Return of the Stout?

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If something doesn’t sell, don’t keep making it. If something does sell, make more of it.

This used to be understood by people in the business of selling things – including cars – until the people running things decided that pushing things was a better business model. Of course, this only works when the pushers eliminate alternatives, which – so far – they haven’t entirely done. It is why Ford has sold five times as many Mavericks – the brand’s new small pick-up – than it has its full-sized battery-powered appliance, the F-150 Lightning.

75,960 (so far this year) vs. 15,972 (also so far this year).

And each of those Maverick sales actually was one – in that Ford didn’t lose money on each one. As opposed to the reported $30,000-ish Ford loses on each “sale” of the Lightning.

The point is, the Maverick sells. The astounding thing is Ford hasn’t noticed this and decided to sell as many as it can – and to stop “selling” the Lightning.

Toyota has noticed.

There is a solid rumor afoot that it is about to do what Ford isn’t doing – which is to bring out a low-cost small truck and make as many of them as people want to buy. Which is probably a lot of people, if Maverick sales are an indication. Unlike the “reservations” people put down on the latest battery-powered device, people are willing to put down real money on an actual purchase of a Maverick – which many are willing to wait months to get.

The reason why is as self-evident as the dictum about offering more of what sells – and less of what doesn’t. Unlike the Lightning, which is expensive and largely useless (as a pick-up) the Maverick is inexpensive and useful. It has a base price of $22,595 and a range of more than 500 miles – because it’s a hybrid – and you don’t have to spend more than a couple of minutes (at any gas station) refueling it. Maybe it can’t pull a hypothetical 10,000 pounds – as touted by the battery-powered device – but then, neither can the battery-powered device.

At least, not very far.

What good is a 10,000  pound (or even a 5,000 pound) hypothetical tow rating if attempting to use it results in only being able to tow for maybe 100 miles? That’s what you get with the battery-powered device.

Fill up the Maverick’s bed, hook your trailer up – and go as far as you like because you won’t have to stop every 100 miles or less and wait for an hour or more in order to get going again.

But it’s also more than that.

Or rather, less.

The Maverick isn’t monstrous. It is the only compact-sized new pick-up you can buy. Everything else is full-sized or super-sized (including the Lightning and its non-battery-powered kin, the F-150). Current so-called “mid-sized” pickups such as the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger are as long as the full-size (half-ton) pick-ups of the ’90s and taller than most of them. They also cost easily $10k more (in real buying-power-money) as the compact trucks you used to be able to buy up to the early-mid 2000s, when all the genuinely compact-sized pick-ups were either retired or morphed into “mid-sized” (all-but-full-sized) pick-ups.

So far, Ford has had this market all to itself – but hasn’t been making the most of it. 

Toyota appears to be on the verge of doing precisely that. If the rumors are sound, a Stout is on deck for the 2025 model year. It’s not a beer, either. It is a resurrection of the name that was stamped into the tailgate of the compact-sized truck Toyota used to sell, decades ago – and appears to be on the verge of selling again. 

The original Stout was small, basic – and rugged. In other words, a useful little truck. And an affordable one. Toyota – and Datsun (Nissan now) and Mazda sold scads of these little trucks, some of them under domestic brand labels, such as the “Chevy” Luv of the ’70s that was actually made by Isuzu. 

Then they stopped selling them.

In part because the trend toward bigger was egged-on by a Potemkin facade of “affordability” via making monthly payments more “affordable,” by extending them for years longer than was once usual; i.e., from 3-4 to six or more. In part because of an obscure but still-in-force tariff – that is, a tax – applied to punish manufacturers of small trucks for manufacturing them outside the U.S. It served to dissuade the Japanese manufacturers from selling them in the U.S.

And – of course – there is more money to be made selling $50k trucks than $20k trucks.

Assuming people can afford to buy those $50k trucks. 

Many no longer can, courtesy of the cost of buying everything else – courtesy of the machinations of the Biden Thing and his flying monkeys. Yet many still need a truck. 

Lots of them have been buying the Maverick, which they can still afford to buy. 

