By on August 6, 2014

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The pricing announcement for GM’s mid-size trucks raised a big question at TTAC – namely, how are they supposed to compete with GM’s full-size trucks when there are such hefty rebates already available?

Reader dwford commented

“My 2014 GMC Sierra SLE Double Cab 4×4 with Z71, leather, 18″ wheels, auto climate control, heated seats, 5.3L V8 stickered for $44,455, I negotiated to $41,140 – $6750 rebates = $34,390+++. They priced the Canyon Crew Cab 4×4 V6 with leather at $37,875. Do you see the problem here…”

Aside from regulatory issues, pricing has been a big problem for smaller trucks. There generally aren’t enough customers willing to pay full-size truck money (when incentives, generous ones at that) are taken into account, for a small or mid-size truck. Yes, there are plenty of logical reasons why an individual would want one. But the business case is rarely there, and the general ethos of “bigger truck = better/more macho/more impressive” doesn’t help matters either.

I’m interested to see what GM will do in terms of marketing these trucks. As another reader noted, it will be tough to advertise the mid-size trucks, and then run ads for full-size trucks showing incentives worth thousands of dollars, if not more. The other scenario is that GM will have to discount the mid-size trucks almost immediately to ensure a healthy gap between the trucks and their pricing structure.

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222 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: The Colorado Pricing Paradox...”


  • avatar
    turbosaab

    It’s not rocket science, they will discount the Colorado too so that it’s cheaper than the full-size…

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      Are new truck customers just so accustomed to this deliberately inflated price/incentive discount song and dance that GM simply has to announce an inflated MSRP, knowing full-well that they’ll almost never sell these things for that much?

      On that note, if a stripper model with manual everything and regular cab can be had for ~$18k otd, then I might just be tempted to take a look (and I’m the last person to give GM a chance).

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        “On that note, if a stripper model with manual everything and regular cab can be had for ~$18k otd, then I might just be tempted to take a look (and I’m the last person to give GM a chance).”

        GM has a Silverado WT for you.

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          Repeating the sentiments of many on this site: I’m not interested in the Silverado in the least, tbh. Too big, too ugly, and too, um, macho?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I never really viewed the WT/XL/Tradesman level trucks from the Big 3 as macho. They are all very utilitarian and without the trappings of chrome and fancy badging.

            Just so we are clear, the Silverado WT, is shorter than the base Colorado (in both length and height). It is also only six inches wider. I’ll buy ugly, but that’s it.

          • 0 avatar
            BrunoT

            A regular cab Silverado WT is about the same length as the shortest Colorado you can buy.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        ” Are new truck customers just so accustomed to this deliberately inflated price/incentive discount song and dance that GM simply has to announce an inflated MSRP, knowing full-well that they’ll almost never sell these things for that much?”

        Blame Chrysler in 1974 for starting the whole rebate mess.

        “Get a Chrysler, get a check…”

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        Yes.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        Americans, and for that matter human beings in general, love to think they’re getting a bargain, even if they aren’t. Anyone who’s ever sold anything on Craigslist knows that you always ask more than you expect to get, because your asking price WILL get hammered.
        JC Penney built their entire brand on the “everything’s on sale” approach – so much so that when they tried to switch to a lower regular price strategy they almost went out of business – despite the fact that they were still selling essentially the same merchandise for the same actual dollar amounts.
        This seems to be working for GM so I see no reason why they would not continue to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      Rob

      I think this is the most logical answer especially when you consider they intend to woo compact cuv buyers…

      I don’t know if the mom driving a Rav4 is going to even consider cross shopping a pickup, but Chevy’s game plan has to include marketing to women (reference the big truck = macho in the article) and then discounting them to coincide with the compact cuv market so people think they are getting a deal.

      • 0 avatar
        bosozoku

        That does sound like a GM-quality recipe for sales success.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Manufacturers have botched the midsize truck market badly, and yes, there is a true, sustainable, underlying consumer/business demand for such trucks that’s been dramatically underserved & unmet.

          Here’s simple DeadWeight KISS method/criteria for producing, marketing, pricing & selling such midsize trucks (when in doubt, KISS is always best):

          1) Such midsize trucks should be 67% as large as each manufacturers’ full size truck offerings (with the sole exception of the bed, which should be offered as an option in long bed configuration),

          2) Such midsize trucks should have 67% the horsepower, torque, towing, hauling capacity as their full size brethren, while achieving 33% better fuel economy,

          3) Such midsize trucks should be priced, on an apples vs apples comparison (e.g. Base or Optioned level) at 67% of their full size truck brethren MSRP.

          BOOM.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’d be behind that 100%, DW. That’s almost exactly what I’m looking for in a pickup truck.

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            It takes the exact same amount of parts to build a smaller truck as it does a larger truck. The cost will never be that much cheaper unless it’s made of inferior materials. The length/width differences can only save a small amount of money.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @formula M: ” It takes the exact same amount of parts to build a smaller truck as it does a larger truck.” — Maybe. Maybe not.

            “The cost will never be that much cheaper unless it’s made of inferior materials.” — False. While I agree that “inferior materials” is ONE way of reducing cost, simply reducing the SIZE of the parts means they use less material in the first place–reducing the cost of the parts right up front. Meanwhile, a true, COMPACT pickup truck could weigh from 75% to 66% that of a full-sized truck, which means being as much as 1800 pounds lighter than a full sized truck. Saving 1800 pounds of material DOES mean costs are lower as long as you’re not using “exotic” materials that cost more to make (like ultra-high-strength steel).

          • 0 avatar
            formula m

            @vulpine I worked at GM while the old style Colorado was sold along side the Silverado and that was the answer I was given at the time. Rebates or programs where available on both trucks. $3500-$4000 off the Colorado and $6500+ off the Silverado so they became nearly the same. The 5.3 V8 with cylinder de-activation actually got the same or perhaps better gas mileage as the 3.7 i5 so it really didn’t make sense to buy it over a full-size unless your objective was size. Hope this new truck offers more advantages but without competition the price will stay as high as the Silverado.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @formula m – Never mind. It’s been explained to him several times in ways so simple that a reasonable 5th grader would understand. In one ear and out the other.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @formula m: … which is why Denver Mike is so blinded to truth. He’s become so focused that there simply CAN’T be a market that he refuse to accept that anybody–not even me–could want a true compact truck. Even when such trucks are VERY popular in other parts of the world.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Oh, this should be fun to watch; I’ll get the popcorn…

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      I’m waiting for the first company to admit, in the US market, that FWD and unibody are needed for a true modern “compact” pickup.

      That is the only way to get meaningfully lower pricing and better fuel economy than a full size truck.

      It looks like Ram is coming close:

      http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/is-ram-bringing-the-dakota-small-pickup-back-on-a-fiat-1608582287

      GM does also have an option in that market:

      http://www.chevrolet.com.mx/tornado.html

      Making it in Mexico in addition to Brazil would avoid the Chicken tax.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “I’m waiting for the first company to admit, in the US market, that FWD and unibody are needed for a true modern “compact” pickup.”

        There are many compact utility vans available now. It would be interesting to see a pickupified version of one of those to pacify the small truck crowd. Of course they would still be horrifically ugly and few would buy them, but that’s the most likely scenario I see for a true new compact pickup offering.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You seem to have forgotten the VW Rabbit pickup. Which isn’t entirely surprising, since few people bought one.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    Why compare pricing of a SLE Double Cab to a SLT Crew Cab? Pricing overlaps in this business. A loaded Civic costs more than a base Accord yet they somehow manage to sell lots of both.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “A loaded Civic costs more than a base Accord yet they somehow manage to sell lots of both.”

      Because there’s a market for both Civics and Accords. There’s not a market for small pickups when you can get a large pickup that gets about the same mileage for about the same price.

      Economies of scale (on larger trucks) and modern technology have made small pickups effectively redundant in North America. Unless fuel gets a lot more expensive and/or urbanization ramps up, this isn’t going to change.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @psarhjinian – some overlap in price is to be expected. The price of 1/2 ton trucks overlap in price with 1 ton trucks and no one sh!ts themselves over that fact.
        The overlap between small and large 1/2 tons is to be expected just like the overlap of HD’s and LD’s.

        Car companies have neglected the small truck class and that is part of the reason why we see poor fuel economy which is a contributor to poor sales. Same can be said for ride, features, transmissions etc. If the small trucks do not get upgrades to remain competitive then they will obviously fall behind when compared to full sized.
        We’d see a shift to 3/4 ton trucks if 1/2 ton trucks were subjected to the same neglect but HD’s got all of the bling.

        Car companies in the USA have traditionally focused on the high profit margin segments and neglected lower margin segments.

        We saw the same thing in the 70’s and 80’s. The domestic “big 3” at that time chose to focus on BOF SUV’s since emission and safety regulations made them more profitable than cars. They handed the car market to the import brands.

        We subsequently have seen a massive shift away from large BOF SUV’s to smaller CUV’s.

        A time may come where the same thing will occur to pickup trucks. We did see a trend away from large pickups with the economic downturn of 2008 and with increased fuel costs.

        • 0 avatar
          Andy

          Definitely a chicken and egg thing. “We don’t make them because they don’t sell, and there are none for sale because we don’t make any.” The mfrs. deliberately shaped the market for bigger trucks. Never mind that the last round of small domestic trucks were crap. (Sidebar: enough with the Syclone/Typhoon nostalgia – they were shitty trucks that went fast.)

          If these are any good, there will be plenty of people who still want a pickup that fits in their garage. And if they’re significantly lighter weight, they will get better real world FE.

          I am interested to see if sales skew towards the cheaper models. GM will probably spec out the first few months in very high trim levels and be shocked, shocked I say!, that buyers choose Silverados and Sierras instead *at that price point*. But they’ll get the production mix right.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “The price of 1/2 ton trucks overlap in price with 1 ton trucks and no one sh!ts themselves over that fact.”

          True, but the margins are /huge/ on half-ton and SD/HD trucks. Not so with compacts.

