Schwarzenegger Test Drives His New Pickup

Arnold's M-B Unimog II

What kind of pickup does an action hero superstar and ex-govenor of the state of California drive? Apparently a customized $250,000 German U1300 Unimog. 

Yahoo News is reporting that celebrity Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen around Santa Monica, California this past week driving one of his newest toys, a Unimog pickup truck, recently built and shipped to the U.S. from the Mertec Company in Germany. 

The report states Arnold has a long history of love for military vehicles, and even suggests the movie star was one of the main reasons AM General and General Motors decided to make civilian versions of the military Hummers. We're not sure how much truth there is to that, but we do know that creating Hummer SUVs and pickup trucks off of existing fullsize SUVs (Hummer H2 and H2 SUT from the Tahoe) and midsize pickup platform (H3 and H3T from the TrailBlazer and Colorado/Canyon) did have its limitations and when the consumer market shifted away from bigger SUVs and toward smaller, more efficient crossovers, the heavy-duty 4x4s were left out in the cold.

(Interesting fact: the lead designer at Hummer that was putting the finishing touches on the coming H2T -- with a diesel engine -- when Hummer was being shopped around for buyers, ended up going over to GMC and was responsible for the GMC Sierra All Terrain concept truck.)

Unimogs are known for the rough and tough capabilities and this customized version is reported to cost in excess of $200,000. Not sure how often he'll be using this to haul groceries or several tons of quarry rocks but he can if he wants to. The good thing about a rig like this is that when it comes to parking in Los Angeles, you can pretty much park anywhere (or on top of anyone) you want. Unfortunately, because of the extreme gearing in the rig (depending on the transmission, it could have more than 20 forward gears) it's likely to have a top speed of only 55 or 60 mph. 



Arnold also collects Pinzgauers

55-60 top speed w/20 forward gears? It has a Governor in it alright and he needs to haul more cigars.

he was always a big headed person and he love big ugly out of this world truck

The ultimate road warrior. This could be the new replacement for the half ton full size truck. Supersize me to a couple of tons, put a crewcab, 4 wheel drive and a Raptor grill. Maybe we could get midsize truck owners to switch to this truck Denver Mike and tell them to take it or leave it.

I could have used this truck when I went to Home Depot to pick up some more patio pavers for my outdoor project. I think I would not have to worry about it sagging in the back. There was someone where I live a few years ago that used an old military truck for their construction business. I saw them picking up lumber at the Home Depot and one time it had forms for pouring concrete. One thing it would be hard to kill a truck like this. It is bigger but it reminds of the big International pickup with a crewcab that came out a few years ago but was discontinued. I think if Arnold has the money for this and he wants that type of vehicle then that is his business. This fits in with his image of the Terminator and Governator and the link to this article says it gets 17 mpg which is surprising even for a diesel as big as this truck is. That is pretty good mpgs for something this size.

I see the occasional Unimog around. I've always been impressed by those portal axles. They ain't pretty but they do the job.

@Jeff S - I feel your pain... no really I don't!!! Luckily, and just like most truck buyers, full-size trucks are perfect for me, extra cabs specifically. You haven't said what configuration you're talking about.

Mid-size extra cabs are about equal to full-size reg cabs and mid-size crew cabs are equal to full-size extra cabs. When you do that math, and depending on bed choice, you're only talking like 6", front and rear along with 6" down the center.

Where do you park that you can't get a full-size reg or extra cab to fit? I can't believe an 11 year old house has less than a 20' garage. Actually, the building code says 12' x 22' for a single car and 18' x 22' for double car garage, US and Canada. Are you in Mexico? My garage is 50 years old and 22' x 22', free standing.

Make a small adjustment in your way of thinking or perception and you'll open up a whole lot of new choices. That's 1000x easier than trying to change an industry or remaining bitter. Your life.

Hummer brand failed because it only had 4 speed automatics in a 6 speed automatic world.

@George - really? So it had nothing to do with the fact that the Hummer came to represent the wretched excess and wastefullness of a generation?

@DenverMike--I am not bitter I just don't need the bulk of a big truck nor a V-8, but since you like big maybe you would like one of these. I am happy with what I have and if I ever need a replacement Tacoma and Frontier will be available. Actually I was surprised that the fuel economy on this truck was that good. Your F-150 might go faster but the mpgs are probably not that much greater. I think Arnold is not too worried about size or mpgs and if that's what he likes that is what he should have. Unlike your viewpoint I think that people should have freedom of choice and that includes if someone wants a diesel in a half ton trucks or a smaller truck. Granted if a manufacturer does not want to provide the diesel in the half ton or provide a midsize truck that is their business but then no one is required to buy their product unless the powers to be decide to pass laws telling us what type of trucks we should buy.

By the way I am not bitter I was trying to get your goat and I succeeded. I did not mean anything personal and I am sorry for any hard feelings. I will have to say if Arnold wanted to impress us I am impressed. Thanks Mark for a different article it breaks the monotony.

@DenverMike--Anyway I don't hate Ford I just don't find that much they offer that fits my needs but that could change. The one thing that could sway me would be a 4 cylinder hybrid e-assist in an Explorer or Edge and I might be wrong but I think they either have that now in the Explorer or they are going to have it. Also the other thing that could possibly sway me is the dealership in Indiana where I have had my wife's Taurus serviced has about the best service department in a dealership that I have ever dealt with.

