By on January 9, 2015

2016-toyota-tacoma-double-cab-limited-side-02

Hats off to Toyota. With the release of the revised 2016 Tacoma, they sit ready to be both the reigning king of the mid-size truck market, and the auto maker that is best positioned to profit off this niche segment.

Serious observers of the industry agree that mid-size trucks don’t matter. Once a popular segment, they have been on an inexorable decline in recent years.

Just over a decade ago, the Ford Ranger accounted for 226,000 units alone. Today, the entire mid-size truck market is worth roughly 225,000 units, in a truck market worth about 1.7 million units, and an overall market of over 17 million units. The Toyota Tacoma sold 155,000 units, making up 6 percent of the truck market, down 2.8 percent from 2013. The second place Nissan Frontier sold just 74,000 units.

A new look and some incremental improvements in fuel economy may be all that’s needed – especially with gas at record lows. The GM mid-sizers might be better trucks in an objective sense, but much of the Taco’s appeal in key markets like California likes in the fact that it’s not a domestic truck. In the same way that California surf bros wouldn’t be caught dead driving an American truck, the heartland truck consumer won’t entertain the idea of a mid-size import truck – and in the most important pickup markets, that will forever doom them to irrelevancy, since a domestic full-size truck represents a better value and a better badge.

Reaction to the new Tacoma was muted on this site and elsewhere, with many wondering if it was just a refresh of the current model. But why would Toyota do anything else? The Taco has been the top dog in the mid-size truck market for over a decade. Toyota is even planning to up capacity at a second plant to build even more Tacomas (partially to help free up capacity for the Tundra at its Texas plant, partially to lower labor costs by building them in Mexico).

The end goal, of course, is profit. Mid-size trucks are a fairly tough segment to make it in. But Toyota already owns the niche, and the combination of already amortized development costs and a commanding sales lead only strengthens their position. GM may well offer the better truck – but they won’t have the better balance sheet.

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163 Comments on “Editorial: Someone Is Making Money In Mid-Size Trucks...”


  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I will admit, I have been “Build and Pricing” Canyons over the last few days for fun. I think they are cool, and would (theoretically) enjoy owning one.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Had to open that can of worms I see……

    Toyota has a habit of sitting on their reputation coupled with the fact that there are those that WANT a small truck and are stuck with a limited choice.

    Toyota can milk that hind teat only for so long before it runs dry.

    The Colorado/Canyon twins are poised to leave Toyota with some sour milk.

  • avatar
    marc

    This should be a home run for Toyota, though certainly no game changer, lol. It comes right in time to ward off the pesky Chevy/GMC twins. It’s reminiscent of Ford debuting the 2015 F150 concept right on the heels of the intro of the all new 2014 GM trucks.

    Shifting to Mexico production for lower costs and higher capacity combined with the Taco’s reputation would have been enough, as it is. But now, just a couple months after becoming an also-ran in its own segment, Toyota steps up and says, look at me now. That’s actually bold for the normally conservative Toyota. They only need a good product, but they might have a really great product here to go along with good market timing and the favorable move down south.

    I contend that this is more than a refresh. There is enough variation in the window shapes (esp the c-pillar) to indicate that everything is new, except likely the platform which has only had one life cycle. 2016 is only gen II of the mid-sized Taco, as the first Taco was on the previous compact truck platform. Nobody does a one and done on a platform, no matter how long each generation lasts.

    One criticism often leveled at mass mfrs is a lack of cohesive design language. At least Toyota is trying to maintain the design of its trucks (and their greenhouses), even if the truck is indeed all-new. Obviously all depends on the actual specs of the truck, including the interior, but all looks well for Toyota in this segment.

  • avatar
    RS

    It’s too easy to justify a full size when compared to the current 7/8 scale offerings.

    Small trucks with some obvious advantages and differences is the market being ignored in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      A big part of successful business is differentiation. A 7/8 truck has no differentiation from a full size. I agree with GM that to make a smaller truck successful, it needs to attract new buyers. But building what full size buyers want doesn’t do that.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Toyota is the one player that can sell enough of these things to turn a profit.

    Last I checked, Toyota had the highest income buyers in the segment. There must be a lot of brand loyalty to go with that.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Total agreement with your first sentence. Plus, the tooling and design costs for the second generation Tacoma were probably paid off a few years back. So, why not extend the life of the current design?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Exactly. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the current Tacoma (body, frame, interior), whether the ’16 is all-new or not. Now the aging drivetrains have to go. It would be ridiculous if Toyota only revamped the cosmetics. Or lipstick on a pig.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Having test-driven a ’14 Tacoma, I can only that you’re half right; the engine/tranny is just plain too weak (more and different gearing would help a lot) and the front seat legroom needs a lot of work (like at least 2″ more of rearward track).

          The problem is that with the model shown above, it looks like they grew the truck in the same way the Colorado grew (despite commentary that says the size hasn’t changed.) If so, it is now too big in the way the Colorado itself is too big (though the cab comfort and leg room are nice). BUT, either way, my next pickup truck is going to be a ¾ sized truck, NOT a ⅞ or 1/1 sized truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The platform is global and a decade old. It’s the right time for an update.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Not all that Global but definitely needs to be changed it is ancient

          @Lie2me
          What works in NA can be an utter failure outside. Rarely is their much agreement on usage of vehicles
          PS This site is becoming frustrating to post too

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – I agree with Robert Ryan. The current Tacoma is a North American platform that shares little with the Hilux.

            I do suspect that the 2 platforms will eventually merge into one. Will it be with the 2016 Tacoma?
            I personally don’t think so.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The rumor/ expectation is that the next Hilux and Tacoma will share a platform. The current Hilux’s frame is even older than the Tacoma’s.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Tacoma based on prehistoric Hilux Surf. Current Hilux is at least 9yrs old, time for a change

  • avatar
    dal20402

    We still don’t know whether the Tacoma has what it takes to continue its historical dominance of the class. It needs serious powertrain and interior upgrades to stay competitive with the Colorado/Canyon. But all they’ve showed us so far is the styling.

    • 0 avatar
      agroal

      Obviously you will only see the exterior styling in these pre-NAIAS sneak previews. The new gen Tacoma looks fine. It’s a truck, not a sports car. Check back next Monday 1/12/15 for the full release. Is there any doubt that the new Tacoma’s interior will once again be far more advanced with better materials and fit & finish than the new GM twins? The same thing occurred ten years ago with the launch of GM’s admittedly half-hearted 1st. gen. Colorado/Canyon. That 5 cyl. engine was an answer to a question that no one asked. GM admitted the mistake and quickly offered a tame, gas guzzling V-8. I think I’ve seen all four of the V-8 models on the road! The 2nd. Gen (2005) Tacoma came along within months and blew the GM twins into eventual hiatus. I’m not predicting that now with GM stepping up their game, but decades of bullet proof reliability and insanely high resale values can’t be underestimated.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “Is there any doubt the new Tacoma’s interior will once again be far more advanced with better materials and fit & finish than the new GM twins?”

        Based on Toyota’s other recent interiors, definitely. The 4Runner has mailed-in styling and cheap materials. The Avalon and Camry feel more downscale than the cars they replaced. They are not doing interiors well at the moment–it seems the cost-cutting has gone way too far, far enough to be plainly obvious even at a glance.

        I’m also highly skeptical that Toyota is going to revise either engine enough to stay in the ballpark. Right now they have a four that can’t compete on fuel economy with the GM 2.5 and a six that can’t compete on power with the GM 3.6. Both need substantial improvements. The six may get them (if they use the 4Runner engine) but I haven’t heard about any new truck-sized four.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Lie2me
        Yes we are talking about Pickup engines, but Trucks have a different connotation to people outside NA i e Conventional Cabs are extremely rare.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    It’s not that midsize trucks are bad, it’s just that full-sizes have gotten SO MUCH BETTER in the last decade, while midsizers didn’t really change.

    I’m a truck guy, I like trucks so I say the more on the market the better.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    Just because a consensus of reviewers favor the new GM midsize trucks doesn’t mean a Tacoma shopper is required to consider them. Toyota has a long and well deserved reputation for making a durable, reliable and long lasting truck. GM has a reputation for making junk that nobody wants. If I were in the market for a pickup, it would be a Toyota Tacoma. And if you took a poll you’d be hard put to find a former Tacoma owner with regrets. Every new GM truck is supposed to erase the sins of the past, but they never do. Remember when “Quality is job one” with Ford? Some of the worst vehicles ever built…

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @jdash1972 – I wouldn’t be jumping on the Colorado band wagon right out the gate. The fact that it is more of a re-skinned global may help with quality and durability.

      I didn’t expect Toyota to make any huge changes to the Tacoma. They are more conservative than a NRA Republican.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I say the first company to bring out a decent SMALL truck (not a ute a small truck with decent capacities) will be the disruptive game changer

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Hope “game changer” is a joke, but I do think that company could sell enough copies to make the venture solidly profitable. The new batch of truly small vans is selling better than any of the naysayers expected.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I meant that in reference to the comment above that said the new Taco wasn’t a game changer and it isn’t. Same old game. A *real* small truck would have a greater impact on the market

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Lie2me – the Colorado has the old Tacoma beat in capability. The crewcab 4×4 has a 1,500 lb cargo rating. The old Tacoma Crew was around 1,100. Towing is slightly higher in the Colorado. MPG is also superior.

          The problem is that the Colorado has no real advantage over the rest of the truck market i.e. 1/2 ton trucks other than appealing to those wanting a smaller truck (same can be said for Tacoma).

