The Chevrolet Montana – also known as the Chevrolet Tornado in Mexico and Chevrolet Utility in Africa – is a subcompact pickup that General Motors has sold since 2003 in South America, Mexico and some African countries.
The Montana has been designed and developed entirely by GM’s Brazilian subsidiary with the aim of being marketed in emerging markets as a low-cost, entry-level pickup. Unlike traditional body-on-frame pickup trucks, the Montana (Tornado and Utility) is a unibody vehicle.
In fact, the Chevrolet Montana is the third subcompact pickup that GM has developed in Brazil. Before the Montana, GM commercialized the Chevrolet Corsa Pickup (based on the Opel Corsa B) as well as the Chevrolet Chevy 500 (based on the Chevrolet Chevette). The Montana’s primary rivals in South America are the Fiat Strada and the Volkswagen Saveiro.
Currently, the Chevrolet Montana spans two generations. Each has been a variant of two different Chevrolet hatchbacks: the Corsa II and the Agile. Both generations have been marketed only in a regular cab with two doors.
The first-generation Chevrolet Montana was revealed for the first time in Brazil in October 2003. The subcompact pickup is derived from the Chevy Corsa II, with which it shared the Opel Corsa B platform introduced a decade earlier.
The first-gen Montana was characterized by its rounded body and low ground clearance. The vehicle achieved notable levels of popularity in the Brazilian market, especially among younger customers. Despite having been derived from a hatchback, the bed of the small pickup featured a payload of up to 735 kilograms (1,620 pounds).
The first-generation Chevrolet Montana was manufactured at the GM São José dos Campos plant located in São Paulo, Brazil. The vehicle was also produced at the GM Struandale plant in South Africa, where it was marketed as Chevrolet Corsa Utility. The first generation Chevy Montana stopped being produced at the end of 2010.
The second generation Chevrolet Montana was derived from the Chevrolet Agile and debuted in Brazil in 2010. The model was designed and developed entirely by the GM South America development team on a modified version of the same platform that underpinned the first-generation model.
Unlike the original model, the second-gen Chevrolet Montana has a more robust exterior design and a body with higher ground clearance. The Montana II lived on past the end of production of the Chevrolet Agile in 2016 from which it derived thanks to its popularity among commercial customers in the Brazilian market.
The second-gen Chevrolet Montana is manufactured at the GM São Caetano Do Sul plant in Brazil.
In December 2018, GM Authority reported that General Motors is developing an all-new small unibody pickup as a successor to the second-generation Chevrolet Montana. The vehicle is expected to based on the GM GEM platform. Short for Global Emerging Markets, the GEM architecture was developed to underpin vehicles for emerging markets.
The vehicle is being developed entirely by the GM Brazil subsidiary. The small Chevrolet unibody pickup will likely be powered by the same engine that is currently found in the Chevrolet Cruze – the turbo-charged 1.4L I-4 LE2 good for 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The boosted four-banger will likely be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
It is expected that this future Chevrolet small unibody pickup – whose name is currently unknown, but could continue being Montana – will be manufactured alongside the next-gen Chevrolet Tracker at the GM São Caetano do Sul plant in Brazil.
More Chevrolet Montana Resources
Follow these links for more Chevrolet Montana information:
- Chevrolet Montana Sales Numbers