By on January 20, 2015

Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

We are off to Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area to test out the new Jeep Renegade. In the meantime, here’s what you missed.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

83 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: January 20th, 2015...”


  • avatar
    kovakp

    Just more evasive teasing from O’Brien on the Santa Cruz. I really want this to happen.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      “It’s always harder to do something that doesn’t exist. But think about it; CUVs didn’t exist 10 years ago.”

      This guy is an auto executive?

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      As this was one of my predictions for 2015, I’m standing pat. That thing isn’t going to happen.

      Make me eat my words, Hyundai!

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I doubt it will happen either especially since they are REALLY teasing us with the mention of a diesel engine. 190 Hp / 300 TQ. Thus this could replace my Dakota. Since its just a Tucson with a bed instead of the CUV hatch it can’t be that expensive to make. But can it really tow? My boat is pretty light (16 foot w/trailer around 2,000lbs?) but that is pushing the limits of what such a small CUV can really handle.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          My wifes prior gen Tucson (2007) with the 2.0 4 cylinder and a 4 speed auto is rated at 2000 pounds (2000 braked, 1500 unbraked IIRC). Personally I wouldn’t pull a greasy string out of a cat’s behind with it but Hyundai says it could tow my little pop up without issue. This rig should be able to better those numbers with all that torque.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Yoo Il Lee – “I cannot tell you when, but we have to go, definitely,”

    Uh, OK. The article linked to mentions that the feasibility studies have already been done but I wonder what the questions were.

    “Are you ready for another Korean car company that isn’t Hyundai/Kia?”

  • avatar
    dbar1

    Korean Logic

    Step 1. Remake a Colorado
    Step 2. Make it Fugly and put useless tires/wheels on it
    Step 3. ??? (Market them to Anti-American-Hipsters)
    Step 4. Profit

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Can’t read the Ssangyong article without a subscription. It’s not much use.

  • avatar
    hiptech

    This car will be a big surprise hit because very few saw it coming and Hyundai didn’t hype it years in advance. Also, timing is right as CUVs are becoming too mainstream and the industry and public are always looking for the next new thing.

    As I’ve said before this vehicle doesn’t compete with utility pickups and doesn’t need to. It’s a lifestyle vehicle for ppl who want something stylish and have a need for only occasional light duty hauling… Costco & Home Depot runs primarily.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I am very into this car. It’s the first Hyundai I would ever desire to own. Hopefully they’ll allow for plenty of options so you can load it up. I also want the KDM badges if there are any.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      A 2-seater CUV with a balcony? Why the vulpii would be all over this (when they hit the used car market)! It would pick up where the BRAT left off.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Looks pretty useless to me. Can’t see it ever selling in numbers to justify its existence.

        • 0 avatar
          Crabspirits

          This is the next Subaru Baja once all it’s concept styling is washed out, only it will sell worse because having only two doors means your life will be unfathomably inconvenienced according to most of the public.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Huh? How does having only two doors mean, “… your life will be unfathomably inconvenienced?” Where’s the logic in that?

            Not everybody needs or wants four doors. I most certainly don’t need them with only me, my wife and my dog. I have no kids to carry, only bowling bags (balls split if they get too hot or too cold) and the occasional load of lumber or recyclables–certainly not enough to even consider a full-sized or even mid-sized truck–but enough that an open bed is a true convenience and utilitarian.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Don’t you mean, “NEW car market”, Denver? I’ve said it before that I don’t buy used unless I have no choice. I’m currently driving a 2014 Fiat 500 that I bought in 2014 and a 2008 Jeep Wrangler that I bought in 2007. I bought my 2002 Saturn Vue in 2002, too, and my ’96 Camaro in… guess… 1996. You, on the other hand, I wouldn’t know. But if I had to guess, you’ve never bought a NEW car in your life!

        Oh, and the Brat had competition while it was here–the Santa Cruz won’t.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        It’a actually a 5-seater tho it’s hard to imagine that the second row could carry 3 adults.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          Who would have guessed there was a second row of seats in that thing. Box is too small. If I can’t slide even a short track snowmobile back there once in awhile what’s the point? Even the guy at the local nursery couldn’t dump a bucket of bulk mulch in the back with his skid steer without 1/2 of it spilling all over the place. Useless, turn it back into a CUV.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Guess you missed where the bed extends, letting you carry longer loads. But then, it’s obvious you want something grossly too large for the purpose.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            No Vulpine I want something that actually has a purpose. I buy a PU truck that I can actually get some work out of, You buy one as a hobby/fashion accessory. That’s the difference between you & I.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And what makes you think you can’t get “work” out of one of these?

