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.
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.
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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