You Can Thank The UAW For A Truck Nobody Wants

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
you can thank the uaw for a truck nobody wants

Mid sized pickups allegedly were left for dead. Automotive News’ Product Editor Rick Kranz even accused Honda of “abandoning” its Ridgeline pickup. Now, the unloved segment is being resuscitated by – General Motors. And the UAW.

Says Edmunds:

“A variety of moves in the past week indicate General Motors Co. isn’t carving any headstones, after all. GM hasn’t said anything definitive lately about the fate of the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon nameplates, seeing how their assembly plant in Shreveport, LA is scheduled to close in mid-2012. But GM doesn’t have to, as it’s all but said a new midsize pickup is coming. And it’ll no emerging-market leftover – it looks magnificent and will be built in the U.S.”

Edmunds thinks that a concept version of a new midsize pickup shown at the Frankfurt auto show soon ”is the trial balloon for the next-generation Colorado/Canyon in the U.S.” The source? The UAW labor contract. Edmunds writes:

“The UAW’s summary of the contract provisions said matter-of-factly that GM’s commitments to new products to be built in the U.S. include (at its Wentzville, MO, assembly plant), “full shift added and new mid-size truck program.”

Edmunds calls it a “a notable strategic gamble given the segment’s astounding sales decline.” No kidding, as the graph above vividly illustrates.

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  • Cheezeweggie Cheezeweggie on Sep 25, 2011

    The 4x8 sheet of drywall comments make me laugh. I wonder how many suburban White Collar types use their truck bed for anything other than the Golden Retriever and the occasional barbeque grill. I've hauled plenty of plywood, drywall and 2x4's in my 79 Chevy short bed (6 ft bed), my 2000 Frontier (5 1/2ft)and my 2006 Frontier Crew Cab (5 ft). The tailgate stays down - big deal. I see plenty of Frontiers and Tacomas out there. Far too many for being a "dead" segment. These are modern powerful midsize pickups with excellent V6 engines. The Nissan 4.0 VQ truck engine is awesome. Ford's Ranger V6 offerings, although reliable, are outdated. The Colorado would have actually been better off with the old push-rod 4.3 rather than the underpowered 5-cylinder. And who designed that fugly Colorado Fisher-Price style dashboard...

    • See 2 previous
    • Luke42 Luke42 on Sep 26, 2011

      "The 4×8 sheet of drywall comments make me laugh. I wonder how many suburban White Collar types use their truck bed for anything other than the Golden Retriever and the occasional barbeque grill." Me! I'm a DIYer on weekends. That's why I bought my RWD Ranger in the first place. My wife is still amazed that you can just go to the hardware store, buy a pile of lumber, and build something -- I enjoy building stuff, and it gets me laid. Yay Though Ford and GM's market-research probably agrees with you. Which is why I've been shopping compact wagons and used minivans. Also, Harbor Fright has a nice little folding trailer for sale that I can tow behind any small car that's rated for towing. BTW, I helped a family member buy F-150 (and I'm part owner), and it's an excellent truck, and I spent a lot of time driving it around town while I was getting it outfitted. It's an excellent truck, but it's not the right tool for what I do with my truck. It's too high, too much effort to park, and the bed wasn't really any bigger than my Ranger's bed (except for the distance between the wheel-wells). It's a great fit for what this family member is doing with it (traveling thousands of miles over unimproved roads in the desert southwest), but the load-floor is too high and the footprint too large. My old Ranger is getting pretty long in the tooth, so it will be replaced sooner or later. I've thought about buying another used Ranger and putting a flatbed/ute-bed on it. Or, I might go for a compact car that can tow or a very-used minivan. I could use the extra seats at times, and the useless 4' poseur beds that I see on a lot of 4-door trucks aren't going to cut it.

  • JMII JMII on Sep 26, 2011

    As said it before and I'll say it again: I bought a V8 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab for one reason - it was "right sized". I had a Ranger (Extra Cab Splash) and the V6 didn't have the power to tow my boat. Gas mileage with the Ford 4.0l V6 was the same as the Dodge 4.7l V8, a laughable 13 mpg. The big difference being that the Dodge has no trouble pulling my boat. My truck fits (just barely) into my two car garage, I don't want a bigger truck regardless of price/power. I can't be the only one that feels this way, but based on sales of the F150 it appears so. I'd love a Dakota size truck with a small-ish diesel, you know the same kind the rest of the world uses every day. The full-size truck is an America-only thing, kind of like the soccer mom luxury SUV/CUV. Gas mileage is slowly reversing this trend as people realize they can fill 95% of their needs with a 70% smaller vehicle. However I think something special needs to hit the market place to trigger a shift in thinking. Kind of like how the Mini got people into smaller cars and how hatchbacks are making a much over due comeback. The compact truck market is out there, but it lacks a "halo" vehicle to generate any buzz... now a Jeep pickup based on the 4 door Wrangler might be the just ticket.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.