My present needs do not include full size trucks and especially my extented cab S-10 is no where near as large as even a regular cab fullsize and much easier to drive. Also I doubt most full size trucks can get 27 mpgs on the highway at 70 mph and that is with a paper and pencil test.

As for Nissan and Toyota they have both been in compact truck business longer than anyone and they have a proven track record. Toyota outsells Ford and GM in the international pickup truck market and even though I like the Global Ranger and the Colorado, Toyota still outsells them and will come up with a new Hilux that will blow both away. Toyota has got the midsize market down and even with an aging Tacoma it still beat the Ranger and Colorado. Ford just gave up and it probably would not have been worth their effort to bring over the Global Ranger except maybe Toyota would be forced to update the Tacoma and then blown the Global Ranger away.

So after reflecting if I were Ford I would abandoned the midsize market because they are going to come in at best 2nd or 3rd. I think the next test they do in Australia there will be a new Hilux and it will eat the others lunch. Maybe it is good that Ford is leaving Australia because they are going to get beat badly with all the good trucks that Australia has and they don't have a protected market in Australia. I would have to say that is true with Colorado as well even though Global Ranger and Colorado are better than what we have in our market. Especially if what Robert Ryan is saying he has yet to see a Colorado on the road. Anyway the NA market is protected and I don't see that changing in the near future.

And Arnold lectured us about "global warming." This just proves that politicians who preach about global warming don't believe it themselves. And good for him, he can buy whatever truck he wants no matter how expensive it is or how bad the fuel mileage is. I am not jealous of him and I don't car what cars/trucks rich people buy. Someone had to build that truck, and I am glad that person still has a job, even if they are in Germany.

Posted by Jeff S - "...Unlike your viewpoint I think that people should have freedom of choice and that includes if someone wants a diesel in a half ton trucks or a smaller truck. Granted if a manufacturer does not want to provide the diesel in the half ton or provide a midsize truck that is their business but then no one is required to buy their product unless the powers to be decide to pass laws telling us what type of trucks we should buy"

"...Anyway the NA market is protected and I don't see that changing in the near future."

@Jeff S - Freedom of choice? What about the freedom to turn a profit??? It has absolutely nothing to do with what OEMs "want to provide". If it's profitable, they will. Absolutely.

It's not the law makers that protect the NA market, it's the lack of interest in mid-sizers that protects it. It's that lack of buyers that limits choices. Buyers (or lack of) are Everything in business, unless we're talking non profit orgs here. The same goes for light duty diesels. Why would OEMs chase niche markets, spending Billions to only make Millions?

Toyota stayed in it because they captured the biggest share of the mid-size market. They were/are the best, but the others purposely let it slip away. It was absolutely the right choice. You might be resentful, but the bottom line IS the bottom line. It's never been about pleasing absolutely Everyone.

If you were the head of VW, Mitsu, Isuzu, Ford or whoever, would you take the loss to please a few dedicated, if not closed minded buyers? If so, don't you think you should be Fired?

What makes you think you got my goat? I have no reason to have hurt feelings as the industry caters to all my needs. Mid-size enthusiast are the losers here. I mean they lose out on choices, but it's their own fault, collectively. That's what you're complaining about, right?

Since you like extra cabs like your S10, and don't want what's currently offered, full-size V6 reg cabs are too similar to extra cab mid-sizers in every way. Price, size and mpg. You want more choices, right? There you go an you're welcome!

All mid-sizers and globals are bigger and heavier than your tin can S10 (if not safer) and are hard pressed to beat its mpg. Not happening.

Jeff S the Unimog can haul 35,000lbs. Now they have a 6litre diesel from memory,. Not fast and more a tractor on wheels.

They are profitable. Look at how small other markets around the world including ours and they sell them.

Our choice in vehicles is one of the largest in the world because we have a true free market. Australia is made up of only 22 million people.

Its constraints that inhibit choice in the US. The rest of the OECD have signed up to standardise regulations since the late 50s. Only two countries didn't sign up to it and they were USA and Canada.

Allow choice and liberalise your economy to the rest of the world. Europe, Japan and the US have some of the most subsidised industries around. They will send you broke.

@Big Al from Oz - Profitable in other markets, because the sell big. Aren't they often #1 in Oz?

I don't agree with trade barriers either, and I'm sure they discourage foreign OEMs from simply putting their trucks on a boat for NA. Nothing is ever that simple. The EPA and NHTSA are also barriers, but we're talking relatively minor hurdles for trucks that are truly wanted on a large enough scale.

Toyota and Nissan found it a worthwhile venture. Others slipped away when sales slipped away. See the correlation here?

Do you really think your market research is better than the millions foreign and domestic OEMs have spent studying the NA light truck market?

Obviously if full-size trucks didn't exist here, things would be a whole lot different. It would be like any other place that lacked choices and forced global trucks down your throat!

Half ton trucks are by far, the biggest barriers against global trucks in NA. Why would you pay more just to get less???

New Zealand (smaller than Sydney) and Euro countries sell them and they are considered fuel guzzlers.

I would love to see NA pickups sold here. I would have considered one especially in diesel. I heard rumors that Rams might be sold in Australia, I hope so, especially if they come with the 3.0 VM diesel. But they have to have a decent suspension to carry a load.

