Blog: Dave LeggettPick-ups in Europe

Dave Leggett | 22 April 2003

The perennial question from US Big Three execs looking at Europe: could we sell our pick-ups (or pickups) over there? The answer, at least in terms of the big pick-ups produced in the States has traditionally been 'no'. And observers of the European pick-up scene will realise that it has not been as driven by 'lifestyle' factors as in the US. Remember the Peugeot 504 pick-up? Or the Ford Sierra-based P100? Basic workhorses operated by small businesses in the construction or building services area. Europeans also seem to prefer a closed cargo body (weather, security). But there has been a notable shift in the UK in recent years towards Japanese pick-ups, especially double-cab models that offer more seats for building site gangs. Ford's Thai-built Ranger has also been doing okay I think.

And maybe there is a small lifestyle niche among young buyers with a bit of cash that can be exploited also. I see a lot of kids driving around these days with enough disposable income to customise their hot hatches to a much higher degree than I remember kids doing in my day. Maybe some of them could be persuaded to go for pick-ups that would be ideal for customising, hanging out etc. I don't think the European market for these is big, but my feeling is that it could be sizeable for the manufacturer that comes up with the right product to really tap into it. Maybe Skoda's daring little yellow pick-up with the fold-back open air rear seating was just five years too early.


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