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22 comments

Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

Posted March 23, 2012 9:00 AM by CarDomain
Pathfinder Tags: diesel pickup Truck diesel pickup Truck

I guess we should've known that the prospect of a small, cute, affordable, four-banger turbodiesel pickup on American soil was just too good to be true. Indian manufacturer Mahindra announced back in '06 that it wished to bring its little trucks to the US market, and began developing the bureaucratic infrastructure necessary to do so, including retaining would-be US distributor Global Vehicles USA. But now Mahindra has officially pulled the plug on these ambitions following a protracted contractual battle with Global, the details of which are really too boring to go into. So our hopes are dashed. But the fact still remains, the US needs a small pickup, especially in the wake of the Ranger's departure. I realize CAFE standards make it difficult to develop and sell such a vehicle, but with fuel prices again on the rise and struggling small business owners looking for more affordable fleet vehicles, we have to assume that this is going to change. Hey, if the Ford Transit Connect can make it as a contractor's vehicle or delivery runabout in American cities, a small pickup would do at least as well. What manufacturer would you like to see step in to fill the small-truck niche?

Image Via PickupTrucks.com

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#1

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/23/2012 9:54 AM

"But the fact still remains, the US needs a small pickup"

They do? I would like to see where this "fact" was plucked from.

My guess is that if the market really wanted (or needed) a small pickup that GM, Ford, and others would be building them.

This is another story that smells like the writer trying to drive the market.

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#10
In reply to #1

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/26/2012 11:21 AM

"But the fact still remains, the US needs a small pickup"

They do? I would like to see where this "fact" was plucked from.

I would buy one. I had a VW diesel and loved the little truck, got 40 mpg and could haul light loads very easy around Wash. state.

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#14
In reply to #1

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/27/2012 6:47 AM

I would buy one. If VW would bring back their small truck I would buy it. Or, if there was a Prius truck I would consider as well. The one in the article looks good to. I did not buy a small truck last time due to MPG. The last truck I bought was in 2001. At the time gas was still under $2.00 and the difference in MPG was not significant. Something like 5 MPG difference. But there was a huge difference in hauling, towing, head room, etc. A 30-32 mpg option would have been a game changer for my needs. I do not know the specs on the one in the article. I am just saying that mpg would definitely get my attention.

Whatever happened to the skate or skateboard or whatever it was called concept car? Maybe I have the name wrong but it was the idea to have multiple bodies for one drive train and chassis unit. I have room at my place to store the sedan body while I use the truck and v/v.

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#2

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/23/2012 1:44 PM

Small diesel pickups hit the market during the high gas prices of the early 80,s. Datsun, Toyota and Mitsubishi had them and Chrysler and Plymouth sold the Mitsubishi under their U.S. name. Of the three, the Mitsubishi and the two Chrysler products sold best until the gas prices dropped. The small diesel trucks stopped selling and were eventually dropped. Mitsubishi lasted the longest and they eventually stopped selling it in the U.S. I had a Mitsubishi turbo diesel and of all the trucks I've owned, it was the best truck either large or small that I have ever owned. It's 80 horse engine had enough power for a truck that size. It was very economical. In fact, it would climb long inclines at high altitudes without losing power like normally aspirated vehicles would. I could maintain 65 when gasoline vehicles would be crawling, due to oxygen starvation.

It is not easy to introduce a new vehicle into the U.S. market. It has to satisfy ALL the requirements of the American public, not just during a period of high prices. Right now, diesel fuel prices are to the point that doesn't make switching over to diesel an economical option.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/23/2012 11:24 PM

And just why is diesel fuel so expensive? Surely it's basically a less refined product than gas and therefore should be cheaper... As it used to be! Who is getting rich?

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#5
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Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/24/2012 7:53 AM

It has to do with multiple factors.

One is that it costs more to refine, in part due to the low sulfur oil used and mandated in 2006.

Two, is taxes. In California gasoline is taxed about 67 cents per gallon. Diesel is taxed almost 10 cents more. Incidentally, home heating oil (very similar to diesel) is taxed much less than diesel.

The Federal cut in the tax for gasoline is just over 18 cents per gallon, whereas diesel is taxed just over 24 cents per gallon. Why? Ask your state representative.

Then there may be different blending requirements from state to state, just like gasoline.

Winter months can put a stress on diesel supplies since home heating oil is of similar structure.

You asked, "Who is getting rich?"

Well, not so much the oil companies. Their annual profit rate is much lower than most corporations, typically earning much less than 10% annual profit.

Beverage, semiconductors, lumber companies, to name a few, generally earn twice that percentage.

But who profits from oil? Well, we do! That is, if you have an IRA or a pension. Your money is invested in Big Oil not so much because it earns great profit, but it is because it is consistent and a safe investment.

The second group of people that profits from Big Oil is the politicians. Yup, you and the rest of us are being snookered. Big oil generates annual profits of about 6.7%. That's peanuts, but you keep hearing words like obscene and gouging enough times out of the mouths of these political sharks and it is easy to believe their stories.

Big Oil earns huge gross revenues because they are big companies. However, the single biggest profiteer on each gallon of fuel is the Federal, state, and local governments. Those entities earn more per gallon than any other company in the fuel chain.