They would be a hit.

We have Unimogs at work and they are very uncomfortable and roll easily.

When I was traveling throughout the Sahara desert we'd see these Unimogs driven by Germans with too much money and no desert "street smarts". These Unimogs are very unreliable for long distances, they are made to stay on the little German farm or plow snow in the little German villages. These Unimogs break down under severe desert travel and are not repairable in the field. They are of very complicated design. I am a professional mechanic and I used to work on these in Switzerland. I know one guy in Algeria that paid over $20,000 in 1990 dollars to have his shipped back from Djanet Algeria. Nope, you couldn't pay me to drive one of these. I chose to use a Mitsubishi L300 4x4 van for my Sahara travels. Problem in the Sahara is if you break down, it may cost you your life.

Actually I wouldn't be surprised if he had this truck converted to run on hydrogen. That is what he did with his hummers.

@Big Al from Oz--I agree with you but DenverMike is so pigheaded in cannot see straight. He never reads any comments completely because if he did he would have read that I never expect any business to provide me a product that they could not make any money on nor should I be expected to buy anything from any company that does not provide me what I want. I guess being the Ford fanboy he is he was upset that I said I might not ever buy a Ford but that depends on what the product is and not the brand. Watch him complain when gas hits $6 a gallon and blame big oil and then I will remind him just like Ford they are a corporation in the business to make money and as a stockholder of Exxon-Mobil and Chevron that I personally want to thank him for his business. The Ram with a Cummins would probably sell well in Australia and the Cummins by far is the best diesel you can get in a pickup.

Al didn't you and Robert Ryan say that Ford was about to exited the Australian market because all decisions came from Dearborn and they could not react to the differences in the Australian market? So Ford has a bureaucratic culture as well. I am glad to hear that GM is not alone, but GM messes up in the home market where Ford is doing well. Wait till the Dearborn crowd deals with the Chinese market where GM has done the right things and is a key player.

@DenverMike-I don't think that Ford should just stick with full size trucks because they will get their asses handed to them by Toyota and Nissan. The Global Ranger appears to be a good truck and Colorado is not bad but when Toyota and Nissan come up with a redesign it will take Dearborn forever to respond. American corporations are entrenched with overpaid CEOs and boards that are slow to react to changes and this will probably never change. On a level playing field in the World market Ford and GM will get their asses handed to them by Toyota particularily in the midsize truck market. Toyota might eventually get their act together on the full size truck market in the US and give Ford, GM, and Chrysler a run for their money particularily if the Big 3 get too confident and cocky and if that does happen then they will deserve it.

Correction-"Ford should just stick with full size trucks because they will get their asses handed to them by Toyota and Nissan."

@Jeff S .I think Toyota is happier just dominating the US Market. Pickups are now just a side issue for them.

@Robert Ryan--I don't think that is completely true because why would they have spend all the money they did to develop the Tundra. For now I think they are happy dominating the US market but I think they are interested long term in the large truck market which is a very hard nut to crack. It might take them ten to twenty years to make some inroads but for now Tundra is not a profitable venture for them and it is more lessons learned. Probably Nissan is doing the same thing with the Titan but if I had to bet I would bet Nissan will leave the full size market and Toyota will just wait it out and eventually make inroads. Brand preferences can change from generation to generation and a younger generation can prefer a different brand than their parents.

Also the American auto industry has been through a lot of up and down cycles and they never completely learn from their mistakes. Some of this is arrogant thinking that America is best and that no one else can really compete with us. That is the mentality of the large truck market but it is unwise to get too cocky and feel to confident because there is always someone else that is more than willing to take your place. I would have hoped that the American auto industry would learn from this but I see some major cracks in their foundation starting with the blind arrogance of GM and its slow adaptability to customer preferences. Ford is not as bad but their culture is not immune from this as well. From what you said about the Australian market it appears Ford has messed up big time and Australia, though not as big as NA, is no small market. Chrysler I see the most hope with after watching the interview on 60 Minutes (this CEO has his act together). I have no problem with Ford paring their products down but they might become so rigid and inflexible that they cannot adapt to market changes in a world market. If that is the case the Japanese and Koreans will clean their clocks and if the Chinese get serious and get their act together they will be in there as well. I know this will upset the Ford guys but when they start telling me about profits and how markets work I understand that a whole lot more than most of them. I have almost 40 years of work experience with most of it in the corporate world and I have a BBA in Business Management and Accounting with many Economics, Finance, and Marketing courses. I don't know what DenverMike's background is but something tells me as myopic as he is and his limited views that he does not have that background. Maybe his education is from reading the Ford Motor Company websites or blogs. I really would like to see American business succeed but until there is a change in culture I am of the opinion we will see more of the same.

Just goes to prove that money can't buy common sense. That is just what he needs to go to the mall.

@Jeff S. When I heard that Ford Australia can only make changes only when Ford NA approves them, then I knew they had problems. An Automobile Company cannot be a machine bureaucracy at the Corporate level. GM allows Holden considerably more freedom and Holden is part of the Global GM supply chain, the same applies for Toyota Australia . Ford Australia has been denied that freedom. Luckily the local design team at Ford Australia has recently had input into Ford's global products. i.e Ranger/Mazda development . Hopefully more will come.

