AD #2403 – Ford Could Offer Small Pickup in U.S., Harley Shows New Products, Toyota Boosts Range of Fuel Cell Semi

July 31st, 2018 at 11:29am

Runtime: 6:37

0:32 BMW Building New Plant for Both ICE & EV
0:58 New Silverado Has Biggest Pickup Bed
1:48 Lexus Announces 2019 ES Pricing
2:50 Ford Ponders Small Pickup for U.S.
3:26 Harley-Davidson Shows New Products
5:07 Toyota Boosts Range of Fuel Cell Semi
5:51 Uber Ends Autonomous Semi Development

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29 Comments to “AD #2403 – Ford Could Offer Small Pickup in U.S., Harley Shows New Products, Toyota Boosts Range of Fuel Cell Semi”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Ford may be onto something with a smaller (than now mid-sized) pickup. Of course we have been saying this for years (right here on this forum). Granted it was easy for us to promote this idea, after all it does take a significant amount of money to “test the waters” for this retro-small pickup. I think others should (and will) follow; I believe this is a market.

  2. Frank Nelson Says:

    I have to agree with #1. Trucks have gotten progressively larger, to the point where they’re not useful to a certain portion of the population. I believe that there is still a market for a small truck like those available in the 70s through 90s. I think it will be a hit and others will jump on the small truck band-wagon.

  3. GM Veteran Says:

    How is the Silverado getting its bed volume increases? Is the bed actually longer, or wider? Or are they raising the sides?

  4. Lisk Says:

    I can envision the new Small Ford pu being something like a Subaru Baja. I don’t see Ford building a 2 door body style, but a 4 door crew cab. And will it be FWD? like the Rabbit Pickup and the Dodge Rampage of the ’80s?
    Even though we’ve all been clamoring for a truck like this, look for it to be a sales flop because it’s too small. Consumers are so fickle.

    Tomorrow at around 6:pm eastern, look for the greatest salesman on the planet put a positive spin on Tesla’s loss of another $1.3b loss (my estimate) for q2.

    With the next Silverado having such a deep bed, who will be able to reach anything inside it. I’m only 5’8″ and I can barely see over the top of the bed let alone reach anything inside it.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It sounds like the smaller Ford pickup will be more like a Rabbit Caddy or Rampage, rather than the old Ranger. It sounds interesting.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe they will lower the Silverado to the height of pickups of the early 2000′s, and raise the side of the box. That would be a great way to get more volume.

  7. XA351GT Says:

    Ford could have a huge hit with that mini truck if they don’t get greedy. Just offer a small truck with a standard cab , long and short box. There is no need for a 4 door or extended cab with already having the Ranger as a 4 door only. Make it priced right and companies will snap them up . I still see last generation Rangers being used as delivery trucks .

  8. BobD Says:

    3 – As others suggested, GM raised the sides to get more volume. They also sculptured/contoured the inner panels (front and sides) to add volume which may or may not be useful. With that said, I did see a video where GM will be be offering some storage units that take advantage of the contoured walls without eating up the center storage capacity.

  9. Brett Cammack Says:

    Ford would finally have a model I might be interested in!

  10. BobD Says:

    On the Toyota fuel-cell semi… If the “alpha” has been running since 2017, and it has only accumulated 10,000 miles, that is not very impressive. For my former employer, when we were running test trucks on typical duty cycles, we logged 5 to 10 times that number of miles per year per truck. So either the Toyota semi has had a lot of down time, or this is more of a PR/marketing program rather than true product development.

  11. Bradley A Says:

    Yes, Please!

    Ford Courier.

    Ideally, with four doors and ladder frame construction. But a Unibody, FWD would still probably get me interested.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    Boy I hope Ford doesnt screw this small pickup offering up. That Courier looked uninspiring to say the least. I assume with it sharing with the Focus platform it will be a uni-body Eco-boost 4 cylinder with FWD and maybe an AWD option. Will it even have towing capability?

    Hey GM offer a small pickup on a frame with airbag suspension to provide varying ride height on demand and decent load carrying capacity. Offer it in 2 door extended cab only. Offer a 5 ft bed and 6.5 ft with a gate that allows you to enclose an 8ft sheet of plywood from sliding out. Three powertrains your 2.0l with and without turbo 4cyl and a V6. RWD and 4WD. Provide at least 1000lb payload with brakes to stop it loaded and you’ll kill this little Courier. IMO

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    So Harley realized that discontinuing the Buell line in 2009 was maybe a bad idea? Sportbikes in general are popular so maybe it was the Buell name that prevented them from being as successful, after all part of the price of a Harley is the HD name itself.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Courier, even with FWD, unibody, and a tow rating of zero, would work for what most pickups are used for, transporting one or two people around town, and getting a bag or two of groceries.

    Back in the days of “regular cab” S-10′s and Rangers, college kids liked them, because they would have a good excuse to go places with their “significant other,” without taking extra passengers along.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 I was surprised that Buell didn’t do better. I would have expected Harley riders to buy a Buell as a second or third bike, something “different” but still very much in the Harley mold. The cheaper of the Buells were even a decent value, as Harleys go. As I remember, the Cyclone, the cheapest one with the 1200cc engine, had an MSRP of about $8K.

