New Tata Pickup to Compete Globally

Tata-Xenon-Single-Cab II

Tata Motors, one of India's largest automotive and commercial truck makers, is about to enter the world of midsize commercial trucks — in India. Tata already makes the personal-use Xenon XT for the local market, and that truck competes with the Genio, which is made by Mahindra, the other big-selling, low-cost pickup truck maker.

The new truck is designed to be a new offering for Tata in a segment that the company predicts will grow significantly over the next several years, both in the personal-use and commercial segments. The XT is offered with three different diesel engines with a fourth variant on the way and comes in regular cab (under $10,000) and four-door crew-cab (under $12,000) configurations. Depending on the configuration, the XT can carry more than 2,000 pounds.

Tata-xenon-xt-int II

According to some sources, it is likely the small commercial version is expected to be exported to Thailand, South Africa and parts of Southern Europe. We don't know if something like the Xenon XT can be made in the U.S. or if Tata is looking for a domestic partner, but it would be interesting. Other low-cost truck makers (remember the Great Wall Motors Steed?) are rumored to be looking for facilities in the U.S., where they might be able to make an affordable and smaller midsize pickup for a segment that is seemingly pricing and sizing itself out of existence. 

Tata Motors Xenon XT Double Cab

Tata-Xenon-Crew-Cab-Pick-Up-Truck II

Great Wall Motors Steed Crew Cab

Tata Great-Wall-Steed-Pickup-Truck II



I'm a big fan of tata's!

Why not they introduce a van like vehicle or at-least a box truck. That way the space can be used functionally.

Mahindra Part Deux

They look at least a lot better than the Mahindra at any rate. Quality unfortunately is about the same. Saw one in Cornwall in the UK, near the seaside. Looks like Great Wall are going to do the same thing.

@AJ - a big fan of Tata's or a fan of big Tata's?
The "Great Wall" truck looks like the Ranger.
I do not mind the looks of those 3 trucks.
Coming to a Wallmart near you.............

Walmart.......... Always low prices........

And who says advertising doesn't work ;)

@Robert Ryan
I just google them and they are for sale here and I've never seen one.

I've seen many GTWs utes and the new ones looks much better than the older ones. Even the front end of my ute is better looking than the previous GTW.

The Tatas are going for the same price as the GTW so I would expect their quality to be equivelant. If its anything like the Mahindra then they would have a problem.

I do like the little diesel, looking at its kilowatts and torque it appears to be of an older design. But it getting about 30mpg.

@Big Al from Oz Maybe they could sell them at Bunnings LOL

The one I saw in Cornwall (Tata) differed little from the one in the Photo.. Their quality is unfortunately on par with Mahindra.

Like GTW these are basic work vehicles , that can be discarded after use. The Chinese ones would have far beeter reliebility and finish. GTW seems to have copied Nissan a lot.

The one in the photo , looks like it has an Australian Utility bed
Like this one I found

@Robert Ryan
I think GTWs owners, Dengfu or something like that licence build D22 Navaras.

Until/Unless 1963, 25% tariff on pickups under 8500 GVW is gone. It will not happen. Then Senator Fulbright proposed the a tax in retaliation for FRANCE and GERMANY putting tariffs on our chickens. Lyndon Johnson signed it. Remember this is birth of 'factory' farming. I don't remember WHO came up with the idea that light trucks (under 8500 lbs) should be included in a dispute over importation of chickens to Germany? It was NOT Fulbright, it was his idea to tax-but who came up with the idea of taxing pickups in retaliation for chickens???????????
I would like a name. My memory isn't what it used to be, and search engines are C*R*A*P when it comes to history. It could have been one/all of the auto executives who had a senators ear-balls, but which one/ones??????
It is a delicious irony that US auto manufacturing has gone world-wide. Yet, Ford Strips the transit connect they import from turkey to get around the tax. I think it would be FUNNY as hell to repeal that OUTDATED tax because Ford was counting on the 25% advantage when they killed the ranger. Fords sales of OVERPRICED pickups would plummet!
I wonder if {{{EXTREMELY OVERPRICED}}} pickup prices would fall 25% when the playing field is leveled. Just think how the oil industry would whine and cry if we put a 25% tax on exports of refined petroleum products? Like DIESEL FUEL!!!!!!

I don't know who, but due to the law of unintended consequences, somebody has been responsible for SCREWING the American people for 49 years!

I don't know if it is the US emissions or what, but the promise of the 30-40 MPG diesel pickups never prove to be true.

The MPG of the more recent diesel jeeps have not been terribly impressive.

Here is the EPA rating for the Mahinda--if that is what the unicorn of small diesel pickups would deliver in NA, I'll keep my gasser.

Now that was funny Lou.

@Ty - That article was false propaganda and making excuses for a dated and unwanted product. Don't fall for it, Australia is a free trade zone with the U.S. Holden Utes aren't even wanted in their homeland and our El Caminos were killed off for the same reason.

There's nothing is stopping global truck builders from shipping over partially built trucks to the U.S. like Mahindra was going to. It further makes sense to build them in NA if there was an actual market/demand for them. Niche if anything. The EPA and NHTSA are by far their biggest hurdle.

