- HSV Maloo GTS

America left the 2-door pickup "car" in the 80's. The rest of the world however, has not. In fact, they remain relatively popular in the Latin American markets and Australia/New Zealand. The ironic thing is, it never left it's birthplace in the land down under. In the late 30's consumers wanted something that could take the family to church but also get work done during the week. So then Ford Australia decided to make a Ford saloon but rather in a utility variant, with a pick up bed. GM responded by making the Chevy Cameo. Both of these later evolved to be the Ranchero and El Camino, and dominated the brief time this market existed in the US. Dodge tried to enter with its utility coupe the "Rampage" but only sold for a few years before the demand disappeared. They were a little late to the party, anyways. But utility coupes continued to sell internationally. Before they became locally extinct for the US market, some great examples were made, such as the Subaru BRAT and Volkswagen Rabbit. We just called them small pickups, even though technically they were based off of cars.

Subaru BRAT

Subaru BRAT

Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

In Australia, we see many examples of the utility coupe, commonly referred to as "Utes". Production has ceased for most models in Australia, but only just recently. The Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore were the two last Aussie-designed Utes. There is a specific Ute culture in Australia, similar to the "stance" street culture seen in America. Ute owners often gather and have meets. Ford and GM produced high performance editions of their Utes, the FPV F6 and HSV Maloo, respectively. There is even a racing league for V8-powered Utes. Other Utes sold here include the Proton Jumbuck and Suzuki Mighty Boy. In fact, they even have a "boganfest" called the "Dendy Ute Muster".

Holden Commodore

Holden Commodore

Ford Falcon

Ford Falcon

In South Africa, utility coupes are pretty much straightforward with their meaning. Most people call them "bakkies" rather than Utes. Popular examples include the Nissan NP200, Mazda Rustler, Chevy Utility, and Ford Bantam. The South African market is very similar to the South American market, bakkies are less of a cultural symbol and more of a utilitarian vehicle. They also share the same products, usually just rebadged vehicles sold as variants of one another.

Ford Bantam

Ford Bantam

In Latin America, the infamous loyalty for Volkswagen and their products span over almost every vehicle class, including utility coupes. The Volkswagen utility coupe is based on the Volkswagen Gol, named the Saviero. Fiat offers the Strada utility coupe, and a rebadged RAM 700 as well. Peugeot sells the Hoggar based on the 207, and Ford has their Courier. The market is predominately European marqued, and most of the vehicles are based on small hatchbacks already developed and sold there. The relative affordability in relation to pickup trucks keeps a foothold for these vehicles in the market.

Volkswagen Saviero

Volkswagen Saviero

Should we bring the utility coupe back in developed countries' markets? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments.

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