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Yes we are talking about Pickups, but Trucks in general are different outside NA

  • avatar
    RS

    Is Toyota planning a diesel for the Tacoma?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Outside NA it would like asking : Do you think Smartphones will replace heavy “bricks”? We cannot understand your fascination with gas engines for Commercial vehicles.. Gas alttenatives are disappearing rapidly for the long list of Global Pickups, VW just dropped it’s Gas option. Toyota still has the small 2.7 for llight City use

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Bit like asking “Will Smartphones replace Bricks?” Outside NA. Your fascination with Gas engines we cannot understand

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        It’s all about money. In the US diesel engines have a substantial premium in price over their gas brethren. Not to mention in many places, diesel is substantially more expensive. I was in Denver the other day and it was over $1 more per gallon for diesel vs gas.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Diesel is more expensive than Petrol here, but the cost differential for a Diesel as against Petrol, is a lot less as so many use Diesels

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Mandalorian,
          I do think you’ll find the diesel Colorado will not be as expensive as you would have thought.

          Many of the US pickup fraternity have looked at the difference between gas vs diesel in HDs. Remember how much beefier does the drivetrain need to be to support the torque of the HD diesel alternative?

          Here a 4 cylinder diesel is the same price as a V6 gas. The 4cyl diesel can use popular “car” type drivetrains, similar to what is used in US full size 1.2 ton.

          Look at the Ram’s VM V6 diesel. It’s an engine designed for a prestige vehicle (if you can call a Caddy that).

          Our V6 Nissan Navara diesel uses a V6 diesel used in prestige Euro cars. The difference between the V6 diesel and 4 cyl Navara diesel with the same spec’s is around $4-5 thousand dollars.

          The diesel going into the US Colorado is a more basic diesel and not as refined as the car diesels. This refinement costs.

          When reviewed and tested I’d bet my balls the reviwers will talk about the harshness of the 2.8 diesel.

          Diesel fuel here costs between 15-30 a litre more than gasoline. This equates to 55c-$1.10 per US gallon. Yet it is still more economical to run the diesel. I do have a chuckle when the pro-gas set attempt to discredit diesel in costs. The don’t know because they have never operated what we have.

          People who also quote EPA FE figures are incorrect as well. Look even at the Pentastar Ram, it is only averaging 17mpg in real life. Diesel don’t seem to have such a dramatic decline in FE performance against the EPA figures released by the manufacturers.

          So, in fact diesel do obtain around 30% better FE than a gasoline equivalent in real life operation.

          The diesels also offer V8 torque which is great in larger vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – 30% better diesel FE is extremely optimistic. Depends on the type of miles, driving style, load, etc. Except diesel fuel can be 30% more expensive.

            If driving 30K miles a year, diesels start to make sense. But you’re also driving it into the ground quickly, and gone is the warranty. And killing “resale” in the process. While hopefully servicing the diesel on schedule, or better.

            The pro diesel crowd likes to put all the focus on just one value, FE. And never minds the upfront diesel buy-in. But just one major repair can screw the whole deal, if there is a deal. Injectors alone can be more the rebuilt gas engine, installed.

            Diesels have become highly sophisticated instruments, but also highly sensitive to neglect and or overheating. There’s several things you have to look out for. If you end up with catastrophic engine damage, the trucks is easily a “total loss” that your insurance doesn’t cover. Happens all the time. A $15K repair on a $12K truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I do think “globals” use diesels is due to displacement taxes and gasoline taxes.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            That’s exactly why, diesels just don’t make much sense in NA and that’s why there’s little to no demand for them.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lou_BC
            No that is not the main reason. towing ability and fuel economy. No displacement taxes here, but fuel is taxed
            Any Pickup with a petrol engine above 5 litres makes absolutely no sense

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lie to me,
            Gas engines in a pickup over 5litres, would make very little sense to some outside NA

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @lLie to me
            Any gas engine above 5 litres in a Pickup.,makes very little sense to anyone outside Na. Towing characteristics and Fuel economy are much more important

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Hmmm, maybe it’s a regional thing and really not debatable on a global level

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @lieto me
            I have noticed on many forums, people from NA are not on the same page.
            Photos of some European MDT is a “monsterous beast” on some RV sites” The very heavy trucks common in Australia, Europe and parts of Asia are fairly rare in NA . Very different mentality, oddly much lighter use age. We are not talking about the same thing when we use the word Truck

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Any Pickup with a petrol engine above 5 litres makes absolutely no sense”

            Are we not talking about pick-up trucks anymore?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lie2me
            Yes we are talking about Pickups, but Trucks in general,have a different connotation outside NA I.e Conventional Cabs are extremely rare

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – It’s a different truck scene around the world since our midsizers are just starting point for pickups. And midsizers are the end of story for your pickups. But the need still remains.

            So you’ll see global MDTs trickling down to partly fill the tremendous void. No surprise.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Abysmal word eater at it again
            ” Yes are we are talking about Pickups, but Trucks in general are very different outside NA

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Yes are we are talking about Pickups, but Trucks in general are very different outside NA

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Yes but your Pickups do not fill the need

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Lie2me
            Yes we are talking about Pickups, Truck use in general very different. Pickups not used at all for heavy farming or Construction, US Pickups mainly 3/4 and 1 ton towing some Caravans,or “posing”
            Global Pickups do the work of 1/2 tons, much more effectively than thev U.S.sourced vehicles
            Configuration different Cabovers not Conventionals used for 99.9% of MDT and HDT Trucks Globally

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Our pickups fill the need and they fill it with gasoline powered engines otherwise they wouldn’t sell so many. Now there may be some desire for small trucks and diesels, but due to many circumstances these desires are relatively small, so the availability is equally small.

            This may not be the case where you are, because your needs and circumstances are different then ours. Doesn’t make either place better or worse then the other just different

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – Fullsize pickups are homegrown here and they’ve adapted to us as we’ve put the to good use. And fully adapted to them. Pry them out of our cold dead hands!

            But why would those from other worlds go to scratch an itch they don’t know they have? Even if they know better, you make the best with what you have around. Why fight it?

            People adapt to their surroundings quite nicely. Human nature. But try selling your Vegemite sandwich to an American.. One bite an you’ll get punched straight in the KISSER!!!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            ” Robert Ryan – Fullsize pickups are homegrown here and they’ve adapted to us as we’ve put the to good use. And fully adapted to them. Pry them out of our cold dead hands!

            Same feeling expressed by people who own Car/Truck Utes. What I have found interesting is some local Councils and Electricity Utliity Companies, have dropped Pickups and gone back to Car/Utes with Specific bodies added
            http://www.tsb.net.au/uploads/images/Ford_Photos/Ford%20XR6%20with%20Fixed%20Utility.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Diesel is only extravagantly popular in places where it’s heavily subsidized (or not nearly as heavily taxed) versus gasoline. Here in the US you’re paying several thousand more for the diesel motor but the mileage improvements are destroyed by the fact that fuel just costs more.

        Both are unlikely but you’re probably going to be seeing a hybrid Taco before you ever see a diesel Taco stateside.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @tekdemon
          As has been stated quite a few times on this thread, Diesel is more expensive than Gasoline to buy outside NA.
          Overall cost of a diesel vehicle is less as so many more are sold.
          No will not see a Hybrid Tacoma or a Diesel version

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Tekdemon ,
          As stated quite a few time Diesel is more expensive than Petrol, outside NA

  • avatar
    chaparral

    My next vehicle is probably going to be a Colorado.

    Why?

    It’s the first half-ton in a decade that you can get with a stick-shift!

    I can’t stand to drive any automatic (and I’ve driven cars with ZF 8HPs), and in a half-ton that’ll occasionally do a one-ton’s work a slushbox will be like a grenade with a pin pulled.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      chaparral – Ram is the only company with a stickshift in a full sized pickup but that truck comes with a low output Cummins.

      The Colorado gets a stick shift only with the base trim 4 cylinder engine. If you want more than 2 doors and a V6 you are out of luck.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    In all honesty I do think this is the opposite of a “skin deep” change to the vehicle.

    The new 2015 Hilux is around the same size as the Taco. The older or current Hilux is built on a chassis (based on pre 97 Hilux) that is older than the Taco, believe it or not.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see the next Taco sitting on the new Hilux chassis/suspension. Of course, the chassis/suspension and other aspects of the new Hilux was designed by Toyota Australia.

    Also, the drivetrain will change. Toyota has no other choice. I do see a nice 2 litre turbo 4 going into a Lexus. It uses both Otto and Atkinson cycle. This engine is supposed to find it’s way to Toyota. Why not drop this into the Taco. But a 3.5 litre Toyota V6 will probably be the cheapest option, not the best.

    I also read that Toyota has an interest in the ISF Cummins. Toyota don’t make a good diesel. BMW has come to the rescue though.

    Also, some NVH improvements via hydraulic shock mounts and sound deadening material etc. will improve the vehicle.

    Maybe the only part of the Taco that is “original” with not many changes is the vehicle body, combine this with the cosmetic panel changes and we have the Taco as displayed.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The CHICKEN TAX will rear it’s ugly head now!!!!!!!!!!!

    How can the US have a truly competitive market when a large segment of the US vehicle market is protected by the ridiculous “poulet impot”.

    A manufacture will not set up a factory in the US to produce 100 000 per year.

    Why not drop the chicken tax? Let other manufacturers import midsizers into the US? This will reduce the price of midsizers and full size pickups.

    Get rid of CAFE. And at least harmonise your diesel fuel quality and emissions to that of the rest of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Why would a potential import truck OEM, Ford for example, assemble CKD kits in the US and not Tijuana next to the Tacoma plant?