U.S. full-size trucks are over priced if you want them to be. They start at the same price as Camrys when talking MSRP. Now MSRP is much higher than actual transactions because it's just there for when demand exceeds supply, which is almost never.

Import trucks are here and yeah, the playing field has been leveled. Toyota and Nissan truck prices are equal to Big 3 truck prices. Where's the Big 3's 25% advantage???

Diesel isn't imported to the U.S., it's delivered as crude petroleum and is the byproduct of refining gasoline. Excess Diesel is exported out of the U.S.

These trucks would stand a lot better chance than the Mahindra. I think at the right price and getting the right distribution these trucks would sell. I agree @DenverMike if the price is too close to full size and the fuel economy is not much different then they probably would not sell but have a 5k price difference with at least 5 mpgs or better 10 mpgs difference then it would sell. But if they go through the same fiasco as Mahindra then people will lose interest. Not all truck buyers want a high performance, large, inefficient vehicle. Most full size truck buyers are not going to switch to midsize but most midsize buyers are looking for an affordable option which is lacking in the US market for a variety of reasons but still is an underserved market.

When the domestic manufacturers leave a void in the market someone else will fill the need. Look at all the older Rangers, S-10s, Toyotas, and Nissans on the road many of which the owners decided that if nothing is available that suits their needs they will fix up what they have and run it longer. Regardless of what you say @DenverMike there is still enough demand. I am not saying this to make you angry and I respect your reasons for your choice and it is good to have choice. I just spent some money on body work, getting everything mechanical fixed, and a complete detail on my S-10 just to keep it longer. Sure I might not keep it forever, but then I might keep it as long as I need a truck and it is worth it for me to spend a thousand or more every few years just to have what I want and if I get another 10 years out of it then it was worth it. My S-10 looks and runs like new and keeping it in perfect shape makes me more inclined to keep it.

If I want another smaller truck I would consider these trucks along with Tacoma, Frontier, and the new Colorado when it is released. Those choices would be enough for me to not even be concerned about Ford or Ram. I have transitioned to more foreign goods such as a Chinese mini tiller, Chinese edger, and Chinese wheeled weed and brush cutter and have been for the most part been satisfied so a Chinese truck assembled in the US is not that big a deal for me and for the younger generation Korean and Japanese cars and trucks are accepted and preferred.

@Lou-I don't think they will sell these trucks at Wal Mart but I bought a rider mower at Wal Mart for $650 two years ago and I really like it and if gas gets too high I might ride it up to the bus stop and lock it up on the post. It gets better mpgs than a lot of trucks. Also if the price is low enough and Wal Mart or Sam's Club sold one of these trucks I could always charge it to my Sam's Club Discover card and earn extra rebate dollars.

A man goes to a parts garage:
Man: "Can I have a windshield wiper for a TATA please?"
Parts man: "Yeah, that seems like a fair swap."

@Jeff S - Why would I get angry? We're just discussing trucks and what makes it interesting and informative is the fact that we disagree on a few key points. We might as well be discussing pizza or beer.

Yes there are quite a few passionate truck enthusiasts that would love more mid-size truck choices, but the vast majority of truck buyers aren't giving up their full-size or Tacos for too many reasons.

There may be a market for cheap and disposable trucks, but it can't be any greater than the market for sub $10K cars in the U.S. I don't see these throw away cars making a dent in the US compact car market. Do you?

DenverMike-There was another throwaway car produced in America that eventually made a dent and a whole corporation was built on that car. You could order it in any color as long as it was black. How do you think Toyota, Nissan, VW, Hyundai, and Kia got their start? I remember Toyota and Datsun very well and that was probably before you were born? When I went to high school the muscle car was at its height and the large American cars (land yachts) were at their peak. I remember the Toyota Corollas, Coronas, Toyota trucks, Datsun 210s and Datsun trucks. Guess what people said in the late 60s and early 70s. Those companies will go out of business who will ever buy a small car? Well guess what they were wrong and I remember a few of my class mates bought those cheap cars and trucks after they graduated and many of them are now loyal Toyota and Nissan owners.

I have looked at new and used trucks in the past and for a little more I bought a new truck with a warranty over late model trucks with 75k to 150k miles. For a little more give me a new truck because a lot of these trucks I looked at were 5 years old and they had been well used. Now days with a bad economy and a shortage of good low mileage used cars and trucks I would not even look for a used vehicle because if it is not high mileage then it either is flood damaged or been a totaled vehicle that was rebuilt on the cheap. I can tell you some stories about both types. Also most people do not take care of a car or truck like I do and taking care of a vehicle for most of them is filling up before the warning light for empty comes on. There are a few people that I know that take care of a vehicle like I do and if they were selling their vehicles I would buy them.

