By on February 14, 2011

Though it’s looking like Chrysler will be the first OEM to break the US market’s compact pickup drought, it won’t be the only manufacturer bringing a smaller truck stateside. Pickuptrucks.com reports that

development on the next-generation 2014 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon for the U.S. and Canada is under way, based on GM’s all-new GMI 700 body-on-frame global small truck platform that will be built in Thailand starting late this year.

The bad news: it probably won’t arrive until late 2013 or early 2014… and by then, pickuptrucks.com figures that a refreshed Tacoma and a new Frontier will be on the market by then, in addition to a possible Ram or Jeep compact pickup. Still, the prospect of a Brazilian-developed and designed small truck certainly sounds tempting. Let’s just hope the coming competition helps make these trucks into the kind of bulletproof, fuel-sipping machines that helped boost US auto sales the last time we faced a major energy crisis.

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25 Comments on “Chevy’s Global Colorado Coming To America...”


  • avatar
    Jimal

    Excellent. Perhaps this time by the competitors releasing their trucks first GM will have the ability to trump the competition; something I’m more confident of since GM does trucks very well.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    GM (or anybody else doing this size) really needs to make some significant advances in fuel economy.  Otherwise, the value just isn’t there compared to the good old half ton full size.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    In other words GM is slapping their nameplate on another Isuzu to fool gullible flag wavers into thinking that they’re buying American . But that’s basically the way it’s always been with small trucks/SUVs/cars  – Chevy Luv (Isuzu) , Ford Courier (Mazda) , Dodge Ram 50 (Mitsubishi) , Geo Tracker (Suzuki) , Dodge Raider (Mitsubishi) , Chevy Aveo (Daewoo) and so on . Hell my Tacoma was made in Canada – feel ripped off since it wasn’t assembled in Japan . Just kidding , after all it’s not like it’s a VW assembled in Mexico !

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Gimme some, LUV on Valentine’s Day! 

  • avatar
    Polichinello

    Outside of some fleet sales, I don’t see this truck doing that well.  As someone pointed out, unless there’s a magnitude of difference in fuel economy, most people will go with the truck that offers a bit more space.  The current crop aren’t in the Courier and Hardbody class of yore, but they’re still at a more than manageable size.  The only people who would want something smaller would be someone living in a dense urban area, but at that point, why not get a small SUV (RAV, CR-V, Element or even a Forester).  That way you can either carry cargo or passengers.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Two and half to three years to bring a vehicle to the U.S. that they’re ready to put into production elsewhere in the world this year?  Bankruptcy and rebirth doesn’t seem to have changed GM’s sense of urgency when it comes to replacing aging products.

  • avatar
    Bill Wade

    I own a new crew cab diesel Ford Ranger at my place overseas. Ford won’t import them to the US. If Ford can’t make the case for it (I think they’re idiots, I really like the truck) how can GM?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I owned a 1996 Ford Ranger for over 6 years, until I bought my Impala. It was a standard cab, short bed XLT. A very nice truck that came in very handy, but man, was it small in the cab! Not much in the way of “wiggle room”. I understand that the S-10’s were roomier, but I liked that Ford, as the 2nd gen S-10’s looked like Japanese trucks and I didn’t like the styling. One of my brothers-in-law still has his 1994 S-10 and still likes it. I believe there is a market, so why let Toyota have all the fun? After all, the Tacoma is a full-size P/U of 40 years ago!

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      No, it isnt. Why is the myth perpetuated that the Taco is so big? Its a Hilux with fat fenders. My 1971 Chevy C-10 could carry plywood and drywall flat in the bed and I could seat three adults on the bench seat in the cab.

  • avatar
    LeadHead

    Cool, now they should bring back the excellent Vortec 4200 I6/3700 I5 and actually put them in front of a transmission design that doesn’t date back nearly 40 years.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Maximum “basicness” allowing lowest costest Maximus would maxmize sales in some economic demographics while a lengthy list of options checkable offable would allow revenue for the manufacturer.
    Just another Old Coot Opinion unendorsed by anyone, even me, but still an Old Coot-perceived “reality” that may not be realistic but i don’t wear a biz suit to a job nor do I even have a job so what does my opinion count for.
    Heck, not even receiving unemployment. Slipped through the cracks of various rules and subjective determinations by bureaucrats seldom reported on by the media thus never counted as officially unemployed as so MANY USA citizens remain uncounted but that is good so as to reduce the nervousness of the general citizenry and makes it easier for the elites to befuddle those masses.
    Such is life.
    Alms for the poor?
    Even part-time minimum wage jobs are quite scarce. Even knowing folks isn’t the help it used to be even IF you knew locals.
    If the Doors lyrics apply the task is even more difficult:
     
