Mitsubishi is thinking small as it develops a new U.S. product portfolio. Smaller cars, smaller crossovers. So why not a small van and a small pickup to go with them?
Turns out Mitsubishi's North American CEO, Shin Kurihara, has had similar thoughts. He thinks the Delica, a small cargo van Mitsubishi sells in Japan, would please U.S. dealers. Not to mention the Triton, a compact pickup that sells in some markets with a diesel engine.
But importing trucks here is a game of chicken. Chicken tax, that is, named for a 1960s trade spat that erupted when France and Germany slapped a stiff tax on imported U.S. chickens.
Kurihara notes that imported pickups and commercial vans are slapped with a 25 percent tariff when they enter the Unites States, making them uncompetitive. So it's a no-go?
"It's very difficult," he says. "But we're thinking of different ideas."