          “Car companies have neglected the small truck class and that is part of the reason why we see poor fuel economy which is a contributor to poor sales. ”

          I don’t think so. All the tricks that make a large truck drive well and use less fuel are equally applicable to a small truck; there’s just no point in doing so because the money just isn’t there.

          There’s nothing really stopping, say, Ford, from making a 7/10ths scale F-150 that (let’s call it the F-100) leverages all the technology of the actual F-150. The problem is that they can’t make 7/10ths the margin on the F-100; the costs associated with assembling eat up the margin.

          “Car companies in the USA have traditionally focused on the high profit margin segments and neglected lower margin segments.”

          True, and you’d be suicidal as a business not to. Say what you will about Ford or GM, but when Toyota can’t make a case for updating the Tacoma as often as the Tundra, it should tell you that there’s just no market for these things.

          “We saw the same thing in the 70′s and 80′s. The domestic “big 3″ at that time chose to focus on BOF SUV’s since emission and safety regulations made them more profitable than cars. They handed the car market to the import brands.”

          In this case, there’s no market to hand over. No one is building small trucks; it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the current Tacoma and Frontier might be the last ones we ever see.

          “We subsequently have seen a massive shift away from large BOF SUV’s to smaller CUV’s.

          A time may come where the same thing will occur to pickup trucks. We did see a trend away from large pickups with the economic downturn of 2008 and with increased fuel costs.”

          But what we didn’t see was an uptick in small truck sales. People just didn’t buy trucks, period. They bought cars and crossovers, and the OEMs scrambled like hell to get better mileage out of their high-profit vehicles.

          I wish there was a way to make a small truck profitable, but there isn’t. The closest would be to, eg, chop the back off a Honda Fit, but even that wouldn’t sell in anything resembling useful numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @psarhjinian – it isn’t so much a case of making small trucks profitable but making them as profitable as the large trucks. That is the myopic view of the car companies. They want full sized profit margins and that won’t occur.

            VW had said that they would have to sell 100,000 Amarok trucks per year in the USA to be able to make a business case for building an assembly plant. I agree that it costs almost as much to build a small truck. The labour and assembly costs are basically identical.

            We can thank the Chicken Tax for being a major contributor to the contracture of the small truck market.
            VW may need 100K per year to justify a factory but they could be profitable with an imported product.
            Ford has said that they want the USA to sign an FTA with the EU that included reciprocal acceptance of safety rules.
            Why does Ford lobby for an FTA with the EU?
            They said that it would help with the import/export of niche products.
            Those niche products would be the Ranger for the USA and the Mustang for Europe. They’d be able to import the Transit Connect tariff free since they got nailed for cheating the Chicken Tax.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Sorry Lou but the Chicken Tax has nothing to do with the fact that Americans stopped buying compact pickups. The Chicken tax was there when compact pickups grew from a minor blip in the market until they were a huge part of the market and on down to their meager remaining sales.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Lou_BC – OEMs have no reason to neglect their small trucks, other than sales/profits just aren’t there. Toyota and Nissan have no reason neglect their small trucks since their fullsize truck offerings are even less profitable. Mazda, Mitsu, Isuzu, Subaru and VW had even less reason to sabotage their own trucks.

          They also know pouring millions or billions into their small trucks is akin to just flushing it away. It’s fighting a losing battle.

          Americans have never been big fans of small trucks. All the stars lined up for the mini-truck explosion and there’s no point in hoping for another. Remaining OEMs need to just let the OEM that’s best at it, have the whole pie, instead of trying to divide it 5 ways.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Also, don’t forget the fact that for some reason, here in the US “small truck” has come to mean “full-size truck, but not as big as a giant regular-sized truck.” To extend the Civic/Accord analogy, it would be like the Civic being nearly the same size as the Accord (but give it a significantly smaller trunk), and thus being nearly the same price. Then it would not be surprising if the Civic stopped selling.

        If you want demand in both segments, those segments must be differentiated. I just don’t see enough of a difference between the Colorado & Silverado to say that. Neither fits in my garage.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          The “Chicken Tax Has No effect” camp has never been able to post definitive proof that it has never been a factor in shaping the truck market.

          I have NEVER said it was the only determinant affecting the small truck market.

          It is a contributor.

          As previously pointed out here and elsewhere – it costs almost as much to make a small truck IN THE USA as a large truck IN THE USA.

          If small trucks are dying then why not just kill the Chicken tax and let nature take its course.

          No one seems to be willing to go that route…

          WHY?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            When Toyota finally lost its chicken tax battle, the industry responded by moving truck production to NAFTA.

            The same automakers that were in the market when they used the cab-chassis exemption to avoid the tariff were the same automakers who were in it after the exemption was removed. They simply shifted production to NAFTA if they hadn’t already, and continued to offer them.

            The automakers only discontinued those trucks years later, after the market for small trucks began to shrink. Much of that demographic shifted to SUVs and the like, while Toyota became the clear segment leader.

            The US is a highly competitive, price-driven market. Low prices require more scale. Hence, the US ends up with less variety because we won’t pay enough to support low volume, low cost vehicles.

            If the marketplace wants more small truck options, then there are two basic choices:

            1. Demand more trucks, i.e. buy more volume
            2. Pay more for each unit in order to make up for the lack of scale

            Neither of those things is going to happen. If the internet truck fanatics aren’t going to put their money where their mouths are (and they won’t), then they shouldn’t expect more. Automakers are not a charity; if you want them to play, then you need to pay.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            1. Demand more trucks, i.e. buy more volume
            * Kind of hard to buy what doesn’t exist.

            2. Pay more for each unit. in order to make up for the lack of scale.
            * How can you pay more for something that doesn’t exist?

            If the marketplace (meaning buyers) want small trucks, they need to HAVE small trucks in order to buy them. Since the smallest truck currently available is almost ¼ larger than its first-generation model with some nearly ⅓ larger, the trucks we want simply don’t exist any more except in used form. THAT, and only that is the reason fifteen to twenty five year old compacts in good condition are commanding the high prices they are.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      As far as passenger comfort, a double cab Silverado (the middle sized cab offering) is probably equivalent to a crew cab Colorado (largest offering). Both have leather and alloys which is a pretty traditional, simple way to show they are pretty evenly equipped.

      Interesting to note that truedelta doesn’t do the price comparison on trucks. They only do cars and SUVs. I guess there are way too many different permutations of trucks to get an accurate comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Actually the “crew cab” midsize pickups have close to the same legroom as fullsize “extra cabs”, when front and rear legroom are combined, give or take an inch. It makes perfect sense to compare them. Except fullsize seat up to 6. Or 4 without rubbing shoulders.

        • 0 avatar
          BrunoT

          I have a supercab F150 myself, and have had a Tacoma crew cab and have been considering a Colorado/Canyon Crew cab. There are a few technical differences in seating position, seatback rake, and seat folding layout that may give the smaller truck’s crew cab an advantage here over an extended cab full size truck. But the main reason I’d switch is not the back seat. It’s the bulk and ride/handling characteristics of the bigger vs smaller truck. Plus the garaging issues. I have to fold (electric thankfully) my mirrors to get in the garage when backing a trailer in. And I could maneuver my trailer better inside my double depth garage if it wasn’t so close to the wall. So I think the buyers will come from those who say “too big” to full sizers. I have had both and use them for work towing 3000 lbs or so and there are pros/cons to each.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Pch101 – If you kill the importation of small trucks from jurisdictions with lower labour cost you force companies to build small trucks in a cost environment that puts them on par with big trucks.

        What the f^ck do you think would happen to WalMart if they were forced to buy their goods from the USA at a 25% premium and not from China?

        Prices go up 25% or people stop buying at WalMart.

        You can’t sell an economical small truck made in the USA because they are not economical to make in the USA. People expect a lower price point.

        BTW – where is all of your proof that tariffs have zero effect on the truck market?
        Anecdotal proof is akin to locker room bravado. Time to drop the towel and admit your argument isn’t very well hung.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The biggest problem is that there are other vehicles parked on the dealer’s lot that are more appealing to most people. Drag the wife over to the Chevy dealership, and she’ll probably favor the Equinox over the Colorado. In the average American household, a woman will either make or influence the purchase, and she is unlikely to be interested in the smaller truck.

    A secondary issue is related to allocations. The large trucks have significant profit margin, and the OEM makes allocation decisions based upon which dealers can move volume. All things being equal, it makes more sense for the dealer to push the big trucks than the smaller ones because that will give it access to more of the most desirable product.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Pch101- trucks tend to be purchased as a secondary vehicle. I walk my neighbourhood and every yard has 2 vehicles. Most tend to be a car or CUV paired with a pickup from all 3 classes. It all depends on the size of the trailers in the back yard.

      “a woman will either make or influence the purchase, and she is unlikely to be interested in the smaller truck.”

      but she won’t mind driving a 20 ft 1/2 ton long behemoth to take the kids to soccer?

      People think 1/2 ton trucks offer more cargo and towing capacity but most have cargo capacities comparable to small trucks. That is where the disconnect lies – perceived capacity.

      Most 1/2 tons with max tow packages can tow that 33 ft long trailer BUT only if the truck is completely empty with the family at home.

      We’d see a shift to 3/4 ton trucks if most truck buyers actually understood tow and haul ratings or gross combined weight ratings.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “but she won’t mind driving a 20 ft 1/2 ton long behemoth to take the kids to soccer?”

        According to the sales figures, yes.

        I realize that these threads are magnets for cognitive dissonance, but the market share for these things is low. The share in Canada is even lower than it is in the US.

        I’m not sure how much clearer that this needs to be for guys like you to understand that very few people are buying them. The marketplace is a sort of democracy in which people vote with their wallets, and your favorite candidate isn’t popular.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @PCH101

          Buying what? Currently the only smaller trucks on sale are ancient and overpriced offerings from Toyota and Nissan. Which are bought by people who would never even consider buying an American truck for the most part, and many American truck buyers would not consider a foreign brand.

          We don’t know yet how an up-to-date “smaller, but not exactly small” truck from one of the major truck makers will sell, because there weren’t any until now. The Ranger was also ancient, and tiny. The previous GM offerings were complete and utter drek, and were sold in a time when gas was cheap, and full size trucks had not reached quite the excesses of late.