    “People are strange when you’re a stranger”
    “When you’re strange
    Faces come out of the rain
    When you’re strange
    No one remembers your name”
    Sigh… a tough reality that seems to be increasing, expanding.
    Remember my previous warnings, Herd. Be prepared for the future. Consider obtaining now a decent livable-in vehicle if the worst comes your way.
    How could you be so assured the worst simply can not happen to YOU?
     
     

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    IF they could bring something to market of the size and weight of the orlginal LUV – hopefully with a bit of galvanized body metal this time – I could see it being a big success.  There’s a hunger out there for light, economical utility vehicles.
     
    But that’s a big if.  I doubt Federal safety standards and their own legal-liability squads would allow it.  Trouble is, as the SMART shows, because of crash-test standards and equipment…small no longer equals light.
     
    And a smaller truck, just as heavy and fuel-hungry and less versatile, will have no customers.  Too bad…progress in safety is a good thing, but the current regs take a one-size-fits-all approach.  I’d rather see the vehicles simply RATED…and let the buyer make his own priorities.

  • avatar

    Don’t these small pickups end up competing with the used/pre-owned full-sizer that offers slightly worse fuel economy but more space and features?  Unless there’s something that really gets peoples’ interest (like a small turbodiesel engine), most people are likely to opt for lightly used half-ton at the same price (or cheaper).

    Besides, you can tell how GM and others really don’t want to waste money on bringing a small pickup to the US.  The profit margins on those full-sizers are too big to risk literally giving away when you introduce a small pickup with nowhere near as big profit margins.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      I don’t know.  Wasn’t that the situation in 1972?  For a quarter the price of a Toyota or LUV, a buyer could have bought a bulletproof used Chevy or Ford pickup.
       
      They didn’t.  The small size (and high quality of assembly) drew buyers by the thousands, for those original little trucks.
       
      Such people are still out there.  A small CAR just doesn’t do it for many younger owners, who need versatility but don’t want the size and weight.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      In the 70s and early 80s a used truck had been *used up* as vehicles, including trucks, just didn’t last as long.  Full-size pickups back then were exclusively work trucks.  Second-hand to a private owner they weren’t worth more than an occasional dump run.  Today for the price of a new base Ford Ranger you could pick up a 7 year old F150 Lariat Crew cab with 101k miles (Richmond Craigslist).
       
      If the compact trucks come in at the traditional American compact price there are probably a lot of people who perceive the value of a new vehicle with a warranty to be higher than all the size/power/luxuries available at the same price…if you have to put up with age & mileage.  That’s not to say anything of the relative value of fuel economy.  At the same time, there are those who would prefer the luxuries, size, and power in a vehicle that has used only half of its expected useful life.
       
      I have to think also what happened as a result of the proliferation of compact Asian pickups in this timeframe.  Maybe it was coincidental and CAFE was the driver, but the explosion of the compact pickup market made truck ownership a reality with a large segment of people who made do with “not a truck” previously.  Many tradesmen previously worked out of VW vans, wagons, or old large sedans who later found a compact pickup more convenient.  I’m willing to bet that they got many people “hooked” on the concept of a pickup truck and they went on buying 1/2 tons once the number of compact truck models began to dwindle.

  • avatar
    mistrernee

    The market for these smaller trucks lies with people who:
     
    -Have one parking spot in a parkade OR even worse street only parking
    -Need to drive around a tight and congested downtown core
    -Parallel parking on busy streets
    -Rent (move regularly)
    -Don’t drive to work but still want a vehicle
     
    These type of people don’t have room for a trailer or second vehicle and could give two shits about fuel economy.  They may own a scooter or motorcycle that they would like to throw in the back of a truck every now and then. Being able to throw a small apt worth of crap in the back and move to a different apt is nice, not to mention the odd run to IKEA.
     