      100K units is hardly necessary as even the Chicken tax “protected” Frontier doesn’t come close.

      And the Chicken tax can’t protect the Titan quite enough!

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    At a guess, one year from now we will see mid-sizes taking a bigger chunk of the pie. The real money will be made when one of these manufacturers introduces a compact truck to match the success of the little compact delivery vans overrunning the roads at the moment.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    Toyota is going to sell more Tacomas than ever, I think it looks good. They have 30+ years of sterling reputation behind them, GM has a well deserved reputation for building junk.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Say what you will but if I could buy my 79 Datsun new again, I would. I realize it would have to have a new power train and be smothered with safety devices I have never needed to have. However, a new small truck that was priced right just might get me out of my (paid for) old work truck. Not much else can do that.

    I picked the 79 over the other Datsun/Nissan trucks I had because the engine was, I believe, all cast iron and did not devour head gaskets. Maybe the new power train is not a good idea.

  • avatar
    kovakp

    All my comments as pkova immediately go to the spam folder despite their never having contained an s-i-d indiscretion. So here’s another try with a different name and email.

    Maybe this will appease the spambot gremlins?

  • avatar
    SnarkyRichard

    I don’t know if I’d buy one of these , but I will say that Toyota definitely stands behind their product . My 2006 Tacoma (48K miles) frame rotted out and they gave me a rental truck for 22 weeks from Enterprise and the bill for warranty repair was 16,790.53 – just got it back Monday after dropping it off August 12th . My out of pocket cost was 233.26 for 2 rear shocks . All things considered I’d rather have just traded it for a new Scion tC 6 speed manual and paid the difference , but they had no idea how long the repair would take in NJ back in August .

    Kind of Po’ed they didn’t let me take pics of the frame changing process since I think that would’ve been awesome to document . But the day GM does something like this for an 8 year old truck is the day Silvy starts loving Fords .

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    That whole article assumes that the Tacoma will be “small enough” as a mid-sized truck. I personally know several people (who do not visit these boards) who insist that anything larger than an ’80s vintage model is simply too large. I happen to agree with them as I absolutely loved my ’83 Mitsubishi long-bed but would sacrifice the extra 2′ of bed length for 18″ of extended cab (NOT crew cab).

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Those ’80s trucks are fantastic, but recreating them to meet modern crash safety requirements would be a challenge. I think the best we can hope for is a truck the size of a Ranger, and one of those would be very welcome.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Those ’80s trucks are fantastic”

        In size only……..

        I had an ’84 Ranger reg cab long box 4×4. It was pretty Spartan. The 1990 F250 I replaced it with was much nicer and in many respects more useful to me.

        I don’t recall much of anything from the 80’s deserving the word fantastic.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Marty McFly’s 1985 Toyota Hi-Lux pickup Deluxe 4×4 Xtracab is the only thing I can come up with and the perfect target model for “small truck”

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            The Toy like Marty had sucked. Had to love the single wall box. every time you loaded something in it you took the chance of denting the body.What a great design for a PU. Second only to the seam that ran lengthwise and began rusting minutes after you drove it off the dealer lot.

            The extra cabs in those were useless and the cheap plastic interiors self destructed rather quickly. I know because I looked at a few used ones. After realizing what an awful truck they were, I lost interest pretty quickly. Went out and got a brand new ’93 Toy PU, The newer body style was heads and tails better in every way than those mutts and not any bigger except for a little extra length.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          But the size is the whole point. You can drive and park an ’80s truck anywhere you can drive and park a compact or midsize car. That includes tight urban garages, neighborhood parallel parking spots, narrow city alleys, and the like.

          The new crop of tiny vans is succeeding because they are more convenient for businesses that work in cities than the full-size products the Big Three had been recycling for 25 years. I think tiny pickups could achieve some success among the same audience. I’m not saying they’d sell in F-Series numbers, but (like the tiny vans) they’d sell enough to make it worthwhile for a few makers to produce them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “But the size is the whole point”

            … and it looked totally awesome

          • 0 avatar
            RS

            A pickup variant of one of the small vans would sell well. It would be what the Ranger/S10/etc should have become.

            The payloads of those small vans are impressive.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Vulpine – If you’re that in love with ’80s mini-trucks, you would currently own at least one. Well you’d better get one before they’re gone, I mean very expensive. And you actually drove a old beater F-150 LB for how many years instead? A decade???

      But what part of “midsize” don’t you understand? Smaller than current is not going to happen. Get counseling or whatever you have to do. I’d be cheaper/easier to build your own custom chopped up Tacoma or Colorado, narrowed or whatever. Or a resto-mod ’80s mini-truck.

      OEMs aren’t moving backwards in time.

      I want a current Mustang, but in the size, weight of early ’80s. I’m not holding my breath though.. So I’m hording an ’82 and ’90 Mustang GTs. Bes!des the SVO. They’ll have modern Coyote V8s, built and blown of course, 6-speed manual Tremecs, huge disk brakes all around with 6/4 pistons and magnetorheological dampeners.

      If you’re gonna live in the past, do it right!

      • 0 avatar
        mikehgl

        I’m in agreement here that the current crop of new mid-sized trucks is still too large, so maybe I need some counseling too. A smaller sized entry in a chicken tax free north American market would most likely be successful. Smaller entries in other niches have surprised the pundits with their popularity, ala the Buick Encore.
        Perhaps at this point it’s just a mid summer nights dream. Everyone knows that fuel prices will rise eventually and the emphasis will once again drift back to efficiency over the ego – induced monstrosities offered to the sheeple currently.
        Call me crazy or in need of counseling but I, too, want a smaller, modern truck. Key word: smaller.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The “efficiency” angle just doesn’t fly anymore. It was true back when small trucks were truly “small” and fullsize trucks were getting as low as 10 mpg city.

          And with modern 4X4 crew cab midsizers, you likely get WORSE mpg than their fullsize contemporary. And that’s BEFORE putting them to hard work.

          A lot has changed since the Reagan Administration. And the efficiency of the smaller trucks is limited to ‘use of space’. But even that efficiency isn’t so much anymore.

          What happens in other market segments doesn’t really translate to trucks. Or in other markets around the world. BOF pickup trucks are crazy expensive to build, and I’m not just talking labour rates. So without very high volume, there’s very little or negative payback. And OEMs already sell autos in the US are very leery about cannibalizing their highly profitable cars, SUVs and CUVs with low margin trucks, sold s!de by s!de.

          Based on fwds? Sure but it’d be very niche. Ask Subaru and others.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            I think wee was nostalgic about the efficiency of the by gone era small pick up trucks, they were obviously better than their full size cousins but in today’s terms, not so much.
            , I had a mid 90’s Ranger ext cab 4×4 5MT. Delivered a solid, earth shattering 18 mpg.

            I have had multiple small trucks, the only one that was efficient was the 94 nissan xe 2wd. Regular cab bean can truck.

            For the record, I just like the smaller trucks for some reason, which is why I root for the segment to deliver an affordable product that does well in the market. I don’t hold my breath though.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            A lot of people are rooting on the small trucks to thrive. So they can get a clean used one. I’m one of them! But like most, I’m not willing to take the initial hit, on something that’s not gonna be my primary ride. But not enough are willing to be their 1st owners. That’s why they have crazy resale value.

          • 0 avatar
            frozenman

            An updated Honda Ridgeline will give buyers their best chance at a reasonably sized “truck” with decent FE numbers, lack of 4lo and manual not withstanding.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The only reason BOF pickups are remotely expensive to build is because of the way their makers choose to sell them. With a different sales approach, they could be cheaper to build than cheap unibody cars.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @dal – It has little to do with marketing. Unibodies are easy, no frame, just screw on parts and go. A BOF that’s not lacking gives about endless combinations in engines, trans, axles, cabs, beds, 4×4 or RWD. Now each of those requires its own dedicated frame. Think about that. Now add a wide selection of trim and packages, value and otherwise.

            Or you have your Ridgeline or BAJA.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            There’s nothing about BOF that requires makers to offer endless permutations. I think any of Ford, GM, or RAM could get most of the sales they currently get by offering three trim levels, two cabs, three axle ratios, and three engines (with only one or two available in each trim level).

            But the fact that none of them has chosen to tells me that they get *more* profit from allowing the range to be mind-blowingly complex and selling options a la carte at very expensive prices, even at the cost of much higher costs.

            A small BOF pickup would be a lower-volume product and therefore available in many fewer permutations. You’d have two cabs, two beds, two engines, and probably three trim levels in take-it-or-leave-it form.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @wstaving – Midsize trucks just have to make it past their 1st owners, usually lifestyle buyers. But it’s their 2nd and 3rd owners that put them to the test. Tradesmen, handymen, landscapers, etc. Or off roaders. They’re better off with 1/2 tons, at least. My handyman friend would go though about 1 midsize truck a year. 2 or $3K trucks. Blown head gaskets or bad trans. Some manuals, some autos. But none worth fixing. Not hard work, but packed with tools 24/7.

            So I told him to step up to a $4,000 1/2 ton pickup, he did and with zero problems, 6 years in a row. He got a $2,500 Expedition, but same thing.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @dal – It’s a tough enough segment without competitive features and options. There absolutely nothing wrong with the Frontier and Titan (no V6) but their lack of regular cab has hurt them tremendously. And not just with fleet. And each lost sale fails to pull many others. Has like a cascading effect. Many larger fleet buyers want a mix of cabs and trim, including luxo trucks for managers. but not a mix of brands.

