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.
“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.
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 Ford's Ranger V6 offerings, although reliable, are outdated.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...
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.
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