If the rumors prove true about the Stout – and in particular, the rumor that Toyota will offer it for less than Ford asks for the Maverick – it is likely to sell in scads, to what will no doubt be the chagrin of Ford, which got there first but didn’t make the most of it because it was too addled by EeeeeeVeeeee Fever to notice what was selling in scads . . .

And what isn’t. 

. . .

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62 COMMENTS

  1. Well, if Toyota does bring back the “Stout” (which was a bit before my time, by the way), then it definitely won’t be RWD, because “CAFE”. And it most certainly won’t be small or body-on-frame, because “saaaaaaaaaaaafety”. So it’ll most likely be a RAV4 with a bed, plus another $10K on top for the new name.

  2. ..And Eric..

    We are waiting.

    We are ALL still waiting for that burnout.

    Burn ’em down Eric, Burn ’em ALL down.

    >:)

    Arrange a getaway with the GF if necessary. Procure an RPG for the pigs. Just a little Irish Courage to get it going….

    Avenge us, Brother.

  3. Eric Peters don’t you DARE tease 😈 me with the chance a true mini truck will appear that will make me forget the pain of selling my 2004 Chevrolet S-10!

    Standard cab, extended bed that could carry a load just shy of a Silverado. Almost el-strippo work truck with a rubber floormat, manual windows, locks, and mirrors. Black painted grille and bumpers and stamped steel wheels. And a tough little so and so that was bone 🦴 basic. Almost 12 years use in the salty Midwest until alas, the tinworm got her.

    That’s all I want. If Toyota can make a slightly extended cab truck 4X2 with a four banger, auto trans, A/C, Power Steering and ABS with a six foot bed for even $25K, I AM THERE!

    As Phillip J. Fry said on Futurama, “Shut up and take my money!”

    I’d be happy if it was white.😁

    • I hear you, mmack…

      I’m very.very glad that I still have my ’02 Frontier, which I baby so that it will last as long as me, hopefully. It’s always garaged and I maintain it with the devotion of a medieval monk caring for an ancient manuscript. If I could afford to buy an early 2000s Tundra, I would.

      • Same with my 97 Tacoma. The perfect truck if you aren’t making a living with it. I can’t drive it any more, because it’s manual, but my son can, and hopefully someday my grandson.

      • “ maintain it with the devotion of a medieval monk caring for an ancient manuscript”

        I’m in the same situation. I’m getting a bit paranoid even taking the ‘91 Silverado and the ‘03 Escape into town for errands. If they get smacked by some one I’d be sick about it. Forget about trips over the pass into Seattle, that’s what the ‘18 Grand Cherokee is for, the expendable SUV that I have no devotion to.

        Yesterday I put the Collector Vehicle plate on the truck, no more yearly vig to the man on that one!

  4. Saw a Toyota Tacoma back a number of years ago with a vanity plate that read ATOYOTA.

    Reads frontwards and backwards.

    Toyota is the leader of the pack with a share price of 184 USD, can’t touch that.

  5. I did a search for “new toyota stout” and got this:

    https://ev-riders.com/blog/toyota-reveals-22k-new-toyota-stout-2024/

    Toyota Reveals 22k New Toyota Stout 2024- Full Specification and Features | Ford Maverick Competitor

    ——————–

    I would like to see a little Toyota pickup with their 1.5 liter and 5/6 spd.

    1982 toyota pickup with fuel injection now that would be the bomb

    I don’t know why they have to put in the 2.4 liter, the 4wd tercel wagon weighs the same, had the 1.5

    • What’s with the gaping maw grill that is like a hippopotamus?

      A 2023 MayBach is for sale with 15,000 plus miles priced at 176 thousand some hundred dollars. The owner is ditching the thing.

  6. And in other news:
    https://www.breitbart.com/environment/2023/11/09/diesel-wins-new-york-gives-thumbs-down-to-electric-snow-plows/

    >The vehicles could operate a maximum of only three hours despite the real need being 12 hours. The Vice President of Mack confirmed that with the current technology, considering battery efficiency and their weight, it is not feasible to provide the Department of Sanitation with electric vehicles capable of snow removal.