@Robert Ryan--That is just good business to get imput from your own people that work in the country that your selling products in. I completely understand standardizing your product and not having too many different products out but when you ignore the people in a particular market and give them no input into a product you are selling them then you are doomed. This is such a case with the higher end trims with Silverado, when you have enough complaints about this then you need to pay attention to your customer. That is what DenverMike doesn't understand he feels the need to defend Ford and I understand that he likes Ford and prefers the larger truck but Ford needs to read comments that don't just approve of everything they do.

Ford has made their own decisions about just marketing large trucks but lets just say that fuel prices go up dramatically and Tacoma and Frontier sales double (this is just an example not necessarily what is going to happen). Is it smart business then to turn around and blame Toyota and Nissan and say those unloyal Americans are not buying our American trucks or to say I don't understand why they are selling so many Tacomas and Frontiers when for a little more you can buy a big F-150? I am not trying to have a debate here I am discussing a group of customers that still want a smaller truck. The one size fits all mentality has gotten the American auto industry in trouble and they used the same rational that DenverMike is using that for a little more you can get a bigger car. Then the Arab Oil Embargo hit and the Japanese ate their lunch.

Ok I got it about Ford but that does not mean I have to buy their product and if they don't want to read any comments except fanboy comments then they will suffer the consequences. No customer regardless of how small the business is wants to be told that their opinion doesn't matter and that they need to just shut up and buy whatever that company has. I had an appliance store tell me that and a few years later the whole chain went out of business. With people like DenverMike I am less inclined to even look at a Ford product even if they have what I want because if that is how Ford as a corporation feels about their customers why would I want to spend my hard earned money for their products. I have a feeling that people at Ford have a lot better people skills and do not want to alienate customers like DenverMike does but if DenverMike handles his business like this then I for one would never do business with him and I would tell my friends and those I know not to as well. A customer needs to feel like their opinion matters and that is why I try to respect people who present constructive criticism and not bash just for the sake of bashing. Maybe DenverMike is young and immature and needs to growup, if so I am willing to just give him the benefit of doubt. I guess I should just stop commenting on anything unless I totally agree but better yet I will just stop reading since I need to agree with everything presented on this site and not question what a manufacturer does or present a different opinion.

@Jeff S
Here is the Kia Sorento we get. Its a diesel weighs over 4 600lbs has about 190hp and 325ftlb of torque and gets over 33mpg. Apparently the 3.5V6 petrol engine is only available in the entry level model.

The diesel is small at 2.2 litres, but has some real balls.

Again the prices wouldn't be what you would pay. The mid-spec model for about AUD40 000 is well heeled.

This is something you would like in retirement. And it fits into your garage. You can tow up to 5 500lbs, so buy a trailer and go to Home Depot or Lowes.

@Big Al from Oz --We have the Sorento in the US as well but not with the diesel and you are right it is less expensive. I have seen a lot of them especially when they came out with this redesign a few years ago and they are made in a plant in Georgia. I like everything that Hyundai and Kia has done in the last few years and I will probably in a few years get a crossover and they will be at the top of my list. The Ford Explorer would be another one if they have an e-assist 4 cylinder and if GM puts their e-assist in the Buick Enclave that is another. Friends of mine bought a new Buick LaCross with an e-assist with everything you can get on it for under 34k. They have gotten up to 37 mpgs and no less than 24 mpgs and they say the acceleration is not too bad. The South Korean car company quality is now on par with Honda and Toyota. I would not mind it if the Chinese would come into our market but I would wait a few years to let them get established here.

That Great Wall of China truck that you gave me the link to would probably entice me to get a new midsize truck. I will see what happens with the Colorado but I would have at least a choice between Tacoma and Frontier With Ranger out of the picture and Colorado inventory dwindling especially since it will be about 2 years before the new Colorado is introduced I predict Tacoma and Frontier sales will increase significant especially if the gas continues to go up. The 4 cylinder models of the Rangers were the first to disappear and if you do a research on you will find some V6s left but hardly any 4 cylinders. For light duty use and commuting you don't need a large truck.

My S-10 has been delegated to driving to the bus stop and hauling things off and picking things up. If I travel I will either use my wife's Taurus or my crewcab Isuzu which is very comfortable on a trip. In the winter when it snows and I have to travel for my job it is the Isuzu (those heated leather seats are nice in the winter). So unlike what DenverMike says there is a demand for a smaller more fuel efficient truck to use as a commuter vehicle to pick things up that you do not want to put in a van because they are dirty or make a real mess. I would not haul scoops of mulch or top soil in a van and my S-10 frequently is used for that as well as hauling appliances and lawn tractors and other such things. Another thing try loading something big and bulky into a truck that sits up high especially when you are older and have back problems. Even somthing with an open bed that were based on a front wheel drive car platform would do the trick if it did not have too small of a bed. That is kind of what Vulpine was stating but some of these guys thought he was challenging them so basically they criticized his opinions and he makes few if any comments. That's all I will have to say on the topic and thanks Big Al for the information on the Sorento.

@Jeff S - What haven't I responded to? You put a lot out there, mostly of your history, hopes for the future of trucks as well as predictions for industry. All well and good, but I'll grounded in Today's reality.

I haven't studied business, I've just lived it everyday for the last 23 years. I'll let go the comments like "pigheaded" and 'fan boy" go because I can see you're upset.

