Is there a big demand for US-style pickup trucks in the UK? Whenever I’ve seen traffic footage in the UK, I don’t recall having seen any.
Pickup trucks don’t make much sense for small crowded cities in Europe and Japan. Most families can’t afford to own two cars, so they just buy one car or minivan that can carry the whole family. (It’s not the cars themselves that are expensive, it’s the parking space as well as tax and gas.) Even if you are single, many of your friends may not own cars and you often end up having to carry 3 friends in your car. You don’t need to haul big things because anything that doesn’t fit into a car probably won’t fit in your house. Businesses usually use minivans, vans or trucks with the cab above the engine. American pickups aren’t a very efficient design - the big hood sticking out the front just makes the truck larger than necessary.
According to this news release (and assuming I understood them correctly), about 9,000 pickups were sold in the U.K. in 1999.
I’d guess the city of Dallas had sales higher than that, so I don’t think they’d qualify as popular in the U.K.
Because they’re prohibited from having a gun in the back window?
Snakeskin boots are hard to come by?
There are no real men in the UK?
Ok, I’ll stop now. Well, one more;
British men are smart enough to know they look real silly in a Stetson?
How many pickup owners (in the US) routinely carry big stuff in the back?
Like the air compressor, band saw and drill press that I need to unload in the morning, or are you thinking of something big, like the pallet of grass I loaded into my Ford Courier?
How many guys do you know who won’t put anything in the back of the truck for fear of scratching or dirtying it?
Worse yet, the guys who get protective liners and won’t put anything in the back for fear of SCRATCHING THE FREAKING LINER?
Ticks me off.
Supposedly, pickup trucks are big among Afrikaaners in South Africa – they’re called “bakkies” there.
Australia still manufactures a lot of El Camino-like cars with pickup beds.
Yep, they’re called utes.
Short for “Utility Vehicle” I guess. Very popular here in Darwin.
Pickup trucks are in use in the UK, but they are nowhere near as popular as vans like the Ford Transit.
My guesses for the reasons behind this would be:
Weather: A van keeps the (frequent)rain off those bags of cement and plaster in the back.
Security: For many van drivers, their vehicle is a mobile workshop, they are able to leave their tools inside, if they did this in a pickup, they would not be there in the morning.
Space: A pickup probably doesn’t quite meet the load capacity requirements of the average British tradesman (given that some of his loadspace may already be taken up with toolboxes etc).
I don’t have a cite for this handy, but I believe the pickup/ute is in fact an Australian invention (although the American SUV type pickup is just that - American. The Aussie ones are car-sized, and based on an equivalent sedan model).
The story goes that a farmer, back in the days of the Model T, wrote to Ford (Australia) saying, “what I really need is a vehicle which I can use on the farm during the week, and which is also acceptable to drive to church on Sunday.” Ford designed a “ute”, got the ok from its US parent, and started marketing them here. They were immensely popular, and the Americans and others started making them as well.
The few pick-ups you usually see around the UK seem to have hoods over the load section, with a wire mesh at the back end and a couple of sheepdogs guarding a bale of hay inside.
Occassionally you will see the Zapata moustachioed saddo with his obligatory rebel flag across the back window, maybe he’ll have a bootlace tie and silly shirt too.
As an image it just doesn’t work all that well in Upper Cumberworth or Barnsley.
Oh it’s hard being a cowboy in Rochdale
Cos the spur dont fit right on yer clogs…
I had noticed that the only pick-ups in Germany were the ones the American Army was zipping around in. German farmers had a dandy gadget that served the same purpose. It was a small tractor with a box on the front about half the size of a standard US half-ton pick-up box. Just the thing for a pile of beets or a half dozen bags of chicken feed or Ma and the kids. John Deere makes a four wheeler that is sort of the same idea–it is the car that carries injured football players off to the locker room.