  7. According to a Video on Youtube, the reason trucks have gotten so huge is because of the EPA allowing vehicles with a larger Footprint to consume more fuel. It would be nearly impossible for the small trucks, which used to be available, to meet the current rules.
    Your Government at work.

  8. I fixed up a 96 Ranger for my Grandson….Pulled it out of a field where it had been left for dead put a battery it in and started right up…Yes I had to fix a “few” things…But its got a V 6 and a MANUAL trans…no screens or wifi…I put my foot down that he would to drive a stick.

  9. I ordered a Maverick on 8/12 and it’s scheduled to be built in December. Hopefully I’ll have it some time in January. I got lucky; many have been waiting over a year for theirs.

  10. Build a product people want and you’re a genius. Build a product you want and you’d better have a great marketing team… or lobbyists.

    Small trucks are useful, cheap and somewhat desirable. They should be an easy sell, especially when gas is above $3.50/gallon. But when gas is cheap and times are good, they probably get harder to sell, so there’s probably a lot of variation in sales that doesn’t happen with full size trucks because of commerical buyers, many of whom deduct and depreciate vehciles and so buy more often.

    • Small simple trucks are like small, simple cars. It’s obvious there’s always a market for them. But modern “Hah-vhud” Business School doctrine, as driven by the Tribe, is to maximize short-,term profits, even if the customers are abused. What they can’t be bamboozled into buying against their needs and wants, they can be FORCED via adroit lobbying in the District of Criminals.

  11. I still see ’90s era S-10s, such as mine, roving the roads everywhere. They are ever more salient these days due to their size and simplicity. People really do want a compact and economical yet capable truck, such as the S-10. I have no experience with the Toyota Stout, but it looks like a wonderful little unit.

    Too bad, even if the new Stout doesn’t come with a “kill switch”, it will come with all the reprehensible electronic “enhancements”.

    • Ditto here in Central WA, there is a landscape business in town he’s got an early ‘90s Chevy 1/2 ton for his work truck. My ‘91 stock Silverado 2500 still looks good and doesn’t need a restoration but I see several guys nearby going the next level and doing restore/repaints nice wheels and tires. So easy to keep these running well, parts readily available and the TBI system simple and reliable. My daughter lives and works in town, walked past the Ford dealer this morning, texted me the prices:

      “I’m literally walking by a Ford truck for sale for 88,720 and an expedition for sale for 79,673. Oh and then the new electric mustang for 61 grand. Where are people supposed to get the money for these things?!?!”

  12. Put a stick in it, make it inexpensive but reliable and easy to fix, and I might be interested.

    I don’t need a truck very often, and I almost never need a large one. But a handful of times a year, a little bitty one would be awfully nice.

  13. Did Clowngress, who couldn’t make a ham sandwich, mandate this or did they delegate it to EPA? That’s an important question.

  14. @Eric – I remember that the Brat had rust issues which ultimately doomed the vehicle.

    They were popular. Even Reagan had one hidden up at his ranch.

    • Cool “pickup”. Thanks for posting the link, never saw one before, or even thought about the concept.

      Current Bid USD $3,500 by Jakeintexas

      • You work on the engine from underneath. Or for larger things by removing about 6 wires, a throttle cable, and 4 bolts and dripping it out with a floor jack. Takes about an hour.

        • On a type 2, you can support the engine and push the chassis forward. If you leave off the rear bumper permanently, it can be done in less than 1/2 hour.
          >This particular pickup is a 1956 model that’s listed here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $28,500.
          https://barnfinds.com/rare-pickup-body-1956-volkswagen-type-2/
          I paid $200 for my 1960 model, in running condition, in 1972.
          Hot rodded the engine to 2100 cc, removed the side panels, cut out wheel wells to fit wider tires. The main thing was to fit an external oil cooler, to avoid burning exhaust valves on #3 & #4 cylinders.

          • “The main thing was to fit an external oil cooler, to avoid burning exhaust valves on #3 & #4 cylinders.”

