311-s-1280×782.jpg

    http://www.beyond.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015-gmc-canyon-naias-2014-1.jpg

    Truck buyers want bragging rights, macho looks, a nice interior, great hp numbers, great payload/towing numbers while secretly wishing for good fuel economy. Every midsize truck until now has looked like a poor man’s work truck associated with landscapers and handymen.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      So, you’re embracing the worst, most poseur aspect of trucks as Ultimate Tonkas for the eternal man-child.

      What the hey, you’re at least honest.

      • 0 avatar

        @petezeiss I am not a truck guy but I can see their appeal having lived in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina. Out there a truck is man’s best friend. I don’t have a problem with someone buying a crew cab Canyon for $25K if that is what they want nor do I have a problem with people paying 40 grand for a 4cyl compact BMW or Audi. Trucks are cheap to buy, cheap to fix and last for a really long time. I am warming up to the idea of buying a Colorado after I convince the wife to sell the Acadia so she can drive my Malibu.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          Sooth, mine was a dipsh1t comment. I was reacting to all the monolithic ugly in that photo you linked to, not to you. Apologies.

          Yeah, I was blissfully happy with my two trucks (full size, pre-2000) in the past. And being in a rural setting makes all the difference. You don’t know what you’re going to have to drive over or through to get back home.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @alluster – your observations are bang on and this is coming from a “truck guy”.
        I’m sure that I am lumped into the “small truck Jihad” group which is funny considering I’ve owned just as many full sized trucks as small ones. Sh!t, I was driving my dad’s Mack trucks before I had a drivers licence but I digress…..

        Most 1/2 ton crewcab trucks are family sedans. I see ones every day that do not have a scratch or rock chip in the paint on the body or in the box. I’ve even seen guys with these trucks towing utility trailers so they don’t mess up the box. Some of the worst offenders are trucks with lift-kits and big aggressive tires. Those things are street queens through and through. My neighbour admits that he never takes his truck off road.

        Small trucks do not have the manly image of big trucks and women who drive big trucks think that they are safer than small trucks.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I’m surprised to see the Ridgeline included as a “truck”. It seems primarily intended for people who hire others to do things requiring trucks. Maybe it’s good for minor estate sale pieces.

    So much glorious Honda quality wasted on that humpback fail.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This truck should do reasonably well. It will not take away sales from full size trucks but it is a good compromise for those wanting a pickup but not a large one. This is an attractive truck that looks to be more than capable of doing what most of its target customers would use it for. I am interested in these twins.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I think it will absolutely take away sales from full size trucks. When i bought my 1st PU I had a lot of good reasons for going with a compact Toyota over a full size.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    GM probably just wants to get something in the segment. It’s a segment after all.

    Who really buys small trucks? Old men. The things are like secret Buicks. When is the last time you saw anyone under 65 in a Dakota? The market for them is literally dying.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Mandalorian – not really. I do see some older fellows in small trucks but from what I’ve seen most GT Mustangs, Boss 302’s, Challengers, Corvettes etc. are driven by guys over 50.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I’m in my mid 40s and drive a 2WD V8 Dakota Quad Cab SLT. Granted I bought it new back in ’02. Not interested in a full size truck… the are just too damn big. So I’m hopeful this mid-size market makes a comeback as I could use a new truck. Same size as my Dak but with a diesel would be awesome. I don’t want a FWD toy either, I need a real truck for towing my boat. Not a fan of SUV/CUVs, I had a Isuzu Rodeo and hated the darn thing. There is really not a lot of space in the back due to the limited size opening, a bed is much better. I’m fine with the short bed I have now, anything bigger just sits on the tailgate.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    So… the chart ends 2013. It’s August 2014 and the small truck market has changed substantially since end 2013. Back then the Ranger was off the market and there was no news or just rumors of the GM twins. The drop off in sales for Tacoma and Frontier can be explained by the recession and the lack of sales pick up by the age of the models currently for sale.
    This is old news trying to be relevant…

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “The drop off in sales for Tacoma and Frontier can be explained by the recession”

      Total US vehicle sales in 2013 were down 8% in comparison to 2005.

      Small truck sales fell 64% during the same period. No, this isn’t just about the economy; there is far less interest in these trucks than there used to be.

      As far as 2014 goes, combined YTD Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier sales are up by a whopping 137 units over this same time last year. That’s a 0.1% increase in a market that grew by 5.0%. That means that market share fell yet again.

      Mr. Cain relies upon data and facts to reach his conclusions. That offends some people, I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Using 2005 as the starting point is far too generous, by then the small truck market had already been in free fall for years.

        Just between 2002, as far back as goodcarbadcar goes, and 2005 small trucks fell off 16% – this while full size truck sales increased roughly 12%, every small truck except the Ranger got a ground up redesign, and the gas crisis was well under way. 1.50 in 2002 had already turned into 2.50 through 2005 and 3.00 after Katrina.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I referred to 2005 because (a) it was the peak year for total US auto sales and (b) I had the data handy for it.