A lot of younger people have been priced out of the car and truck market but at least in compact cars there are a lot more affordable options and they are all good. I would not hesitate to pick any compact car that Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Fiat, VW, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, or some of the others make. Anyway those cheap cars lead to the Big 3 to improve their small cars and continue to manufacture them and the cheap cars became better as well although higher in price. Among midsize trucks there is Tacoma, Frontier, dwindling stocks of Colorados which nationwide comes to a little over 6,ooo, dwindling stocks of Canyons which come to about 2,000, and maybe 1,000 left over Rangers which are mostly V-6s (recent research of new trucks on You do not have to sell millions of units of a small truck to be profitable you just have to have a economical and dependable truck that is priced right. The US based manufacturers have deemed the market not profitable for them but that does not mean it is not profitable for Tata or Great Wall of China and it gives them the opportunity to get into the US market. All these companies have to do is not repeat the blunders of Mahindra which had an uglier truck that made a Pontiac Aztec look good. The worst that these trucks could be accused of is being bland but at least they were not beat with the ugly stick. I would seriously take a look at the GWC truck but I would wait for it to be on the market for a few years because I remember the Yugo which was a Yugoslavian Fiat. Sometimes it is best not to be the first in line.

Q: What goes on pages 4-5 of the TATA's user's manual?
A: The train & bus schedule.

I would lean more toward GWC than Tata. The Tata Nano the World's cheapest car has a reputation of catching on fire.

August 17, 2012, 8:02 PM HKT.Chinese Asbestos in Australia? Blame ‘Quality Fade’.
By Michael Dunne

Some mistakes are understandable. Others seem to defy explanation.

Earlier this week, two leading Chinese car companies, Great Wall Motor and Chery Automobile, confirmed they are recalling 23,000 cars and trucks they’ve sold in Australia because asbestos was discovered in their engine and exhaust gaskets.

An employee of Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile Co. works at the assembly line in Wuhu, Anhui province.This is a genuine setback for the companies and yet another blow to the image of Made in China.

After first reading the story headline, my reaction was puzzlement. Leading executives at Great Wall and Chery take product quality seriously, spending millions of dollars every year for better results. Improved vehicle reliability at Chery and Great Wall helped to ignite a 50% jump in exports to markets like Australia, Russia and Brazil last year.

How could these two proud Chinese car companies permit such a senseless error, one that is certain to damage their brand names?

Let’s consider the possibilities. First, were they simply unaware of the existence of the cancer-causing asbestos — or of the fact that asbestos is banned in 50 countries, including Australia? The answer would seem to be no on both counts.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Great Wall and Chery had signed letters to their distributor in Australia, Ateco, guaranteeing that the vehicles were asbestos-free. Further — and this is where things gets strange — representatives from Great Wall said that they had conducted their own in-house testing and concluded that the asbestos was not a danger to “human bodies.”

Chery, for its part, offered the implausible excuse that cars meant for the domestic market (China does not ban asbestos) were “accidentally” shipped to Australia.

If not an innocent mistake, what else could be the cause?

The most likely culprit is a China manufacturing phenomenon, vividly described in the book Poorly Made in China, known as “quality fade.” Companies deliver initial product samples that pass inspection tests with flying colors. In time, however, the quality begins to deteriorate as the manufacturer – often under pressure to preserve profits – introduces cheaper or non-standard product materials.

Read more:

@Jeff S - The Big 3 were really caught with their pants down during the oil embargo and Japanese OEMs seized the opportunity. Good move on their part. Their quality and reliability also killed ours by a long shot. The Big 3 answered with half ass'd compacts of their own mostly to satisfy CAFE. There was still too much money to be made with mid and full-size cars & pickups. Eventually SUVs took the place of full-size cars.

Today, there really isn't a market for throw away sub compact cars. Even those individuals priced out of new compacts from Toyota, Nissan, Ford and others, know a new disposable car's $10K value goes down to nothing at 200K miles. The better choice is a used, dependable 100K mile compact for $4K they sell it for $2K at 200K. What were Daewoos worth at that many miles? Yugos? Not having a warranty isn't an issue like it was in the '70s or '80s. Especially if you don't know if your brand will stick around.

When it comes to disposable trucks, it's the same deal except we've had an assortment of compact trucks and we've rejected them. R&D and improvements went away because the market went away. A niche market will always be there for any global compact truck OEM that wants a part of it.

Today, there's no oil embargo in sight and our quality of trucks is top notch with decent mpg. If there is a fuel shortage, you'll be more prepared than I, but not by much.

Anyways, I want to see you put a non refundable deposit for the 1st one off the boat!

Jeff S, Yes these would make an impact if released in the US, they would be one more segment that takes away sales from Full Size Pickups. SUV's already do, The new Euro sourced Vans will do the same.
They will not affect the bulk of Pickups sold as "SUV's with Beds" Australian Car/Utes are either "Corvettes with Beds'(Better built than the Corvette) or workhorses for mainly Urban areas. The car/utes relative decline is associated with falling largish car sales and they are more expensive than the cheap Asian sourced Pickups.

What I'd like to see happen is for Tata or any other manufacturer to bring a compact or small pickup truck with a diesel engine and air conditioning to the North American market.

Where Ford, GM and Dodge went wrong with their midsizers was that they became too expensive to make sense. That's why those three are no more.

