Q: Why are small pickup trucks vanishing from the market? I’ve owned Rangers and others for years and love them. Now the only ones available are the Nissan, Toyota and Honda. What’s happened and why aren’t automakers willing to sell them anymore? —Ted in Wheeling, WV
A: Don’t forget the Colorado/Canyon GM trucks, as you can still find them. However, you’re right about the dwindling offerings in the small pickup market. Ford, Ram and GM are all getting out of the market and it’s questionable how long the others will stay in it. All of these pickups will still be available in other countries, ironically enough, but not here. We’re told by the manufacturers that the reasons are economic. They say that the selling price differential between small and large pickups is tiny and the few numbers of small ones they sell don’t justify the marketing costs here in the US. Profits on large pickups are much greater and the vast majority of buyers opt for those anyway.
Also, big pickups have the advantage of hauling/towing capacity and that’s why they continue to be the largest selling vehicles every year. That said, I think small trucks will enjoy a renaissance here in a few years because fuel costs will become major decision points. When that happens, it’ll be easy for the manufacturers to bring them back into the market and because they’re sold elsewhere, it’ll be relatively easy for manufacturers to gear up for the US.