You Can Thank The UAW For A Truck Nobody Wants

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 Ford's Ranger V6 offerings, although reliable, are outdated.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

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    • 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.

  • Theflyersfan I was living in one part of the world when China and Russia were completing their 21st century scramble of Africa. They were pumping billions into the economies of these countries building new dams, bridges, skyscrapers, freeways/toll roads, utilities, power plants, you know - projects that would benefit the average resident of said location. All they wanted in exchange were the mineral, mining, fishing, timber, etc., rights of said location. And they got them. So during that era when they were looking at global expansion, we were fighting unwinnable wars and our "leaders" on the left were yelling at the "leaders" on the right and vice versa, and what happens when all you do is stare and focus on one thing like DC is known to do? The world moves on around you. And that's what happened here.We had the same opportunity to build Africa up and to make the same deals as other countries, but our "nation building" tends to take place via the conversion from something solid and standing to something in pieces and in rubble. So it looks like we'll continue to have to deal with hostile nations holding our feet into the fire and working through their many geopolitical issues just so we can continue to get cheap electronics and necessary materials in our manufacturing just because we decided around 40+ years ago to ship it all overseas because we wanted to save 50 cents on a pack of socks and the CEOs needed their next quarterly statement to look even better to the shareholders so they could increase their pay and bonuses, consequences be damned.
  • DweezilSFV I didn't think GM could make a worse looking truck than their full-sizers.Success.
  • DweezilSFV GM. Still trying to make OnStar happen.And still the answer to a question no one ever asked.
  • Corey Lewis Look, here's the voice warning record player!http://japanesenostalgiccar.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/datsun_810_maxima_voice_box.jpg
  • Buickman as Donnie Brosco said... Forget about it.
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