            Remember the Hard Body was the #1 small pickup at one time. There’s millions of them still around, mostly reg cab Hard Bodys.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Frozenman the Ridgeline gets worse MPG than a modern Full size and with less capability that the aging midsizers. So no it is not a solution, which is reflected in its lack of sales.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @mikehgl – the chicken tax does contribute to killing a true small truck market.

          Car companies don’t want to spend the money on building a small truck that costs almost as much as a full-sized one to build but without the full-sized pickup profits.

          The small truck or even midsized market has become more of a niche. Importing global variants would help but it isn’t affordable under current conditions.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Lou_BC: “Car companies don’t want to spend the money on building a small truck that costs almost as much as a full-sized one to build but without the full-sized pickup profits.”

            Strangely, it seems GM, Fiat and VW think you’re wrong; all three build a very nice compact truck that’s MUCH smaller than what we see here in the US but are extremely popular in other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and South America. I don’t doubt the VW and Fiat are pretty popular in Africa and India too. Meanwhile, American full-sized trucks are used as weapons carriers and war wagons in SWA.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – I should of pointed out that I was referring to USA.

            Why build a 8/10 or 9/10th truck at 10/10th costs for 1/10 profits?

            Ford basically said that was the reason they chose not to build the Ranger in the USA. Ram boss said the same.

            Poultry farming keeps those “little trucks” out of USA since there would be a business case for importing to fill the niche without tariffs.
            Even without tariffs meeting USA safety regulations add cost as well.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        @DM: I did try to do that.

        My 87 Nissan had almost 350 thousand miles on it when I gave it away to a mechanic friend with yet another blown head gasket. A bad engine overhaul done in a truck that I had sunk considerable dollars in. As for the values other than size. I found that anything you can do with a full size half ton you can do with that. Just requires hooking up a trailer for a big job. Of course, in my world the big jobs don’t happen on a daily basis and in yours they may. Because of the size it was responsive in handling in a way no full size truck ever was that I have driven.

        Size was one thing and economy was another. Highway mileage in 2 of my 3 Datsun/Nissans was close to 30. Possibly that is becoming standard. Only the 81 Datsun with the three speed automatic got less. None of them got less than 20 around town. 22 or 24 was standard. I think Nissan shot themselves (and me) in the foot when they developed the NAPS-Z engine line with aluminum heads on a cast iron block. I can attest that the head gaskets are the limiting factor on these engines. Should have had a Toyota with r22. IMO the people who like the small pickups are the same people who liked the El Caminos and Rancheros. I am one of them

        If my 87 Nissan were willing I would still be driving it. If my 91 S10 had been a King Cab I never would have sold it. If they had kept on making small trucks there would have been a good used one I could have bought. Lots of if situations but since they didn’t happen I drive a mid size SUV (4runner) and use trailers to customize the capabilities. I think that the manufacturers are not looking at us and couldn’t satisfy us if they did.

        I would not buy one new. I think I am through with buying new vehicles of any sort. With cars there are too many good used ones. With trucks, at 71 years old I think it’s cheaper to keep the 4runner going and as I get our farm the way I want, I am getting closer to the point where a mid size car/cuv or suv will do everything.

        • 0 avatar
          SpinnyD

          I had a 86 Nissan with the NAPS-Z engine, never had a problem with the engine in 180K miles, The Transmission, however…… Let’s say it was less than stellar. I think I had to drop it out of the truck every 20-30k miles for something or other. Best time was when the speedo quit working and a week later it ate 5th gear. Turns out the little gear that ran the speedo came off in the tranny swam around for a few days then took out 5th. Good Times! Other than that I would love to have it back, I gave it to my brother when I bought a new 93 civic, he wrecked and rebuilt it twice then sold it off. Last I saw of it it was on it’s way to Atlanta. Good, Fun truck, It would absolutely fly! Everyone I took for a ride would be amazed at how fast it was for a little 4 cyl truck.

          • 0 avatar
            frozenman

            Scoutdude I said “updated Ridgeline” aka 2016 model coming out, but thanks for the BS that the current Ridgeline gets worse fuel economy than a full size gasser, I know where I’ll file that nugget of info.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Having fun making up tales, Denver? You remind me of Gilligan–always getting your facts screwed up. (Did you know the actor’s name was Denver, too?)

        I did own an ’83 Mitsubishi. It was a good truck and got good gas mileage while I had it. Circumstances at the time prevented me from keeping it. I’ve still got feelers on the ’94 Ranger (stripper 5-speed, by the way) but I have to wait til the current owner realizes he doesn’t need it any more. At 30k miles and garage-kept, it’s in remarkable shape for its age. But that’s beside the point. That ’90 Lariat XLT? Gone. I sold it simply because it was too big and I only put about 5,000 miles on it in three years. Too big and thirsty to use as an everyday driver and for me a typical Ford–needing little, annoying, expensive repairs the whole time I owned it. Sure, the thing ran great–bloomin’ 5.0 Mustang engine under the hood sounded great, too… while you literally watched the fuel gauge drop with how thirsty that engine was. Range on two full tanks of gas? Roughly 400 miles–on 32 gallons. I couldn’t afford to keep it.

        No more do I want a “mid-sized” truck any more–they’ve grown to ’80’s vintage full size. I want a true compact that might just be the size of an ’80s vintage mid-size. I would happily accept a Chevy Montana or a Fiat Strada with extended cab; they would be almost perfectly sized and get a damn-sight better fuel mileage than any other truck on the roads today. Including the aluminum F-150.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Toyota can put out a Tacoma that has no change and it will still sell like hot cakes because people will buy it just because of the name and not look at anything else. I have known people who will buy a Toyota without even driving it. Toyota has become a very conservative company and will not change anything unless the competition gains ground in a competing segment. Case in point is the Corolla and the Camry which have had some real competition in the corresponding compact and midsize car segment. Only if the Colorado/Canyon gain a noticeable share of the midsize truck market will cause Toyota to make significant changes to the Tacoma. Big Al if the Colorado/Canyon gain significant sales with a diesel then Toyota will add a diesel option to the Tacoma. Toyota and Honda which were more innovative in the past have taken a much more conservative approach to their vehicles Both have good vehicles but the competition has either caught up to both of them or they have passed them in having a fresher and more advanced product. Toyota and Honda make quality products but much of the competition is at least equal. Many will just buy a Toyota or Honda just on reputation and not even consider a competing brand. Hyundai and Kia for the most part have caught up to the quality of Toyota and Honda and have become much more innovative.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Toyota can put out a Tacoma that has no change and it will still sell like hot cakes because people will buy it just because of the name and not look at anything else. I have known people who will buy a Toyota without even driving it. Toyota has become a very conservative company and will not change anything unless the competition gains ground in a competing segment. Case in point is the Corolla and the Camry which have had some real competition in the corresponding compact and midsize car segment. Only if the Colorado/Canyon gain a noticeable share of the midsize truck market will cause Toyota to make significant changes to the Tacoma. Big Al if the Colorado/Canyon gain significant sales with a diesel then Toyota will add a diesel option to the Tacoma. Toyota and Honda which were more innovative in the past have taken a much more conservative approach to their vehicles Both have good vehicles but the competition has either caught up to both of them or they have passed them in having a fresher and more advanced product. Toyota and Honda make quality products but much of the competition is at least equal. Many will just buy a Toyota or Honda just on reputation and not even consider a competing brand. Hyundai and Kia for the most part have caught up to the quality of Toyota and Honda and have become much more innovative. We will have to wait to see if Toyota adds any new drive trains to the Tacoma.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    We will have to wait to see if Toyota adds new engines and transmissions to the 2016 Tacoma, otherwise this is just a warmed over Tacoma–not bad but more of the same. Toyota is a very conservative company and not prone to change unless prompted by the competition. The only way Toyota is going to change Tacoma significantly would be if the Colorado/Canyon gains market share on them. Case in point is the Corolla and Camry that only change when the competition in the corresponding compact and midsize car segment started to gain traction. Tacoma is not a bad truck but it is not great either–so so. If I were buying a midsize truck I would look at the Colorado/Canyon first.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I was at a car show recently and I really liked the Canyon. What struck me as interesting is that it’s size is the size of full size truck of 15 years ago. It’s good to see some additional choices again in the “midsize” truck market.

    Now if Jeep were to just put out a Wrangler based pickup…

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The fullsize trucks of 15+ years ago haven’t grown one inch in width. Now the regular cabs did grow about 7″ so the straight up bench seats could go to buckets that recline comfortably. Much needed! While current extra cabs haven’t seen much of any added length.

      But most ’90s and older fullsize had 8 ft beds, with the occasional extra cab fullsize with a 6.5 ft bed.

      Crew cabs didn’t exist in 1/2 tons, 15+ years ago, but when they were offered on 1/2 tons, they came with never seen before, 5.5 ft beds.

      So unless you’re comparing old vs new regular cabs, not much has changed in fullsize trucks since then. Newer fullsize are otherwise about 7″ longer in the form a more aero front clips, vs vintage blunt, flat noses.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    One item about the Tacoma I didn’t see above (unless I missed it) was resale. Years ago I bought a used Tacoma Xcab V6 as a second car and HP and resale value were my drivers. Sure enough I sold it three years later for exactly what I bought it for.

    Second, while the market for these cars in the US is in decline, this is a global car. In my trips to the Middle East and South America, these are everywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The problem is brand new midsize trucks are cons!dered a poor value. Combined with scarce, measly rebates, midsize pickup fans like me prefer, or are forced to wait for clean, used midsize pickups.

      Too many of us waiting for too few original owners to take the initial hit, from brand new. Then hope the don’t trash them too much before selling. No problem since most are lifestyle trucks.

