Tata Motors, with their partner TMT Motors, have launched the Tata SuperAce mini-truck in Vietnam. The SuperAce is positioned as a versatile replacement for a small pick-up truck. The vehicle has a one ton payload and comes with either a diesel or gas engine and has a top speed of 130 km per hour. The vehicle can be used for inter or intra-city transport and for a wide range of goods including construction material, produce and consumer goods. According to Tata Motors management, “Through our partnership with TMT Motors, we are committed to shaping the commercial vehicles industry here and are determined to build a long-lasting relationship with the customer for competitive business advantages and the trusted credentials of the Tata Motors brand,”. Tata Motors sees a lot of potential in the fast growing Vietnamese economy and announced their intention to enter the market last year.
Comment: While not as popular in the US market, in Southeast Asia and in other countries mini-trucks are quite popular. They are integral for delivering goods in the hub and spoke system employed in these countries. The small-sized trucks can more easily maneuver in crowded and narrow city streets to deliver goods the “last mile” from large distribution centers. In the US they can be seen on farms and are usually imported used vehicles. With their top speeds mini-trucks don’t meet the safety standards for full on-road use in the US and are too fast too be considered low speed vehicles. Approximately 20 states allow mini-trucks on roads where it is locally permitted. Depending on the state mini-trucks are not allowed on highways or, in some cases, not allowed on roads with speed limits above 35 mph. Vantage Vehicle International offers vehicles that are mini-truck like in styling but are configured as LSVs.