Popular in Europe and Asia, many mini-trucks are factory redesigns of light trong, usually with monocoque bodies. Specialized designs with substantial frames such as the Italian Piaggio shown here are based upon Japanese designs (in this case by Daihatsu) and are popular for use in “old town” sections of European cities that often have very narrow alleyways.
Regardless of name, these small trucks serve a wide range of uses. In Japan, they are regulated under the Kei car laws, which allow vehicle owners a break in taxes for buying a smaller and less-powerful vehicle (currently, the engine is limited to 660 cc displacement). These vehicles are used as on-road utility vehicles in Japan. These Japanese-made mini trucks that were manufactured for on-road use are competing with off-road ATVs in the United States, and import regulations require that these mini trucks have a 25 mph (40 km / h) speed governor as they are classified as low-speed vehicles. These vehicles have found uses in construction, large campuses (government, university, and industrial), agriculture, cattle ranches, amusement parks, and replacements for golf carts.