      It’s the same scenario with the higher resale of Jeep Wranglers.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Agree with the resale value. For what people were asking used compact Toyota PU’s in ’93, I figured I was money ahead buying a new one. I ended getting a really good deal which made going used pretty much pointless. Plus I wanted a V6 for towing and most had the gutless 4 banger which made the truck all but useless for me.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The resale value on Tacoma is excellent, that is one reason Toyota is reluctant to change it unless forced to by the competition. As for full size trucks they are much bigger and considerably taller now than they were 30 years ago. Some where between the current full size and midsize would be a good size, possibly the new global size in a few years.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I would argue that with the Colorado being called a “mid-sized truck”, the size you describe is already here and it’s still too tall. In fact, it’s just as big in nearly every dimension as the ’80s and ’90s full-sized trucks.

      The tailgate of a true midsized truck should be much lower and easier to lift heavy loads into. Thigh level or maybe even knee level would be nearly ideal as it would be much easier to swing logs, sandbags, almost any kind of loose load into the bed than these current waist-high and higher bed floors. This also means that such a truck wouldn’t NEED to be twenty feet long any more which means that the overall size of such a truck could be ¾ ths the size of a full sized truck and if it carried the same engine/tranny/final drive ratio would probably see a 15%-25% fuel savings as well by dint of not only an overall lighter vehicle but also a smaller frontal area meaning lower total drag. As we’ve already seen elsewhere, the REAL fuel economy of a full size F-150 with the 2.7 EcoBoost is not 26mpg highway, but more like 19mpg highway at typical driving speeds. A smaller truck with the same drivetrain might actually achieve Ford’s stated figures.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I’d honestly be surprised if Toyota expects to make much money on the Tacoma going forward. Yes, they’ve built it forever, but the Tacoma shares basically nothing with anything else they build. Very little economy of scale unlike the FWD Toyota offerings. 4Runner sales are way down since the 2nd generation Tacoma arrived in 2004. With the 3rd gen, you have to think Toyota is wondering how to keep it profitable without the 4Runner being counted on for matching volume.

    I think we’ll see an all new interior, new powertains, and new tech inside. The Tacoma will be changed evolutionary rather than revolutionary from this version forward.

  • avatar
    JayDub

    I am THAT guy. Sitting on the fence regarding – 4WD Canyon, Tacoma, or perhaps Sierra as next purchase.

    “The GM mid-sizers might be better trucks in an objective sense, but much of the Taco’s appeal in key markets like California likes in the fact that it’s not a domestic truck. In the same way that California surf bros wouldn’t be caught dead driving an American truck, the heartland truck consumer won’t entertain the idea of a mid-size import truck”

    Funny. I grew up in the Motor City, but now I am a “California surf bro”. Actually, it seems 50:50; a lot of douchey Cali bros seem to like domestic PU’s, but a ton also drive Tundras, etc.

    I used to own a Tacoma TRD.

    Last night, driving back from LA to Mammoth, I intentionally drove out of my way to find a GMC dealer and compare the Canyon All-Terrain to the Sierra Z71.

    Tough call, based on size vs. features vs. cost. At this point, based on cost, I would go Canyon All-Terrain or Tacoma TRD. The Sierra sure is nice AND roomy (especially as a sports gear father with two boys), but seems too expensive, and less nimble on tight 4wd trails.

    Let’s see what Toyota bring to Detroit on January 16th.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do find is quite amazing at some of the comments regarding the US pickup market.

    Many are speaking of the pickup as if it is some form of work truck, when in fact 75% of them are just a car/SUV. I just had a relatively involved debate with a person who still cons!ders the pickup a truck, when in fact is just a lifestyle SUV, not a truck.

    If one looks at how the US car market gradually moved away from the tanks of yesteryear all because of CAFE I do think a similar move will occur in the pickup world. Not to the same extent though as the manufacturers will really fight tooth and nail to maintain the goose that lays the golden egg or should I say geese.

    The profit margins on pickups are extremely high, how else can a manufacturer offer the money on the hood.

    I do foresee a large increase in the midsize market. Now, when I state midsize market I’m not discussing the decimation of the full size market. One should remember the size of the midsize market is relatively small. So, even a doubling in size or even more is doable.

    The profits of full size pickups will gradually diminish as well as regulation takes hold and forces the manufacturers to devise ways to maintain and improve vehicle performance.

    Robert Ryan is correct in that the US market is different than the global market for commercial vehicles, but I don’t know of any OECD country that has such harsh protection on it’s commercial vehicles which reduces external competition.

    The removal of this protection would surely place the US vehicle manufacturers under some duress financially.

    The US midsize market is hampered by this protection. If the US commercial vehicle market opened up to external competition you would see prices lower considerably on pickups in particular as alternative would enter.

    Once an industry of economy is too reliant on handouts inefficiencies develop. This is not good for the consumer or is the artificially high prices paid for your pickups.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do find is quite amazing at some of the comments regarding the US pickup market and even the lack of knowledge on external markets.

    Many are speaking of the pickup as if it is some form of work truck, when in fact 75% of them are just a car/SUV. I just had a relatively involved debate with a person who still cons!ders the pickup a truck, when in fact is just a lifestyle SUV, not a truck.

    If one looks at how the US car market gradually moved away from the tanks of yesteryear all because of CAFE I do think a similar move will occur in the pickup world. Not to the same extent though as the manufacturers will really fight tooth and nail to maintain the goose that lays the golden egg or should I say geese.

    The profit margins on pickups are extremely high, how else can a manufacturer offer the money on the hood.

    I do foresee a large increase in the midsize market. Now, when I state midsize market I’m not discussing the decimation of the full size market. One should remember the size of the midsize market is relatively small. So, even a doubling in size or even more is doable.

    The profits of full size pickups will gradually diminish as well as regulation takes hold and forces the manufacturers to devise ways to maintain and improve vehicle performance.

    Robert Ryan is correct in that the US market is different than the global market for commercial vehicles, but I don’t know of any OECD country that has such harsh protection on it’s commercial vehicles which reduces external competition.

    The removal of this protection would surely place the US vehicle manufacturers under some duress financially.

    The US midsize market is hampered by this protection. If the US commercial vehicle market opened up to external competition you would see prices lower cons!derably on pickups in particular as alternative would enter.

    Once an industry of economy is too reliant on handouts inefficiencies develop. This is not good for the consumer or is the artificially high prices paid for your pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Where’s the “artificially high prices”? luxo pickups? Fullsize, and really all size pickups start at “base” (cheap and easy to build) Camry prices in the North America. And is there a Platinum or King Ranch Proton or Mahindra?

      But don’t worry about what pickups are used for, even if all pickups are protected by CAFE, including midsize. And the Tundra and Titan too.

      Pickup trucks would never need bailing out, if they were their own entities. They were innocent in all that mess.

      If the midsize market is hampered, look who’s benefitting. Not one will agree that it is though. And I don’t see global OEMs wanting a piece of the misery, including catering to bottom feeders and cheapskates. Nor wanting to come back to it. Like Mitsu, Mazda, Isuzu, Ford, Dodge, VW, Subaru, etc..

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Through personal experience in auto sales, I can tell you that all pickups have grossly exaggerated pricing–only conservatively estimated at 20% for the base models and well over 50% for the luxury models like the Raptor, Platinum and King Ranch editions for Ford.

        After all, how else could they get away with a 10%-25% discount off the hood and still claim high profits on them?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – The market dictates (transactional) prices. OEMs are just along for the ride. And profits have little to nothing to do with price.

          Dealer profit margins are not dependent.

          No, “volume” sales figures dictates profit potential. If less than 100,000 F-150s sold a year, profits would be a negative amount, with equal pricing.

          Basic stuff here, so tell me you’re not trolling.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Denver, did you miss where I said, “Through personal experience …”? I know you’re wrong because I’ve been there. I KNOW their MSRP is jacked way beyond cost. That’s exactly WHY they’re able to take thousands off the hood while the OEMs get rich off of them. Most of an OEM’s cars are loss leaders by comparison until you get into the higher trim levels.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – I don’t know why I bother. You don’t listen or pay attention.

            The only thing that makes fullsize pickups wildly profitable is “volume”. If a Taurus sold 600,000+ units annually and the F-150 just 40,000 units, guess which one would be wildly profitable and which the loss leader (for the OEM)?

            You would guess the Taurus is the loss leader because it sells for half as much. Remember the Taurus also costs about half as much to build as the F-150.

            Point is the F-150 is actually crazy expensive to build and the ONLY thing that makes it profitable is the tremendous volume of sales. Without that the F-150 couldn’t exist. Or maybe with transactional prices between $65,000 to $125,000 to be barely profitable for Ford (the OEM).

            Remember Ford (the OEM) took a big loss on the Ford GT with an MSRP of $125,000 or so.

            The dealers gross a much bigger profit (percentage per unit) from the F-150 than the Taurus for it’s a bigger ticket item. But that has nothing to do with volume.

            And the dealer will make a profit off of everything it sells, even if the OEM takes a huge tremendous loss on the car. The Chevy Volt for example.

            The OEM and new car dealer are 2 very different business models, even if they share the same name on the sign out front.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You keep repeating the same points based on opinion only. Sure, I’ll agree that there’s a lot of volume in pickup trucks, but answer me this: if it’s volume alone that brings Ford so much cash, why doesn’t Toyota tout record profits every year from their most popular sedan? They sell more of those sedans that Ford sells F-150s yet it’s always Ford that claims the highest profits.

            My point, It Is Not Just Volume.