          Maybe the Colorado sinks like a stone, maybe it is a surprise hit. No way to know yet. For the moment, GM has a market to itself though.

          Personal anecdote – I have two friends dying to try out Colorados. Both have current generation F-150s that they have found to be just too big to be practical. One bought a new house and the F-150 is 4 inches too long to fit in his garage. So sometimes, a little smaller is all it will take. I don’t think anyone wants a return to the tiny import trucks of the ’70s, but a return to the size of a full-size of the ’80s is probably spot on, and that seems to be what these new trucks are.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The market share has been plummeting for years. It should be obvious that the market has moved on, even if a few guys on the internet have not.

            This is the proverbial manual transmission diesel station wagon with a bed on the back. Ten guys squawking about it endlessly on the internet does not translate into a market.

            TMC owns this space. If more frequent upgrades were lucrative, then they would already be making them. You may not like Toyota, but they know far more about this than you do.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            PCH
            TMC isn’t the same TMC they were in the late 80’s early 90’s. They don’t change jack shit until they have to, and even then it is really only because the competition demands it. How long have the let the Corolla, Camry and Tacoma rot on the vine until they had to do something with it. The only reason the Tacoma gets a pass is because it doesn’t have competition. Now it will, and things could easily change.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            PonchoIndian: “How long have the let the Corolla, Camry and Tacoma rot on the vine until they had to do something with it.”

            I guess “rot on the vine” is a pretty good strategy. Those are leaders or close to leaders in their segments for some years.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Kix
            Depends on what you consider a leader.

            the Corolla was never a leader in anything. It was purchased as an appliance.

            the Camry was very similar, although it did have some years that it was actually a good car with spirit, but that was a long time ago.

            The Tundra was a leader by default, and hasn’t had any meaningful update in so long it isn’t even funny.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            hybrid

            Top selling nameplate is not the same as top selling car.

            Ford could have slapped Motel T badges on a car for the last 90 years and had the same sales numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            PonchoIndian: “the Corolla was never a leader in anything. It was purchased as an appliance.”

            Doesn’t matter why it was purchased; it was purchased. Ditto the Camry. They’re either leaders or number two in their categories for a long time.

            Toyota builds cars in the relentless pursuit of money. In fact, that’s the entire reason for the car business, even for Detroit, although it’s sometimes hard to tell. If people like to buy appliances that have been rotting on the vine for years, then building appliances and letting them rot on the vine and make tons of money is a great plan.

            “Rot on the vine,” is rather an overstatement, too. Toyota refreshes these cars periodically (new Camry in ’07 or ’08 and again in ’12 or ’13). The Cruze has been in production since 2008 or so and is destined to go another year. GM must like Toyota’s playbook.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Kix
            The Cruze has been sold in the US since 2011. I’m only noting US sales. If we get into anything other than that things get quite muddy since we all know that, for example, the Accord in its current form is only sold that way here in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            PI:

            The Cruze was designed long before it reached us. One might say it was stale as soon as it launched in the US. Considering how useless the Cobalt was, it’s practically a crime that GM didn’t make selling it here in 2009 a priority.

            As for the Corolla… It’s a leader. You can quibble all you like about whether or not it’s the all-time sales leader (Model T? Talk about rotting on the vine… but it worked) because Toyota changed it from RWD to FWD, etc, over the years, but “Corolla” has always been Toyota-speak for “compact car.”

            In fact, I don’t care – nobody cares – if you think it’s the all-time sales leader or not… Toyota sells craploads of them and makes gobs of money doing so. GM would love to have this sort or problem with the Cruze.

            Ditto the Camry/Malibu.

            Toyota builds cars to make money. Toyota has noticed that they can do this very effectively with appliances that provide very satisfactory service even if they don’t get refreshed as often as you seem to think appropriate.

            There are other business models. Many of them seem to lead straight to the corporate dumpster. Others take the long and winding road to the corporate dumpster.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Hey Kix,
            Thanks for reiterating what I already knew about the Cruze. That is why I said US sales. I guess you just needed to hear yourself talk more?

            The Cruze was the 5th best selling car in the world in 2013, the Corolla was 2nd, the Focus #1. I don’t think Chevy or Ford have to be jealous of Toyota’s success.

            I understand that everything Toyota makes gets you all hot and bothered. You’ve made that clear. I’m just trying to add some logic to the topic. The name Corolla is the best selling name. The Corolla itself has been changed so many times since inception that it is hard to justify saying that it is the most popular car ever made. Even the damn wikipedia page agrees with my view on it.

            And FWI, it was a sub-compact before it was a compact. And no, I don’t care one bit what you think of my opinion. Continue to follow the sheep my friend.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I don’t think Chevy or Ford have to be jealous of Toyota’s success.”

            You have enough jealousy for both of them.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Pch
            Ah, jealousy is probably one of the character traits that I’ve never been accused of having. Not sure where you picked up that bit of garble

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The linkage between GM fanboys and Toyotaphobia is clear. The resentnik factor is impossible to miss.

            I suppose that it’s painful for you that TMC obviously ate your favorite car company for lunch. It’s just easier for you to demonize the other side than it is to learn from it.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            PCH
            I think calling me a GM fanboy (one again not having a decent argument so resulting to name calling, classy) is pretty inaccurate. Not sure where you get that from, my next new purchase will actually be a Ford.

            Toyota used to be a great engineering company. Now, they are just large and slow, kind of like the old GM only without the character. They used to have at least a few interesting car, now, zero.

            Toyota didn’t quite eat anyone for lunch. If you can’t fathom their poor economy and their government assistance through multiple channels helping to keep them propped up, well then you are the “fanboy”. Once they can start making something other than an appliance for a vanilla middle of the road buyer, then maybe I’ll respect them again.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Pch101 – Buying is like Democracy like the style in the USA???……….. you spend a billion to get elected.

          I’m not denying the fact that most prefer large trucks but you do deny the fact that a 25% tariff effects the truck landscape.

          I’m well aware what cognitive dissonance means and unless you happen to have a degree in Psychology, you aren’t going to be able to teach me anything new about how the mind works.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “the Corolla was never a leader in anything”

            Yeah, you’re right, officially the top selling car of all time, to the tune of 40 million+ units globally, and currently (still) the top selling car. Certainly not a sales leader…
            /sarcasm

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “Top selling nameplate is not the same as top selling car.

            Ford could have slapped Motel T badges on a car for the last 90 years and had the same sales numbers.”

            So Toyota somehow cheated? Where’s your cutoff date? How far back can we go and have it still be the same car by your definition? Here’s a hint: limiting it to more recent years only makes your assertion look even more ridiculous…

            Corolla took the #1 global spot 3 of the last 5 years, and was only barely edged out by the Focus in the other 2 years.
            That’s a sales leader by any definition.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            How is my assertion ridiculous? Because it doesn’t jive with the media’s hoopla?

            The only cars that really deserve the all time best selling plaque are the Motel T, the Beetle and the Golf.

            They were at least still the same basic chassis configuration start to finish. The Corolla nameplate (like Cutlass) has been slapped on everthing for a rwd hatchback to a 4 door fwd sedan to an awd sorta crossover.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The contortions that GM fans will go through in order to take swipes at Toyota is something to behold.

            Corolla is a successful nameplate. There’s really no rational way to deny that. The fact that the Corolla is adapted to local tastes doesn’t change the fact that many consumers spend money on something that is called a Corolla.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “you do deny the fact that a 25% tariff effects the truck landscape.”

            I simply acknowledge that it doesn’t. The facts point in that direction.

            The tariff isn’t a factor because there are plenty of ways to avoid paying it. This should not be hard to understand, but you are such a committed fanboy that you don’t want to understand it. You’re bewildered by the fact that the marketplace doesn’t share your tastes.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “Toyota didn’t quite eat anyone for lunch. If you can’t fathom their poor economy and their government assistance through multiple channels helping to keep them propped up…”

            Where are you getting this nonsense from? Toyota is in record profit territory as we speak, they don’t need to be “propped up” by anyone. And don’t start pontificating on Japanese monetary policy or Abenomics – Toyota benefitting from a weak yen is no different than how US domestic manufacturing benefits from a weak dollar (with regard to export trade). In neither case is the currency market propping up anyone.

            The correlation between the health of a nation’s economy and that of its domestic-based manufacturing sector is loose at best, and often nonexistent (some US corps were making record profits near the end of 2010 while the US economy was still in recession). If you can’t fathom that…

            I’ve already learned that challenging your comments is a futile endeavor, but as long as you keep making these dubious remarks I’m going to continue to call you on it – if only for the sake of other less informed readers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Pch101: By making your followup statement, “I simply acknowledge that it doesn’t,” you confirmed that you deny that the 25% tariff affects the truck landscape. You go farther to confirm it with the statement, “because there are plenty of ways to avoid paying it,” which means that they have to spend other moneys to get around it, therefore still paying more than economically feasible to bring in a true truck. Were that 25% tariff NOT having any effect, then we would see a lot more trucks from a lot more OEMs.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Lou_BC: but she won’t mind driving a 20 ft 1/2 ton long behemoth to take the kids to soccer?

        Have you checked what is parked in the driveways of homes in many upscale neighborhoods? Plenty of women are now driving 18+ foot behemoths, but they prefer them to have names like “Suburban,” “Yukon XL” and “Escalade.”

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It’s next to impossible to get fanboys to see reason. Expecting them to understand sales figures and trends is simply not within the realm of possibility.

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            We understand, we just don’t want to be assimlated into the corporate horde.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Automakers are multinational corporations making mass produced products. If you want to be a rugged individualist, then go build your own car.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You’re right, you can’t. I mean, if there are no sales figures or trends to reference, how can they POSSIBLY see reason?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – post the economic papers, scholarly articles, research conclusions et al that back your side of the debate.

            ” The facts point in that direction.”

            Based on your narrow paradigm. You are seeing the world through a box over your head with a few peep holes.

            If all you do is face due south, you aren’t going to be able to see any other direction.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m not debating anything. I am providing a summary of the facts of what actually occurred. When the cab-chassis exemption was halted, the automakers shifted production and kept building trucks until the demand began to decline.