            That myth has been busted countless times for decades!
            My ’65 Bug with a 2017 cc engine runs a stock oil cooler in the fan shroud. My buddy’s baja runs a 2110 with a stock oil cooler in the fan shroud, and his ’67 bug runs a 2276 with a stock oil cooler… They all run plenty cool, it’s all in the combo.

            • Hi William,

              Amen. I have owned a number of old air-cooled VWs, including a ’74 Super Beetle and a ’69 Fastback. These were daily driven (back in the ’90s) by a young guy (me, then) who drove them not exactly gently. They never let me down. The only major incident I had to deal with was when a fire started after a backfire through the carb happened while I was mucking around with the ’74 Beetle. I managed to put it out with clumps of dirt frantically pulled from the nearby lawn. The wiring had to be redone but the car ran fine once that was done!

            • Not a myth for me. Sucky reality.
              Maybe because of the high performance camshaft I was running, I dunno (?). Valve clearances were *meticulously* set to spec. Tube exhaust header. Single stock carburetor. Consistently burned exhaust valves on #3 & #4.
              => Type 2 single cab pickup, *not* a bug.
              Replacing the stock oil cooler with an external Hayden mounted to the firewall fixed the problem. Air intake scoops also helped, but the external oil cooler was essential, for my setup.

              • Hi Adi,

                The hot cam likely is the culprit! VW originally designed the Beetle’s engine to be a minimalist motivator for a “people’s car.” It was not originally conceived with power/performance (which increases heat output and requires more efficient/higher-capacity cooling) in mind. IIRC, the early cars had a top speed around 65 MPH!

                Hop one up and it’s probably smart to also hop-up the cooling system, as you did.

                My cars were all kept stock and I never had any trouble with them.

                • Hi, Eric,
                  Based on my experience ,the Type 2 tended to have more cooling problems than the bug, especially in “non-stock” form. Comparing a baja bug to a transporter is apples vs. oranges w.r.t. air flow around the engine.
                  “Stock” was not an option for me. 🙂 The guy I bought my p.u. from called it “the Worm.” The 1966 (1300cc) engine was entirely inadequate, and needed a significant upgrade.
                  My brother Keith had a hot rodded (natch!) bug. Trying to remember if he kept the stock oil cooler or replaced it with external, but my memory is hazy after all these years.

                • Eric,
                  I have to respectably disagree with most of what you just wrote.

                  A Hi-Po VW aircooled built with the right combination of parts (bore, valve size, deck height, compression ratio, cam, exhaust size, carb/carbs jetting, ignition system, transaxle gearing, all cooling tins in place and well sealed) WILL run cooler than stock every time, without the need for external cooling!

                  If you were to take, lets say a stock 1971 VW Bus camper and drive it from the Sillycon valley over the “hill” to the coast in Santa Cruz you would have to use 3rd, maybe 2nd gear to make it to the summit. during this time you will see head temp numbers spike to well over 400 degrees. Last summer I built a 71 Bus engine that was a 2017cc. That thing pulled the hill so easily, in 4th gear, in the left lane. (kind of scary on the way down with a non functioning power brake booster!) Head temps barely reached 325 and oil temps hit around 215. This engine has an aluminum engine case which the oil runs around 10-15 degrees warmer than the stock magnesium case, a trade off I will take anytime. It’s all about efficiency! Aircooled VW’s are a breed of their own, what applies to aircooled bikes and water cooled vehicles doesn’t necessarily apply to VW’s (and other aircooled cars).

                  • Forgot to mention, fuel mileage doesn’t suffer with these engines. I can get close to 30 mpg in my Bug if I stay out of it. (kind of hard to do 🙂

                  • Hi Jim,

                    I defer to your much more extensive knowledge and experience! My experience with air-cooled VWs is limited to “all stock.” And just three cars. I never had any issues with any of them overheating. I did have them with my Trans Am, though! I had to upgrade to a BeCool radiator after modding the 455; I also swapped over to a hi-perf water pump.

                    • Don’tChYa Love it when super mega gearheads talk?!

                      I knew a Yota master for a brief time. Amazing, the stuff he knew.