            When has Toyota ever taken $10,000 off the MSRP of the Camry in a sale? When have they ever offered $5,000 off so regularly that buyers expect it? Your argument falls flat on the reality that the trucks simply carry prices high enough that sacrificing 10% off the top has almost no effect on overall profits and certainly doesn’t require the use of “loss leaders” to bring buyers in the door.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – It’s not opinion. And Toyota does tout the Camry, the 12th most profitable car in the world. Why do you think that is? Think this time…

            OK, why not the Tundra? Why isn’t the Tundra anywhere as profitable as either the F-150 or Camry???

            The Tundra is nowhere near the list of most profitable, actually. Probably on the list of LEAST profitable, if there was such a list.

            It all comes down to VOLUME. Always has. Always will!

            Now because Toyota sells so many Camrys, damn right they can take AT LEAST $5,000 off MSRP. But they don’t have to so they don’t. With Big 3 trucks it’s expected, and worked into the MSRP.

            Toyota made the Camry extremely profitable, by selling so many of them. They earned it and don’t have to pass the savings on to the consumer. Meaning what they save on building it so extremely cheap, because of that VOLUME.

            The more you make of anything, the cheaper everything gets (for it). Assembly line, real estate-building, machinery, parts themselves, etc, use your imagination. Engineering? R & D? And the more efficient/faster you get at screwing it together means faster profits and less labour per car.

            Big 3 trucks have to be discounted dramatically when they gather dust on the lot. Especially luxo trucks. They must be SOLD! That’s mostly b/c there’s hundreds, if not 1,000s of combination, and all the OEM and dealer can do is take an educated guess on what will sell. The rest get heavily marked down…

            With Tundras, there’s much less combinations of trim, axles, engines, packages, value packs, etc. So they’re built on time, or as close to as possible. Obviously there’s less wiggle room on price, with shoestring profits.

            You’re still not thinking are you???

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok Denver, you started this, let’s see if you can follow through.

            1: “And Toyota does tout the Camry, the 12th most profitable car in the world.”
            — List them in order from most profitable to 12th. Go farther if you can and show exactly how much profit each makes.

            2: “The Tundra is nowhere near the list of most profitable, actually. Probably on the list of LEAST profitable, if there was such a list.”
            — Compare out-the-door prices of all the full-sized trucks. Please note the ‘off the hood’ cash.

            I would also like to note that Android is the most popular smartphone OS in the world, yet iOS is the most profitable. Why? Maybe it’s time for you to do some real thinking, hmmm?

            As I’ve said twice before, my knowledge comes from real-world EXPERIENCE. I was there when dealerships I worked at put stickers in the windows of their trucks at up to 100% ABOVE invoice. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt when I more conservatively estimate they’re now 50% above invoice due to all the safety gear and added engineering involved. I’m not stupid, no matter how much you may think I am.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Why would I make stuff up if we’re not even dating??? And can’t use a computer suddenly? This is Derek K’s work:

            autoguide.com/auto-news/2011/11/top-12-most-profitable-vehicles.html

            I can’t help you on the exact profit figures, but the point remains.

            The transactional or “out-the-door” prices have zero to do with the topic. If it were that simple, Ferrari and Lamborghini would be the most profitable OEMs, instead of bought out by Fiat and VW.

            Your “real world” experience means zero. Dealer profit means nothing in the topic. There may be 1000% profit for a hot dog vendor, but that doesn’t mean the wiener maker is turning a profit at all. Could be going broke.

            You’re all confused, all around.

            And why would I claim they were exempt from the tariff?

            I said “…when they started growing in size” in the same sentence. What exactly would the tariff have to do with “size”?

            Mini-trucks went exempt from the gas guzzler tax and the FE standards for cars around ’91. The were then exempt same as all “trucks”, including minivans, SUV, etc. That’s when everything that wasn’t a car started to grow to a bigger size.

            By the time CAFE set the “2025” schedule (around 2010), we already had the bloated midsize and crew cabs with 6′ beds.

            I doesn’t matter where a truck is built, (US, overseas), the same rules apply here for US standards. Why would I imply different?

            And it’s not a 45 mpg requirement. That’s the CAFE number. The EPA sticker is what’s reality. And that’s about 30 mpg for the fleet.

            Point is, the US largely moved away from tiny pickups, especially FWDs, with no help from government or regulators. That market went away on its own. That may be the answer in the coming years, as far as “pickups” go, but if we don’t want them, (and we likely won’t), what we have now will prevail. With a few tweaks, we’re almost there. Not a problem, unless midsize pickups refuse to give them fullsize powertrains. Common sense. If fullsize can easily do it, midsize just need to have fullsize engines/trans with smaller bodies and chassis’, plus less aggressive gearing.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It certainly doesn’t help your case that you’re using three-year-old data to support your case. The site you linked doesn’t even have a listing for 2013 or 2014. However, your argument doesn’t disprove my point that trucks have FAR more profit built in than cars. The #1 most profitably BY THAT LIST was the F-150–which sold fewer in number than the Camry in the same year IIRC.

            Oh, and what part of MSRP don’t you understand? Look again at those truck prices. The “thousands off the hood” are coming from the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price–yet again proving that profits on trucks are far, far higher than any car.

            Oh, I notice you didn’t answer my question, either. Exactly what were those trucks supposed to be exempt from? The small import trucks were driven out by a combination of factors which includes (despite your personal opinion) the Chicken Tax–which also helped to drive inflation at the time (before someone else tries to claim that it was inflation, not the CT, that drove them out.) And as so many have already asked: Why, if it no longer has any effect at all, is the Chicken Tax still on the books and why, if it no longer has any effect at all, is Volkswagen arguing that the US will never see its pickup truck and WHY, if it no longer has any effect at all, is Ford now asking for the Chicken Tax to be repealed?

            It is not that the US consumer moved away from tiny trucks as it was that the small truck was taken away from the consumers who really wanted them. The Ranger, S-10 and Dakota were able to absorb some of the market in the early days, but as they grew, the people who really wanted and needed smaller simply couldn’t get what they wanted and still can’t. AND that is why Hyundai is now considering an attempt to bring a true small truck back into the US market.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – 3 yo data? The list hasn’t changed in 20+ years! The Camry… Why are you redirecting the topic. Do you even know what the topic is???

            The profit is NOT built in. You don’t even know what profit is!
            A much lower transaction price target, maybe. There may not even be a profit for several years into a generation. Although it might be “months” for the top 12. With the Tacoma it may be a decade in. Or more.

            But are you really saying the Camry should trade places on the list with the F-150 because it gained more sales the the F-150? REALLY???

            You’re talking talking about upfront “gross” profits of fullsize trucks for the dealer and OEM. That never minds how many trucks need to be sold to “net” the actual profits per truck, once the dust settles. And never minds the billions spent on R &D, factory, advertising, etc, etc. The more trucks than sell, the higher margins per truck, or the less it cost per truck. Eventually it’s almost all parts and labour, which is a small fraction of MSRP.

            “Import” Mini-trucks had no problem getting around the Chicken tax b/c it was a buying frenzy, obscene profits. When those essential things went away, they went awahttp://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/10/best-selling-pickup-trucks-september-2014.htmly. Including domestic Big 3 mini-trucks and midsize. Gone too! The Chicken tax never changed during the era, so how could it possibly change the market, especially the import pickups already built states!de???

            IDK why it’s not repealed. Ask Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, VW, etc.

            I don’t even agree, but Even if consumers rejected smaller trucks as they grew in size, that had zero to do with the Chicken tax. And even less to do with CAFE/EPA!!!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Also, Crazytrain, mini-truck buyers largely shifted to small and midsize, sport utilities, long before mini-trucks shifted to midsize bloat. You yourself went from a mini-truck to a Wrangler! You’re a big part of the problem!!!

            Once mini-truck sales started to torpedo, their OEMs tried to lure away fullsize pickup buyers, thinking that’s where they went mostly. So it was game on with the mini-truck bloat!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I just love how you intentionally misread comments if they don’t agree with yours.

            “But are you really saying the Camry should trade places on the list with the F-150 because it gained more sales the the F-150?”
            No, I’m saying the F-150 and the other two pickup trucks mentioned in that list are quite obviously more profitable BECAUSE they don’t sell as many units as the Toyota Camry even after taking thousands off the hood of the trucks.

            “”Import” Mini-trucks had no problem getting around the Chicken tax b/c it was a buying frenzy, obscene profits.”
            I note you qualify your statement by putting “Import” in quotes. Once the Chicken Tax eliminated a loophole, true imports vanished–they simply could no longer afford to sell in the US because their profits were wiped out by the tax. The remaining “imports” got around it by bringing full assembly into the US either at leased plants or sharing production lines with other vehicles already being assembled in the States until they could build new plants of their own. Even so, that limited the “imports” to Nissan and Toyota as Mazda chose to just badge-engineer the Ranger for a while. As for your “… no problem getting around … b/c it was a buying frenzy, obscene profits” I have to demand: Show me the proof. Again, once the Chicken Tax loophole was closed, the mini trucks simply vanished. Please prove me wrong with verifiable data.

            “IDK why it’s not repealed. Ask Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, VW, etc.”
            Don’t have to ask them. Quite clearly every one of them WANTS the Chicken Tax repealed because they can’t import the vehicles they KNOW there’s a demand for. Not one of them has a true compact pickup in the American market despite the fact that some of them (and others) have vehicles already in production that would meet the demand (once modified for US safety regulations). The VW Amarok is a perfect example of a truck that could easily compete with Nissan and Toyota’s current US offerings, but they can’t guarantee 100,000 annual sales in the first couple of years. They probably could once the truck gets established, but I’ll also note there are no guarantees.