Who is getting rich? Our government is, but fear not, they spend more than they earn.

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/26/2012 10:47 AM

Hero, I commend you, you are awesome. I think you give the best answers to everything you post on CR4 than anyone else I've seen.

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#12
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Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/26/2012 12:56 PM

Thank you for that.

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#4

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/23/2012 11:30 PM

Another market reality is that most vehicles that start out small and compact tend to grow with age. Compare, for example, the original Datsun/Toyota models (cars and trucks) with their current versions, or the original Cooper mini with the current versions, or just about any American model that started small...

Americans really don't want small vehicles, as a general rule...

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/24/2012 12:36 PM

And some of us remember when Fiat 500 meant 500 cc aircooled twin.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/24/2012 3:08 PM

Not really much of rule if you consider how many large American vehicle manufactures models started out as huge land yachts and are now pale comparisons of their former selves. Cadillac, Lincoln, Ford, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Chrysler, I could go on but anyone born before 1980 would know what I am talking about.

Don't get me started on how many of them are half or less the models they used to be but only gained 20 - 30% or less fuel mileage in the trade off despite being half their former selves now.

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/26/2012 10:42 AM

What are you talking about?

You should see some of these matchboxes people are driving here now. People don't drive big cars here anymore unless they are the types that like to show off their wealth. Others drive big pickup strucks for the needed utility and power but they don't drive them all the time, only when they need to use them for work or haul a trailor camping or a boat.

I have personal experience with the Mazda B2000 Diesel Pickup, they loose power after awhile and extremely gutless when going up hills. Diesel engines used in full sized pickups are a different story and Cummins is probably the best out of all the diesel engines used in full sized pickups.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/26/2012 12:56 PM

In Florida about half the vehicles on the road are either SUVs or trucks.

Those of us driving small cars are in the minority.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/26/2012 1:10 PM

In Texas the majority are trucks or SUV. I still stand that there is a market for small diesel trucks and the supply will not come from America.

The Mazda Miata is one of the niches that the Japanese saw and took advantage of.

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#22
In reply to #13

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

04/03/2012 10:20 AM

I, too, live in Texas, and I drive a SuperDuty Diesel.

When I bought mine, in '01, diesel was 10 cents less, per gallon, than gasoline. I replaced a 4400# gas-powered truck that got about 8-9 GPH with a 6900# diesel-powered truck that averaged 16.5 GPH!

There were rumors of an F-150 with a diesel engine, but now that their "Eco-Boost" gas engine is getting about 22 GPH and has good power, it is not going to happen.

With my height, I have problems getting into small cars and trucks, but a mid-sized diesel truck might get my attention.

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#15

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/28/2012 10:09 AM

Who would want a diesel powered vehicle, they are smelly, noisy and the fuel costs more. I read where you have to add urea via injection on a Mercedes to keep the emissions within US limits, and if you don't the car stops working. Urea really? can you just piss in the tank? Diesels are needed where the torque is an absolute necessity. I know, half the Europeans drive them but have you ever been to a diesel dispensing station? you will come away with the gummy crap someplace on your clothing or shoes. The best part is that you can drive a vehicle that has the rear coated with soot, gives you that nice grimy look.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/28/2012 10:36 AM

Maybe you need to take a trip across the pond. I have been around some small diesels that have been fairly quite. Granted most are much louder than the gas ones. The stations I goto that sell diesel and gas are quite clean. If you get your hands dirty then goto the bathroom and wash them. I have no idea what is added to the fuel but I am curious. If you add two parts urea is it then di-urea? My complaint about the diesels is fuel gelling in the colder months. As for the cost of fuel, I would take a 45 mpg diesel over a 20 mpg gasser.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/28/2012 11:27 AM

Very humorous about the di-urea quip. The Mercedes owner who will probably have to shell out $200 t0 $300 to refill his urea tank will likely fail to see the humor in the situation. Kind of cuts down on the savings with the mileage too.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/28/2012 12:48 PM

A friend at church was bragging about how his son was getting great mileage with a diesel car. My first thought was how much does he spend per mile on diesel compared to the same mileage in gas. My point about the price of diesel in your case is I would be willing to pay 20% more per gallon if it would get me 200% farther down the road.

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/28/2012 1:40 PM

he Mercedes owner who will probably have to shell out $200 t0 $300 to refill his urea tank will likely fail to see the humor in the situation
Ok, lets look at it from an engineering viewpoint. A small flap in the drivers seat where you deposit urea (liquid form) the deposit goes into a container which the exhaust pipe runs thru and boils off the water and such then the urea is injected into the exhaust.
See, two problems solved.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

03/28/2012 1:49 PM

In fact a buncha (< technical term) flaps, one in every seating position...... make it a family affair,

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Official: No Small Diesel Pickup For U.S.

04/03/2012 4:31 AM

Well,I would just like to share with you that Mahindra pickup, imaginatively known as the Pik-Up, has been something of a press darling for some time. I know for sure some of you knows about it. For a good reason, too; it would have been inexpensive and gotten great gas mileage and been a new entry to the light pickup segment, which is all but forgotten by most automakers. It doesn't look likely to take place, as the company no longer has a distributor in the States. You may want an if you would like a lower payment on your car.

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