General Motors took a gamble when it reintroduced America to the
small midsize pickup truck with the launch of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins just eight months ago. Critics hummed and hawed about how the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier dominated the marketplace, and/or how consumers could get a whole lot more truck for not a whole lot more money, should they just select from the full size truck segment.
Now, thanks to GM’s greater-than-expected sales performances, those skeptics have been silenced. “It has far exceeded expectations,” Jessica Rogers, manager-marketing and advertising for the Colorado, told Ward’s Auto.
Colorado, the volume seller of the pair, is the fastest-selling truck in the U.S. and spends just 18 days on lot. “Dealers will take every one they can get,” said Rogers.
GM has delivered 75,992 Colorado and Canyon pickups this year, roughly 9,500 per month, as production at Wentzville, MO kicks into full force. While Tacoma sales through August (122,064) easily out muscle the Canyon/Colorado, GM has stolen market share from longtime segment leaders and has given automakers like Ford pause as to whether they should reintroduce a midsize truck of their own.
Consider this: the GM twins combined for 32.4 percent of the midsize pickup truck market at the end of August. Wind back the clock a year and that number sat around zero. Though Toyota’s market share (55.2 percent) has remained steady since the start of the year, its share has tumbled since 2014 and 2013, when it swallowed up 61.1 percent and 65.1 percent of the market, respectively. It’s a similar story at Nissan, too. Where the Frontier owned 25.7 percent of the market in 2013 and 29.3 percent in 2014, this year it’s dropped to just 17.7 percent.
The pickups also keep GM fans in the family, and attract owners of like-branded vehicles at a rate around 43 percent. Some buyers step from a fullsize into the midsizer, but GM says its not enough to dent fullsize sales.
Colorado also grabs 45 percent of its non-Chevrolet customers from the F-150, followed by the Tacoma. Judging by those numbers, its not surprising rumors are swirling Ford will reintroduce the Ranger.