            When you can figure out how the Mercedes Sprinter that is built in Germany can be sold in the US for several thousand dollars less than it is in Germany, even though it is partially disassembled and then reassembled in the US, then you will finally grasp how this stuff works in real life.

            But I have repeatedly asked you to do that, and you obviously never have. You continually recite the same talking points without having any actual idea of the real world implications of policy matters. Econ is not your forte, and I don’t think that anyone on this website is going to get you to learn it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @geeber – I made that point to show how lame that comment was.

          If a woman has no problem driving an Escalade or a Super Duty, why is she going to have a problem driving a Colorado?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “If a woman has no problem driving an Escalade or a Super Duty, why is she going to have a problem driving a Colorado?”

            It’s pretty obvious that the market prefers the larger trucks. We know that from the sales figures.

            Women make or influence about 80% of vehicle purchases. So some of you fanboy types who might be inclined to buy one of these smaller trucks are going to get vetoed, since you have someone who has to agree with your purchase decision. Chances are good that she won’t.

            What matters most is how people spend their money, not how they pretend to want to spend it while on the internet. Money talks and BS walks. I’m following the money, whereas cowpies are evidently more to your tastes.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Lou_BC: “If a woman has no problem driving an Escalade or a Super Duty, why is she going to have a problem driving a Colorado?”

            In the case of the Escalade, she drives it because in certain neighborhoods, the full-size GM SUVs are status symbols.

            They fill the role held by the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight, Buick Electra and Cadillac DeVille in the 1960s and 1970s.

            A Chevrolet Colorado will not be a status symbol.

            I don’t see many women driving a Super Duty around here. Super Dutys are generally driven by men.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – since you are not debating anything then please provide the scholarly articles, research papers, documented history that you are basing your revisionistic history lesson upon.

            Like I said earlier -Anecdotal proof is akin to locker room bravado. Time to drop the towel and admit your argument isn’t very well hung.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Hybrid,
            You haven’t really called me out on anything, you just keep moving your target when you realize that I have a valid point.

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          “How is my assertion ridiculous?”

          Your assertion that “the Corolla was never a leader in anything” is wholly and patently ridiculous. If you don’t see that then no amount of arguing the point will make you see it.
          Do have a nice day.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Well, when you keep changing the rules to intepret what I said then you are right, there is no reason to continue. Good day Sir.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – stop blowing smoke up my ass and post the irrefutable proof that the Chicken tax has no effect on the market.

            Interesting tangent – men are pussy whipped into buying monster SUV’s and pickups to keep their wives happy.

            Correct in as much as “supersizeme” is an ingrained trait of the American psyche.

            Those big luxury SUV’s are purchased as a sign of affluence. No different than a hand full of huge rings.

            That sort of mentality worked out real well for the USA in 2008.

            BTW – arrogance and condescension isn’t a very effective means of showing the world you think you are correct.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “You haven’t really called me out on anything, you just keep moving your target when you realize that I have a valid point.”

            You keep repeating this, and yet you (still) seem unable to explain how your point was valid in the first place.

            I’ve seen all sorts of debating tactics used when someone doesn’t have the knowledge or intellect to credibly argue their position, but this one makes me chuckle every time. You might think it makes you sound clever, but really it just makes you appear delusional. Either that or you’re just another 15-year-old with internet access.
            And I say that with all due respect (which is not much at this point).

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Dear Hybridkiller

            I thought you left? You continue to dance around the (supposed) issue.

            How have my opinions not been valid? Do you work for Toyota, or are you butt hurt for some other reason?

            There are plenty of sources out there on how the Japanese government had done things to protect their auto industry (even a 37 year former toyota executive has said that they heavily invested in the development of the Prius)

            So what exactly is your question here? You seem to just be talking out of your ass and trying to insult (for whatever reason, if it makes you feel better about your life…).

            So call me out or go away.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        PCH

        You don’t exactly have a perfect track record on stuff like this…

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/naias-buick-encore-revealed-gives-us-morning-sickness/#comment-1831534

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          sundridge,
          Yes, but PCH thinks he knows what he is talking about and thinks he’s smarter than everyone else (even if it is just the same dribble over and over) so he must be right to someone…

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          YTD sales:

          Honda CR-V: 183,214
          Toyota RAV-4: 143,731
          Buick Encore: 27,718

          Go figure.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            hey smart guy
            The Encore doesn’t compete with the CR-V or the RAV-4.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Of course. In the universe of GM fanboys, there are no competitors.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            They aren’t even in the same size class.

            The fact that you used the term “fanboys” instead of giving a good reason why they are comparable discredits the majority of what you have to say.

            Terms like fanboys and fail really speak of one’s ego size.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            As long as you’re counting PCH:

            Equinox/Terrain: 207,606
            Honda CR-V: 183,214
            Toyota RAV-4: 143,731
            Buick Encore: 27,718

            I think you’re smart enough to understand my point about the Encore and your prediction before it came out.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I pointed out in the earlier thread that “The CR-V and RAV4 are the class leaders in this segment, and this is smaller than both.”

            I was obviously aware of the difference, and sure enough, the Buick sells far fewer copies, which is what I said would happen. Some of you folks need to read the comments to which you are responding.

            “I think you’re smart enough to understand my point about the Encore and your prediction before it came out.”

            Apparently not, as my expectations were low, and the sales figures have been consistent with my low expectations.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            They aren’t in the same class! What part of that don’t you understand? Buick does not offer an SUV in the CRV RAV class, that is the Terrain and Equinox.

            The Encore is in the class with the Countryman and X1 and Audi Q3, all much smaller than the CRV and RAV.

            Apples to Apples, not some made up fiction.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Great, I’m arguing with people who can’t read.

            It should be obvious that I know there is a size difference, since I’m the one who pointed it out.

            The point of the original post was to predict that it wouldn’t move a lot of units. That’s what I predicted, and so far, I’ve been proven right.

            What I find amusing is that I have two of you trying to claim that my accurate forecast was inaccurate. Perhaps you think that these sales figures are stunning, when they’re obviously not.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            “The Encore is in the class with the Countryman and X1 and Audi Q3, all much smaller than the CRV and RAV.”

            If I ever locate someone who bought an Encore, I’ll ask him (or her) what he (or she) cross-shopped.

            As far as I can tell, Buick does not compete with BMW or Audi. At all, never mind the Encore.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The base price of an Encore is several hundred dollars above that of a RAV4 and CR-V, and a good $6+k below that of the BMW and Audi.

            It’s obvious to those who aren’t GM fanboys that Buick’s direct competition is not German.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Kix
            Regardless of what you might think, the Encore competes with the other smallest crossovers in the class, those being the Countryman, X1 and Q3. You don’t even have to go further than some of the magazines where they tested the Encore vs the X1.

            None of the vehicles I listed are in the same class as the family haulers knows as CRV, Equinox et al. They are all smaller and aimed at the empty-nesters or younger crowd looking for small luxury.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          PCH

          I was talking more about:

          ‘I’m having trouble seeing the point of this.’

          and

          ‘I doubt that they’ll be able to sell enough of these in the US to have made the federalization efforts worthwhile’

          OEMs are now tripping over themselves trying to get offerings in this segment.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If it cost a few hundred million dollars or more to federalize it, then yes, I’m still having trouble seeing it. You act as if they are producing this with no fixed costs to amortize.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            PCH

            Come on now. I never claimed no amortization. The Trax/Encore/Mokka/Encore sold over 250k units globally in 2013 and it is going to sell a hell of a lot more in 2014. It was designed and engineered to be sold in US/Canada originally….Trax has been sold in Canada since it launched.

            Yes…there were some costs to bring the Encore here. Even if it was $200 million (which I doubt) then it’ll be paid for by the end of this model year if there is $3k margin in each unit. Then, the rest is gravy.

            The reason people called you out on the size and segment in was your post from 2 hours ago listing Encore sales against larger Crossovers…not your comments from two years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You obviously missed the point of my earlier post.

            I don’t see how explaining it again is going to help. You obviously blew it with your effort to “correct” an observation that proved to be true.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Ok dude.

            Didn’t think the target for success on the Encore was 300k units in the US. Obviously you did and it is a failure like you predicted.

            Carry on.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Gentlemen, Please! It’s not True Hillbilly Love Deluxe until she has the spare keys to your truck.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    “. . . And the general ethos of “bigger truck = better/more macho/more impressive” doesn’t help matters either.”
    That is the problem. Most people are obsessed with size. Must be human nature.

  • avatar
    Fred

    This was my issue in 1999. I wanted a small truck, but I also wanted a nice interior. By the time I got done optioning it up I was about $2000 less than a full size truck and I get a V8 that got about 2 mpg less. Some 15 years later it seems nothing has changed and I still have my 99 Silverado even tho the AC just went out for the third time.

  • avatar
    velvet fog

    I expect a 3/4 sized price to go along with a 3/4 scale truck. Maybe I’m old fashioned.

  • avatar
    Timothy Cain

    Assuming they will have to, “discount the mid-size trucks almost immediately to ensure a healthy gap between the trucks and their pricing structure,” imagine how positive the attention we’re paying to the truck would be if they skipped that step and announced an MSRP that was as aggressive as what its OTD price will have to be.

    Imagine.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      One can presume that this project was given the green light because the business case was based upon a price point of X and volume of Y.

      Cut that price point by a few grand and the volume by 40%, and that business case goes away. Hence, the inflated numbers all the way around.

      • 0 avatar
        Timothy Cain

        I’m not arguing that they give up on their business plan before the vehicle arrives, only that IF the business plan takes into account significant incentivizing (in order to undercut incentivized Silverados), could we assume that the amount of positive attention paid to the Colorado/Canyon in the lead-up to the launch would dramatically increase? And would that dramatic increase in attention – “Hey look wow, it’s only $17,995, $22,995 for this, $25,996 for that, $29,999 as shown!” – potentially be more of a motivator for buyers than neon signs outside dealers saying, “$5000 off leftover 2015 Colorados!”?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          My point is that at the lower price points, the business case doesn’t work.

