Remember when the now-retired Bob Lutz spilled the beans on GM’s plans to euthanize its current mediocre mid-size truck offerings in North America by 2012? According to new reports, The General is looking to stay in the segment with an all-new pickup design, with the trucks said to be a modern take on the size and style of the original S10 pickup of yore.
Within the past few years, sales and market share of the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado fraternal twins have taken an abrupt dive. Currently, sales of the GMC Canyon are off 28.5 percent from a year ago, while those of the Chevy Colorado are down 30.3 percent from the same time. Their market share has been swallowed by today’s two biggest players in the segment: the domestic gray-haired Ford Ranger and the 100,000 unit-per-year juggernaut that is the Toyota Tacoma.
As it stands right now, Ford looks to do away with the storied Ranger and the Tacoma seems to be too large and expensive for the segment, even though it’s selling in good quantities. Interestingly, even full-size pickups have taken a share of the midsize and compact segments due to the proximity in price of a decently-contended mid-size pick-up compared to a base full-size half-ton. In fact, just 87,985 small and mid-level trucks have been sold in 2010 as of April. Current market conditions offer a perfect opportunity for a brand such as Chevy and/or GMC to enter the fray and change the game with a standout offering.
A few items that will make GM’s future midsize truck endeavor a success include a fuel economy that’s superior to and a sticker price that’s significantly less than its full-size offerings. Oh, and the North American version is also said to be different than the next-generation Colorado that will be built in Thailand and sold globally (save for North America). This makes us wonder whether the new small pickups will be truck- or car-based. In this case, it looks like only time will tell.