            Ok, so maybe it can’t haul a ton of stone and rock–I wouldn’t buy it for that purpose either. But I don’t need to haul a ton of stone and rock, I need to haul long tables a couple times a year, grab lumber from the local lumber yard, get tools and DIY supplies from Lowe’s and occasionally carry recyclables or other bulky materials I don’t want tearing up the interior of my car. (The Jeep hardly matters but since I have a soft top I have to unzip the back window and remove a bar every time I want to load/unload something larger than 12″ tall.)

            As I’ve said before, this is a near-perfect utility (not fashion accessory) vehicle for me. I’d much rather have a Strada/Ram700 or Montana, but Fiat and GM likely won’t bring theirs in until they see how well the Santa Cruz is accepted.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      You know, Hipster? I’m going to agree with you. But for those Costco and Home Depot runs, that’s far more utility that a friggin’ Road Whale™.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Santa Cruz doesn’t have any more Costco/Home Depot utility than a crossover. No one is putting a load of mulch or dirt back there either.

        • 0 avatar
          kovakp

          “The Santa Cruz doesn’t have any more Costco/Home Depot utility than a crossover.”

          Or than a minivan. People who need that kind of utility can buy a pickup or pay for delivery. The Santa Cruz is emphatically NOT about utility.

          It’s about a little cab, big wheels and ride height that still easily fit in your garage.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            I think that it’s more about style with a side helping of utility. If they can work out the extendable bed, it can carry bikes, boards and other sporting gear without messing up the interior. It can also handle trips to IKEA or other large boxes that won’t fit into a sedan. It could be a hit with buyers who wouldn’t be caught dead in a minivan and can’t deal with the size of CUVs and SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            Well, I wouldn’t care if all mine carried were a few bags of salt in the winter to keep the rear end from skittering in curves. I just hope they build the thing.

            I look at it as a chance to have an El Camino without the gas leak.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @ClutchCarGo: Don’t you mean, “Can’t deal with the size of a conventional pickup truck”?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Don’t bet on it, bball40dtw; I can almost guarantee that more than simply bicycles and motorcycles will ride back there.

    • 0 avatar
      hiptech

      Hey, I just seen a MX-5 packing a 42″ TV and I don’t think the driver was too worried about what statement he was making… it’s no different than ppl hauling manure inside an SUV. Folks will use whatever vehicle is around to get the job done.

      Based on this Autoline Daily (Truck Profits Too Big to Ignore, GM Leads in Autonomous Patents – Autoline Daily 1538) episode I just viewed if you’re like me and want to see this concept make it into a showroom better start bugging Hyundai…

      As John McElroy says in his short piece Hyundai will have to pay attention because “truck profits are too big to ignore.” Looks like the dealers have been hungering for this to happen for a long time. So if enough ppl call Hyundai it could very well happen.

      It all makes sense when you figure Hyundai put this trucklet out there for a reason. Sure they are testing the waters but you got to figure between the dealers and market research there must be a market for it otherwise why waste resources? Now all it will take is having enough demand for them to consider making it in North America and avoid the 25% import duty.

      If you’re interested check out the piece on YT. Just search using “Autoline Daily 1538” and start at 2 minutes 10 seconds in.

    • 0 avatar
      hiptech

      Feel free to pile on…

      http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/01/why-hyundai-will-build-the-santa-cruz-pickup.html

      A Hyundai pickup truck was one of this year’s big surprises at the Detroit Auto Show and while it might be a concept it’s far closer to becoming a reality than anyone might have guessed.

      “We’re very anxious to do something with the idea,” Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s VP of product planning said.

      According to O’Brien the Santa Cruz concept is the result of 18 months of planning and isn’t just a fancy model. In fact, everything about it is very real.

      “The engineering feasibility work has been done,” he said, commenting that it’s based on an existing crossover platform.

      That platform is likely the very same one that underpins the Tucson and O’Brien admits that the trucks specs are, “very similar to a sub-compact CUV.” What that means is that he expects a tow rating between 1,500 to 2,500 lbs, so it can tow anything from a jet ski to a pop-up trailer.

      Hyundai currently doesn’t offer any diesels in North America, but that could very well change with the introduction of the Santa Cruz. “This particular platform could have the diesel shown which is in production today,” said O’Brien. That engine is a 2.0-liter turbo delivering 190 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.

      While O’Brien said Hyundai has a wide variety of powertrains that could work in this platform application, “The diesel is the most promising because of the fuel economy it delivers.”

