8 Trucks We Wish We Could Get in the United States
Pickup trucks are a hot market in North America. With SUVs and trucks increasing in their share of sales year over year, you’d expect to see more variety on the streets. But alas, there are still some models of trucks not sold in America.
There’s a world of trucks out there – specifically, small and midsize trucks – that we wish we could get in the United States. There are a lot of reasons why they aren’t available in the United States. But rest assured, if it made economic sense for the manufacturers, they would be on lots right now.
One of the biggest reasons is something called the “chicken tax.” Back in the ’60s, as a response to foreign tariffs on American chicken exports, the United States government slapped a hefty tariff on imported light trucks, among other things. So hefty, it isn’t cost effective for foreign auto manufacturers to bring their trucks over here.
Automakers could, in theory, manufacture these trucks in the United States to avoid the tariff, but again this doesn’t make much economic sense. Companies would have to build entirely new facilities, or completely overhaul their current plants, to produce these new trucks. Moreover, the profit margin is much thinner with small trucks compared to full-size pickups.
What’s more, why would they want to build something that American consumers just doesn’t have much taste for? But tastes could be changing, or auto makers are willing to test the waters at least. Ford, for one, has announced plans to bring back the compact Ford Ranger to the American market after being discontinued in 2011.
Who knows, maybe some of these other trucks not sold in America right now will get a shot one day. Until then, here’s a look at some of the other trucks available around the world.
This has been one of the most popular midsize trucks for nearly four decades. Known by many other names in the past including the well-known L200 name, the Triton is a rock-solid pickup and one of the largest personal vehicles on the roads in many foreign countries. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter turbo-diesel engine with 188 horsepower.
The engine might be a reason it’s not coming to the U.S., as buyers prefer gas. It could also be because of a 25 percent chicken tax if it were imported. But most importantly, the Triton or L200 won’t be coming because the Jeep Wrangler pickup is on its way.
The Toyota Hilux name has been around since 1968. It used to be available in the U.S. with an engine that made 84 to 109 horsepower, depending on the year. It morphed into the 4Runner and then was discontinued as a pickup when the Tacoma arrived in 1995, but the Hilux was never abandoned in other parts of the world.
Today, the Toyota Hilux enjoys immense popularity around the globe. It looks sharp with available box stanchions and has basic but thorough hardcore off-roading packages available. And it no longer resembles the Tacoma.