    The newer mid size trucks are actually too big.  The Taco is far outnumbered by the Ranger here in Vancouver but that isn’t exactly scientific and is just my observation. It’s hard to tell for sure because the Ranger hasn’t changed a lot in decades while the Taco has changed considerably. Older 4Runners are everywhere, as are Jeeps of various vintages.
     
    I’ve often looked in the back of my Wrangler and wondered how good of a pickup it would make if I took the rear seats/carpet out of the back and the rear roof off (leaving the front panels and doors on).
     
    If someone makes a nice little small truck the Wrangler would get replaced.  But please give it manual locking hubs and a simple transfer case with a mechanical linkage (or direct).  Every push button or switch controlled transfer case I have ever used has been horrible and it’s a big reason I stayed away from the Ranger. Oh, and it needs a sturdy manual transmission, something else that turned me off of the Ranger.
     
    Otherwise I could care less how crappy the mileage is or how gutless it is.. If I did I wouldn’t have bought a Wrangler.

  • avatar
    Banger

    As I posted over at the Ranger Power Sports forum, what now, Ford? You still gonna sell the T6 “global Ranger” everywhere but North America? And let Chevy eat your pie? After you’ve been outselling the Canyonado twins handily despite your truck being far, far more outdated? Really?
     
    I like seeing this. I don’t want compact pickups to die out altogether, because they’re just about perfect for families like mine. We don’t do much heavy hauling, but there’s plenty of runs to the recycling center (because not everybody has municipal garbage pick-up), hauling mulch every spring, garden supplies, moving lawn mowers, etc. And of course, commuting, because we don’t have money to own two commuter cars that get good fuel mileage AND a work truck for the weekends.
     
    In all of the above, especially the commuting, the four-cylinder Duratec 2.3 in my Ranger is a godsend. It gets an honest-to-God 30 mpg in relaxed highway cruising, which is the majority of what we have to do to get from one place to another out here in Rural Tennessee.
     
    Now, if Nissan will make good on its promise to put the Frontier on a diet and bring it more in-line with the size of the old Hardbody and Dodge or Jeep gets back into the compact game, we might see a new era of frugal, fun and purposeful trucks that present a viable alternative to the full-size crowd. Right now, the majority of the “mid-size” trucks (Frontier, Tacoma, Dakota, and even the current Canyonado twins) aren’t cheaper by a wide enough margin to make a good case for themselves. Nor do they get better fuel mileage by a wide enough margin to make them all that much cheaper to own. All they have is a more manageable size, which is a fairly big part of the equation, for sure, but not the only thing that matters.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    Looks like the all-new S-10 GM do Brazil is developing really is global. Funny that the first-world has to wait three years, when it’s usually the third-world that gets to wait. Get ready to be scared, really scared. All GM Brazil has been making for the last 10 years was crap that made the PT Cruizer look good. Even by third-world standards their recent models, like the Agile, are ridiculed because of their poor reliability. I hope they actually remember how to make a decent car.

  • avatar
    segfault

    2014 is only ten years after they introduced the Colorado/Canyon in 2004.  Way to go, guys!

  • avatar
    JMII

    This should be coming THIS year… not in 2014. Like I said in yesterday’s Dodge truck post: (like the rest of the world) turbo diesel PLEASE.
     
    I’m one of those people who does not want a full size, but still need to tow a boat (16ft approx 2,500lbs) around. I want small and torque-y while getting decent mileage. Don’t need fancy, just basic transportation with good mileage and ease of loading, no lifted suspensions or huge tires. Most driving is 200-300 miles highway with boat and a buddy plus supplies (in bed) along for the ride. Full size is overkill, they are too big to park in town or in a lake-side / camp-side situation.
     
    For reference my current vehicle is a 4.7l V8 Dakota Quad Cab, but previously owned a 4.0l V6 Ranger Splash Ext Cab. The Ranger was under powered but Dak was the max size I’d go for in Quad Cab form, anything else was simply HUGE in my eyes (and driveway). As is my Dak just fits in my two car garage alongside my boat, if either were three inches longer, taller or wider I’d be SOL.

  • avatar
    lostjr

    In part, I think it is difficult to produce small trucks in the US at a price that is sufficiently less than full size trucks because the volume is too low. I think it is time to repeal the chicken tax, and allow this part of the market to supplied by imports.

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