      Surprisingly, it’s also what customers are demanding. “It best matches in our research of what these customers are looking for,” said O’Brien. “Outstanding fuel economy, good torque and good driveability.”

      He also thinks a diesel is the right fit in terms of the concept behind the truck. “It gives it a sense of durability and ruggedness.”

      In addition, high-MPG diesels are becoming a necessity as automakers strive to meet increasingly strict government mandated corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets. O’Brien explained that while Hyundai is committed to the CAFE target of 54 mpg by 2015, “We won’t do that with the current product mix.”

      He said that in order to achieve that goal two things need to happen. The first is improved technology by automakers. The second is a migration from truck category vehicles to car category vehicles. However, “The opposite is happening,” said O’Brien, noting the growth in popularity of crossovers.

      To force the switch to fuel efficient models and products with fuel efficient engines he suggests the Santa Cruz as a “countermeasure,” offering fuel economy in the the high 30s but with truck utility.

      Specifically, the freedom of an open bed is something O’Brien said younger buyers are eager for. They’re fans of compact crossovers, but in Hyundai’s research they don’t want to mix their interior space with their outdoor toys. “This idea of some open bed utility just keeps growing in terms of interest,” he said.

      “It’s always harder to do something that doesn’t exist. But think about it; CUVs didn’t exist 10 years ago. It really took one or two manufacturers to just say ‘let’s try it out an see what happens.’”

      O’Brien did caution that Hyundai has made no decision on the Santa Cruz just yet, though he certainly outlined all of the reasons that it will more than likely move ahead with it. Based on an existing platform, “It really helps mange the cost of engineering, helping us make it a competitively priced product.”

      The introduction of the Santa Cruz could help Hyundai double the number of models based on the same architecture. It already sells 50,000 Tucsons per year in the U.S. “We think this product would certainly be that or better,” O’Brien said.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Interesting article, we’ll see

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Do you think it would beat the Ridgeline’s 14K annual sales? So if the Ridgeline was chopped up into a 2-seater, it would sell better? Maybe that’s its problem.

        And you don’t see the Ridgeline pickup having to dodge the Chicken tax.

        Just like the US built Honda Odyssey shares a platform and assembly line with the Ridgeline, the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup would share a Hyundai SUV platform and assembly line, in the lower US.

        But any pickup truck can be made in China, India or wherever, with final assembly in the US or Mexico. That’s a loophole. It’s still a high stakes gamble though. It may take 50 million dollars just to federalize a truck.

        Unless there’s decent volume, niche vehicle have it rough in the US, whether cars, pickup trucks or whatever. OEMs have to be willing to take a on losses, and lots of them.

        • 0 avatar
          hiptech

          As far as I’m aware when Ford first brought in the Transit Connect from Turkey they installed temporary seats. After the vehicles hit the US port & cleared customs out came the seats and the “trucks” went onto dealer lots. Has the TC gone onto wildly successful sales?
          I don’t know but apparently Ford thought it was worth the gamble.

          Obviously Hyundai is aware of all the pitfalls otherwise this would be a done deal. Look I get your point but bringing out new vehicles is tantamount to running for President. How many candidates (car models) are thrown into the ring, how much money is spent (invested) in hopes that the timing is right? Just because someone ran unsuccessfully previously doesn’t necessarily mean he/she won’t get elected the next or even 3rd time. Do you want to be the one to tell Mitt Romney he’s wasting his money?

          So with the exception of your Ridgeline comment everything else is correct… what’s your point?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Point is “lifestyle” vehicles are risky. Consumers in this segment tend to be fickle. Takes just the right dose of marketing, value, styling and perception. The Transit Connect has a locked-in purpose, at least with the tradies.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

    So now that every 911 will be a turbo, they’re going to have to come up with another moniker for their halo car.

    I propose: 911 Turbo Turbo.

    Because 911 Turbotronic sounds too Mercedes-like, and 911 XTurbo sounds too BMW-like. You’re welcome.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    There are now TWO new vehicles that I am extremely interested in: The Jeep Renegade which has some serious potential as a fun but practical on/off-roader and the Kia Santa Cruz which has serious potential as a true, fun, sport UTILITY vehicle. The Renegade will be on sale very soon (latest report says before the end of January) and the Santa Cruz is currently a concept investigating a potential (and currently un-tapped) market.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      A lot of niche segments remain untapped for a reason. Except this segment has been tapped before. And participating OEMs Tapped ouT. You may or may not buy one new, if they did build this. Or may not buy one at all.

