Chevrolet do Brasil has shown pictures of its updated S10. In what has become somewhat of a norm for this market, the truck will be debuted at the Thailand Auto Show (according to Brazilian ehthusiast site webmotors.com.br). Once in Brazil, the new S10 will substitute both the South American and the Asian model (known as Colorado).
GM targets its more expensive rivals this time. The truck shows traces of Hilux, Frontier and Amarok. In other words, GM has bowed and recognized that Toyota, Nissan and even Volkswagen now lead the way. At least as far as Brazilian trucks go.
GM follows the Hilux lead by placing the head lights in a high position and by giving the S10 an angry fascia. From the side the truck mixes some Japanese elements, but mainly follows the Amarok’s lead by using heavy creases and almost straight lines. The back is pretty hum-ho and the only “bold statement” is the use of transparent glass. The rectangular shape used by everyone is still there.
Inside, they follow Frontier’s lead and the pick up is more car-like and less truck-like. The instruments are placed, Camaro-like, in a position only the driver can see. It also now uses GM’s signature blue illumination. The center stack includes a liquid crystal screen and the commands for the digital A/C.
For Brazil, GM will start offering MWM’s 2.8 turbo diesel in both auto and stick. Though no 4×4 is offered in Brazil until now, rumor has it that the new truck will. An SUV version, appropriately called Blazer in Brazil, will also be offered. Down here, at least initially, only the double cab will be offered.
The new truck won’t stop production of the current one. As this beast will probably cost around 90 to 100 thousand reais (56.000 to 63.000 dollars at US$1=R$1.6), the old one will march on so that GM does not lose bragging rights that it’s the big dog in this segment in Brazil. Will all those (more affluent) buyers who abandoned GM some time ago and adopted the Japanese trucks give GM a chance? Well, GM still has (amazingly) huge brand recognition in Brazil. Especially in the truck market. But another perennial Brazilian favorite, Volkswagen, has been unable to take chinks from Toyota’s Hilux armor (all damage done to the Hilux is of Toyota’s own making, namely high price, which opens up space for competitors from Nissan and Mitsubishi). I have documented VW’s troubles here.
This one will be interesting to watch. We will be able to gauge GM’s strength very precisely on this one.