Unlike the car industry where the volumes are a lot higher, pickup truck manufacturers often have to collaborate with other manufacturers to fund the huge R&D costs associated with developing a new vehicle. In this article, we look back at some of the more interesting fruits of these collaborations:
12 – Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Taro
Running from 1989 until 1997, the Volkswagen Taro was a rebadged version of the fifth-generation Toyota Hilux and was manufactured in Europe at Hannover – which 10 years later would become home to its successor, the Volkswagen Amarok.
11 – Isuzu TF and Vauxhall Brava
Isuzu and General Motors worked together on 4x4s (Vauxhall Monterey and Isuzu Trooper) and vans (Isuzu Fargo and Vauxhall Midi) for many years, but the partnership was best known for its pickups. The Vauxhall Brava and Isuzu TF was an example of this in the UK.
10 – Cadillac EXT and Chevrolet Avalanche
Although Cadillac and Chevrolet are both marques belonging to General Motors, this was a significant development as the two pickups appealed to two completely different markets; the Avalanche to everyday tradespeople and the EXT to affluent urban professionals.
9 – Nissan Frontier and Suzuki Equator
While Suzuki is well known for its 4x4s, it may come as a surprise to many that the Japanese manufacturer used to market a pickup truck in The States. On sale for only a couple of years, the Suzuki Equator was based on the Nissan Frontier, which itself is based on the Nissan Navara D40.
8 – Great Wall Steed and Isuzu Rodeo
The Great Wall Steed was only on sale in the UK for just five years (sales ended in 2016 with the introduction of Euro 6) but many farmers liked it because of its competitive pricing, and many sales staff used to sell it as ‘the previous Isuzu’.
7 – Volkswagen Caddy pickup and Skoda Felicia pickup
Many people don’t realise that the VW Caddy started out life as a pickup truck in the late 1970’s, and Volkswagen introduced a pickup variant in 1996. However, it wasn’t technically a Caddy; it was a rebadged Skoda Felicia Pickup and built in the Czech Republic.
6 – Isuzu D-Max and Chevrolet Colorado
While General Motors withdrew from the European pickup market in 2002 with the demise of the Vauxhall/Opel Brava, it continued in the rest of the world in the form of the Chevrolet Colorado which, again, was based on an Isuzu product.
5 – Nissan Navara (D22) and Peugeot Pick-Up
Nissan recently gave the D22 a new lease of life when it agreed to let Peugeot manufacture slightly modified versions from its plant in Tunisia. The Peugeot Pick-Up is of a similar design to the Land Cruiser 70 series, which is well-respected in Africa for its reliability.
4 – Mitsubishi L200 and Fiat Fullback
Mitsubishi and Fiat entered into their first ever product joint venture in 2015 when they announced that versions of the L200 would be sold around the world as the Fiat Fullback.
3 – Dodge Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider
Mitsubishi attempted to gain a hold of the American mid-size pickup market in 2005 with the launch of the Mitsubishi Raider. Rather than selling the L200 (which would be subject to the extortionate ‘Chicken Tax’ on light commercial vehicles built outside the US), Mitsubishi rebadged versions of the Dodge Raider.
2 – Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50
The Ford and Mazda relationship is one of the longest-running pickup ventures, having started in 1971 with the B-Series and Courier. The alliance will come to an end in 2020, when Mazda will turn to Isuzu to develop its pickups, while Ford may partner with Volkswagen.
1 – Nissan Navara, Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz X-Class
At Nissan’s LCV production facility is Barcelona, three different pickups roll off the line; the Nissan Navara, Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The three companies form part of the Renault-Nissan-Daimler alliance, although Mitsubishi recently joined the clan, raising speculation that the next-generation L200 could also be based on the Navara.