      But the problem this or any niche has is fan boys aren’t serious about making it their primary ride nor having 2 new car payments. Lifestyle buyers would be their only hope, for *new* niche purchases. Except when having to decide between 4-Doors and an open trunk, most of the stuff they like to carry does just fine in a hatchback CUV and fold down seats. Same with your stuff. Now you’re going to tell me how you’re alway hauling cow manure. Bullsh!t maybe.

      • 0 avatar
        kovakp

        I agree, DM, this is purely a lifestyle vehicle and it would fit mine perfectly. I realize the chance of actually seeing one in a dealership is about 10%.

        The Renegade is a no-brainer, it’ll sell and sell. But admittedly the Santa Cruz is a stretch.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I’m not a rancher, cowboy, I’m a writer with planes, trains and automobiles as my hobbies. I have a need to carry things that I really DON’T want to carry inside a car, SUV, or CUV and sometimes things I simply can’t carry inside a car, SUV or CUV. If you ever tried to carry a stack of 8-foot flat-packs WITH your wife in the car, you’ll know it’s impossible to close the tailgate and you can’t guarantee that load won’t slide out due to the lack of tie downs within the vehicle. Worse, with the tailgate open with most of today’s models, you can’t help but get exhaust coming into the car, giving you carbon-monoxide poisoning every minute of the drive until you get that load home. If you’re going more than about 10 miles, you could pass out and cause a crash. There are reasons why manufacturers have made it more difficult to run with the back hatch open.

        Now, as for your “niche” argument, I might remind you I currently drive two Niche vehicles and they have both been primary drivers; A Jeep Wrangler and now a Fiat 500. That pickup truck I used to own clocked a mere 4,000 miles in three years simply because it was too big AND drank gas faster than my Jeep could ever hope to manage–even if I stuck a huge V8 under the hood.

        Again, I don’t need nor want four full doors and I don’t need nor want something that’s so big I can’t maneuver in tight quarters. The Santa Cruz is almost ideal for me–though I would prefer it were American-branded. I still hold hopes for the RAM 700 here in the States.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – I get it, your very specific “needs” are kind of oddball, or far from mainstream, but what’s with all the exhaust fumes drama? It’s not like the old days when you could actually see visions from sucking on a VW tailpipe. Today the exhaust from cars is cleaner than yesterday’s air going in, if you were in the Los Angeles basin. Save the drama for yo mama.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            No, not oddball, but driven by circumstances and legislation.

            My sister and her husband in West Palm had similar constraints put on them by the municipality where they live.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I think Denver got a hold of some bad vape. He hasn’t been posting his usual far-right-field nonsense lately. In fact, any more I don’t think even he knows what he’s saying. I’ve caught him too many times lately saying one thing in one post and the exact opposite in another.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    “We are off to Hollister Hills State Vehicle Recreation Area to test out the new Jeep Renegade.”

    Heyyyyyy… :(

  • avatar
    mkirk

    This motor and 4 doors and I’d give it a look when the Frontier gets tired.

  • avatar
    dwford

    As someone who works at a Hyundai dealer and has access to the Hyundai dealer site, I got to complete a quick survey on the Santa Cruz, basically asking what dealers thought. I gave it a hearty Yes Please!

    It’s never going to be a huge seller, but build it off the Tucson platform or even the Santa Fe Sport platform, with a regular 4 cylinder and a turbo option, it’s bound to sell better than the Veloster, Azera, and Genesis Coupe. Keep it city and let’s not pretend its a real truck. I’ll take it just like it is.

    • 0 avatar
      kovakp

      Bless you, Sir. I hope your Hyundai associates agree with you and add their votes.

      I’m just little-boy silly over this thing. I don’t NEED it to do anything except haul my carcass to work and the barbershop, look great and be Hyundai-reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      In the years Subaru sold the BAJA, sales of their other cars went down and Subaru over all profits went down also. They killed the BAJA and profit went up sharply. So I can forgive Hyundai’s hesitation and reluctance.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        With a little care, the BAJA was indestructible.

        I’ve commented before about the popularity of all Subies in the four-season mountains where I live. And this in spite of the nearest Subie dealer being >90 miles South of us in El Paso, TX.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “In the year, 2525…”

        Ok, tell us another one, Denver. Yet again you take totally unrelated datum and try to tie them together.

  • avatar
    mags1110

    You guys are way off, this car would be a complete failure. This America not Europe, we dont need this nor would any man with hair on his sack drive this ridiculous korean tin wagon on stilts. Honestly guys (men) come on just stop it…this would look great parked at a mall with a obama/biden sticker and one earth sticker I know but, please can we for once be proud of something we build here in the states and has command presence to say we have arrived not “hope im not in the way”. Yes im flying flag but my god yes I said the word god, im proud to do so

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The photo of the Hyundai ute does look good.