I don't know why you're so upset, but you're stuck on the idea that full-size trucks are significantly bigger than mid-size just because they offer V8s. Nope. You're also comparing trucks straight across. Full-size extra cabs are equal to mid-size crew cabs.

If I did have to step down to mid-size, I wouldn't necessarily miss the extra 6" width of full-size (or the extra 6" front and rear), but I would absolutely hate to cut my towing and payload in half for insignificant fuel savings (if at all).
And for a truck that costs just as much??? You can keep it.

There is a reason mid-size trucks have failed in NA and can't touch full-size truck sales. You favor mid-size and that's fine. It's called a niche market.

Mid-size trucks should offer V8s and when they have, MPG dropped by no more than 1. When driven at full capacity, their V8s drank less.

I've bought a lot of Fords because nothing else compared at the time. When that changes, I'll buy something else. I would buy a Tacoma if I had to have a mid-size (even when Rangers were in production) and Ram if I had to have a diesel.

Fuel prices will go up, fact of life, but when fuel was at $2 a gallon, everyone predicted full-size trucks would be extinct at $4. Sales are as strong as ever, buddy.
At $8 a gallon, they will still be strong because the fuel tab for mid-size will increase by the same %

@Big Al from Oz - Our full-size trucks aren't considered gas-guzzlers. They're classified commercial and and are taxed yearly (and dearly) at registration based on weight and fuel consumption.

@DenverMike-Ok thanks for the facts if I really needed a full size I would probably get something no bigger than an extended cab and I would either get an ecoboost V-6 or maybe just a Silverado/Sierra with a V-6. I myself don't need much and main purpose in having a truck is to haul things in. When I lived on a farm my trucks were used more for heavy hauling and I wished I would have had a full size. If I were there now I would definitely just have a full size. Now I still use a pickup for hauling but the S-10 gets about 3k to 4k on it a year mainly the bus stop and for hauling things off and picking things up which in the spring, summer, and fall it gets used for hauling at least 2 or 3 times a week which is enough for me to justify keeping it particularily when the maintenance costs have been very low.

No hard feelings and I apologize for calling you pigheaded. Let's just call a truce. There will always be a market for midsize and Tacomas and Frontiers will be available. I am seeing a lot more Tacomas and Frontiers around recently and as long as enough of them are being sold then they will be around for as long as I need one. I have nothing against V-8s but once I got rid of my Chrysler 10 1/2 years ago I made myself a promise that would be the last V-8 I owned and that each vehicle I bought would be more efficient than the one I replaced it with. I kind of broke that promise when I bought my Isuzu I-370 crewcab 4 years ago with the 3.7 5 cylinder but with the 4 wheel drive and the extra comfort I have no regrets. The side and head airbags were another motivator along with heated leather seats and fog lamps. I do use this truck in winter for traveling but if I were in a warmer climate I would not bother with 4 wheel drive. I think the efficiency on all the vehicles will get better and if the Colorado is offered in a diesel then it might be competitive against Toyota and Nissan but I seriously doubt it would overtake Tacoma in sales. Tacoma will just redesign and up the ante which would be good.

My Isuzu has a complete tow package which I doubt I will ever use but then if I towed as you do my needs would be totally different and then I would get a full size. Some of what determines what type and size of a truck is the users needs. My trucks get used but not in a heavy capacity and the bed on the S-10 seldom goes empty but the Isuzu has a cover over it with a bed extender inside the bed. I think there has to be a more significant savings in mpgs and size to get more manufacturers to make a smaller truck and if they used existing platforms for a small truck with front wheel drive and produce it on the same line as a small crossover or car that has the same platform that might be feasible, but that is more long term as you have stated. For the city dweller or the suburbanite who needs a light hauler this would work but for most serious truck owners such as you this would not work. Have a nice Labor day!

@Jeff S - In a perfect world, yeah I'd be awesome if we all had endless choices in every single catagory. In reality, some people are going to be left out and wondering why. It's worked in my favor so far and if it happens to double as a modern day V8 muscle car with a bed, it's a bonus! That could change so I'm enjoying it while I can.

Happy Labor Day!

Arnold got this truck so he can run the people of California over.
He bankrupted the state and now he's going to finish off what's left.

"Jah! Und I crush you like the grape you are, Girly Man!"

What a silly beast for a silly man.

If you want a real Republican pickup (and I'm no GOP fan) go with the F-100 that Eastwood drove, complete with "patina," in "Grand Torino."

Now *that* is a truck for a self-made working man. This thing Arnold has? Toy for the 1%.


I don't think anyone has told anyone not to buy a large pickup. But I do know this, there is a market for smaller pickups in the States and even Canada.

Being on the outside and listening I can see your pickup market is distorted. If your market can't sell our new size trucks as you say then you have some real fundamental restructuring to achieve.

Have a look at your mid size offerings, they are old and outdated. Even the fuel economy on them is terrible. Even the fuel economy on your new large trucks is not good. You can only judge on what you have recieved in the past. Where we can judge on all because we have it.

Look at how complex your gas technology will become, this is only the beginning. And you were telling me about the complexity of diesel technology.

On that test of our pickups the average mpg included off roading and mostly city driving. Your mid size trucks let alone the large pickups are no where near our fuel economy.

