28 November 2015

Sharing Pick-Up Trucks

Car makers need to be working more together but there needs to be a fair amount of differentiation in appearance if not mechanically. When a vehicle simply has a new grille, then maybe not enough was done. Of course, the more that is done to distance the two, the greater the cost.

Mitsubishi is preparing a pick-up truck for Fiat for late 2016 release. Fiat will be sold mainly in Europe and Latin America and Mitsubishi mostly elsewhere. Mitsubishi is s small manufacturer so this will add volume and reduce unit cost. Fiat get a vehicle quickly and with no development cost so a win for both sides.

The Fiat Fullback grille looks unique

Meanwhile, Renault is getting a  pick-up truck named the Alaskan based on the Nissan Navara/Frontier. On top of that, Mercedes-Benz is also getting a pick-up from the same Nissan donor vehicle*. Obviously it will be upmarket so will be somewhat different again. They will be made in Spain and Argentina. Both the Renault and Mercedes vehicles will be much more unique than the Fiat/Mitsubishi models.

The U.S. truck market is protected by import duty. If a pick-up is not made in the U.S. it cannot be sold there economically. All the above models will not be sold in North America because of that. Still, there are enough trucks sold around the rest of the world not to need North America to make a success of these cooperation initiatives.

*I have for sometime wondered why Land Rover hasn't got some sort of tie up to create a pick-up truck as MB is now doing.

The Navara/Frontier will spawn vehicles for Renault and Mercedes-Benz

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