    I think it would even look better as a single cab.

    Offer it with the R22 (2.2l) diesel it would be an outstanding vehicle.

    320ftlb of torque, 40mpg on the highway. Able to tow a couple of tons effortlessly through hill and dale.

    I hope Hyundai make this. It would be a worth replacement for many of our Ford and Holden ute buyers (V6 not V8) and even some surfie types and even hairdressers. I don’t care.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Maybe this Santa Cruz is a niche vehicle but it stands a better chance of selling than if Hyundai made a full size half ton pickup that would compete against Ford, GM, Ram, Toyota, and Nissan. At least the costs to develop the Santa Cruz would be a lot less since it would use an existing platform unlike developing a full size from scratch. The break even point would be less and the worst that could happen is that Hyundai would pull it off the market in a few years. I would not be interested myself, but if there is enough interest then Hyundai might make it.

    Denver Mike carries on about only those who would buy a small vehicle will only buy used. DM has been using this same argument for years and it is starting to wear like a retread tire on its fifth retread. I think maybe this is more true for DM since this is what he does. I have my doubts if Hyundai will make this little truck.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Every niche has its hardcore fan base, like Vulpine and his obsession with subcompact pickup trucks. Although he admits the Santa Cruz would be “almost” perfect and not likely to buy it. Except the hardcore fans are very unlikely to make these their primary rides, therefor they prefer or limited to “used”. That’s where the hairdressers, gay/lesbian/trans, pensioners, rich kids, etc, come into play. These “lifestyle buyers” go from niche to niche for they absolutely have to make a “statement”. A Corolla or Camry just won’t do. The ‘niche’ they settle on can be an arbitrary thing. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. An impulsive buy at best.

      It’s well known 1st, or original owners of Wranglers, Miatas, FJs, etc, are these lifestyle buyers, with the hardcore fans of these and other niche vehicles waiting on the s!delines, salivating for 1st owners to get bored with them and move on to the next thing that fits their fancy.

      The OEM could not care any less, who the heck buys their products, but it’s still a gamble. High stakes too, as they’re setting themselves up for huge losses if they don’t sell as hoped. It’s a given niche vehicles need an existing platform to mitigate costs. The Ridgeline, BAJA, BRAT, etc. wouldn’t be possible without that, even though they’ll cannibalize more profitable models. Not the Wrangler, but it took many decades to cultivate a huge lifestyle following and guaranteed sales. It’s predecessors date back to WWII.

      The ’80s Mini-Truck Craze was a tremendous lifestyle market. Consumers have always and will always needed small trucks to do light work, but I’m talking about the enormous surge the segment saw for a few years straight. A few niche markets lost steam right before, and others took off right after. It was the prefect storm for compact and subcompact pickup trucks. OEMs are reluctant to bring small/tiny pickups to the market (or back to), thinking the won’t sell for a variety of reasons. They’re always only in it for the money, unfortunately.

      The vulpii demographic will likely have to go without, sorry to say. Or build/restore/reso-mod their own. Or seek counseling/meds.

      • 0 avatar
        hiptech

        Say DenverMike,

        Just curious, are you the same “Mike” as in “Mike Baxter” from “Last Man Standing?”

        He’s kinda a right wing, glass half-empty, Denver conservative, car nut, wacko too… which explains a lot.

        BTW, what’s up with Mandy?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Yeesh! I hate going point-on-point on such idiocy; but it needs doing.

        “Although he admits the Santa Cruz would be “almost” perfect and not likely to buy it.”
        — I think “almost perfect” would imply I’m more likely to buy the Hyundai over any other available full-sized or mid-sized truck. I certainly did NOT say, “… and not likely to buy it.”

        “Except the hardcore fans are very unlikely to make these their primary rides, therefor they prefer or limited to “used”.”
        — So now you think you’re a psychologist and know everything about everyone–especially me. Only you would continue to ignore a statement AND EVIDENCE that I refuse to buy used. I now own two niche vehicles and both are essentially primary rides. I haven’t owned any “mainstream” vehicles new though. My F-150 was “ancient” and my last sedan was twice as ancient. For those who say, “the car makes the man” I say, “bull”; I drive what I like and not what people think I should drive. Meanwhile, full-sized pickup trucks are the single most dangerous vehicle on the roads. It is extremely rare where a collision with a pickup truck involved doesn’t include serious injury or even fatality.