            “I don’t even agree, but Even if consumer rejected smaller trucks as they grew in size, that had zero to do with the Chicken tax. And even less to do with CAFE/EPA!!!”
            I’m sure you have verifiable evidence of this. Or have you conveniently forgotten the old regulations? As I said before, the predecessor to the current CAFE rules based fuel economy on vehicle weight, which is a big reason why pickup trucks suddenly started growing in the late ’90s. The modern base F-150 is still 500 pounds heavier than my (now-departed) 1990 model while the ’14 model was more than 1,000 pounds heavier. Meanwhile, their “footprint” is growing to the point where they’re encroaching on Medium-duty truck sizes. They’re clearly too big to fit easily into a standard home’s garage any more.

            “Also, Crazytrain, mini-truck buyers largely shifted to small and midsize, sport utilities, long before mini-trucks shifted to midsize bloat.”
            Really? Are you talking about the Ford Bronco II based on the Ranger? The downsized Blazer, based on the S-10? The Isuzu Trooper? Etc? The few import models like the Isuzu, Nissan and Toyota used the one remaining dodge which Ford has been using even up to this day–the simple fact that if it is designed as a passenger carrier (i.e. two full rows of seats and a covered cargo area) the Chicken Tax doesn’t apply. When you consider that Ford particularly has been caught, not once but twice, trying to loophole the Transit through that rule, you can see that it wasn’t because they wanted to, but because they were forced to.

            All you manage to do with your arguments is prove that there is a demand for true compact trucks but no product to meet that demand.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      No, BAFO, we don’t see it your way, we’re not going to change it the way you want and if it came to a vote tomorrow I would lobby and vote for the retention of the C-Tax permanently just to let you know that your obsessive nearly psychopathic beating of this dead horse is totally meaningless to anyone here and you’ve had zero influence or effect on the way we do things

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I haven’t read one of BAFO’s posts in over a year. Has he said anything at all different during that time, or is the bot continuing to post the same three comments on a perpetual loop?

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          ” Has he said anything at all different during that time, or is the bot continuing to post the same three comments”

          No, he hasn’t said anything different, but once a year I wave my hand in front of his delirious shell-shocked face checking for a glimmer of sanity and reason, but alas another year has come and gone with the same results

          The lights are on, but nobody’s home :(

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @lie2me: While we do agree on some things, when it comes to the Chicken Tax, I totally disagree. We would have far more and much smaller import pickup trucks on the market were that tax to be eliminated (probably take about 2-5 years before the flow would really be noticeable) but you would again see trucks like the old Rabbit PU, Isuzu and now the Strada and maybe even the Chevy Montana hitting our roads. Pricing of these imports would probably drag down the prices of the high-end full sized trucks to ‘compete’, but where they would have the biggest effect is on the mid-size and smaller SUV/CUV market.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – What exactly makes you think OEMs with a history of selling pickups in the US and left the segment screaming bloody murder, want to make another go of it?

          Just for the record, the Chicken tax was there too, in full effect.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            What OEM has ever said they left the segment screaming bloody murder? They themselves drove the market under when they decided to dodge the fuel economy requirements by growing the trucks rather than trying for true economy. Obviously building a truck bigger is cheaper than doing the R&D to make them more efficient, but that dodge has done nothing but bite them under the tail as now they’re spending ten times as much to make microscopic gains. I’m quite sure Ford’s truck profits are going to fall significantly unless they jack the truck prices up even more to compensate. The simple fact that the AVERAGE transaction price of a full sized truck today is $10K more than that of the Camry shows that trucks are grossly overpriced already. With the new trucks already overpriced, can they risk pricing themselves right out of the market with these new highly-engineered models?

            And what of the economy? Sure, both Ford and the EPA say that the new aluminum F-150 with the 2.7 EcoBoost gets 26mpg, but a real-world test of the truck in 400 miles of driving demonstrated a best on-board figure of 19mpg and a calculated by fuel-fill figure of less than 18mpg. What that proves to me is what I’ve been saying all along; a smaller engine has to work harder just to push that huge mass through the wind than it would a smaller–much smaller–truck. That 2.7L engine is a mere 165c.i.d. and without the turbos would probably only be pushing around 100 horses–maybe 150. It can move the truck and it would certainly be a light-duty rig, but you’re certainly not gaining any kind of respectable fuel economy out of it.

            Even ignoring the Chicken Tax, for the American OEMs to reach the coming fuel economy requirements they’re going to have to come up with some real imaginative engineering. The all-aluminum body alone just ain’t cuttin’ it. And if Musk manages what he’s hinted at for a Tesla Model Y, he may end up the only manufacturer with a truck that exceeds those 2025 requirements.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Small trucks were completely exempt when they started growing in size. And started dropping out of the market, when consumers moved on to compact and midsize sports utility.

            It’s only around 2010 that CAFE laid out the 2025 mpg “requirements” or footprint schedule. And Fullsize trucks are almost already meeting it. Midsize trucks will take some work to get there, b/c they’re so inefficient pigs in nature. Not much R & D can change their over all dynamics. CAFE may not understand this. Smaller scale should get better mpg, every time. Common sense. But it doesn’t always work out than way. Sorry to say. Hint: power to weight ratio…

            But requirements for midsize are only slightly less favourble than fullsize. The exaggerated examples CAFE uses in the “footprint” formula are a regular cab, short bed ’80s S10, that no longer exists, vs the rare “extra cab” F-150 with the “8 ft bed”. This is the longest 1/2 ton that’s ever been made. Actually the crew cab Tacoma with the 6′ bed has a bigger footprint than the base F-150.

            So the whole thing is blown out of proportion.

            It shouldn’t be a problem for midsize trucks. But even if they don’t meet it, CAFE fines are irrelevant at $120 per vehicle, or something like that. I’d be cheaper to leave them alone. But improving FE is the right thing to do.

            But I’m sure trucks with a gas V8, cylinder deactivation and other fuel sipping tech, along with a 10-speed trans will do the trick. Combined with aluminum bodies and other aero enhancements? That will easily exceed the 2025 requirements. But that’s for midsize trucks too. Yes a V8 or TTV6 in them will be necessary. I don’t know why they’re fighting it. They’re too big and heavy for their current engines.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Small trucks were completely exempt when they started growing in size.”
            — Completely exempt from what, the EPA fuel economy rules or the Chicken Tax? If they were actually built in the US they may have been exempt from the Chicken tax, but not the EPA economy rules. If they were built overseas they may have been exempt from the fuel economy rules, but not the Chicken Tax. You’ve got a circular logic problem there. And keep in mind that the trucks did grow far more because the smaller size just couldn’t keep up with that moving target as well as the larger sizes could.

            I believe as of about two years ago with the new CAFE rules, said trucks can’t dodge the requirements now as they are considered part of the overall manufacturer’s fleet and as such if they’re going to reach the fleet-wide goal of what…45mpg?… by 2025 they need to seriously improve truck economy PLUS find ways to balance it with their cars. That’s one reason why we’re seeing such a strong push towards hybrids and pure EVs (electric vehicles) from all the OEMs now, not just Toyota and Chevy. I’ll grant they all already have to build “compliance cars” to match California’s ZEV regulations–regulations that have now been extended to 9 additional states–but so far the only company that best meets those regulations is Tesla, who’s entire fleet exceeds that figure in both actual numbers (they simply don’t use fuel) and figuratively (roughly 85mpg-equivalent).

            Over and over again your logic fails when it comes to truck dynamics, too. The proof of that is the new 2.7L EcoBoost F-150, which in real-world driving fell far, FAR short of its rated 26mpg. This could bite them in the tailgate the same way Ford got bit by its C-max mileage claims. Dropping weight may help acceleration (i.e. City) figures, but it’s not going to do a thing against aerodynamic (i.e. highway) numbers. Those trucks can have the lowest Coefficient of Drag on the road, but when that number is multiplied by frontal area, you’re still pushing the equivalent of a brick wall down the road. A smaller truck–and I’m talking a minimum of 25% smaller, would naturally see better economy from the exact same drivetrain (which is another argument you never could understand.)

            And what we’re calling mid-sized trucks today–the Colorado/Canyon in particular–are simply not small enough to have more than a minimal effect on fuel economy.

            Finally, you argued that 2010 CAFE laid out the ‘footprint’ schedule. I’ll give you that one. But the older CAFE used weight, not size per se, to differentiate between trucks and cars which is why cars like the Ford Panthers and the GM full-sized bodies (I don’t remember their designation) got so big and rounded before they finally had to be dropped–they could no longer keep up with the target economies.

            Even so, today’s pickup trucks are coming dangerously close to growing too large for their “light duty” class in both footprint and weight. For ’14, Ford had to remove bumpers and other parts for one test just to stay below Medium Duty curb weight. Ford is using the aluminum body to pull itself back down, but adding a tiny engine and expecting it to realistically pull that big body around is ludicrous! Worse, most pickup drivers already know this as they keep demanding more and more power. You can’t get both and expect decent economy; you never could.

            No matter how much weight you remove; no matter how aerodynamic you try to make it; no matter how many gears in the transmission, if you put too small an engine under the hood, you’re simply not going to get the economy AND the power from that big truck. A compact truck from 25%-33% smaller on the other hand would benefit from all of the above using that same drivetrain.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lie2me,
        You’ve just presented a rather immature retort. So, I’ll respond in a language I do hope yourself and a few of the other deniers can comprehend.

