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    Rybold globally warmed member

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    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Toyota still has 4 cylinder Tacomas (aka Tacos?). I know those blue trucks you're talking about. A former coworker, an acquiantance and a recent former classmate all have old blue Toyota pickups.

    I also used to see a fair # of Toyota pickups w/the letters altered to just say YO.

    Nissan still has the 4 cylinder Frontier and Chevy still has the 4-cylinder Colorado (which from what I hear is a crappy truck but used to have a pretty low base price).
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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax"]Chicken tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


    as odd as the title may be, it is the main reason there are no small pickups in the US.
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    frodoz737 The Mechanic

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    Thanks for that info. Our Government and Unions at their finest.
    1 people like this.
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    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The discontinued Ranger was available with a 4, and was the most fuel efficient truck available.

    The Tacoma is offered with a 4, but the model has bloated over the years. So the current 4 is a Camry sized one as opposed to a Corolla one of the past. The same is probably true of the Frontier.

    After driven both, I think the old S-10 is nicer than the Colorado. Despite being a little bigger, the Colorado has a shallow foot well. I kept kicking the bottom of the dash while driving it.

    Except for the little players, which can focus on a niche, the small pick up is felt to be an unprofitable market. The Toyota and Nissan are now midsized. The Ranger was the only compact truck left after the Colorado came out. The EPA stopped making a size distinction on fueleconomy.gov then.

    The Global Ranger is bigger than the retired NA one. Still smaller than a F150, but no longer small. Plus, there's an anti-unibody bias among truck buyers here.

    While a hypermiler could get good numbers out of one of those 4 banger trucks with manuals, they really aren't rated much better than the full size trucks now. The 2011 Ranger with auto gets 19/24mpg. The F150 with base V6 gets 17/23. If you actually needed a truck, which would you choose?

    The Ranger is seriously out dated, and can be improved, but Ford felt the cost wasn't worth it. By their research, people looking for a small truck really want a small car. Since an auto parts chain switched from Rangers to Hyundai hatchbacks for delivery vehicles, they might be right.

    If they wanted to, the auto manufacturers can easily get around the chicken tax(which has blame on both sides of the pond). The Transit Connect from Turkey is stripped of seats and windows, and then installed with new parts. The Ranger is assembled in the US, and Ford could move production to Mexico or even Canada if labor costs were the issue. The others could do the same. They just don't feel the possible sales are worth the effort or cost.

    Blame the consumers that kept wishing their little truck was a little bigger.
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    Fore Don't look back!

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    Had a 1987 Toyota Truck, had it for over 20 yr's most dependable vehicle I've ever owned. I even rolled it in a ditch upside down once, and three of us rolled it back over and I drove it home. Smashed up a bit but it kept on trucking! :D
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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Maybe small pickups are no longer small in the same way that similar cars from 20 years ago are bigger.

    ie, 1970's/1980's VW Golf/Rabbit is much smaller than the current model. I guess the same applies to trucks - crash testing, airbags etc etc.
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    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    I had an 86 Toyota pickup with 22R/4speed manual, no AC, manual everything. it got 24 city and 36 freeway. My 97 Tacoma V6 2WD extra cab auto got 22 city 30 freeway. I don't remember what the EPA rating for the 86 was but the 97 was 17/21
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    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    The pickup in any size does not lend itself to the reduction of aerodynamic drag, like a car. That open bed and that tailgate extracts a lot of mpg's out of the efficiency of the pickup over it's lifetime.

    A pickup has only a 1/4-1/2 ton load and the system has to be transported for the life of the vehicle. For occasional users, it doesn't make sense.

    For most users, a car and a Class I trailer makes a lot of sense.

    For a Class I trailer, the lightest and simplest one is best. It has more capacity in load than the hevier onse, sice gross weight is important.

    I have a $300 Carry-On 4x6 trailer that I bought from Tractor supply with sides but no tailgate five years, ago. The bed tilts like a ramp by removing a pin. I can put the ugliest and most jagged pieces of metal and rock on it's mesh floor, and drape a cheap blue plastic tarp over it to haul up to 1,600 pounds of mulch, sand, rocks or shingles removed from roofs.

    Try doing that with a pickup. Or, would you want to damage it?

    I use the trailer 4 or maybe 5 times a year.
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    austingreen Senior Member

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    The Big Three's Shameful Secret | Daniel J. Ikenson | Cato Institute: Daily Commentary
    We did a case on it in business school. Japan and Europe does indeed unfairly restrict imports from america. In the 1980s there were voluntary import restrictions on cars from japan and this tax on trucks. The net result was consumers paying more for cars and trucks, and the fleet getting worse mileage. Since then though the japanese have moved manufacturing to the US. Those big selling small toyota and nissan trucks could easily be made here now. The chicken tax is not the current reason. Toyota currently makes midsize and large trucks in Texas, and Nissan in Tennessee.