Back in the early 70s no one would have seen the demise of muscle cars and yank tanks, but it occured within a short period of time.

You will still have large pickups in the future but they will become more of a toy than now.

Its like the Kia Sorento link for Jeff S. We have the 3.5 V6 but the 2.2 litre diesel is putting out V8 torque and getting above 33mpg.

The US and Canada have chosen their path in the future of vehicle technology, different than the rest of us. The US auto market isn't as influential as in the past. This attitude within your auto industry will be its demise. They are trying to create a market not have the consumer decide what the market should be.

The US auto industry will eventually be sold off if they keep on heading in their current direction.

Our pickup aren't necessarily better than yours, but they will become more relavant and apt in the future.

@Big Al from Oz --I agree with you because I can see this happen as well with the NA truck industry. Not trying to get in an arguement and I don't want to upset anyone anymore but I see DenverMike's point that if he wants the big truck with the higher performance V8 motor and its available. then the present is the time and the opportunity is now. After having been through the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis that caused interruption in oil and shortages of gas I saw that the good times would not last. I waited many hours on many different occassions during both of these crisis just to fill my tank up. I have not owned a V-8 powered vehicle in 10 1/2 years and don't get me wrong I really loved V-8 Mopars and Chevys. I have decided any future cars, trucks, or crossovers will be more fuel efficient than the ones they replaced because the future is higher fuel costs and less supply and I want to be able to afford to put fuel in my vehicles when I retire. Granted many of the V-8s are more efficient and the Ecoboost is a step in the right direction but as you have stated these are only temporary stop gap measures. Maybe I worry too much about the future but my opinion is to start now about doing something and if no one else is going to start then at least I have started. I am sorry I upset Denver Mike and again I can see his point but the good times of the large V-8 American truck are going the way of the muscle car which has made a comeback but it is more fuel efficient and a lot more expensive and will never approach the popularity of its heydays.

Al not only is our auto industry not as influential on the World but the US is not as influential. We are transitioning away from being the Number 1 power and China is coming of age. The 20th century was America's century and the 21st century will be China's and then some other country will come after China. As you have stated Al that is History which young people in America and Australia and probably many other countries have not studied. This is nothing to get alarmed about this is just the normal course of events and America will find its place in the World after we are no longer number 1.

Al after reading some of the stupid product decisions GM is making I see them as being eventually acquired and in all honesty that might be for the best. I cannot see the future but I have usually had good instincts and either the Chinese will take them over or if Ford gets stonger the Government might allow a merger with Ford (they would have to waive antitrust laws which I could see if things get worse for GM and the economy) and then Ford would close the unprofitable parts of GM and consolidate the rest with Ford. I am not trying to get GM guys upset but I see that as a viable option and the only promising thing I see from GM is their China operation. Ford might just be the only American owned auto manufacturing company around with Chrysler still hopefully thriving under Fiat's leadership. That is the future I see and I could be wrong but the pieces are starting to come together.

"Its like the Kia Sorento link for Jeff S. We have the 3.5 V6 but the 2.2 litre diesel is putting out V8 torque and getting above 33mpg."

@Big Al from Oz - If only life was that simple...

You may never recover the diesel engine's $5,000 initial cost. The increased maintenance, urea and cetane boost puts you farther away from ever breaking even. If you do own it that long, the cost of repairing a modern diesel and its emissions hardware may send it to an early grave.

Diesels and hybrids are really no match for the economy of simple gas engines. Economy isn't just straight mpg, you need to look at all the costs of ownership.

Diesel fuel is likely climb much higher than it already is. Currently, the U.S. exports its excess refined diesel to other markets around the world and these countries are becoming more dependent on diesel generators as their nuclear power plants are taken off line.

Never mind expenses, just filling up is a PITA. You have to hunt for gas stations that sells diesel and about 1/5 in my area sell diesel and 2/3 of those are off brand, hole in wall stations you want to avoid. Of course you have to go out of your way to get to your gas station and then sit and wait for an open pump. There are no 'diesel only' pumps, they combine the two. These two pumps get used 1st because they're the easiest to pull in, fill up and pull out. So you sit there listening to crickets while the guy ahead of you walks to cashier for 'scratcher' lottery tickets, scratches them and trades 'winners' in for more. These stations aren't convenience stores so now you have to make another stop for snacks and beverages.

There's too many thing to consider than just straight mpg. Also that Sorento is using diesel torque to milk the most mpg. A diesel pickup would be geared for towing. Also, there is no way a 2.2 anything can match the towing of even the weakest V8 on the market.

Our mid-size market will won't go away completely, but thanks to our great half ton offerings, it'll never be more than a niche. Our mid-size market went away and took development with it.

I don't know the exact future of NA trucks, but likely mid-size and half tons will meet in the middle. Jeff S' S10 is one thing, but Today, there's not that much physical difference despite what some people claim. Half tons offer true crew cabs and V8s that mid-size don't. That's the biggest difference right there, but neither are forced options.