              • Adi,
                It might of been the cam, if it wasn’t compatible with the rest of your combo (valve size, compression ratio, etc) It may have “worked” but the addition of the external cooler was masking another problem. Kind of like putting a bandage on your knee when your elbow is bleeding. If you had left the stock cooler in the shroud and added the external cooler via a full flow setup it would have run even cooler. I have built many Hi-Po Bus engines, in Westphalia/campers, which are much heavier than your single cab without any need for external coolers.

                Like I said, It’s all in the combo!

  15. Toyota will have to find a way to control the dealer insiders reselling the vehicles at way above MSRP, which I believe is the big problem Ford faces with the Maverick right now, even if they ramped up production immediately.

  16. ‘What good will they be with the govt “kill switch” though?’ — Steve 5.0

    NHTSA was a sponsor of the 27th annual International Technical Conference on Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, held in Yokohama in April 2023. Dozens of technical papers were presented. By typing Cntl-F “alcohol” in this list of papers, one finds three (3) papers about DADSS systems:

    https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/esv/27th/TOC.htm

    One is a cost-benefit analysis, not concerned with the actual sensor technology. Its discussion of false positives and false negatives is revealing, though.

    Another, by Zaouk, Willis, et al, states that ‘Currently the DADSS program is focused on transitioning the latest generations of consumer breath and touch sensors from research to product development. Numerous parallel research programs continue … the goal for DADSS technologies is commercialization.’

    In other words, it’s vaporware for now. It’s still in the research phase, not even product development.

    A final paper by Brauer, Ritchie, et al states that ‘NIR-AS [Near-Infrared Alcohol Sensor), with continued development, can be a potential tool for assessing driver alcohol impairment in support of ADAS and/or ADS countermeasures.’

    A ‘potential tool’ — still in the research phase.

    Folks, this is bullshit. The MY 2026 deadline set by Clowngress will NOT be met. The notorious Section 24220 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act already contemplates, in its text, a delay of up to 10 years. During that time, the Secretary of Transportation must report annually to two Congressional committees on the status and reasons for delay.

    As James Dickson of michigancapitalconfidential.com observed in January 2023,

    ‘What passed in House Bill 3684 is different from what Dingell submitted. It allows an ultimate out from implementation.

    ‘Dingell hoped to regulate drunk driving out of existence, by treating drivers as guilty of drunk driving until proven innocent.

    ‘[Her] bill that passed creates a paperwork regime that may or may not ever demand manufacturers to install anti-drunk driving technology.’

    DADSS in MY 2026 ain’t gonna happen. You heard it here first.

  17. Sad thing is that I would be willing to buy the 1964 Stout. The 2025 Stout not so much due to the issues Eric mentions in the comments: the coming kill switch and driver monitoring. What their doing to cars nowadays is like drinking from a poisoned chalice: new, shiny, great handling and fuel economy but they also come with major blind spots, bland styling, overly complicated designs, kill switches and driver monitoring. I’ll pass.

    • Eventually you will buy a car & then take it home (or to a back-alley mechanic) and just delete all of the crap you don’t want.

      • Or buy a preassembled engine, a preassembled chassis, 3-4 preassembled body pieces, and glass then put it together in your own garage

  18. ‘The original Stout was small, basic – and rugged. In other words, a useful little truck.’ — eric

    Many such vehicles were offered in days of yore, before the US clowngov stuck its filthy stupid snout into dictating the fuel economy and saaaaafety features of anything that rolls.

    As “Biden’s” absurd CAFE diktats clamp down harder in mid-decade, simple physics requires that 3-ton vehicles must scale down to smaller 2-ton vehicles with hybrid powertrains … or else become battery appliances, like the Edsel Lightning pickup.

    Car and Driver speculates that Toyota’s new pickup could share components and a hybrid powertrain with the Corolla Cross, which packs 196 horsepower and earns an estimated 42 mpg. Similar figures would put the Toyota compact truck on par with the Maverick.’

    https://www.gearpatrol.com/cars/a41819678/toyota-stout-compact-pickup-truck/

    Forty-two mpg — ‘Not enough,’ hiss the CARB red guards who have infiltrated the EPA and now boldly impersonate its leadership.