    Yes. Help a small segment of the population, while hurting everyone else:mad:
    Death of North American Small Trucks Market: Murder or Natural Causes? | Wall Street Daily

    IMHO crash standards are what really killed the small US truck. With US crash standards toyota, ford, nissan, can't simply move a truck designed for other markets to the USA. With deep discounts of full size trucks, small trucks don't have a large profit margin.

    Ford also in a different article seems to imply that ranger buyers are mainly inexpensive car buyers, and with higher gas prices and higher small truck prices these people switch to small cars. I have a friend whose old ranger died, and she bought a versa.

    Without much competition toyota can sell lots of midsize tacomas so they don't need to produce smaller trucks. There would not be much savings in mileage on a smaller truck, only lower asp and profit. I have a couple of friends with tacos and they like them, but they drink lots of gas. Toyota really needs to put an efficient turbo 4 in that beast and it could get better mileage. It is rumored ford will put a turbo 4 in a f150 to increase gas mileage.
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    RichardAK Member

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    Yes, remember them well. My first new vehicle was a 1977 Toyota Hilux. 2WD, short bed, 5 speed. I swapped in a Mitsubishi marine diesel for better mileage and later on added Jeep CJ5 running gear. It ran great and even with the 4WD and the drag coefficient of a packing crate, it routinely averaged over 30 mpg. With only 45 hp you got used to everyone passing you up on the highway (especially on the hills).

    I was in Africa a few months back and saw very few gasoline engined vehicles besides scooters and enclosed three wheeled scooters. Everything else was diesel and, by North American standards, small. The crew cab compact Toyota, Nissan and Ford Ranger pickups were common. All with small displacement turbo diesels.
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    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    People who really used small pick-ups kept buying them. But small pick-ups don't allow you to upsell at high margin to urban cowboys and don't help with CAFE dodging.
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    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    There are ways around the chicken tax if automakers really wanted to sell small pickups. The Ford Transit Connect is made - I believe - in Turkey and shipped here as a passenger van - with a back seat and windows. When it arrives here in the US it is then converted into a commercial van simply to avoid the chicken tax.

    There was a fair bit of talk about this about 6 months back when Ford finally stopped the production line for the Ranger. It had not been sold to the public for a few years, but still had very strong fleet sales. At that time the discussion was centered on the fact that Ford felt that the price differential between a low end F150 and a new generation of Ranger was so slim that they passed on the Ranger.

    It is too bad that the whole auto industry melted down when it did - GM was just about to start selling a Holden Ute as a Pontiac G8. Reviews were terrific and that might have been enough to revive that whole style here in the US. A car based small pickup if done right (ie not like the Subaru Baja) could work - at the very least if dependable and fuel efficient then fleets would buy a ton.
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    austingreen Senior Member

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    If you talk about the tacoma, colorado, etc, yes they still sell, but in much smaller numbers. But these aren't the small trucks of yesterday. Many of them are still on the road, but read my older post. New ones are not being designed or bought.

    The article I linked earlier told about the chicken tax. It really doesn't exist anymore, they simply assemble in NA.

    They do have a new ranger in the rest of the world. They decided not to build it in the US. Ford executives got grilled by the press for that one. The new ranger is bigger than the old one though.


    The melt down was bad, but the US car market is no longer sick. The longer the excesses went on the longer it would take to restructure. The european car market is very sick right now, with many makers losing a great deal of money. Cars in Europe are being sold at a loss because of fear of slowing production, which can cause government or union repercussions. Japan's car market is being stimulated by large amounts of government cash. If the cash ends, which it may next january, it may be a basket case market like the US was or Europe is.
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    frodoz737 The Mechanic

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    frodoz737..."Thanks for that info. Our Government and Unions at their finest."

    austingreen..."Yes. Help a small segment of the population, while hurting everyone else[IMG]"

    Not sure I understand the anger here. If you would clarify please. Be advised I pay my taxes and a Union member in good standing.
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    ggood Blue PIP Aficionado

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    RichardAK Member

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    austingreen Senior Member

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    Mom paid union dues all her career too.:D The protectionist moves are not there right now. The protectionism may have actually caused changes to happen slower in the big three to adopt to competition. Since there were only 3 car companies. Long term it didn't likely help union members. It did help build non-union car plants. It did make desirable cars more expensive. It did help bloated union leaders keep their power longer and big 3 executives time to get bigger bonuses.

    There is a little anger that Reagan instead of being free market on cars decided to have voluntary import restrictions and the chicken tax.
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    sdtundra Active Member

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    How else would people overbuy and obnoxiously lift full size trucks...bet that truck hasn't seen a gravel parking lot let alone real offloading and hasn't hauled anything except maybe a dirt bike in the bed. I'm waiting to take ownership of a 1993 Mitsubishi Mighty Max as a project car, still running strong with 189k on it, body is dinged and dented but the running gear is still holding on

    [IMG]

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