          I’m sure that you’re right about small truck market share peaking several years earlier. The trend was already in prior to the recession.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      More on this year’s small/midsize truck market: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/cains-segments-june-2014-small-and-mid-size-pickup-trucks/

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I had a blue Ford Ranger rental back in 2001 or so, very cool at the time.

    Back on topic…

    While yes, there are certainly “lifestyle” buyers out there and quite vocal ones on the internet, they are in the same crowd with the manual transmission fanatics. The market spoken against them and told them where to stick their gearstick. We know this.

    The general public who buy vehicles in the US (and generate used ones for enthusiasts) are value minded among other things. They don’t want to pay 80% the money for 60% the truck.

    The problem doesn’t have anything to do with dude’s crotch sizes or the trucks themselves, like the plot of all Die Hard movies it’s ultimately about money.

    Back in the day, trucks were spartan and cheap. Vehicles were cheap in general, so was gas. Owning a truck for work and a car for play was no problemo. Fast forward to now, and vehicles are much more expensive. The two vehicle solution doesn’t really hold water.

    A full size truck can be a truck, a family wagon, a daily driver, a highway cruiser and many other things all in one neat package with MPG comparable to a large sedan. They aren’t terrible expensive either. They are like swiss army knives.

    The little GM trucks are like the cheap swiss army knives with only a knife and scissors. No toothpick, screwdriver, pliers, etc and they cost 80% as much.

    So yes, the small lifestyle crowd minus the majority “Cheap used enthusiast, sore bottom manual gearstick” crowd is a tiny sliver of the market.

    Luckily, there is an easy fix to the whole problem. No need to shrink the trucks, change the specs, etc.

    Just drop the darn price.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Check this out. Compare it to a Taco or even a Frontier.

    Look at the engine which should return around 7.2 litres per 100km and tow 7 800lbs.

    Look at its rear suspension, look at the interior, very similar to my BT50.

    And some of you guys think you know what a midsize is??

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/298943/2015-nissan-navara-review/

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The interior of a mid spec BT50, similar to mine. Again, this would be competitive with a full size, not the same size but more competitive than any midsize in the US.

    But you can get this. The chicken tax killed of it ability to compete.

    I do expect the US Colorado to have a decent interior, they learnt from the global Colorado and some other GM products, you need to have a decent inside.

    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Ve2DaGK5dmU/TLuQ_IGWJHI/AAAAAAAACko/ZF4hdyLI6bo/s800/Mazda-BT-50-Interior.jpg

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I think some of these guys think all smaller vehicles are suppose to be cheap and low end. Most of us have been raised with the bigger is better and smaller is cheap and inferior. Most Americans have a different attitude toward anything smaller. I think the Colorado/Canyon will sell well enough and they are an alternative to those who do not want or need full size and for those who do not want to pay extra for aluminum bodies. Yes I agree these twins will not overtake the sales of full size half ton trucks but these trucks will do well enough and being based on the global Colorado the cost to develop these twins is not as much as developing a new truck from the ground up. Sure this Colorado looks different but it shares enough with the global version. Few vehicles today don’t share platforms and components. In the future even more vehicles will share platforms.

  • avatar
    matador

    Almost all of the newer (After MY2000, we’ll say) small trucks are either Toyota’s, or are owned by O’Reilly’s.

    I’m not a Toyota fan, but they pretty much own the entire category in America.

    I think compact trucks are bloated, though. I drove a friend’s GMC Canyon once. It was as large as my 1992 Dakota (which Dodge advertised as a midsized). I looked at buying a 2007 Dakota, but it was as large as an F-150. Why not just take the F-150? Everyone else seems to.

  • avatar
    walt501

    Interesting timing for this article when you consider that AutoNews did a very well researched article saying the exact opposite – that the new Canyon and Colorado are poised to be very well received.

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20140811/RETAIL/308119963/price-gap-creates-opportunity-for-gm-s-colorado-canyon

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Timothy Cain,
    Here some data to digest.

    1. The average monthly inventory for full size pickups between 2000-2008 was approximately 572 000. Between 2009-2013 it was 410 000.

    2. In 2006 the net transaction price differential between a full size and a midsize was 28%. In 2014 it is 42%. This indicates there is room for a midsize to sit below a full size in pricing.

    3. The average transaction price for a full size pickup in 2002 was $25 000 and in 2014 it is $38 000. This again re-inforces point two for room for a midsize segment in the US.

    Looking at the above data it appears there has been a decline in the full size pickup segement, not an insignificant one either.

    Also, the transaction cost for a full size has increased by 50% in 12 years with the widening of 50% in the average transaction cost between a midsize and full size.

    This indicates that maybe the US pickup manufacturers are milking the consumer.

    Maybe it’s about time the US government removed the chicken tax as it appears it isn’t required.


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