@DenverMike-I agree I think midsize and full size half tons will meet somewhere in the middle to meet the new fuel standards. The full size half tons will be very close to the current midsizes which I would be ok with. I think most full size truck owners could settle for that if they could maintain close to the current cab and bed dimensions and not sacrifice too much in towing. On the full size half tons more could probably come off the front and lighter metals could lighten them enough to put smaller motors along with direct fuel injection and turbo charging. It will be interesting to see the staying power of the Ecoboost which hopefully has no future issues. Ecoboost 4 cylinder could be the answer for a smaller F-150 regular and extended cab but it would not be good for a crewcab. I am sure all the truck makers are starting to work on how to squeeze the most mpgs and power out of a small engine without having to drastically downsize the full size half ton. That will be the real challenge with the new fuel standards but they have till 2025 and they will probably evolve their trucks to meet these standards. They are aware of the customers and truck buyers are mostly conservative so the changes will be introduced over a period of time. Possibly we might see fewer V-8s unless it is on HDs but we will see lots of turbo V-6s if there are no significant problems with the Ecoboost. Everything eventually changes. I am no engineer but it is possible that they have some new type of motor that is much more fuel efficient that is currently under development.

@Jeff S - I wouldn't expect any exciting breakthroughs in gas or diesel technology so turbo charging most gas engines might be what develops next.

I'd rather have a big, normally aspirated V6 or small V8, but Europe taxes cars by engine size and since the Big 3 want a piece of that, turbos are a commonsense reality.

Limited use of carbon fiber and aluminum could be another key element. F-150s since '04 have aluminum hoods and lower control arms.

Ford is really pushing their V6 F-150s out the door and for the first time, V6 sales are beating V8s.

@DenverMike-It will be interesting to see what developments occur in the future but I agree with you about the hybrid technology and about the diesels except maybe the diesels would be cost effective only for drivers that put much more than average miles on (most people would not break even). Diesels much higher costs and high diesel fuel has made diesels less popular especially in passenger cars. As for the Ecoboost I myself would like to give the Ecoboost a few more years but if all goes well that could be a choice. Whatever changes are made it will raise the cost of trucks but the key will be to contain the costs enought to make the trucks affordable to the average truck buyer while not cutting too much into profits. Thanks and have a good day.

I for one would realy like to see what Chevy Ford or Ram could come up with, if they had to charge 200K for it? realy what would that be like? can you emagine a Raptor for 200k, what is it thay cahrge for the Raptor X? you know the one with a supercharged V-8 and 750hp? and total comfort for 4 pass, with a top speed well above 55mph? maybe not have the load cap. but for another 100K, I'm sure they could figure something oout javolt!!!

@sandman4x4-For sure a Raptor on the scale of this would sure get noticed. I would like to see this on one of those monster truck shows where they go over the tops of vehicles and crush them. Put a few top exhaust pipes and make it a little higher and you would have one great show. If this thing were high enough it would crush the other monster trucks.

In many respects I do have to agree with DenverMike in this whole full sized versus small truck debate. Small trucks have failed because 1/2 ton trucks haven't. That is a huge part of the picture. Yes, I am well aware that small trucks have been neglected. Why? 1/2 tons are more profitable for their builders, buyers are more conservative, chicken tax, emssion rules etc are all contributers.
When were small trucks successful in North America?
As Jeff S pointed out - the oil embargo, Iran etc all played a part in the '70's and early '80's.
What was going on with trucks at that time?
Emissions were new, most trucks were still viewed as beasts of burden. They were plain, simple, had a regular cab and a long box. The compacts were in many respects similar to the 1/2 tons. EXCEPT - they were cheeper to buy, they were actually more reliable, and actually got significantly better mpg than a 1/2 ton. I do not recall many 1/2 ton trucks from that era getting decent MPG. My brother had a '79 Chevy reg cab long box with 250 inline 6 that got the same mpg as a compact, but there weren't many of them around. A compact actually could tow and haul more than his 1/2 ton. For the most part 1/2 tons were pigs on gas.
Over the last 30 years 1/2 tons have improved dramatically. Small trucks have not.
That is the reason why small trucks are dying.
1/2 ton trucks are competitve amongst themselves and the small trucks. Look at the R&D money spent by Ford and Ram on 1/2 tons. Sure, one could argue that NA truck makers (that includes Nissan and Toyota) should spend the same amount on small trucks.They won't because there isn't a return on investment.
Maybe if we see oil embargo type of paranoia coupled with rising fuel prices. Even with that being said - I doubt it . We haven't seen the end of the development of current 1/2 tons.
They will shrink in size only when NA truck makers cannot find any other way to improve their 1/2 tons and still make money.
We will see more diesel engines only when they run out of room to move with gassers.
I chose my 1/2 ton because it was cheeper post rebates than a Tacoma,and it had more capability than a Tacoma.
What was the trade off?
Sure, it is a bit harder to park, sure it gets a few mpg worse mpg, but that is about it.
(Well, okay, insert a rant from Oxi here) LOL.
And I am talking about a truck with the 5.4.
Ford and Ram both have trucks pushing 400 hp that under light load get around 23 mpg.
Small trucks can't compete with that.

@Lou-You are probably right. I more or less have given up on the American brands. I do think that Ford is better left to concentrate on the F-150 and in all honesty I might have bought my last pickup period. I keep my trucks longer than normal so I do not expect anyone to lose money on me and if I needed a new truck Tacoma and Frontier are still excellent choices.