        The reality is this. How can a 25% impost on a product not have a dramatic affect? Ask any of our economists who comment on TTAC.

        Here’s an example;
        I move to the US and of all things I open a chicken take out, let’s call it Big Al’s Fried Chicken. You open a fried chicken outlet in the same town.

        Now you procure your chicken from say your third world neighbour to the north. We’ll call this country Quebec. I source my chicken in the US.

        I’m paying $1.00 per pound for my chicken and you are getting a good deal at 90c Loonie.

        Now the US government will apply a tariff or say 25% on your imported chicken. For arguments sake we’ll call it the “Chicken Tax” (English), poulet impot in (Quebecistanian).

        How can you compete against myself in business. My business is loaded with an extreme advantage in comparison to yours. Is this fair?

        What occurs is I can pump up the price of my “Big Al’s Fried Chicken” and make heaps of profit, whilst you couldn’t sell a fried chicken beak.

        How fair is this to the public? What will occur is the US chicken farmer will have to become more productive to compete against Quebecistan.

        This improves productivity and increases wealth, so more and different jobs can be had or the money invested into more productive industries, again improving productivity.

        This is called capitalism, not socialism.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – Many “import” OEMs build in the US and Mexico with no pressure from the Chicken tax. This includes Ford, GM, Chrysler, Ram, VW and BMW. And the 25% is an arbitrary number since import truck OEMs never pay it. It could be 5% or 5,000%. But always 100% Irrelevant.

          If an OEM can’t figure a way around it, their heart’s not really in it. They’ve done the Isuzu, Mitsu, Mazda, VW, Ford, Dodge, Subaru math is all.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DEnverMike – building a billion dollar factory in Mexico to fill a niche is not profitable so the whole “Mexico is exempt argument” is silly.

            The place where the tariff works is with lower margin/lower volume products like small trucks.

            Knock down kits still cost more money than shipping a complete product.

            Where is your documented evidence that says car companies “never pay it”????

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It doesn’t take a billion dollars to rent a warehouse for final assembly in TJ. Not even a billion Pesos. An acre of land and a 2,000 sqft shop would do it. A couple $1,000 a month. You’re talking Protons and Ssangyongs mostly, not Tacomas.

            If the OEMs wanted to do it, and they felt they could sell 3,000 a year or so, after Federalizing them, they’d be here. But Federalizing them may not be worth it on low margin, lower volume US/NA/Mexico sales.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Derek must have gotten his cheerleading outfit from Toyota in the mail yesterday.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The full size trucks are larger today than they were in the late 80’s and early 90s. They are also much taller with taller beds which are not the easy to reach into unless you have a ladder. The ideal size for a full size half ton would be somewhere in between the current full size and current midsize which is a possible size in the coming years when truck will meet the final mileage standards. Lighter materials in trucks will lead to smaller engines which don’t require as much room under the hood. I can see where a foot off the front of a truck could easily be taken off and this could possibly be the new global size which would render today’s midsize trucks not necessary.

    As for Toyota Tacoma they retain their value well and this new Tacoma will do well even if it is a refresh of the current one. Toyota is playing it safe and will not change unless a competitor gains ground on the Tacoma. The new Colorado/Canyon are very nice trucks and for what they offer they are much nicer than the Tacoma and the Frontier which are very good trucks but very dated. A real possible future product would be a true compact size truck based on the platform of a front wheel drive crossover or something like the Ford Transit. It is anyone’s guess what will happen but the future of pickups is lighter with smaller displacement engines. Tougher standards require more drastic measures for the truck manufacturers as Ford is doing with aluminum body F-150 and smaller EcoBoost engines.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I always get sucked in to comment when pickups are discussed. I don’t know why because it’s been decades since I owned a Rodeo.

    Pickups in the US are huge but they are also cheap, roads are roomy and parking spaces are designed to cater for them. We have somewhat similar conditions in Oz and I am sure if the big buggers were available here for similar prices they would sell like donuts. BUT these monsters are only built in LHD and cost double once converted. Hence we are stuck with the global mid size trucks.

    Having said that, Ford Australia did most of the design for the new Ranger which is cheaply built in Thailand. It always beats the Colorado in reviews and would probably outsell it in the States but would never seriously threaten the F-series.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Spike_in_Brisbane,
      I do think some of what you state is correct.

      What I also do know is we are currently paying less for most of our cars and utes than what the US consumer is expected to fork over.

      A base model ute with a diesel in Australia can be had for $22 000AUD. This translates into $17 500USD. Where in the US can you buy a diesel midsizer for that kind of money?

      Here is a link to one of our Navara’s (Frontier) midspec with the 2.5 TDI 4×4 Dual Cab. It’s going for $34 990AUD or around $28 000USD driveaway, no more to pay. For our US commenters, Driveaway pricing in Australia, includes all on roads, transport, 3rd party personal insurance and stamp duty (tax). This amounts to around $2 000AUD.

      http://www.nissan.com.au/Cars-Vehicles/Navara/Offers

      So, it isn’t as it all appears in the US.

      When I was just in the US at my family’s for Christmas I decided to cook a Thai Curry for 5 people. I went out and bought the ingredients, you wouldn’t believe the cost…….$35USD at a supermarket called Shoprite.

      You might be able to buy 4 cartons (48 cans) of Coke for $12, but real food is the same price as here or even slightly more.

      So, yes some things are cheaper in the US. But the grass isn’t always greener.

      To top it off, our income is much higher. So, in effect as a percentage of our pay, we pay less for many things, including some vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        ShopRite is a 2nd tier overpriced store, had you gone to Walmart those same ingredients would have cost you $28 USD. On the way you could have stopped at one of our state-of-the-art gas stations and savored our luscious $2 a gallon gas

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          $2.49

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Shoprite 2nd tier?

          Really? It’s just a normal supermarket.

          I suppose I can believe you when you walk into a Walmart and it looks like a warehouse with raw concrete.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            They’re 2nd tier and expensive because they buy all their housebrand staples (canned, boxed foods, etc) from major distributors like… Wait for it… Walmart

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2me,
            It seem you little idea on how manufacturing-wholesaling-retailing operates.

            Shoprite will not buy from it’s competitor.

            Doh!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2me,
            Just added this before you submit another asinine retort;

            “The Wakefern Food Corporation, founded in 1946 and based in Keasbey, New Jersey, U.S.,[1][2] is the largest Retailers’ co-operative group of supermarkets in the United States and largest employer in New Jersey (36,000 workers).”

            “Wakefern owns one of the Northeast’s largest trucking fleets and is the fourth-largest cooperative in the United States.[4] In 2014, its revenue was $14.7 billion.”

            So they buy from Walmart??? It seems they are supplying third parties with wholesale items.

            “Wakefern supplies all of its members’ ShopRite stores as well as the PriceRite (founded in 1995) and The Fresh Grocer chains. In July, 2007, the cooperative announced that for the first time, it was offering its wholesale services to third-party supermarket operators, in the Northeastern United States and other areas of the country. Since then, Wakefern has announced deals to supply the Gristedes and Morton Williams chains of supermarkets in the New York City area, Heinen’s Fine Foods chain in Ohio, as well as The Market Place in Bermuda”

            I can see why many of your comments on TTAC are snide and juvenile. You seem to have as much of the auto-industry as retailing in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Spike in Brisbane
      There was comparison between a converted Tundra by Performax in your part of the world.and a Ford Ranger.
      The SUV like ride and space of the Tundra, plus it’s uniquenes were positives On the other hand, it’s fuel consumption, not really bad, but a lot more than Ranger, very paltry payload and marginal better towing performance and excessive width, were negatives The Conversions of the F250/F350 with 6.7 Diesel engine vastly better value for Caravanners

  • avatar
    SnarkyRichard

    @ PonchoIndian . The Toyota frames that rotted were made by an American company called Dana . And it will be a cold day in H E double toothpicks when I buy another GM vehicle since my first two cars were GM and total junk ! Not to mention my Dads’s brand new 69 and 74 Chevy pickups rusting way into nothingness !

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      SnarkyRichard
      2 problems with your comment.

      DANA did indeed produce the frames that rotted through. They produced them to the specifications that Toyota gave them. Nothing more nothing less. Hardly the fault of DANA.

      Will you never buy a vehicle with Delphi parts in it? They did produce the ignition switch that was in the Cobalts that have been turned into the death cars of the century.

      In using your logic, no one would be buying Japanese cars these days because they all experienced sever rust issues in the 70’s and 80’s. They also shouldn’t buy anything with a Delphi part in it since they produced the ignition switch for the Cobalt.

      • 0 avatar
        SnarkyRichard

        But Dana did not galvanize those frames for rust protection , if they did everything right than why did Toyota win a lawsuit against them ? Rust just was one of several GM issues . My dad’s 74 C10 would sputter forever after the ignition was shut off until you actually put it in gear and released the clutch to stall it. Total junk like that turned me off GM products forever .

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          SnarkyRichard, I agree.

          I used to be a GM fan. Drove them for decades. Pride and joy were a 1972 Custom Cruiser 455 and a 1977 Toronado 455, both bought new.

          Made the transition to Toyota in 2008 and haven’t looked back since.

          We own a 2011 Tundra and a 2015 Sequoia these days, along with a 2012 Grand Cherokee and that 2008 Highlander.

          You betcha!

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Snarky
          Please provide some source for this lawsuit
          Your argument still doesn’t hold much water if you just open your eyes a litte.

          HighDC,

          The GC that you bitch about being a POS that you gave to a daughter or grand daughter? The way you say you don’t have money when you are buying people in your family cars and then buying $50K cars for your immediate household like it’s nothing?

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