And since they cannot make them cheaply enough in the US, Toyota, Nissan and to some small extent Honda Ridgeline have the midsize or compact truck market to themselves.

@DenverMike-You did not fully read my remarks because you would have seen that I said that I would wait a few years before buying one of these trucks. I was interested at one time in the Yugo but I waited and I am glad I did. Maybe you are the first to jump on a band wagon but I wait till the bugs are ironed out. No I would not buy most used cars or trucks now because there is a shortage of good used cars and trucks and I am not that anxious to acquire someone elses problems. I know whats wrong with my vehicles and I log in every repair done to every vehicle and save every maintenance receipt. Tell me the truth do you know very many people that do that? Do you even do that? You say that you like the power of a V-8 in that case do you race your truck? I do not race my vehicles and treat them to the best maintenace possible. If you think that is bad then there are a lot of car repair experts that disagree with you. The Tata truck I would not trust but the Chinese are more likely to copy American and Japanese vehicles which is at least a good start.

Most Asians are pretty smart but a lot of Americans are not smart enough to know that. Chinese children learn English when they are very young and that speak better English than most Americans and they are better educated than most American children. We are dumbing down as a nation and if it continues we will really spiral into decline. I am so glad you enjoy your V-8 F-150 but in the future the land whales will go the way of the land yachts and the Do Do birds. This will not happen overnight but over the next 10 or 15 years so enjoy it while you can. Big Al is right we can not sustain our market for big trucks and we as a country are mired in debt. I am not as worried about this because I am getting older and I have no children but if you have children the future is not as promising for them and their children unless things change dramatically. Any way I have outgrown the need to race V-8s or to go off road, I am getting too old for that crap and I would rather have what I need which is nothing more and nothing less.

I do not buy a vehicle to impress anyone and if I wanted to impress anyone I would not do it with a truck because in my neighborhood trucks are what the plumbers, repairmen, maintenance men, lawn services, and construction workers drive. I am not trying to be snotty but trucks are not the standard vehicle in my neighborhood and if I really cared about that I would own a Lexus or a BMW but that is not who I am. I own my truck for utililitarian purposes so a 300 to 400 horsepower vehicle is a total waste for me. I would rather save the money and buy good dividend paying stocks and let guys like you buy the new trucks. Anyway if I were buying a new truck it would be a 4 cylinder 5 speed Tacoma and Frontier and if it costed the same as your F-150 (which I doubt because my tastes are pretty simple) I would keep it for at least 10 years so the cost is not that material. I don't buy huge quantities of food anymore I buy a lot healthier-quality not quantity. I eat mostly organic and anything with corn syrup is off my menu.

Know what you're talking about when it comes to diesel engines. The Mahindra diesel is old tech. Nothing like the new Euro and "Japanese" diesels.

Why don't you use a 70s V8 as a basis that all current V8 are high polluting? Doesn't make much sense.

You should read up more on FTAs. The FTA between Austrlaia and the US has caveats. As is FTAs between most countries. Having a FTA between countries doesn't necessarily realise "free trade".

The US likes to think of itself as a "free trading" country, but is not. Most everything you do is subsidised or has some kind of protectionist barrier in place. You guys are like us very uncompetitive.

Like your pharmacutical companies wanted us to pay what you pay for medicines. By disallowing many of the generics from coming in. We would have a nearly disfunctional health system like the US with ripoff prices. Our TV content was to increase US content.

That's why they take years to create.

You have a distorted view that the Chicken Tax doesn't affect availibility of pickups. It does. If it didn't it would have been removed as it would cost money to administer. Real common sense stuff?

If the GTW pickup is built in the US it will be the same price or more expensive than the Chinese one we get. As you know we pay about 25% more than you guys for vehicles.

You tend to have alot of views about motor vehicles that could be deemed distorted. Do you lobby for the NA auto manufacturers.

@Big Al from Oz- No DenverMike lobbies for Ford. I think at the same price as in your market Al there will still be a demand for GWC. I have a feeling they will still be less than your market because American is a huge market and they would sell more units here because this is a huge market. Even my handyman who owns the F-250 said he would take a chance on the crewcab GWC if it came with a diesel. He told me he has had a lot of work done to his truck because of what it would cost him to replace it. I think this truck would be a hit with younger people and with older people who are on a fixed income and want something newer and more efficient.

Contrary to what DenverMike says a lot of people are not going to buy a used vehicle with 100k to 150k miles on it unless it is a Toyota or a Honda, but certainly not a Ford, Chevy, or Chrysler. What you have said before we are in the golden years of the full size American V-8 half ton trucks and these trucks are going the same way as the land yacht cars but most of these readers are in denial of this as my parents generation were of the eventual disappearance of the land yacht cars. I am sure that there will be a save the land whale campaign by these whale owners but eventually our trucks will be more like yours and the next generation will not pay for the appetites for these monsters and the new fuel standards will make them extinct as will their owners be in another generation or two. They might start giving away complementary Lawrence Welk CDs with each land whale purchase. Then life will truly be a beach. A beach full of discarded land whales.

