Suffice to say that American buyers have never really had the opportunity to own any stellar small trucks. The Dodge Dakota was always a little disappointing while GM’s Canyon/Colorado twins haven’t achieved tremendous acclaim (or success). And don’t even get us started on the centennial Ford Ranger. The Toyota Tacoma is the closest thing to a success story in this segment while Honda couldn’t work its supposed magic with the (let’s just call it “interesting”) Ridgeline. Is GM looking to change all of this with the next generation Colorado and Canyon?
We still don’t know whether the next generation Colorado/Canyon trucks will be available in North America. However, we’ve recently been presented with a glimmer of hope after a few illustrations have popped up at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that possibly reveal the design direction of GM’s next-generation small pickups.
While The General hasn’t officially gone on record regarding its next-gen small trucks, we have a few facts to go by. First, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has stated that GM plans to end production at the Shreveport, LA plant (where the trucks are currently built) by 2012. As such, the availability of GM’s small pickups in Canada and America after 2012 is unknown at this point in time. Internationally, however, the story is quite different. The Thai plant where the international-market Colorado is currently assembled will remain open and continue production. In fact, it just received a $445 million loan to expand for the next-gen Colorado.
Now back to the design patent that was filed on November 23, 2009: the majority of names on the patent application list Brazil as their place of residence. As such, it’s entirely possible that we are looking at a design that’s slated for international markets.
Furthermore, reports tell us that GM may assemble its next-generation small trucks at the old Saturn plant in Spring Hill, TN. This, however, may prove untrue, since rumors suggest that GM may produce a small car at that facility. At this point in time, the future of GM’s small trucks remains uncertain – at least in North America. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on these USPTO drawings of what is potentially the next-generation of GM’s small trucks.[Source: Pickuptrucks.com]