    Harley clearly needs to attract new riders. Their current rider base of 70-some year old “baby boomers” are not going to be buying many more new bikes.

  16. XA351GT Says:

    Kit , I remember mini trucks being referred to as Sports cars( 2 doors ,2 seats) and a huge trunk. I remember them being fairly peppy because of not weighing a whole lot. I’ll tell you right now if it does happen and only as a 4 door they screwed the pooch. there are enough 4 door offerings already. Same goes with the upcoming Bronco . If they hang 2 extra doors on it they are going to not make the people who love and own Broncos happy at all. Example is the upcoming Blazer . The people who bought Blazers think they are a joke. Just trying to gain sales through a vintage name.


    I like that Ford is bringing back a modern interpretation of the Ranchero and hopefully GM will follow suit with an El Camino. If that happens, then history will have truly repeated itself once again.

    I would prefer it to be built on the Fusion or Taurus platform rather than the Focus. Being too small of a truck can make it a flop like the old Suzuki X90 trucklet was.

  18. Lisk Says:

    15) Personally I am in total agreement with you but unfortunately the the auto enthusiasts tend to make all the wrong decisions for the auto industry. What happened when the Ford Bronco & Bronco II went 4 door (Explorer/Expedition) Sales went thru the roof. Ditto for the Blazer, S1- Blazer, and Cherokee. The Toyotabaru- Exactly what we asked for (for the most part) and sales suck. The list of cars enthusiasts wanted over the years and their limited sales success tells the tale. Even the Thunderbird going from 2-seat to 4-seat in 1958 sold better than the more stylish car it replaced.
    I agree with you but if you only tool up for one body style, you’ll make a lot more money.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 …but aren’t there enough big, and “mid size” 4 door pickups? It’s been more than 30 years since the last of the small, FWD pickups were sold, so wouldn’t it be worth making the Focup a 2-door, “regular cab” machine? Yeah, I suppose not, but I’d find it a lot more intriguing than if it ends up being a slightly smaller Ridgeline, or something like that.

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    #14 I knew a few guys that owned Buell’s and they loved them but I think they were never really considered to be a “Harley” by the die-hard Harley owners. Again part of that admission price of owning a Harley is the name. So Buell was not only separate division it was an even cheaper entry into the Harley family. Wasn’t accepted that well.
    My guess is this next generation of sport bikes will not only bare the Harley name but the steeper price tag will come with it.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 With the Toyotabaru, It seems difficult to make enthusiasts happy. They built that car, and it’s too slow, or it should have been a convertible, or… something. I think it’s cool, as it is, but yeah, I didn’t buy one.

  22. Lambo2015 Says:

    #14 Certainly two seats have their advantages but my experience was many mini trucks were bought out of economics. Folks that needed a truck but didnt want to spend the money for a full size truck which is now in the $40S. So if they can offer a little pickup in the $20s but still have some decent capabilities it should sell. Biggest problem I saw was people that bought mini pickups and loaded them like full size. Which is why they need to keep the beds small enough that if you fill em with Mulch or topsoil the truck can handle what the bed can hold.
    Ford will make a huge mistake if they place a bed/cab on a focus chassis. The powertrain and brakes cant handle another 800lbs.

  23. XA351GT Says:

    If Ford would have been smart they would have brought over the tooling from the Falcon Ute after production ended in Australia . Made the changes needed to make it US compliant and they’d have their mini truck with 90% of the work already done.

  24. XA351GT Says: Okay if I didn’t screw up the link this is what I’m talking about.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Australian Falcon Ute was like was called Ranchero years earlier in North America. It would have been a major thing to make it sellable in the US, not least because it was only made as RHD, probably with the power train offset to the left for better driver foot room. If it could have been made US compliant and sold for Mustang prices, or less, it might have done well here.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 As I mentioned earlier, most pickup trucks sold in America, including huge “crew cab” ones, end up hauling nothing and towing nothing. People just “like them,” for whatever reason.

    A plumber/handyman I know uses an older Ranger for his work, and an FWD Focus-based truck would serve his purposes quite well. He probably never carries more than ~200-300 pounds of tools, pipe, fittings, etc. A current Focus has an official maximum load rating of 830 pounds. If you make a pickup on that platform, it wouldn’t take much to make that 1230, 430 for two people, and 800 for what’s in the box. The Dodge Rampage, built on the small-than-Focus OmniRizon platform had a load rating of 1145. The Rampage used rear leaf springs, as did the first generation Caravan/Voyager. That might be the easy way to make a Focus-based mini Ranchero, that could be sold for under $20K, minimally equipped. Of course, Ford might not want to do that, because it would take sales away from their bigger, and much pricier trucks.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    #26 I just dont think launching a car based pickup like Rancharo or ElCamino would be wise with the decline in sedan interest. I believe a small truck would still need to have a higher seated position. Actually taking from what you mentioned in reference to load capacity the old minivan platforms would work well since they had load capacity for 7 people and have a proper wheel base and length.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found that the Chrysler vans used rear leaf springs through 2007 model year. It might be fairly cheap and easy to make a pickup based on that platform, if the tooling is still around.

  29. Brett Cammack Says:

    Perhaps a Ford Courier in the marketplace would provoke FCA into bringing the 700 in from Mexico. That’d be just fine with me.