        “That’s where the hairdressers, gay/lesbian/trans, pensioners, rich kids, etc, come into play”
        — Ah. Now I see it. Your masculinity feels threatened by these smaller, more playful rigs so they just HAVE to be owned by pansies.

        “These “lifestyle buyers” go from niche to niche for they absolutely have to make a ‘statement’.”
        — Or not. Maybe they just don’t need a Giant Truck from HE!! and simply find the smaller types more convenient.

        “A Corolla or Camry just won’t do.”
        — Not when you need an open bed.

        “The ‘niche’ they settle on can be an arbitrary thing.”
        — Like CUVs?

        “It doesn’t have to be one or the other.”
        — Unless the ‘other’ isn’t available.

        “An impulsive buy at best.”
        — Or maybe the only practical choice available, hmmm?

        “It’s well known 1st, or original owners of Wranglers, Miatas, FJs, etc, are these lifestyle buyers…”
        — Oooh! Don’t let the Rednecks read that line… especially that part about Wranglers. You’ll have a lot of hard-core off-roaders on your case. (What, you think I only read TTAC and PickupTrucks dot com sites?)

        “The OEM could not care any less, who the heck buys their products, but it’s still a gamble.”
        — Your education (or lack thereof) is showing. Two too many commas in that sentence. Additionally, the statement itself is false; they care very much that they make as many sales as possible; that’s why they make niche vehicles right beside their mainstream ones. How else can you explain the presence of the Raptor in the Ford lineup?

        “High stakes too, as they’re setting themselves up for huge losses if they don’t sell as hoped.”
        — How true. I had to laugh at all the, “It’s not a real Raptor” comments on the announcement of the 2016 EcoBoost model.

        “It’s a given niche vehicles need an existing platform to mitigate costs.”
        — Obviously not, since the Wrangler is just one of many that don’t fit that paradigm.

        “The Ridgeline, BAJA, BRAT, etc. wouldn’t be possible without that, even though they’ll cannibalize more profitable models.”
        — What cannibalization? Did you ever think it was BECAUSE they were built on an ‘existing platform’ that they failed? The Ridgeline had some serious design issues but is a remarkably versatile vehicle. The Brat was an attempt by Subaru to dodge the Chicken tax (and failed because of the outdoor seating–it’s the primary reason we now have laws prohibiting passengers in the back of a truck) and the Baja tried to emulate the Avalanche–only smaller. Thing is, I would now be driving a Baja and not a Wrangler, had they kept up production for just one more year. Sure, I could have bought one used–but remember what I’ve said many times already? I Don’t Buy Used!

        “Not the Wrangler, but it took many decades to cultivate a huge lifestyle following and guaranteed sales. It’s predecessors date back to WWII.”
        — Please explain to me how it took many decades for the Jeep to “cultivate a huge lifestyle following”. It was a hit from the original Willys and is essentially the only vehicle in the world to see near continuous production from its initial concept. It proved itself in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere all the way up into the ’80s as a military scouting vehicle and its popularity overflowed from those military users into private use immediately after WWII. In fact, the first Land Rover was essentially a rebuild of an original Willys and was built up from that concept Jeep. In one way or another, the Jeep has remained in active production for now over 70 years.

        “The ’80s Mini-Truck Craze was a tremendous lifestyle market.”
        — Considering how many of them were used for real, productive tasks, it was hardly a craze nor a ‘lifestyle’. They were working trucks–just smaller than full-sized.

        “Consumers have always and will always needed small trucks to do light work…”
        — BINGO!!!

        “… but I’m talking about the enormous surge the segment saw for a few years straight.”
        A surge spawned by a sudden need for much more economical vehicles that could still do REAL WORK.

        “A few niche markets lost steam right before,…”
        — Like the VW or the Corvair pickup?

        “and others took off right after.”
        — like the Ranger, S-10 and Dakota.

        “It was the prefect storm for compact and subcompact pickup trucks.”
        — (Perfect, not ‘prefect’. Completely different word.) And the closure of certain loopholes in the Chicken Tax is what killed them–followed by increasingly stringent fuel economy laws which OEMs chose to work around rather than complying.

        “OEMs are reluctant to bring small/tiny pickups to the market (or back to), thinking the won’t sell for a variety of reasons.”
        — Reluctant? Or afraid they’ll lose their cash cow in the form of full-sized trucks? In nearly every other country outside of the US, it’s the compacts that are FAR more popular but don’t bring in the same high profits. (There are a very few exceptions, however. Very few.)