My next vehicle I will get will be a crossover but I want better than 17mpgs and researching the Edge and Explorer you can get the Eco Boost 4 as an extra which I have no problem with but there are few other options and for less I could get a Kia Sorento made in the USA (in Georgia) with the leather seats and more options for almost the same. That is where I am leaning because what ever I buy I am going to keep a long time and I don't want something that get 17 mpgs when gas might be $6 to $8 a gallon living on a fixed income. Ford will offer you a more efficient vehicle if you are willing to take a lot less extras. Sorry but I am not that fond of the UAW and after reading Ford fanboys, Chevy fanboys,and Ram fanboys comments my brand is better than yours I now choose none of the above and will take my future business to the South Koreans and Japanese which make vehicles in the US without supporting the UAW or some overpaid CEO. I have bought nothing but Fords and Chevys UAW made (even my Isuzu was UAW made in the Lafayette, LA plant where Colorados are made) since 1994 and now I have decided to rejoin the satisfied owners of Asian vehicles and let the fanboys fight it out among themselves.

I don't need to read any more rantings about GM bailouts or any lessons in economics about midsize trucks being a loss leader or niche market I can just choose to spend my money somewhere else. Isn't the free market wonderful I don't have to buy any of the above.

@JeffS - I see your frustration. I don't like the fact that if I were to chose to buy a small truck in the future, there may be no small trucks for me to chose from. I've owned 4 pickups in my life. My first was a compact, my 2nd a 3/4 ton, I then went back to a compact, and now back up to a 1/2 ton. I'm not biased to one over the other. I've bought what has met my needs and/or desires. We may see the rebirth of small trucks in NA, but the conditions aren't present. It is unfortunately the current reality.

We both see massive storm clouds on the horizon. I think that we will see some drastic changes occur sooner than we would like. Those changes may include the demise of the lifestyle pickup truck. If that occurs, we will see full size pickups (at least 1/2 tons) wash away from the landscape.

@JeffS - my post to you on the sales thread applies equally here.

@Lou-It is more than small trucks its the attitude of the Big 3 toward any kind of change to more fuel efficient vehicles. The Ford fanboys will attack me for what I am going to say but I don't care because I am now talking as a future buyer of a crossover in the next few years. I have been doing my research into midsize crossovers and some a little larger. I researched the Ford Explorer and the Edge because they appear to be about the right size and with an EcoBoost 4 they would get better than 17 miles to the gallon. If you add the optional EcoBoost to either one of them then the nice options such as heated leather seats, power passenger seats, and many other options go away except My Touch. The Ford fans would say Ford is not in the business to make cheap vehicles and Ford doesn't need your business. I guess if I am willing to spend 40k for what I want then I guess I am out of Ford’s league and they don’t need my cheapskate business as Dave said previously. My wife wants the heated leather seats and the power passenger seat. So I guess I should buy the V-6 which is a little less efficient and compromise some more on what I want.

When I looked at the Kia Sorento and built my own options with the 4 cylinder became much more numerous. I could not only get heated leather seats and power seats but I could be a roof rack and 4 wheel drive as well with a 4 cylinder motor. This is not only true with Ford but GM and Chrysler. I read the reviews on the Sorento which came out to 4.8 out of 5. The Explorer and Edge had good reviews but not 4.8 high. Also the Sorento is about the size of the Edge and even loaded with the options it came out to no more than the Edge with cloth seats and no extras except MySync which had several complaints. Now if this were an F-150 with EcoBoost the options would be more numerous. There were 6 colors to choose from on the Explorer and the Edge where Kia had 10. These fan boys would tell me that they are not making as much money on Edge and Explorer so take it or leave it.

I will compromise up to a certain point but when I want the most efficient engine available and I am willing to pay a grand more that motor then I don't want the list of options to be practically non- existent. I got news for you count me out as supporting American brands if I have to compromise that much. If that is the case that I have to compromise that much they can all go out of business. That is not being passive aggressive this is being disgusted. It is not worth fighting when the competition has what I want. If you want to join the Ford fanboys on criticism of what I have just stated then some of the other guys are right about you that you are a Ford fan boy. I can live without the small truck from Ford but I will not just in blind obedience buy a product that I have to basically compromise on almost everything when I can go elsewhere and I don’t want to upset the corporate guys and their supporters at Ford so I will just take my business to a competitor

Note- The Unimog was not conceived as a military vehicle. It Was designed as an extremely capable piece of Agricultural equipment that could do everything you neded to have motorized. Just so happened, that it pit Military purposes as well.
If you buy a new, custom U1300, the only limitation on speed is the rating on the tire. No reason one cant be optioned to go 75-80mph. Not that you'd want to, on tires made to go 50mph.

US exports heavy crude for grease , Kerosene (Aircraft).Refined oil suitable for shipping ,agriculture and Heavy Equipment usage.

You continually pluck diesel costs out of you A$$.

It costs $4 000 more in Australia for the diesel option of the Kia, but wait, have a look at the difference you get with $4 000.

The diesel come with AWD and all the acronyms for traction control and braking and what ever else you can think off. Not including the options that are included.

As you have seen that was in Australia in the US the difference would be $3 000.

The diesel component in Australia might be a $2 000 premium which in the US would be about $1 500.

The same would be roughly the same for a half ton pickup putting a 4 cylinder turbo diesel in a pickup instead of a V6.

Really, have a look at what you are saying. Don't just make statements to prove your subjective view whethter right or wrong that you have.

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