          Hence, they come out of the gate with higher prices, then offer the incentives later when they realize that they have no choice. The alternative wasn’t to offer lower MSRPs but to not build it at all.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        PCH101: “One can presume that this project was given the green light because the business case was based upon a price point of X and volume of Y. Cut that price point by a few grand and the volume by 40%, and that business case goes away. Hence, the inflated numbers all the way around.”

        Because “marketing” at GM is a synonym for “fantasizing?”

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I would replace “fantasizing” with “getting things through committee.” It would seem that in order to get things approved that the guys who champion these ideas need to oversell the benefits.

          Realistic figures would have likely torpedoed this before it ever started.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Yeah, there’s that.

            Nobody checks for “realistic” figures after the dust settles. It would be instructive to walk back through old projects and see which managers are good at estimating and forecasting and which are total losers. As it is, if someone has moved up, anything left behind is just the dead past.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Timothy Cain, Pch101 – car companies will not provide lower MSRP’s out of the gate for several reasons:
          – there will always be buyers that will walk onto the show room floor and go “hmmmmm shinyyyy” and pay what ever the asking price will be.
          – There will be others that will walk in and haggle. Knocking $3,000 of off the price keeps the buyer happy and the car company happy because that 3k margin is built in.
          – trade in. Dealers accept trades but more often than not at full MSRP. They woo the buyer by saying will give you 6k for that 3k car and once again everyone walks away happy.
          – The hope also exists that if the economy improves enough they will stop incentiv-zing the product all together.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Exactly this. I have absolutely no doubt that they have already baked in sufficient incentives to keep the relative margins between the Colorado and the Silverado intact.

            GM may be a little dysfunctional, but they are not stupid for the most part.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “GM may be a little dysfunctional, but they are not stupid for the most part.”

            You may have missed the bankruptcy, the new Malibu with the inadequate back seat, the hybrid Tahoe, the hardtop ELR, and a few other noteworthy errors.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @PCH101

            Sure seems to me like they have had a LOT more hits than misses of late. Cruze, Impala, the sundry trucks and SUVs. Almost everything Buick, the ATS and CTS, the new Corvette. And no one would EVER accuse me of being a GM fan of any kind. Every company has hits and misses. But you don’t get anywhere not taking a chance once in a while, and these new trucks seem like a pretty good bet to me.

            I’ll even go out on a limb and predict that this is the future of “1/2 ton” light duty pickups. We can get back together in 10-15 years and see who is right.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Here’s the thing: These are neither compact NOR mid-size pickups, in my mind. They’re large trucks. Yes, perhaps they’re slightly smaller than the smallest version of the Silverado, but the Silverado is a HUGE truck.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      That is my take on it as well. The full sized pickup has grown so large that they make full sized pickups of 1980’s and 1990’s look downright compact. Perhaps they are getting so large that they are turning people away from the segment. If you cannot park it in your garage, navigate an urban environment, etc, etc. I see the Colorado/Canyon as just a different trim in some respects. Lots of people dont need a truck or need one very infrequently, this gives them an option. For those who never need a truck, but just like to drive them, this may fit the bill perfectly, slightly cheaper, slightly smaller, slightly more efficient….why not. Sure there will be incentives, but this gives GM a foot in the door where they had nothing before. If gas prices spike dramatically, you could see a dramatic shift to these smaller trucks. It is a good hedge for a company heavily reliant on trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “If gas prices spike dramatically, you could see a dramatic shift to these smaller trucks.”

        We already had a gas price spike. The smaller trucks lost more market share than the larger ones.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The current small trucks are ancient crap, because Toyota and Nissan have had no competition for eons.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          “The smaller trucks lost more market share than the larger ones.”

          New truck sales appear to have migrated to a social class that previously would have never considered them. Affluent families learned to love SUVs in the ’90s and have transferred much of that affection to 4-door pickups. 40-60k pricing doesn’t phase them.

          The size and price of pickups have grown along with their degree of adoption by people whose experience of “work trucks” is limited to enduring contractors parking them on and around their properties.

          In the process, traditional personal buyers of pickups, the lower middle-class working for those contractors and other service employers, have been abandoned by manufacturers who don’t want to sell smaller, cheaper trucks at all. Why should they?

          While it sucks to be part of that abandoned group, I think the present strength of the market for palatial pickups gives an indication of how wealthy Americans in aggregate still are. Widening wealth gap indeed, but the fortunate ones are still legion and trucks have managed to grunt their way into that camp.

          Does this make sense?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The small truck market and large truck market don’t have much overlap. Part of the problem with these threads is that many posters assume that the vehicles have much in common because they have a bed in the back, when they’re actually discrete vehicle classes with different demographics.

            The small trucks were affordable lifestyle vehicles for many of the buyers during their heyday. Many of them have since left the segment for other vehicles, such as smaller crossovers.

            The large trucks have indeed morphed into status vehicles for a substantial percentage of the buying pool. The full-size truck can wear a lot of hats from a commercial work horse to serving as de facto luxury cars; the wide range in pricing makes them quite profitable, as it doesn’t take that much extra cash to turn a low-end truck into a high dollar vehicle with a $20-30k price premium.

            A lot of the factors that drove the popularity of smaller trucks three or four decades ago have since left the American marketplace. That obviously isn’t the case with the large trucks, which still have a substantial following.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @petezeiss – The interesting thing is that when times get tough the upper class still has money to spend. I believe that is your point.
            We unfortunately are seeing a vehicle purchase bubble developing due to subprime extreme duration loans. The middle class is rapidly loosing the ability to buy trucks as a luxury item so financing is keeping volumes up.

            I recently saw a RV dealer advertising super cheap monthly payments on 25 – 35K camper trailers. The fine print was 144 – 156 month loans.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I can see the 4 cyl extended cab 2wd Colorado/Canyon being popular with fleets (as long as GM can get the price low enough) depending on what the job description is. I’ve noticed in this area lots of city water/sewage/electrical/parks and rec supervisors were given these trucks because they didn’t have to carry much or tow anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      My son has a 2WD, 4 cyl, GMC Canyon, Extended Cab. He uses it for commuting a few miles to work, picking up lumber and gardening stuff from Home Depot, and taking garbage to the dump. It fits in his garage, is easy to park at the local mall, isn’t hard on gas, didn’t cost a fortune to buy, and maintenance costs are reasonable. He’s happy as he11 with it.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        And some people will pay more for the privilege and some won’t. American culture pretty much champions the pay by the pound. GM is even counting on it with a crapy Malibu and a wonderful Impala. The company is banking that when the customer starts complaining to the dealer about the Malibu’s short comings the salesman can say: “Well for just $** per month you could have an Impala.”

        I wonder if that is the strategy with the Colorado/Canyon as well?

  • avatar
    sofast1

    I bought my ’97 S-10 w/reg cab,5 spd,4.3 V-6,LT(console,buckets,a/c)for less than $14k. These trucks will have to be heavily discounted or they’ll be gone in a few years. On the other hand….never underestimate the stupidity of the American consumer.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      That works in both directions you know, sofast. Too many buyers are already paying ridiculous prices for those full-sized trucks. My local Ford lot doesn’t have a single model priced at less than $40K on the lot. Sure, there may be discounts, but why would I even consider paying $35K if I can find something that better fits my needs at $30K or less?

      • 0 avatar
        sofast1

        Yep,there’s a lot of folks out there with more money (or credit) than brains. They still believe that bigger is better, more is macho. They buy big trucks/suvs that they don’t need and houses that they can’t afford. It’s the American dream! Everybody needs a $40k truck!

        How many times have you seen a woman all alone sitting in her gigantic suv in the grocery store parking lot talking on her cell phone with the a/c on? What me worry? Everybody needs a 5,000 lb. $40k vehicle to go grocery shopping!

        No way these morons with money are going to buy a smaller truck,’specially if it’s only $5k less (that’s only $70 a month less).

        BTW; The new Colorado is as big as a not-very-old Silverado, just like the new Corolla is as big as the older Camry,just like the Civic is as big as Accords used to be. See a trend? Not only are we being forced to buy bigger cars but we’re forced to buy options we don’t need/want because they’re part of a “group”. This is a big part (still, only a part) of the reason why cars cost so much now and why the manufacturers are making record profits (despite all the recalls).

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      Dude, that was almost 20 years ago.

      Never underestimate the stupid comments about price differences in 20 years worth of time on TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        sofast1

        So you’re o.k. with prices doubling every 17 years? Will you be ready to pay $70-80k for a truck in 2031? What else has doubled in price since ’97? The price of cars has gone up over the years at a much faster pace than everything else,do you think that’s accidental?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Prices have not doubled for similar vehicles. A 2014 Camry is not double the price of a 1997 Camry. A 2015 Colorado is not remotely comparable to a ’97 S-10. A 2015 Colorado is more comparable to a ’97 Silverado.

          Average transaction price is WAY up because people are buying nicer cars and trucks, not because like cars have gotten crazily more expensive. 20 years ago the loaded version had little more content (often less) than today’s low trim line. Cars have tracked inflation quite well, and if you adjust for content they are crazily cheaper than they used to be. And more reliable and longer lasting for the money.

          • 0 avatar
            sofast1

            Read my post again, I said comparable vehicles have gotten BIGGER. Thanks for agreeing (as I said in my post)that the new Colorado is like the Silverado used to be. And yes, the price of the new Colorado (the vehicle we & the article are talking about)equipped like my S-10 LS will be close to $30k. Double the price of my 97 S-10.

            I think a lot of people were hoping for a truck the size of S-10s and the old Rangers ,Tacomas (which are now Tundra size)and Frontiers at a substansialy lower price than the big boys. Not in the cards. We get a truck a little bit smaller and a little bit lower price.

            Maybe we’ll have to wait for Hyundai to build a smaller truck at a smaller price.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            If they are bigger, they are not comparable. There is nothing on the market comparable to an S-10. And in this I agree with PCH101 – there is very little market for a truck THAT small anymore. ’97 was also the peak of the GM “we will lose money on every vehicle but make it up in volume era”.