        ” They’re always only in it for the money, unfortunately.”
        — Most truthful thing you’ve said in a long time.

        “The vulpii demographic will likely have to go without, sorry to say.”
        — Unless or until someone decides to crack the niche open to see what happens.

        “Or build/restore/reso-mod their own.”
        — Quality units are hard to come by today. Even before spending an arm/leg to “resto-mod”, you’ve got to have at least a decent starting point.

        “Or seek counseling/meds.”
        — It seems the ones most afraid of change are in more need of counseling than those trying to drive change.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “Yeesh! I hate going point-on-point on such idiocy”

          But, yet…

          .

          … 120 lines later

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – Rust-free ’80s mini-trucks are widely available. Check craigslist outs!de your tiny little area. Like new! California was the epicenter for the craze, and still crawling with them. This week I saw a beautiful fully restored ’88 Toyota 4X4 pickup and Mitsu Mighty Max, within minutes. Awesome! Jaw dropping. Both had new original graphics too. Or they’ve been in storage since new.

          But I’m not afraid of change. I’ve rolled with the times and progressed from mini-trucks. Yes I owned a few. Moved on like everyone else. You’re the one that’s stuck in the ’80s, dude.

          A lot of prior mini-truck OEMs have no fullsize pickups to cannibalize. But they have all sorts of very profitable smaller cars and CUVs that would take a hit from very low profit, smaller pickups.

          The only change in the Chicken tax from 1979 to Now, was the end of the BRAT and Transit loopholes. So it’s unclear why you think the Chicken tax could’ve ended the Mini-Truck craze. It just lost momentum like the Custom/Molester-Van Craze before it. It happens and will keep happening. Hopefully it’ll start over with the Vans, then Mini-Trucks again!

          I never said “Lifestyle” buyers were all pansies. Except CUVs are hardly lifestyle vehicles. Trendy no doubt, but mostly alternatives to boring SUVs and sedans, no?

          Used mini-trucks were bought up by the trades people, when the lifestyle buyers were done with them and moved on to compact and subcompact sports utilities. Again, you were one of them…

          You had the lifestyle mini-truck that probably didn’t have a dent or scratch, except in the bed maybe, at the time you sold it. Then you went to a lifestyle Wrangler. When you sell it, some rockcrawler will modify it to the extreme. You’re proving my point for me!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “The only change in the Chicken tax from 1979 to Now, was the end of the BRAT and Transit loopholes.”
            — The Chicken Tax took effect in the late ’60s to very early ’70s as I remember. It is why the VW van-based pickup quite suddenly disappeared from US shores. (Strangely, so did the Chevy, the Ford and the Dodge versions. Guess Ralph Nader had a finger in that pie, too.) And while you’re right that the loophole closure occurred somewhere around ’79 or shortly thereafter, at the closing of that loophole, their prices skyrocketed (they had to add 25% to the original MSRP) and the American made small trucks were able to undercut them slightly and still see profit.

            One of your cohorts loved trying to argue that inflation was the only cause of the price jump just then, but it was the Chicken Tax that triggered that inflation.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “it was the Chicken Tax that triggered that inflation.”

            You should sue your high school for malpractice for allowing you to graduate. (I would suggest that you sue the university that you attended, but I’m sure that there wasn’t one.)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – OK, I’ll put it in yet another way:

            What EXACTLY changed about the Chicken tax, *during* mini-truck craze, that would’ve affected the segment?

            And if said imported mini-trucks were harmed by any “changes”, US built mini-trucks should’ve got a BOOST. Did they? Or did they start to die off, right along s!de?

            But this nonsense about inflation is ludicrous. Not only did “import” mini-truck prices rise LESS than the domestics, giving them a sales advantage, all car prices rose MORE than import mini-trucks. In fact EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE cost more!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Boy….DiM and Pch101.

            Pch101 is an intelligent version of DiM, with an IQ pushing 80.

            At the most DiM’est you must be a glow worm, with limbs and digits.

            The last straw that broke the back of the mini truck was when the rules changed and cab chassis mini trucks from Japan were taxed.

            If you had any automotive knowledge you would know that the mini truck were built in Japan and the beds fitted in the US.

            The UAW, Big 3 and government at the behest of the socialists UAW and Big 3 made those changes.

            That killed the mini truck. After that the price of “Made in the USA” mini trucks rose by 25% which exceeded inflation and the rise in the cost of cars.

            Boy, how DiM can on be.

            You aren’t know right wing person.

            Your brain is too f!cked up on drugs or something.

