Don't look now, but the U.S. is quickly losing its supply of small-volume, badge-engineered trucks. Just yesterday, we learned that at month's end, Isuzu plans to shut off the trickling flow that is its passenger vehicle business in the States, taking the Ascender SUV and i-Series pickups along with it. Today, there is word that Mitsubishi will drop the Raider pickup, itself a substantially restyled Dodge Dakota.
According to Automotive News, the slow-selling carryall will tuck into oblivion sometime mid next-year, as Mitsubishi looks to overhaul its product lineup in order to focus more on fuel-efficient small cars. In its present form, the Raider has been around since 2005, and while it it has never been a big seller, last year, the mid-size pickup sold under 3,000 units. Interestingly, an often overlooked and altogether different Raider was marketed as a Dodge-branded rework of the Mitsubishi Montero SUV in the late Eighties.
With America's badge-engineered workadays dropping like flies, how long will it be until the Grim Reaper shows up at the door, looking for the Mazda B-Series? Who will save the children? Buy them while you can, folks.