            For vehicle categories that still exist, prices have NOT outpaced inflation. Prices may have outpaced SOME peoples pocketbooks, but that is a different discussion.

  • avatar
    dwford

    There are going to be some buyers who just don’t want the physically larger truck. But let’s not forget the salesman’s role in all this. Pretty much every customer that comes in as price conscious, and it’s an obvious flip to turn a customer to the less expensive option. Any salesman would do that. Also, customers aren’t blind to value for the dollar. Even if the Colorado nets out cheaper after incentives, there surely won’t be the option to get $10,000 off like I did on my Sierra. It’s also not that hard a bump for a salesman to up sell the full size truck if the price difference isn’t that pronounced.

    In the end GM will probably sell more of the base models to fleets than high trim models to consumers. That’s how it was with the Ranger at the end.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @dwford – salesmen always try to push the most expensive product onto the consumer. The whole “it will only add 10 dollars a month to the payment” sales pitch gets used every time. Even the company web sites list cost per month for each option.
      I’ve had this happen when looking at small trucks and full-sized.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Salesmen do not always push the more expensive product on the customer. In a world where every car was sold at sticker price, then yes, because the salesman would make more money. But most times the salesman is finding any way possible to get the sale, any sale, and will steer customers towards the vehicle that will get them the sale the easiest. Since most vehicles are sold at a discount off MSRP, salesmen are looking at other areas of compensations – factory spin money, quota bonuses – not just gross profit. And any salesman would rather get A sale than NO sale.

        So if pushing the customer into a full size truck works better for the customer – lower payment – and for the salesman, you can bet that that salesman is throwing that midsize truck under the bus.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @dwford – I have yet to encounter a salesman that didn’t try to upsell.

          I refuse to tell salesman the price I’m willing to spend. I tell them what I want and then ask to be shown what they got that is the closest match.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Also, Ford and Ram don’t have a smaller truck who’s pricing they are trying to protect by minimizing discounts on the full size trucks, so they will be full bore gunning for market share, and GM will have no choice but to follow.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    OR, they may back off on the incentives for full sized trucks so that the smaller ones remain–on average–about $5K-$7K less expensive than the full-sized models. GM may actually be looking at upping the game by making the Colorado/Canyon their true “half-ton” and leave the full-sizers to heavy duty use.

    I said “may”, not “will”. Based on what many commenters have said elsewhere about Ram’s efforts, this seems a logical deduction which would actually help GM’s CAFE compliances.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Well 2 things going on here. There are always those who don’t want a full sized truck, so there really is no overlap.

    Secondly, these things will have better mpg ratings than any of the “comparable” full size trucks, making them a lot more logical for a larger number of people. If the diesel version gets close to 30mpg in 4×4 trim you’ll see these sold as they’re being backed off the transporters.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @PonchoIndian – true. Most of the people that I know with small trucks did not care about price overlap or the alleged disadvantage of capacity.
      They wanted a small truck because the advantages of a small truck out-weighted the advantages of a big truck.

      I’ve always based my purchase decisions on what best met my wants/needs at purchase. I’ve owned trucks from every class.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou_BC
        From the many debates and discussions I’ve had with our friends in the US I do believe many are grabbing at straws when they start to talk the pricing differential between midisizers vs full sizers.

        If that was the case most would be driving a base model pickup with a V6, but they don’t. Midspec and highspec trucks are the rage. This reduces the creditbility of those who use terms like cheapskate, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I’ll reserve my pricing complaints until I can build and price similar Colorados and Silverados. The example Derek gave (via dwford) is a reasonable one, but until Colorados hit the lots, there is no way to compare real world price.

          That being said, I am worried about the premium GM will want for the diesel powered midsizers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @bball40dtw – the ecodiesel will most likely be the benchmark used by GM.

            I’d like to see the Colorado/Canyon twins with a 1,200 – 1,300 lb cargo capacity in the crewcab which would give it comparable cargo capacity of a low end Ecodiesel. A tow rating of 6K would be adequate.

            The main reason I would not touch an Ecodiesel is the cargo ratings.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    SSDD. Tens of vocal people on internet whine about the lack of small pickups. Especially small pickups with diesels.

    ‘Market analysts’ point to these people and their posts and say “look at all this demand!” and they make a smaller pickup.

    Those tens of people then all buy VWs because they were trendy internet hipsters who never really considered a Chevy at all, they just like to whine about how big pickups are. Chevy sells 100,000 white Colorados to NAPA and gets back out of the market.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is a symptom of an overall industry problem: the product is simply too expensive. If GM sells a Silverado for 30K after incentives and makes 5K profit, it becomes difficult for Colorado because their mfg price to build a Colorado is probably close to that of Silverado but they cannot price it in Silverado territory. Less margin, less incentive to build it in the first place. So the typical GM response is to beancount the materials, which only further hurts the truck’s chances for sale/resale. GM and the industry as a whole needs to find ways to cut their mfg costs in order to build enough margin to leave room for incentives while still ensuring a reasonable profit.

    Additional: I realize this was an existing truck platform, but in my mind it would have made much more sense to build a smaller truck body on a shortened Silverado frame. One of my neighbors has a MY12 or 13 Silverado 1500, reg cab, but possibly the extended bed, and the thing is ginormous. Maybe Nimitz class size is what he wanted, but given the fact he came from an early 90s Chevy 1500, I’m going to guess not. Using an existing frame and motor/trans would allow those costs to be shared, leaving only a smaller (or more narrow) cab and bed to be custom to the model. It strikes me by building an entirely new truck vs using parts an existing one raises the cost unnecessarily.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    having this truck can help protect margins on the full size trucks.

    Surprised no B&B brought this point up.

    Instead of discounting the full size truck 6k to hit a price point, they now have the option of moving you to a different truck.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This would depend on the actual costs of the new truck. It seems foolish to me to break even or lose money on the small truck while “protecting” the margins on the larger one. I as a buyer might also say screw it when the salesman tries to put me in the “baby” truck and simply shop Ford or Dodge.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @28-cars: You’re assuming that the smaller truck will cost as much to make as the larger one–and you’re wrong. Smaller, even this little bit smaller, means less material in its construction which means lower cost. Add to this that it likely has fewer ‘exotic’ materials in it and the cost goes down even farther. They’re not going to lose money on it–they’re not even going to reach a “break even” point. The only difference is that they’ll make slightly less profit on them, which would be balanced by making even more profit on the bigger ones.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          By what percentage of lower cost? 10%? 20%? So say 20%, how much of the production cost is materials and how much is labor? So you save 20% of maybe 60% of total cost?

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The materials are among the smallest costs of producing a vehicle. Assembly labor, development, testing, tooling and certification make up the bulk of the cost and those aren’t lower just because the vehicle is smaller. Since there will be far fewer sold it is actually more expensive to produce the smaller truck as each unit will have to pay a higher proportion of those development and tooling costs.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s been explained to you by several here already. Midsize pickups cost just as much to build as fullsize. That’s when talking parts, materials and assembly. But the important thing is midsize pickups may never see a ROI when talking the entire scope of design, development, marketing, etc. A generation of midsize pickups may have to be extended past 10 years in hopes of reaching profitability. Perhaps as many as 20 years. That’s because of their low volume proposition. And that can’t ever compare to fullsize pickups. Get it? No, of course not…

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike you and many others use the same argument but R&D on the Colorado/Canyon and the Ranger are amortized all over the world.

            Why do you think Ford is so big on “One Ford”?
            One could use the argument that the USA only F Series is a waste of money since it sells well in North America only.

            Amortization of the Colorado/Canyon is global.
            GM PR saying it was totally redesigned for the USA is marketing hyperbole at its finest.
            They know the “Buy America” types will cough up a lung if they knew the Colorado was designed by engineers in Brazil and built and tested in Asia.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Lou the low volume problem is real. GM spent a lot of money to bring the Colorado up to US safety, emissions and expected content/comfort standards. Ford would have a lower cost to make the Global Ranger ready for the US market. When the first click of the mouse happened for the Ranger it was with the intention of selling a version of it in the US, while for the Colorado they didn’t plan on selling it in the US. Even still the Ranger would need many unique parts to meet US specs. Like changes to the front structure to favor occupant protection over pedestrian safety. It will also need airbags tailored to US as well as interior fabrics that meet the US flame propagation standards. Ford is also at an advantage at least if they want to offer a diesel since the diesel that is supposed to be used in the Transit is the same one that is used in the Ranger overseas. None the less Ford determined that they wouldn’t be that likely to make a real profit by bringing the Ranger to the US. GM on the other hand had a vehicle that wasn’t intended to be sold in the US and had to spen much more bringing it up to spec and will have to spend more IF they actually bring the diesel to market since they don’t show any other product that looks like it would take that diesel in the near future.

            So even if the Chicken tax didn’t exist they would still need to spen the money to bring the truck up to US standards. There also wouldn’t be a strong labor savings advantage having it made over seas and potentially would have a disadvantage. There is a reason that Japanese and European mfgs are building more and more of their vehicle in the US because it is cheaper.

            For example the most recent studies on the cost of manufacturing in China shows that it only lowers the cost 3% over manufacturing in the US. It has created the new term of “re-shoring” and many companies bringing manufacturing back to the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Scoutdude
            “@Lou the low volume problem is real. GM spent a lot of money to bring the Colorado up to US safety, emissions and expected content/comfort standards.”

            That is quite a load of bullshite.

            The US variant of the Colorado is a DOWNRATED version of the global. Yes it has been ‘Americanised’.

            But the Americanisation process involves the reduction of the vehicles capability as to not directly conflict with full size 1/2 ton pickups.

            These trucks here have a payload equivalent to a lower rated HD. These trucks can carry 5 adults and still carry a 1 500lb load in the bed and tow 6 800lbs. How many US half ton pickups can do this??

            The chassis on the US Colorado’s are ‘weakened’ so they can be lightened.

            The body under the panels are identical.

            As for the safety??? WTF?? These are ENCAP, ANCAP, etc 5 star safety rated.

            Lou is correct in what he stated. Keep on believing your hipe, which is unprovable.