Your pickups and vehicles have improved since the 70s, but they are still behind in vehicle quality compared to Euro and Asian vehicles. The Chinese GTW quality would be nearly on par with the Chryslers imported from NA and in 5 years be as good as a Korean vehicle.

We do get Chryslers from the US and their quality is not as good as the Korean vehicles which would have the lowest build quality of the Asian vehicles.

Euro vehicles have the same build quality as a true Japanese vehicle.

Current mid-size pickups would dent the Big 3s strangle hold on the NA pickup market. Especially diesels. Why not create way to protect it.

Imagine having at least 10 different brands of mid size trucks to choose from. Each with 30-40 differing configurations as well. That would scare any competitor.

Even most of your "imported" vehicles are made locally and their quality is higher overall than what the Big 3 produces.

You guys have been isolated from the world for so long you tend to forget there is a bigger world out there.

DenverMike the more I read your threads the more I do think you are "planted" on this site to misinform.

@Big Al from OZ . Chrysler and Jeep have improved in quality over the years, but still lag a long way behind the Japanese and now Koreans in build quality and reliability

Shame as the 3 Litre CRD Jeep is a quite nice looking vehicle.

@Big Al from Oz-From what I read of your vehicles in that midsize shoot out in Australia I would even be glad to get your outdated gas Hilux. Your Hilux is light years ahead of anything midsize we have in the US and it would probably outlast our full size. I have weaned myself off the notion that bigger is better. For instance the more cheap food you eat with corn syrup in it the bigger you get and the bigger you get the better you are not. You are just bigger and unhealthier which symbolizes the US economy as well which is very bloated.

Why is VW diesel cars achieving the same fuel economy as their European counterparts?

You talk BS sunshine.

To me the great wall is a dead ringer for the Chevy/Holden colorado!

@Jeff S
You could be correct that DenverMike lobbies for Ford NA. Especially his opinions regarding diesel power. Ford NA is the most pro gas manufacturer with Mazda globally at the moment.

Like the F-650 with the V10 that would never be as economical to run as a diesel. Unless it is parked most of the day. And if you rarely use it why buy it? Its a lot of money to fork out.

And if the NA market is biased towards gas to make that truck more economical to run then you guys are going to really hurt more than the rest of us in the future.

DenverMike claims he owns a trucking company and will run gas trucks, even in NA he'll go broke.

From what I've read about the Eco Boost is the savings equate to 1mpg and that is in comparison to a 5.4V8. Still poor economy by our standards.

Our least economical utes are the Holden and Ford V8s they are averaging about 18mpg in real life. And our V8 utes are aerodynamic compared to your pickups.

My pickup is averaging 28mpg, with V8 torque. The differences are significant. As you saw in the shootout mainly urban and off roading they are about 23mpg.

The world is moving towards diesels because they are more economical.

DenverMike can try and dissuade people against diesel by his remarks on maintaining and the cost of purchase. But his remarks are based on HDs. Like I pointed out with the diesel Kia Sorento the actual difference between a diesel and a V6 would be $1 500.

Like I've been saying NA (US & Canada) are regulated to protect the Big 3 and your oil refineries producing gasoline.

Mexico runs differing vehicles than the US.

@sandman 4 x4 . Not quite, more like a refreshed Navara.

Nissan Navara

Current Great Wall

Holden Colorado cab chassis

Big Al from Oz-A $1,500 premium for a diesel motor is not going to deter someone who wants a diesel-that is insignicant out of the total cost of the vehicle. I would be willing to pay a $1,000 more for the Ecoboost 4 cylinder on the Ford Edge and Explorer but I am not willing sacrifice getting options such as heated and cooled leather seats with power passenger seat because this is what my wife wants and I want more economy. I keep my vehicles a long time and getting a high mileage vehicle is not an option for me, I don't want someone elses problems. Been there done that.

As for GWC truck I told my handyman about that and the crewcab with a diesel is of interest to him. He would have nothing else but a diesel. His 2004 crewcab F-250 is a powerstroke with a 5 speed manual and has over 150k on the motor and the bed is rusting. He would keep his F-250 for towing trailers but would like the GWC to use most of the time as long as the maintenance is not too bad for the first few years it would be cost effective and he told me he doesn't have to keep it forever. The market is there for an affordable fuel efficient vehicle and the diesel would do well here as you have read in the past comments.

Big Al I have decided to speak up not really for me but there have been others who want a good small affordable and reliable truck and they have been shouted down by others besides DenverMike. Even if I never buy another truck they have a right to their opinions and if it is not cost effective for Ford and Chrysler why should they buy something they don't need or want. I can afford a King Ranch or a Platinum but I just don't want it or need it. There are many things I can afford but I choose not to buy them. I am not asking DenverMike to give up his F-150, or Hemi-V8 to give up his Ram, or High Desert Cat to give up his Tundra, or Lou to give up his F-150. They choose what they like and it is not up to me to dictate to them what they want nor is it up to someone to dictate to others who choose a smaller truck to buy a larger one. Why should Vulpine be criticised for expressing his desires for a smaller truck and why should anyone? We should respect each others choices and different perspectives.

