Auto Bits: Could compact pickup trucks have a future in America?
Auto Bits: Could compact pickup trucks have a future in America? Aug 6, 2018 at 10:51 AM
Tip of the WeekThere are no longer any compact pickups in the U.S. market. The new 2019 Ford Ranger and its peers are all larger mid-sized trucks. Could automakers be missing a golden opportunity?Americans like trucks. They buy them in great numbers for use in businesses and as personal and family vehicles. Toyota is one of the few manufacturers who has consistently offered a smaller than full-size truck over the past decades.However, even Toyota’s top-selling midsize truck, the Tacoma, is significantly larger than the entry-level small trucks of the past. It’s also much more expensive. The 1990 Toyota pickup (it didn’t have a model name) had an MSRP of $7,998. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $16K today. A new 2018 Tacoma starts at $25,400. Mitsubishi was selling its Mighty Max pickup for about $500 less than Toyota’s pickup, but dealers were offering bare-bones Mighty Max Pickups for around $7,000.The inflation adjusted price doesn’t tell the whole story, of course. In 1990, some bare bones trucks were so stripped you needed to buy your own rear bumper. A 2018 Tacoma comes with power windows, power steering, power locks, air conditioning, a decent radio with Bluetooth connectivity and a four-way adjustable power seat with lumbar support as standard equipment. So when you adjust for inflation, a similarly equipped truck from the 1990s is pretty close to what you’d pay for a 2018 edition. But at the end of the day, $25,000 is still a lot of money to finance.Small pickups have many of the same advantages of large pickups. During the time of their sale, landscapers, construction companies and other businesses, large and small, used them as runabouts, parts and supplies chasers, and to get workers to job sites throughout the day. These small trucks had advantages small cars didn’t. You can’t load mulch or grass clippings into the back of a small car, but small pickups could handle that with ease. They were also great for moving items like refrigerators and other large bulky items.With Ford and other “domestic” brands struggling to find a way to cost-effectively produce entry-level vehicles, compact trucks may be one way to continue to offer domestically-produced affordable entry vehicles. Unlike small imported cars, small imported trucks are protected by a 55-year old 25 percent import duty imposed by President Johnson.— John Goreham/BestRide.comAuto newsCadillac is recalling 22,043 of its 2016-2018 CT6 sedans because excess adhesive on child-seat anchorage bars [also known as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children bars] may make it difficult to properly install a car seat.The car company recommends owners of affected vehicles install car seats using the vehicle’s rear seat belts and not the LATCH bars until the recall repair is performed by a Cadillac dealer. Did you knowAccording to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fatalities caused by running red lights are up 17 percent since 2012. More than half of the people killed were pedestrians, cyclists or passengers in the vehicles that were hit by the vehicle running a red light.— More Content Now
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