By on April 10, 2011

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 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.

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20 Comments on “Chevy do Brazil: New S10 Shows It Face...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    So if any of the B&B were wondering what the Chevrolet “Family Face” would look like on a truck… now you know. 

    (I know the Colorado hasn’t exactally been a sales success for GM but my future father-in-law is quite happy with his option-less base model.  Although he’s using it as a commuter vehicle.) 

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not knocking GM on this one. When they debuted the S10 back in 1993, it was a segment opening, cachet raising, dream inspiring affair. Problem is that that truck is the one GM still sells today.

      Plus, there is the unknown of Thai engineering and development…

      The design looks right, the engine is solid. Priced right GM will be king of the hill not only in sales, but also reputation. This segment is an aspirational one on Brazil and thus, very important for brand image.

      • 0 avatar

        I thought those new light trucks were designed by GM do Brasil. I remember from some years ago that they had split development of platforms between the engineering centers around the world and Brazil got something related to trucks – but could be heavier ones. Anyway, this was before carmageddon so probably plans have changed.

    • 0 avatar

      @Dan: “So if any of the B&B were wondering what the Chevrolet “Family Face” would look like on a truck…” I take it you’ve never seen an Equinox? Ha ha, just kidding.
      @Marcelo: I don’t think there should be any question about the engineering of the truck, we’ve had the previous generation Thai engineered Colorado here for a long time, and it’s held up well. Due to the economics of North American domestic truck production, the Silverado is a better deal for most retail buyers. But I’d like to see one of these in person, in a manner of speaking.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        It may have changed, but GM has never had a design center in Thailand, to my knowledge. They do have vehicle assembly operations there. Prior to 2008, lead design responsibility for these trucks was moved from Isuzu to GM do Brazil. I suspect that is the current state, as well. 

        It looks great to me. I hope it comes to the U.S., though I have a hunch the upcoming vehicle footprint based fuel economy standards my be an issue causing both Ford and GM to drop out of the segment here.

      • 0 avatar

        @Dr. Olds: You are correct. The current gen Colorado was engineered by GMNA, GM Brazil and Isuzu. I honestly don’t know where I got the idea it was engineered in Thailand. It is assembled in Thailand for Asian markets. My mistake.

      • 0 avatar

        Autobraz, Geozinger:

        Yeah the plan was that the trucks would be developed by Brazil. Somewhere along the line though this has changed. To my knowledge, this truck will come almost completely developed and engineered to Brazil. Well, I’ve talked to some guys at GM Brazil who told me they’ve been going a lot to Korea to help on Cruze. So maybe some went to Thailand to help on this truck. But, again, to my knowledge, this is a Thai product.

        Like new Ranger. Does Ford have a development center in Thailand. It seems that the new Ranger in Brazil will be built there.

        Also, when Frontier first started coming to Brazil it was imported from Thailand. Then it was nationalized.

        So Thailand looks like it is the truck engineering capital of the world.

      • 0 avatar

        doctor olds

        That state of affaris has changed. If not officially at least on a de facto basis. If GM doesn’t have an engineering center in Thailand, where was this truck developed? Daewoo?

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Marcello- I would still bet that it is in Brazil, especially with the weakened Isuzu connection. My direct awareness stopped in Nov. ’08, but the trucks coming out today were engineered several years ago and Brazil clearly had the lead at that time. We were in the middle of making the global quality connections in the Powertrain Quality staff, so I met the engineering quality managers

        Brazilians are likely travelling to the small car engineering center in Korea so they can provide input for Cruze their large market. I don’t think it likely that these trucks are engineered in Korea as I believe they are too large to sell in volume there. GM’s rationalization of engineering center responsibility made Brazil the logical place to do the development work for the S/T successor.

        I am not knowledgable of the other makers activities in Thailand, although I am not aware of any engineering centers there, particularly by Japanese or Koreans. I am aware, in a general way, that Thailand has been a growing assembly location.

        But, a lot may have changed in the last 2 1/2 years!

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      This isn’t a bad-looking truck by any means.

      Tho I don’t know why the US can’t have a S-10 & Blazer.

  • avatar

    Interesting, however it’s difficult to see how big it is from the pictures
    It looks like it’s F150 in size, but obviously it isn’t.

  • avatar

    I just hope they kill the old Blazer. The old S10 is ok and as you mentioned, Marcelo, it should still command a good chunk of the market based on price alone. But the Blazer… the worst handling vehicle in Brazil IMO and the worst in many other areas specially value for money. But hey, you could order it with optional electric seats, that was cool!

    • 0 avatar

      The Executive version had everything!!!!

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Marcelo- I noticed that GM had a great March in Brazil. What is selling so well that they appear on the verge of overtaking VW for 2nd place? I thought trucks were big for GM there, but my memory is fuzzy.

      • 0 avatar

        Hi doctor olds!

        Thanks for the info. Nothing like alking to a man from the inside. Maybe you’ve met Autobraz? He used to work at GM Brazil and was directly involved with Meriva, Corsa among others.

        As to trucks – I was looking at an old magazine the other day and I saw that the Chevy truck of the time was selling in the thousands while the F-100 sold in the hundreds and Dodge in the twenties (1965 or thereabouts). GM has long been king of the hill in that dept here. The first real Brazilian car was actually a GM truck and not the VW Beetle (if you want more info read my history on thi very site!). The S10 when launched was a segment busting truck. Everybody was awed. The Ranger could never touch it. Now long in tooth, the Japanese (Hilux) have overtaken it in desireability. And they abandoned the bigger truck market when they (unexpainably) stopped producing Silverado (giving up the entire -small, but important, image and whatnot- to F250 (and Ram in small numbers). The car based pick up market (huge in Brazl Fiat’s Strada is often in top 10 and it alone sells half of all commercial vehicles in Brazil) is now served by Agile-based Montana. Terrible. You remember article on Denise Johnson? Sales have not improved over old MOntana.

        So GM has a lot to recapture here.

        As to sales, after a slow Jan and Feb it seemed March was better. GM has lost 2 points in market share over last year. They are selling Celtas and Classics mainly. Astras lead their segment, Vectra is 3rd or 4th in it. S10 and Blzaer lead theirs. As you can see, they lead those segments just because they are much cheaper than competition. In desrireability they have fallen by the wayside.

        Spark and Cruze plus this truck are coming. Let’s see if GM can recapture some past glory. At the moment things look bleak.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Marcello- I don’t know that I have met Autobraz, and am sorry to say I can’t even remember the names of the guys I did meet, the failing of old age! We did not have much time to work together before GM made me a retirement offer I thought I would be a fool to refuse in November ’08!

    The only GN do Brazil name I remember right now is Alex Shaffner, the Divisional Quality Director I had some dealings with way back in the ’90’s!

    I am guessing from your comments that the GM products in Brazil are getting long in the tooth, dated compared to competitors. Discounts are typical to move old product in such circumstances. Cruze seems likely to be a winner, and that new truck should help, too. GM did have just a “little(!) bump in the road” that delayed new products, but it seems the pipeline will start to flow soon.  The new products in the U.S. are selling well at higher prices.

    btw-I hated to see Denise go so quickly, remembering her as an entry level validation engineer in Lansing years ago. 

  • avatar

    A sales manager at a Chevy dealer once told me that the cost between a Colorado and a Silverado are so close that stocking the Colorado makes no sense.   Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a redesigned Colorado for the North American market anytime soon.  Besides, the fuel economy difference between a full-size w/small block V8 and a mid-size w/ v6 is insignificant .

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