            What planet are you from, both of you?

            When and if you state any different provide links to give some credibility to your screwed up imaginative fiction.

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            Reading Al’s attempts at verbal communication and my living with arthritis have awakened me to the advantages of knuckles helping feet with navigating stairs, slippery surfaces and generally accessing low areas around one’s environment.

            May not be much for grammar or logic, but I’ll bet he can simply fly around a building for his maintenance job despite his age. Bipeds, be not proud.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It’s what happens when someone growing up takes “getting an “E” for effort” seriously

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – I’m not sure why you keep bringing up a loophole that ended in 1979, when the the mini-truck craze/fad/dynasty started and peaked long after that.

            You can claim ignorance, but we’ve been through this repeatedly. And reciting ad hominem “UAW” nonsense means your silly arguments crashed and burned. You’ve got zero.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “You can claim ignorance”

            It’s not a claim, it’s a verifiable fact

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “You should sue your high school for malpractice for allowing you to graduate.”
            — Then I should sue you, Pch, for you are the one who linked to that specific information in your attempt to prove that inflation was the cause. It clearly pointed out that prices rose AFTER the loophole was closed. Cause and Effect.

            “US built mini-trucks should’ve got a BOOST. Did they?”
            — Yes. The Dakota, Ranger and S-10 hung around for an additional 20 years, only losing buyers when they grew larger than their first and second generation models. Ford and Dodge chose not to acknowledge this growth in size, but GM did by re-naming the S-10 to the Colorado.

            And speaking of those “rust buckets”, the only places where you see these old trucks in any quantity is where they’ve been protected from road salt, in other words, in inland southern lands where snow rarely falls and you can’t smell the sea. The rarity of such trucks where I live now is made more obvious by the few I do see which are either recently painted (with questionable metal beneath) or in various stages of disintegration.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – So how did import pickups end up LESS expensive than domestics with all this Chicken tax induced US inflation that also affected cars MORE than import pickups, and even caused food and textiles to inflate as much?

            Domestic midsize pickups lasted longer because consumers actually bought them. You seem to think OEMs will kill off popular models that are selling through the roof?

            But the Dakota was midsize from the start. This while the Ranger remained compact til the end. So what does size have anything to do with anything you’re babbling about?

            All cars, SUVs, minivans, etc, got bigger since the ’80s because that’s what consumers want.

            You know where to find good clean rust-free mini-trucks for sale by the thousands, but you can’t be bothered?

            So should potential compact pickup OEMs take someone like you seriously?

            And why am I even replying to such nonsense???

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            We’re all entitled to our opinions.

            But anyone who would believe that the US experience with double-digit inflation during the late 70s/early 80s was caused by the end of cab-chassis loophole for pickup trucks is a complete moron. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to believe that.

            As I noted before, the price of compact trucks didn’t even keep up with inflation during that time. That’s a big hint that the OEM’s absorbed the cost in the form of lower profits or incurred losses, because they couldn’t pass on the price increase to their customers. It happens.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM & PCH: Your questions/comments have already been answered multiple times on this forum and others; there’s no reason to reiterate it because you obviously don’t understand cause and effect. Until you do, there are many things that will just make no sense to you.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I think Denver Mike is coming from the position that he would only buy a small truck used at a cheap price. Of course that is true of many buyers who don’t just buy trucks. Here’s just the truck for Denver Mike preowned with the last owner driving it for 38 years and paying a princely sum of $75.

    http://www.kare11.com/story/news/local/land-of-10000-stories/2015/01/01/prinsburg-pickup-chevy-bob-sportel-75/21169665/

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t think this Santa Cruz will ever see production, but then it could surprise everyone. This is not a bad looking little truck, much nicer than the Brat.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Denver Mike–I thought you owned a scrap yard so why are you so concerned about a small pickup when you can just take a truck or car out of your salvage yard. Doesn’t sound like you would be in the market for any new truck? Just fix up one of the salvaged cars or trucks that reside in your scrap yard and you are good to go.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • speedlaw: ah, Wiggly Hood. My 2008 (!) MDX has had this issue forever. I’ve checked the hood…the...
  • EBFlex: Tool guy: Those examples are not, in any way shape or form, analogues. A small leaf blower and a large ORV...
  • mcs: @Garak: It would also be good for search and rescue. In a search, with a gas model, the noise could drown out...
  • Garak: I could see quite a few places where you’d might want an electric model. Countries with expensive gas,...
  • DungBeetle62: Don’t know whose apple my Dad polished but in the early 80s after a parade of awful Cutlasses...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber