Why did they quit making mini trucks? - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Why did they quit making mini trucks?

Seems like they got bigger and bigger until they eclipsed the early full sized trucks.

In contrast my 02 Tacoma 4cyl reg cab, weighs 2500lbs vs a 2010 reg cab 4 cyl which weighs 4000lbs.

Looks like the smaller trucks fit a nitch. They are great for personal transport to work etc, they do have hauling capabilities, good on gas, and better handling.

What say you?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:51 PM
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I think I would really consider a truck for my next vehicle because there will be many times when I want to haul car parts. I don't want to rely on other people. However, I don't want a big truck that wastes gas. One of these would be cool:

I love stepside/flareside trucks.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:54 PM
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I really liked the early mini trucks.

I have an 86 Toyota PU which was my Dad's when it was new. It has 100 HP, gets around 24 MPG in normal driving, has great interior room and a 7 foot bed.

My 97 Tacoma has 143 HP, gets 23 MPG, has a 6 foot bed and the interior is more cramped compared to the 86. The Tacoma is a bit safer and a bit more sophisticated with EFI, airbags etc. But it was certainly a step backwards.

Ford announced that it will not build a new Ranger. If someone wants fuel economy, they can just buy a V6. They still build smaller trucks overseas.

I prefer smaller vehicles myself. How big does a truck need to be to carry a half ton?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 12:00 AM
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You mean like these?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 04:51 AM
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seriously, I miss my little old datsun pickup. It sipped gas, it was fun to drive, and it was easy to work on.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 07:19 AM
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seems like everything on the road has been upscaled in the last decade and, to be honest, i'm not a fan. worst part is they keep telling me how much better the mpg's are, but i remember way better. i had a '94 nissan 4x2 hardbody that i sold a few years back and i thought it was the perfect size. unlike most of my friends who drive full size trucks now, i used that nissan as a truck. it carried more total weight in its life with me and spent more time off-road than what i see the full size crowd doing now.
i also had a '85 toyota low option 4-speed, but it was a raging pile of ****. i bought it in the early 90's with only 60K miles and it was constantly leaving me on the roadside. after a few hundred in repairs the first year, i sold it to a guy and the head gasket blew a few days later. for me personally: toyota never again.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:09 AM
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Guessing- the first mini-trucks were full size trucks from overseas. If you look at the average size of an American and the average size of most other countries you will see our size is a big larger, no, not necessarily better, but, still.
So, as more overseas vehicles began easing into this market because the so called Big Three (fitting title) didn't want to re-tool to give more gas efficient models. And in the light of the gas situation many peeps trying to be more economical started supporting the smaller size vehicle markets.
Now we have finally gotten used to them being everywhere and accept them as part of the American scene. Having said that, now...it seems people are going back to full size vehicle and the overseas market has gotten to the point where they are producing these larger units here in the states so their import cost are lower.
Yeah, I have a 05 Taco my step son has a 85 Taco...which is a mini 4 banger but runs pretty damn well and gets good gas mileage. So the Toyota T-100, became the Tundra after a few years and after some more time the Tundra became the Tacoma when they introduced the full size Tundra...
Actually, I really wanted the 2d generation Tacoma but, could not fit into it on a side to side basis...too small. Just like the newer Mustang...so, I settled for a 69 Mustang...NO..just kidding...about settling that is...wait a few years and things may change again...sort of historically what we do.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:30 AM
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I think they quit selling them because the auto makers got tired of their trucks being slammed, chopped, dropped, air-bagged, boom boxed, dancing bedded, convertiblized, etc..... LOL
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:40 AM
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The little trucks were just too dangerous...
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:44 AM
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Money. The setup costs to stamp out a little Escort fender is the same as to stamp out a Lincoln Town car fender. It just takes a few cents more for a bit more steel. But the profit margin on little cars is razor thin while the margin on luxo-cruisers is big. Same principle can be applied to the rest of the vehicle's parts. And the same thing applies to trucks. You can slap four doors on a big pickup, Harley badges, off-road packages, etc and people will pay good money for them. If you equip a smaller truck the same way and price to where you can make some money people say, well, for only a bit more than that I can buy a REAL pickup. So the only way to move the smaller trucks is to slice the profit margin even thinner.
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