Thanks Big Al for sticking up for me on my choices. There are other opinions to be heard and the more variety the much more interesting this site is. Have a great day.

@Jeff S
I'm not against V8 pickups or large SUVs. But you guys haven't got a level playing field for vehicles. We have a substantial amount of large 4x4 wagons (SUVs) in Australia. But even the Patrol comes with a 3.0 litre diesel. So even here we aren't against V8s or large vehicles for domestic use.

Have a look at terminology in the vehicle industry, global and then US. doesn't that tell you something. The US will become global to survive. You can't keep on saying we are different because we are Americans.

And the likes of DenverMike who claim that mid size pickups are playing on an equivalent field are dreaming. If what he states he believes then remove the chicken tax and allow all pickups in like we do. The Big 3 wouldn't allow this to occur as they would consume a major portion of full size sales.

We also have a vehicle market that is open to the world as you can tell by the vehicles we have. Some importers are only importing a very few vehicles per month, like the Tata pickup. We have one of the most varied vehicle markets in the world.

As a large consumer of pickups we recieve very few NA full size trucks. We have no barriers in the way of importing them. In Australia domestic pickups are 4x4 dual cabs, even young guys only buy 4x4. Our two wheel drive market is for commercial use (not builders etc).

We have many V8 vehicles here in Australia and if full size pickup were introduced they couldn't compete against the Asian pickups.

The cost of fuel as a percentage of our pay isn't that much different from the US so it isn't just the cost of fuel that is turning us to diesel as the preferred choice.

Look at your August pickup sales and you will see a significant rise in your small pickups and Hondas etc in comparison to full size trucks. That to me indicates that there is an inbalance in your market.

Yes, someone will say that full size pickups have improved, but what I'm saying is look at the difference in increase between the 2.

The cost of technology is increasing significantly for gas engines in comparison to diesels at the moment in NA and the costs will have to be passed on sooner or later.

Fiat/Chrysler is the only NA company trying to push NA vehicles globally and I hope they succeed. They will once they get on top of their build quality. All of their vehicles outside the US have diesel options.

You guys will painfully change, hopefully sooner than later. You can't afford to change yet as retooling factories is expensive, unless your vehicles are made in Mexico.

@Big Al from Oz, Jeff S - The 2.2 diesel Kia Sorento Si XM is $41,990 and the 3.5 gas Kia Sorento Si XM is 36,990, both automatics. What am I missing? Is my math off?

You absolutely have to factor in all other costs of ownership other than just MPG. You can oversimplify here, but eventually you have to pay. You haven't done a side by side comparo of diesels vs gas in similar vehicles, spanning several years and several 100K miles. Talk to me when you have.

Al, you've got V8 power too, so are you a drag racer or what? Yes, I'll admit I'd miss the muscle car sounds and acceleration if or when full-size V8 trucks get banned from the streets, so yeah I'm living it up while I can. And so what? You yourself admitted you'd love to have one.

Yes Australia is free trade zone with the U.S. Absolutely. Of course you know F-250/350s were official Australia imports at one time and if we held yours up to the chicken tax, how would that be fair???

Jeff, we've all been priced out of new cars at one time and did just fine with driving 100K mile cars well past 200K. Cars are better Today and less likely to burn you without a warranty, especially Toyota and Honda. Today's trucks are no different so I do recommend 100 to 150K mile pickups to anyone priced out of new trucks. I bought a 139K F-150 two years ago for a shop truck and no issues so far.

I'm not shouting down diesel pickup fans nor am I paid by Ford. Ford sells diesels, no? The make a lot of money off of diesels, no? Diesel are expensive, no? Why would anybody lobby for gas engines? Use you heads. I don't care what the market offers, I have no dog in the new truck market.

What I can offer is practical advise, what to watch out for and consider before you spend/waste your hard earned money on a diesel. Hybrids also look like a good thing to spend a lot of money on until you look at ALL your costs and not blinded by the savings at the pump.

Missing what you are trying to convey here
"Yes Australia is free trade zone with the U.S. Absolutely. Of course you know F-250/350s were official Australia imports at one time and if we held yours up to the chicken tax, how would that be fair???"

It's not that you maths is incorrect, you just haven't factored in the differences between them.

There is a signifcant difference between the two models. One is front wheel drive and the diesel is all wheel drive. They are also spec'd differently.

The front wheel drive is a "normal" spec'd vehicle ie A/C and power windows, basic stuff. I think the gas is a 5 seater and the diesel is a 7 seater???

From my maths you guys are paying about 75% of what we pay for a vehicle. So the difference is decreased again.

So, deduct the AWD and options on the diesel version and factor in the difference in costs between countries and yes the difference is between a gas and diesel is much closer.

Also the drive train in the diesel would have to be comparable to a large six or V8 to manage the torque. The 3.5litre 6 that is in it doesn't produces nowheres near the torque of the diesel.

The cost of maintaining, excluding fuel is higher but not that much. Also you can go alot further between gas stations. 1 000+km between refuels normally.

