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Motor Trend’s Thoughts on the Future of Compact Trucks

Motor Trend recently published an article about the future of compact pickup trucks. Focusing on the future of small trucks in America, the article doesn’t exactly paint the sunniest picture for those who hope that American truck market will expand.

Motor Trend's Future of Compact Trucks

Motor Trend sees the American truck market as shrinking, while trucks like this Volkswagen Amarok are selling only overseas.

The article discusses Ford’s discontinuation of the long-running Ranger in America, while noting that a new version of the Ranger will be sold in other world markets. Yet this truck, like other foreign small trucks such as the Volkswagen Amarok, the Toyota Hilux, and the Egyptian Jeep J8 are said to have very little chance of ever coming to America. This being due to safety and emission regulations, high shipping costs, and the 25 percent “Chicken Tax” imposed on vehicles imported from certain markets.

And for fans of the Tacoma, the article hints at an even bleaker future for Toyota’s utilitarian compact. The article states that “The last time we got our hands on sales numbers, the Tacoma had 40-percent market share, tops by far in the segment.” However, the article also suggests that if gas prices continue to stay low, the Tacoma’s high sales might start to dip. In addition, the article sites an “analyst requesting anonymity [who] says that because the Tacoma doesn’t share its platform with any other high-volume model, Toyota is ‘questioning’ the small pickup’s future.”

Motor Trend also notes that the Tacoma is receiving a slight facelift for the 2012 model. Additionally, they speculate about the truck’s future evolution, and cite Paul Wiliamsen, national manager of Lexus College at Toyota, who suggests that a unibody version of the Tacoma could potentially appear at some point in the future.

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