Tiger Trucks: From China With Love

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With the emergence of the Chinese auto industry, it’s no surprise that there are a few American companies beginning to import Chinese vehicles. While some companies are importing completed vehicles fully assembled and ready for sale, others are licensing Chinese vehicle designs and producing them in the USA. One of these companies producing Chinese designed vehicles in the USA is Tiger Trucks.

Tiger extra cab truck. Tiger Champ 4500

While they might not look heavy duty, the Tiger Truck Star (left) and Champ 4500 (right) are efficient and powerful. The Star (left) is comparable to most small pickups in terms of payload, while the Champ 4500 (right) can haul more than most 1/2 ton trucks currently on the road – including the Tundra.

Based in Oklahoma, Tiger Trucks is taking advantage of Chinese technology and innovation to create jobs in the United States. The man behind Tiger Trucks is Mike Ward, an experienced international businessman who had previously worked sourcing parts for JM Family Enterprises (JM Family Enterprises is the owner of Southeast Toyota Distributors). While traveling in China, Ward saw an opportunity to market vehicles designed by ChangAn (one of China’s largest automakers) in the United States. Realizing that ChangAn’s trucks offered many advantages over vehicles available in the US, Ward founded Tiger Trucks in 1999.

Placing his base of operations in Poteau, Oklahoma, Ward started off small by importing and modifying ChangAn’s trucks for the US domestic market. Gradually, his company expanded to include an assembly plant which currently employs 100 workers and is capable of producing over 8500 Tiger trucks and vans per year.

While the current trend in pickup trucks is to go bigger in every respect when compared to the competition, Tiger Trucks has elected to seek the opposite route. Their vehicles are small and powered by low-horsepower diesel engines sourced from the Caterpillar corporation. While only generating a maximum of 35 horsepower and 54 lb-ft of torque, the low weight of the trucks produced by Tiger means that their top speeds are more than enough for getting around most rural roads. The vehicles are also quite adept at hauling cargo, and their utility has caused them to replace smaller ATV-based vehicles at golf courses, military bases, and college campuses across the state. In addition to their usefulness, the fuel efficiency of these trucks is also eye-catching, with some of them reaching the 43 miles per gallon mark in highway driving

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  1. Jon Sherman says:

    How do I become a dealer, I now sell the little Japanese 4X4 mini trucks, Is it possible for me to be able to buy these little trucks, and do they bcome with 4-wheel drive?

  2. Jon – No idea. Try talking to the manufacturer in Oklahoma.

  3. Brent says:

    It would be nice to be able to get parts for these trucks!!!

  4. Jason says:

    Brent – Lots of questions for you: Are you an owner? If so, are you saying you can’t get replacement parts? What’s gone wrong with the truck?

  5. Joe says:

    I am working on a Tiger van that runs on 48volts dc and I need drive motor brush springs and brushes!!! If any one Knows where I can get them please let me know. I went to all the motor shops already. It has a Chinese drive motor in it and the tag is writin in Chinese .

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