The diesel is gaining 25% fuel consumption and the cost is at most 10% more for fuel. They drive like a V8 on the highway. You can see where I'm coming from. Even with the additional maintenance they are cheaper to operate. That's why the rest of the world is using them. Don't forget our diesel is about 40c a gallon more expensive than our gas and our lowest octane gas is 91.

You should come over and drive one. Or when the Grand Cherokee diesel is released in the US have one for the weekend.

You can't use a SuperDuty Ford or anything like that to compare the differences.

@Robert Ryan - Weren't F-Super Dutys sold in Australia at one time? How would that work if we were 'supposedly' slapping a chicken tax on potentially imported Holden Utes? What's fair about that?

@Big Al from Oz - You have a point, but it's impossible to isolate the price of the Sorento's diesel engine option when so may other features are forced along with it. You're estimating the diesel itself cost $1,500 and the rest of the $5,000 goes toward everything else. I don't exactly agree.

Since diesels are all about economy, you'd think you could get one on a base stripper, but no. VW does the same thing if you want the TDI. They force nav, sun roof and a host of other gadgets with the diesel to help justify their $5,000 bump in price.

All I'm sayings is when you add up all the cost of diesel ownership, the over all 'economy' is much less than if you just look a savings at the pump. It all adds up and it'd be irresponsible not chase every receipt. It obviously takes years to get a return on (a diesel) investment, the question is how many?

When the Chevy Cruze diesel comes out you will hopefully see base model diesels that are very affordable.

I do agree with the diesels being optioned to the hilt is no good for marketing.

But remember diesels are viewed by NA folk as a premium engine option not a normal engine option. The car companies want it that way. Also the diesels are probably imported from the Eurozone. Asian diesels are cheaper and many are based on Euro technology, like the 2.2 Kia diesel which was designed in Germany.

Also remember you guys pay a low price for vehicles as they are over produced to keep factories running. In Australia they import only what is needed so the supply and demand side of vehicles is much in favour of increase prices.

So once your manufacturers reduce and rationalise your auto industry vehicle prices will rise anyway.

You can't keep on over producing and subsidising you are broke.

@DenverMike&Al from Oz--I do not know what products will sell and what products will last in the market place but living on this planet for 60 years has given me some insight that when there is an unfilled need then someone will come along and fill it. DenverMike there is lots of selection in the big truck market and in the compact and midsize car market but there is a void for a full efficient smaller truck and the price does not have to be 10k or below. At 15k to 25k is a good start and yes there needs to be more significant fuel savings. DenverMike you are probably much younger than I am so you might be able to lean into most of the beds of full size trucks but when you get older you can not climb and lean into a truck bed and lifting up heavy items is not so easy (I hope this never happens to you). The market place will determine if the Tata or GWC are successful and also the companies will determine how much they are willing to spend. There are plenty of 30k to 60k cars and trucks but there are a lot less trucks available at 15k to 30k and most people would rather have new if all other things are equal. Yes I know you can run vehicles 150k to 200k but in order to run a vehicle that long you have to do maintenance and that is regardless of brand. I guarantee you could give me most new cars or trucks regardless of brand and I could get long reliable service out of them but would not guarantee you that on any used vehicle particularily if I don't know the history of that vehicle and what maintenance was done to it. I could give you a maintenace folder on any vehicle I have owned and you would know what was done to it and I have been keeping maintenance folders like that since 1977 on a new Monte Carlo. Give me a new car or truck any day over the unknown. These trucks will either succeed or fail and that is regardless of what you or I think or say. The customer will decided. That is the free market inspite of the Chicken Tax or the Big 3.

The Chicken Tax issue arose when a Holden and Age Newspaper Reporter said one of the problems you would have exporting Utes to the US would be the Chicken Tax.
This got people on the GMI forums arguing what did they mean when we supposedly had a FTA with the US?
Then someone found a clause about having parts from a non FTA supplier in the finished product.
Everyone at the GMI forums thought that was the issue.
A day later a Holden Spokesman came out and said that there was a FTA with the US and there was NO Chicken Tax involved. Issue solved.
Now with F250/F350 problems revolve around the fact that it comes from the factory LHD. We are RHD, so you need to basically rebuild the vehicle. Now for a Petrol(Gas) engined vehicle there is at present no pollution problems(as far as I know), there is with Diesel(Tier versus Euro 5 Compliance.
So you can import these vehicles under a limited Quota scheme. European/Japanese/ Korean/Thailand have both LHD/RHD vehicles coming from the factories. So we do not have to go the expense of altering the vehicles.
I get "Why do you not allow LHD Vehicles, we have RHD vehicles?" Yes they are generally Postal vehicles that are primarily kerb crawlers. We used to allow LHD vehicles, with a sign on the back stating "Left Hand Drive". Not that effective as these vehicles had more than their fair share of accidents, although they were few in number.

It'll be interesting to see what global brand are willing to set up stores in the NA and drop-sides flatbeds would be an interesting option. I can't reach small items in the bed of my F-150, but a full running board could fix that. My dogs are big and like resting their heads while bracing themselves in the front corners of the bed with their snouts into the wind.