            Where is there difference to make these improvements that you claim? Where is the proof, outside of a GM marketing release?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Scoutdude: “None the less Ford determined that they wouldn’t be that likely to make a real profit by bringing the Ranger to the US.”

            Ford’s official complaint was that it was too close to the size and price to the F-150 and would cannibalize F-150 sales.

            “So even if the Chicken tax didn’t exist they would still need to spen the money to bring the truck up to US standards.”
            Which would effectively be a one-time charge rather than an ongoing one, making it less of a burden over time.

            “There is a reason that Japanese and European mfgs are building more and more of their vehicle in the US because it is cheaper.”
            Yeah. Cheaper than paying a 25% tariff on each and every truck they import–but not by all THAT much. Instead of paying 25% each they’re paying something like 15% each over what importing them direct would cost.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Hey Big Al

            You do realize that the SAE standards for payload and towing are not comparable to anything rated outside of this country right?

            I hardly think GM downrated these trucks to save face for the 1/2 ton trucks. Hell, the 1/2 tons are rated higher than 3/4 ton trucks were 15 or 20 years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – So what Chicken tax forces BMW, VW, Subaru, etc to build in the US?

            You’ll notice American built (by an “import” brand) autos are saving just 2.5% (tariff), vs straight importing them. The 2.5% is about what they would’ve spent on shipping/handling anyways.

            “One-time expense” is correct, but spread over the entire generation, along with all other one-time expenses. And it’s the one-time expenses that kill the most, without high volume to spread them over.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Big AFO – There’s no DOT equivalent in OZ. Truck capacity is left entirely to the OEM’s sense of humour!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “The cost will never be that much cheaper unless it’s made of inferior materials.” — None. If the vehicle sells at a high enough volume, then obviously it’s cheaper to build on site. However, as you have stated very clearly many, many times, smaller trucks simply won’t sell at that kind of volume, for which I would add–at least to start. Yes, I do know that the CAFE rules will affect any ‘imported’ trucks just like they affect all other vehicles, but they’re going to start with an advantage of already being built for the best possible economy in their home countries. After all, in Europe, anything with an engine larger than two litres garners a “luxury tax” on top of the high fuel prices.

            “The 2.5% is about what they would’ve spent on shipping/handling anyways.” — True, but not the 25% on top of it. That 25% figure was created specifically to make it too expensive to IMPORT a truck made someplace else. In Europe, labor rates aren’t all that different from here in the US, so if they started with a truck running at about the same price as an American-made product and then pack an additional 25% onto that, the importing company would be losing money on every truck sold. When the first compacts came into this country, GM, Ford and Chrysler bought those trucks and re-badged them for those who specifically wanted an American brand name. Once the American OEMs started building their own, they literally drove the importers right back out because they could no longer compete with the American trucks. HOWEVER, starting with the Dakota, the American trucks started growing and over the course of 20 years they grew to the point that they could no longer be considered “compact” and inherited the label of “mid-sized” trucks. And with the American OEMs abandoning the compact market AND the “Chicken Tax” forcing any imports to price at or above mid-size prices–the people who really WANT small trucks simply can’t get them.

            And while you claim to agree with me on “one time expense”, you patently ignore the fact that for an import, it’s an Every Time Expense”; making it prohibitively expensive to even attempt to import and making the manufacture in the States just as expensive. As was clearly stated in a more recent article, Toyota, for one, has no plans to expand its US manufacturing capacity despite the fact that their truck plant is running at maximum output (supposedly).

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – To bring up that “25%” as if importing OEMs would actually pay that is just ignorant, if not trolling. Or both.

            So a Sprinter-like CKD expense is enough to kill the deal? CKDs are not necessarily expensive, unless there’s a lack of minimum volume.

            So it’s not the CDK that’s the problem, it that lack of true demand, right?

            You know it’s cheaper the more trucks you do, right? And isn’t that lack of REAL demand the only difference between the mini-truck fad/explosion of the ’80s and now?

            Foreign pickup OEMs have a right to not take a loss to please a few internet whiners that can’t convince anyone they’re remotely interested in buying one of these global pickups *NEW*.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @BAFO the difference in safety standards is real. Ford many times has pointed out the changes they had to make to meet the US safety standards with the Fiesta, Focus and Fusion. The US standards but a emphasis on occupant protection while the euro standards have more emphasis on pedestrian safety. So that does make for some significant differences in the front end sheet metal, structure and crash bars ect. US air bags have different standards as far as the inflation speeds and forces. The US standards have very specific standards on the amount of smoke that can come off of burning materials and how quickly the flames can spread. The US roof crush standards are also different. You’ll find that across all brands with many US specific components.

            Ford F150s can be had with a 2800-3000lb payload so they can carry 5 passengers in the cab 1500lbs and tow 6,000lbs at the same time. Now the POS Ram that is another story where some can’t even carry 5 American adults w/o exceeding the weight rating.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, Denver, by saying, “To bring up that “25%” as if importing OEMs would actually pay that is just ignorant, if not trolling,” is itself trolling, because I clearly stated that they WOULD NOT pay it simply because it would drive the price of the truck out of the market–which was it’s intended purpose.

            “So a Sprinter-like CKD expense is enough to kill the deal? CKDs are not necessarily expensive, unless there’s a lack of minimum volume.”
            Interesting you should say that, since the Sprinter’s biggest customer was FedEx as a delivery van. I certainly haven’t seen very many Sprinters available on the market OR on the road since Daimler dropped Chrysler.

            “So it’s not the CDK that’s the problem, it that lack of true demand, right?”
            WRONG. As evidenced by the Sprinter itself since its market has effectively gone away. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m agreeing with you, but the difference is that currently nobody is PLAYING in the compact truck market, so none of the OEMs really know what will happen there and they’re not willing to spend the money to find out. Each one is waiting on another to break the ice and take the financial hit if it fails. The perfect example of this is GM itself, building a slightly-downsized truck to test the waters but not willing to drop the other shoe and bring in a true compact.

            “You know it’s cheaper the more trucks you do, right?”
            No. The chicken tax is 25%–of each and every truck that’s shipped in unless it undergoes a relatively major assembly operation on-shore. That’s how Mercedes is getting away with the Sprinter–but the cost of doing so makes it only about 5%-15% cheaper than the chicken tax itself. Mercedes has to ship in the body as one assembly and the suspension as another. Odds are they go ahead and buy the tires right here to avoid shipping costs. The only way something like this MIGHT work for a pickup truck is if the chassis/suspension came as one assembly and the body/bed as others. Of course, if you’re going that far, you might as well move the entire production here–the way Toyota and Nissan did. But even Toyota realizes that the cost of building their cars in the States hurts their profit margins immensely. They’ve flat out stated they’re not going to build more capacity in the States, even though all their plants are running at maximum output.

            “And isn’t that lack of REAL demand the only difference between the mini-truck fad/explosion of the ’80s and now?”
            No, because you don’t KNOW that there is a lack of real demand–you’re assuming there is because the imports got driven back out after the American OEMs started building their own to roughly the same size and the Japanese brand market got cut in half or deeper in the process. With GM, Ford and Chrysler no longer importing any for re-badging purposes, the cost of importing to the US skyrocketed for them.

            You see, part of your problem is that you’re polling the wrong people when you ask whether they would prefer a small truck or not; you’re asking people who are currently driving full-sized trucks and we’re all pretty sure they won’t drop to a ‘half-sized’ truck. On the other hand, I talk to people who are driving compact SUVs and CUVs and you’d be surprised how many say they wish it had an open bed. A true bed, not a four-foot joke like that Ford “Sport Trak” or the Subie Baja. As such, you don’t know what the market will be for a true compact truck any more because nobody has built in that market for 20 years. Here in the States, that is.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – 25% would be for each truck… IF ANYONE PAID IT!!!

            You gotta be trolling here. No one’s that stup!D!!! CKDs get cheaper with every truck, if there’s any kind of volume. Then it’s just a sub-assembly, assembly line. Plug-n-play, fill with fluids, NEXT!

            It the drivetrain on the Sprinter that’s installed here. Yes it’d take us a couple hours if you and I were doing in your condo’s driveway and we’d never done it before.

            It’s not a “major assembly operation” by any means. If putting things together is a problem for an OEM, they’re in the wrong business…

            So how EXACTLY could 25% “drive the price of the truck out the market” if NO importing OEM would EVER NEED TO PAY IT???

            And OEMs are way ahead of you and your little survey of your friends. They know if there was any kind of REAL demand (other than fleet, cheapskates and other bottom feeders), consumers would suffer thru the pain and agony that’s also known as Tacomas, Frontiers and the others that went away.

            It’s unfortunate it works this way, but you vote for what’s on the menu 3 times a day. Bottom line, if you don’t eat it, you don’t order it, don’t expect it to be there for long…

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Denver, the harder you try to refute my point, the more effectively you make it for me. With the statement, “@Vulpine – 25% would be for each truck… IF ANYONE PAID IT!!!” you make it adamantly clear that the CHICKEN TAX IS DOING ITS JOB. The so-called “fad” went away because it was DRIVEN away.

            And do you research on the Sprinter. Unless you mean by “drivetrain” literally everything UNDER THE BODY, you grossly underestimate the extent Mercedes went to in order to bring that truck to the US. More than one article right here on TTAC has explained how the Sprinter gets around the chicken tax AND points out that the cost of doing so only saves a few percentage points off that chicken tax. That’s more than just a “couple hours…and we’d never done it before.”

            And that is the point; to bring in an entire vehicle intact saves money over shipping parts and assembling them here. It’s cheaper to run the entire assembly line one time than to build even the final stages of an assembly line in a ‘remote’ location (remote meaning away from the primary assembly line) and shipping pre-assembled parts to that remote site for final hookup. One way or another, the OEMs are still paying at least a portion of that tax by being forced to do assembly work here in the States. They’re paying either way, they’re just paying a little bit less by side-stepping it.

            To paraphrase: It’s unfortunate it works this way, but you vote for what’s on the menu three times a day. Bottom line, if your favorite meal is taken from the menu, it’s because others have made too much noise about not liking it.

