The Kei Truck Evolution – History of Japanese Mini Trucks

Japanese mini trucks have been around for many years and there are many reasons for their continued success. They are great performers and dependable in many instances. These mini trucks are made by some of the leading automakers from Japan. They have been around for a few decades and have been helpful in many different situations. First, they are made to be small and were originally designed to carry light to medium sized loads over short distances. Maneuverability and efficiency is also something that was well thought through when these vehicles were being made. In this guide, we will cover the Kei truck evolution and try to describe how these Japanese mini trucks have been improving over the years.

How The Kei Truck Evolution Has Been

These kei trucks have their history dating way back to the 1950s. At this time, the idea of having a kei truck (small car) in Japan was trending. And with the rising needs to transport cargo from one point to the other, the idea of making a small vehicle to do that came about. These vehicles at the time were meant to offer solutions in Japan’s fast growing economy while still coming at an affordable cost. They also consumed less fuel making them cheap to run and maintain for the owners. This saw a major boost in the production of these vehicles as demands rose.

Surprisingly, unlike what the most common mini trucks today are, Datsun made most of the Japanese mini trucks at that time. They had a big share back then and were one of the major automakers. Toyota soon joined in and started producing similar mini trucks which boosted the vehicle’s reputation. Mazda and other started joining the league of mini trucks in the 1970s and by this time, the vehicle models had started taking a more modern shape.

Another notable thing worth mentioning with the Kei truck evolution is that they always got better with a new model. The super-efficient Japanese mini trucks that roam the streets today are as a result of high technology gathered over the years. Today, the automakers are able to tackle almost everything needed to come up with an efficient and dependable vehicle.

Compared to the old kei trucks, the current mini trucks that you will find have been improved to the highest level. The ones currently produced are more Eco-friendly as compared to the older models.


The Japanese kei truck has come a long way. The fact that these vehicles are loved across the globe is for its incredible performance, efficiency and overall quality. There are many automakers from Honda, Mazda, Daihatsu and Suzuki which makes them. They are all equally superb and dependable.

You can check out some of the second hand Japanese mini trucks on sale from our sales yard. We ship across the globe, so do not worry about that.

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