• Dec 3, 2009
According to a report from Automotive News, Mitsubishi's North American CEO Shin Kurihara would like to bring over the Japanese automaker's funky little Delica van (right) and Triton pickup (above), believing that the two work-ready models may fill a desirable niche here in the States. So, why not wave a magic wand and make that happen? In a word: Chickens.

Sorry, come again? What do chickens have to do with vans and pickups? It's all a bit odd, but back in the early Sixties, the United States levied a 25% tax on potato starch, Dextrin, brandy, and light trucks in response to French and German tariffs on imported U.S. chicken. Yes, really.

As such, importing any light trucks from overseas into the States can be an expensive proposition, taking away pretty much any chance of profitability. There may be ways around the issue as Ford has found with its Turkey-built Transit Connect, and Mitsubishi is currently considering its options, which, we surmise, may include bringing the vehicles in only partially assembled and finishing them here in the U.S. We'll see.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The delica was anything but small...but if it came in 4WD (with transfer case), then I'm all for it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Should they do it? Yes. Screw the tax, just ship them CKD and assemble them at the Normal, Illinois Plant. I just hope they build the regular cab as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the pickup comes as a crew cab they can make the claim that it is primarily a passenger vehicle. For the van, do as Ford does with the transit connect, bring it in with a back seat then yank the seat after it clears customs. Yes, they may get slapped down on the PU
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I see that Mitsubishi is going all out, first the Colt, now Triton, and Delica, all the cars that they should have been selling here in USA from the very beginning. Triton is a tough little truck, it has off-road credentials, independent teams run Tritons in the Dakar Rally with just modified suspensions, engine and transmission can take a beating, plus it looks a lot better than all the generic trucks sold here currently in USA with a few exceptions. Either way, for Mitsubishi it would be a big upgrade from their current US offering in the form of Mitsu Raider. As far as Colt is concerned, it is due for a grounds up redesign, I think that Mitsu wants to bring the next generation Colt to USA, not the current one which is basically at the end of its cycle. As far as Delica, it would be a rather unique product here in USA, how many mini-vans can actually go off-road, plus it would look extremely unique on US roads. Also, Mitsubishi is currently talking with Peugeot/Citroen group about a merger, it will probably happen as companies have been collaborating on a lot of projects since 2005. Now, with Mitsubishi WRC/Dakar credentials, Citroen current WRC credentials, it would make for one exciting car company, to me a lot more exciting than the Fiat/Chrysler merger. At least most of the current Peugeot/Citroen cars actually look good and anything but generic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't find the Delica van funky at all. Its size is probably between a Mazda 5 and a Sedona.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Okay, I'll bite.

      What the heck is that black thing on the front fender?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a rear-view mirror, as found on many JDM vehicles. It won't be on our version, should the truck show up here. I don't think it appears on the EU versions either.

        And these trucks do look pretty good in person. They're pretty common across Europe. It would be cool to see a diesel/manual trans option here in the States! Dream on, I know....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would rather purchase the new VW pickup truck in America over a Mitsu. I hope VW gets the message!

      Speaking of interesting trade issues.

      GM and SAIC set to unveil India tie-up

      By Joe Leahy in Mumbai and Patti Waldmeir in Shanghai

      Published: December 3 2009 15:57 | Last updated: December 3 2009 15:57

      General Motors and China’s SAIC Motor Corp are poised to announce a tie-up on Friday for the sale of vehicles in India, in a significant step in China’s efforts to gain a foothold in one of the for world’s largest emerging markets for automobiles.

      GM and SAIC are expected to say they plan to bring some of the Chinese producer’s light commercial vehicles to India, including minivans and mini-trucks, a segment dominated by domestic market leader Tata Motors.

      More details at
      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f7f6d2b8-e01f-11de-8494-00144feab49a.html?referrer_id=yahoofinance&ft_ref=yahoo1&segid=03058&nclick_check=1
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ship the CKD kits and assemble them in some unused corner of the normal plant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      how big is the truck? I'm thinking about the Mahindra but if this is small, I might go with it. If i could buy a new 1978 Datsun Lil Hustler, I would.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They can't afford NOT to bring these over, as they are not selling much of what is here now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice compact truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought I read somewhere that the "Chicken" tax was set to expire in a few years, but if not I think Mitsu would do well with the Triton here, especially if they can offer it in diesel.
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