A diesel option might be interesting for some, but if most truck owners are like me, they want simplicity, even if it costs more. I'm not convinced gas engines cost you more, when the dust settles. In the pre-emissions days maybe, but not Today.

My dogs are mutts from the animal shelter, eat any dry feed I give them, never complain and have never been to a groomer. They're low maintenance and I want my trucks the same way. Hit any 'hole in the wall' gas station, no additives to think about and no urea to add or water to filter out/separate. I can skip an oil change here or there and the fuel filters are good for life, almost.

Cars and pickups with more than 100K miles that have been abused or under maintained are easy to spot by good mechanics. If it has good compression, low sludge/carbon build up and emissions are clean, it'll likely go another 100K plus with no problems (and not much maintenance required). I'd rather have one of these for cheap than new car payments on a disposable, throwaway brand like daewoo or diahatsu.

@DenverMike-I agree with you on most of your points you can have a vehicle inspected. My take on Tata and GWC is that it is up to them to be successful in our market. If the product is too cheaply made or to unreliable the consumers will vote with their pocketbooks a resounding "No". If either or both of these have a competitively priced product that is of good quality the word will get out and more consumers will buy their product. There is a need for a smaller economical truck but you are correct that it cannot be a piece of junk. If it is junk then either Tata or GWC risk doing any further business in our market which is one of the largest in the World and GWC in their website says they have a goal to become a World producer of small trucks and suvs. The ball is in their court and if they come in Toyota and Nissan will not just sit still they will up their game as well. This is only a positive thing for the consumer because the pressure is on for Tata and GWC to produce a good product and the consumer will make that choice.

Again I would not be the first to rush out and buy either one of these but knowing Tata and their problems with the Nano (igniting cars), the World's cheapest car, and the Mahindra fiasco, I would be less inclined to buy anything from India. GWC I would be willing to give a chance after they have been in the US market for at least 2 years. Availabilty of dealerships and reputation for service will be keys but where I live their are several Chevy, Ford, and Chrylser dealerships that will apply to sell either one and two of these dealerships were large sized dealerships that are now selling used cars and provide servicing for all makes. I have a feeling in my area that in Cincinnati their would be at least one a piece of these dealerships and in Northern Kentucky at least one. If I were applying for a dealership I would rule out anything from India not only because they have more quality issues but their laws are more convoluted and they are more disorganized than the Chinese. Even though it would be in the US you would still have to deal with India's laws to a certain degree which are much less friendly to free enterprise than Communist China. China is at least are more organized and even though they are Communist they like to support business because it contributes to a more prosperous economy and job growth and the Chinese are very into that. Capitalism is a taboo word in China but they are becoming more and more capitalistic they just won't admit it. China has an incentive to do well. Time will tell and none of us know for sure but my bets are on GWC and not on Tata.

I would more than likely choose one of these over a Ford any day. I am sure they don't catch fire.


If Ford doesn’t come to its senses and start building the new Ranger int he States and Canada, then someone else will fill the void.

I'll make this quite simple.

If Tata and GWC bring their compact trucks to the US and prove there's a market for small trucks, Ford, GM and RAM will be scrambling and falling all over themselves to introduce competing models. Meanwhile, those non-American companies would have a clear playing field until the Big Three manage it.

I can make a fairly accurate guess at the cost of the diesels. Remember we have V6 petrol utes that can also come as diesels.

The 4cyl diesel engined ute costs are the same as the V6 utes. The same goes for the Grand Cherokee the V6 diesel costs the same as the 5.7 V8.

I do not see DenverMike as a Ford shill, or anti-diesel. Does that mean I am a Ford fanboi and therefore have to side with DenverMike?
I have to agree that one of the big reasons small trucks are a niche player is because of fullsized 1/2 tons.
Why was the Ranger competitive?
It was a dinosaur that usually sold at "Walmart" level prices. I had been tempted multiple times to buy a base model Ranger because they were incredibly cheep. They could be purchased depending on "rebate season" pricing for much less that a "throw away" econobox car.
I have seen some guys go to gassers from diesel HD's because as DenverMike has pointed out - if you do the math "it ain't worth it".
Case in point - my brother's company (Canadian Forest Products -CanFor) is huge. They let the beancounters call the shots on many things. They have never purchased diesel pickups.
No return on investment.
My dad always said the same thing. "I can burn a hell of a lot of gas for the cost of a diesel" and he owned a small trucking company.
There is a benefit to diesels in certain applications and economic conditions.
We aren't there yet.
I can see JeffS point of view as well as Big Al or Robert's view. Within the constraints of our current socioeconomic/geopolitical climate (fish bowl) we won't see a prolliferation of small trucks.
If Great Wall, Tata or whom ever want to flood our market with cheeper small trucks they are more than welcome.
I'd rather take my chances on an outdated Tacoma or a full sized 1/2 ton gasser.
I like the idea of a diesel 1/2 ton or small truck but the more I realistically look at it, it is a romantic notion on my part.

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