    But Toyota engineers may yet pull some magic out of their hats (or hind ends, as the case may be) to squeeze another 10 mpg out of the hybrid setup. Unfortunately, this means NO chance of a manual trans, since the engine revs and gearing must be rigorously computer-controlled and optimized to ‘pass’ EPA’s gauntlet of five test cycles mandated by Clowngress.

    So, although I’ve been clamoring since 2005 for a new compact pickup, the era has passed for obtaining one with a manual shift and without a giant Clownscreen and all the attendant inscrutable black boxes crammed with chips and phone-home spyware modems.

    • Did Clowngress, who couldn’t make a ham sandwich, mandate this or did they delegate it to EPA? That’s an important question.

  19. I read Subaru is going to bring back the Brat based on the Crosstrek with a Wilderness version and the Baja based on the Outback. What good will they be with the govt “kill switch” though?….

    • Hi Steve,

      Yeah… that “kill switch” kills it for me. Not only as a potential buyer but also as a guy who test drives/reviews new cars. If I am forced to drive them within the parameters of “safety” – and we all know what that means – then what’s the point? Might as well just walk.

    • I see 2 possible scenarios, Stever. One, an OBD2 flash to override the kill switch or, people will soon find out what BS it is and quit buying new cars, collapsing the auto industry.

      Either way, by 2030 the defecation will contact the rotary oscillator and a rebuild of society will be underway.

    • Will we be able to get the Brat with the old-style backwards facing plastic seats in the bed?

      The seats allowed the Brat to avoid the “chicken tax” tariff IIRC.

        • There are a lot people who program in C++. The problem is that C++ is a compiled language. Meaning it is encoded and compressed/optimized for the hardware it runs on. Because of this it is very unlikely that the proprietary/trade secret software can be decomposed and modified. The flash tunes actually change data tables for things like spark advance and fuel map, though some folks have cracked certain small popular things to delete smog/theft stuff. My old VW Golf TDI can have an EGR delete and fuel/boost tune to make its 80hp easily into 150.

          Many of our hot rodder approaches involve simply bypassing the Engine Control Module with a piggyback controller.

          The free market/black market will provide, but like with street drugs your results will vary and costs rise as the tyrants enforce harder.

      • All these systems come with overrides for LEOs, military and “other.” It won’t be too hard to do. But if you’re caught… hoohoo you’ll have yet another charge racked up on your list, this one federal. And if convicted they’ll recommend sending you off to “f*** you in the a** prison, not club fed or pay a small fine.

        • Well, I have a reasonable expectation of privacy in my car, so defeating an unconstitutional device that spies on me is wholly consistent with the supreme law of the federal land, the US Const.

          Such device is fundamentally different from say emissions controls as there are no 4th Amendment issues at stake.

            • That unfortunately isn’t true if our right to drive is a “privilege” and the tyrants can terrorize you into wearing seat belts and helmets by enforcement and excessive fines and draconian punishments.

              We have over a century of illegitimate democracy/communism to undo.

          • It’s a shame the ACLU went communist. We could use a few good civil liberties cases go in favor of the people and the law instead of whatever kangaroo court we have now.

            • The ACLU was always communist, they have never supported the rights protected by the 2nd amendment, have picked and chosen their supposed civil liberties fights to do maximum damage to our culture and civilization, and never take on leftist issues like “family” courts.

          • To the Clowngress ey al, the US Constitution is a scrap of paper. So said the former POTUS that Eric deems “The Chimp”.

            Me, I wonder why Eric hates the noble great Ape called the Chimpanzee.

      • If there was a way to PERMANENTLY turn off engine start/stop, cylinder deactivation, automatic brakes, lane keep/departure, and other safety crap I don’t want, I’d reconsider getting a new Mazda CX-5 (still made in Japan, so high quality).

        • Resoved: save for an unfortunate collision that totals it, my 2020 Ford (con) Fusion shall be the LAST ride that I purchase new.

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