Today’s quote of the day comes from GM’s Jim Cain (not to be confused with our own Tim Cain), who is quoted by Automotive News as making some rather bold predictions for the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado mid-size truck.
Speaking to AN about possible cannibalization on the part of the Colorado, Cain said
“We’re not worried about the Chevrolet Colorado attracting would-be Silverado customers…The people who should be worried are the ones who orphaned their mid-size truck customers, and those who sell trucks that are about to be rendered obsolete.”
I’m not sure which trucks will be “rendered obsolete”. The Tacoma? The Frontier? The V6 F-150? The GM full-sizers that have to be redesigned in 2018 due to what many observers agree is a botched launch?
As someone who prefers smaller vehicles and lives in region with high gas prices, the emotional appeal of a mid-sizer is there. But the business case is weak. Market share for smaller trucks is just 225,000 units, in a truck market worth 1.6 million units overall and a total car market with a SAAR of around 16 million. And the majority of that one segment belongs to just one truck, the Toyota Tacoma.
The main selling points of a smaller truck, namely price and fuel economy, have been eroded by increasing full-size fuel economy and lower prices. Anyone who has seen the new GM mid-sizers knows that they aren’t all that mid-size: they have a footprint similar to a GMT900 pickup, as opposed to a Ranger. And too few Americans have the sort of space constraints – the kind that necessitate these trucks in world markets – that would make a mid-size truck successful.
Corporate communication strategy dictates that the sort of tough talk that Cain is relaying is essential to their messaging, especially in such uncharted territory. But it’s difficult to take take in these claims with a straight face, especially when every other factor indicates a different outlook. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe the Colorado is a game changer.