    • 0 avatar
      Andy

      I was thinking the same. This will simply make the big trucks MORE expensive. But, that leaves an awful lot of customers for F150 and Ram to steal. “Forcing” those buyers into smaller trucks would only work if there was no competition.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Take a look above, michal; that’s essentially what I said earlier.

  • avatar
    7402

    Any chance the Colorado will do the same thing to the full-size truck market that the Transit Connect did to the commercial van market? A lot of small businesses that don’t move large, heavy things realized the Connect served all their needs while using much less fuel and at a lower entry cost.

    • 0 avatar
      Andy

      Good point.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        It’s a point that some here and elsewhere insist won’t exist. They throw out numbers from the non-upgraded current midsizers as fuel-mileage comparison to the newest, highly upgraded full sized trucks and say, “See? The smaller trucks don’t save any fuel over the larger ones!”

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “A lot of small businesses that don’t move large, heavy things realized the Connect served all their needs…”

      Aside from landscapers and maybe nurseries, what kind of small business like that would opt for the miserably short open beds in these new “small” trucks over the tall-roofed, flat floored, multiple tie-down lockable space inside a TC or NV200?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        How about contractors and sub-contractors who simply don’t carry enough weight to make a full sized truck practical but still need to carry loose lumber, plywood and drywall materials to the jobsite. After all, you’re making an assumption that the bed would be “miserably short”. But then, maybe you’re not, since a full size crew cab also has a “miserably short” open bed. About all that size bed is good for is hooking up a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Any chance the Colorado will do the same thing to the full-size truck market that the Transit Connect did to the commercial van market?”

      The van market is dominated by the Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana and Ford E-series. The Ford E-series outsells the Transit Connect by over 3:1.

      In any case, there is a market for luxury full-size pickups that makes them highly lucrative for Detroit. That cannot be said for the vans, which command lower transaction prices and no glory. Those big American vans will be phased out because they aren’t profitable enough to dictate a US-specific model. Even if they lose sales, it makes more sense to give them up than to spend a billion dollars to create a replacement.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Look at what’s the same and what’s different between a Colorado and a comparably-equipped Silverado.

    The same: Motor, transmission, driving axle(s), suspension, safety features, sound system, electronic stuff in the cab.

    Different: Frame length (and perhaps width)

    So, everything that’s the same costs as much to make on the Colorado as on the Silverado, while the big savings is maybe at most 50 or 100 pounds of cheap steel that the frame’s made of. Given this, there’s no reason to expect a huge price differential between the two series.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      fincar, with all do respect, you are quite wrong.

      The Colorado/Canyon will have a 4cyl, the 3.6 V6 and a 4cyl (I think) diesel option, none of which are shared with the Silverado/Sierra.

      The transmissions may be the same, but that can be said for the Camaro and Silverado too, at least until the Silverado gets the 8 or 10 speed across the line.

      Comparably equipped the Canyon is about 17 inches shorter and 1400 lbs lighter also.

      I don’t think Tacoma sales hurt Tundra sales in the big picture. Plus these trucks are global, so there is some economy of scale involved in being able to sell them here with less of a profit.

  • avatar
    carguy

    @Derek: Comparing the deeply discounted price of a current model to the retail price of a model you can’t even buy yet is not a very worthwhile analysis – and you should know better than to promote it on these pages.

    Let the market do what it does and then ask these questions to ascertain the success of this new trucklet:

    1. How many Colorado/Canyon trucks GM sells after the novelty factor has worn off?

    2. How many of those Colorado/Canyon sales will cannibalize Sierra/Silverado sales and how many are conquest sales from Nissan and Toyota?

    3. What is the average margin & transaction price for these new small trucks?

  • avatar
    Andy

    There was a time when small trucks were cool, they weren’t just for losers who couldn’t afford big trucks. Customized Nissans and Toyotas were all over the place in the 90’s, and Rangers and S10s were very popular. Who knows, they may turn out to be pretty popular, if not among big trucks bros who won’t downsize, but maybe some car people who think, now there’s a truck I could actually manage… The GMC version looks great, to me. People buy Wranglers all the time, many of whom never go off-road. Seems like a small pickup would make a lot more sense than that.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    All pickups got larger and heavier in a towing / interior space / manliness / safety war. And now most weigh 5000 lbs and guzzle gas. It would be better to put more space between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton pickup rather than invent a new 7/8th’s size truck that cost the same or more and still weighs 2 tons. This appears to be what Ford is doing. The 1/2 ton is getting lighter and is the right choice for someone who wants to tow a jet ski or a small camper or a 16 foot boat or 2 yards of mulch or some plywood, none of which require anything more than a class 3 hitch (5000 lbs), at most. If you have a 26 foot, 12,000 lbs 5th wheel, buy a 3/4 ton with a diesel.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The rent – is too damn high.

  • avatar

    Auction transaction prices for garbage like the Ranger and half-ass-equipped Frontiers speaks to a market for a well-executed small/midsize truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Not really. The reason that is true is that of the number of people who want a less than full size truck is that way too many of them truck won’t buy new. It is simple supply and demand at work.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Except that you’re wrong, SD; When a market has been effectively abandoned for so long, you WILL see a rush on almost anything that enters that market. The more valid question is: Will it last?

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          My point was that the main determining factor in used car pricing is supply and demand. There are a lot of people who want a used compact truck and there aren’t that many that will buy them new that is reflected in the number available on the used market.

          I agree that it is likely that the Colorado will see an initial surge as virtually all “all new” vehicles do, no matter what segemtnt they play in. What remains to be seen is how big that surge will be and how big the second year drop will be.

          I know I’ve asked you before but I’ll ask again when is the last time you bought a NEW less than full size pickup?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And my point is that you’re making an assumption with absolutely no basis in fact. The reason people are buying used S-10s, Rangers and Dakotas are doing so because they have nothing new available–unless it’s the Toyota or Nissan, which many American drivers simply don’t want.

            Let me answer your question with a question of my own: Outside of a USED full-sized pickup truck which I currently possess, when’s the last time I bought a USED anything? I’ll tell you. More than 20 years ago. I Don’t Buy Used unless I have absolutely no other option.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – That’s your lamest excuse so far… You think consumers ready and willing to buy a new midsize pickups get disappointed with what’s offered, so they buy an old Dakota/S10/Ranger???

            The price of older/aging midsize pickups is crazy high because hardly any consumers want to take the initial hit (and everything that goes along with new car ownership) on something that’s not a primary vehicle. Home Depot runs and ‘weekend warrior’ kind of stuff, mostly. Or a kid’s 1st car and learning to drive. Older midsize pickups are the ‘perfect choice’ for too many reasons. And you don’t want a brand new truck for most of these things.

            Handymen and landscapers also love aging small pickups. Perfect for hauling a few tools or lawnmowers etc. And they’re not looking to buy new midsize pickups. They get beat up too fast.

            Truly, used and aging midsizer pickups are the target of all kinds of used car shoppers. But when it comes to new car buyers, midsize trucks fad into the background… Unless you’re talking regular cabs!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The problem is that not enough people bought those Rangers, Colorados, and Dakotas when they were available new. Plain and simple that is why they don’t exist anymore or went on hiatus.

            The fact that you never stepped up and bought a new one means that you are part of the reason that there are so few choices today. Even when you were “forced” to buy a used truck you didn’t pick a less than full-size. So unless you step up and buy one of these new GM trucks you really don’t have a reason to keep whining.

            If enough of internet whiners who claim that they want a less than full size truck actually buy one of these GM trucks NEW then guess what, Ford just might bring the Ranger to the US. If on the other hand the GM twins do not cause the segment to stop shrinking then there will not be any chance Ford will throw money away on bringing the Ranger here.

            My bet is that the GM twins will not cause the less than full size truck segment to increase above the 250-275K range. In other words less than enough to be profitable for 3 players over the long run.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Scoutdude – GM is praying that these trucks have a better ‘new release” surge than that of their full sized brethren.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Lou If the launch of these new trucks is anything like the new full sizers they will almost certainly be a one and done.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Mike: Call it lame if you will, my point is obvious when you go searching on the auto sites for the smaller trucks. In near-mint condition they’re commanding prices close to their original sticker, which means the demand is definitely there. Sure, you can find lower prices–but when you read the spec sheets they’re pretty well worn out, too. Meanwhile, there are NO similar trucks available on the market, so the law of Supply & Demand is what is keeping those prices high. A full-sized truck of the same age and condition has a far lower relative price, despite your arguments.

            As for the “handymen and landscapers also love aging small pickups”– pure bunk. In almost every case you will find them driving full-sized pickup trucks and in the case of professional landscapers they’re driving new or near-new full-sized trucks with a large trailer. If they’re driving ratted-out old compact trucks it’s because they simply can’t AFFORD a newer truck.

            @Scoutdude: The problem with your argument is the simple fact that all FIVE “midsize truck” manufacturers did the same thing–that flat ignored the more compact model because they were making so much more profit on the larger trucks. Forget “profit margin”, they were looking at pure profit. Compacts and full-size CAN carry the same margin, which is what too many here are ignoring. The simple fact that the OEMs are sacrificing as much as 50% of their profit margin just to move the bigger trucks shows how they’ve grossly overpriced them. If they reduced the profit margin to a more reasonable figure and didn’t discount as much off the hood they would make the EXACT SAME PROFIT. A smaller truck done similarly would naturally show smaller overall profits–just like their cars–but still offer a larger profit MARGIN than their cars and more profit.

            Now… Yes, I agree that the LABOR of assembling any car or truck is going to be roughly the same–though certain factors can make the process faster and easier for some products. The simple fact that a truck bed doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the back end of a sedan means there are portions of the assembly that are FAR simpler and therefore less expensive. However, the difference in cost of these vehicles comes from other factors. You say that material costs differences are minimal, but you ignore again other factors–such as the fact that they don’t necessarily use the exact same materials as their larger brethren. When you can have two trucks of different sizes carrying a weight difference more than 1000 pounds, obviously it’s using less material. Worse now, by Ford using ‘exotic’ metal alloys and aluminum to shed weight, they’ve INCREASED the cost of materials for their F-series and still won’t come down to the weight of a 25-year-old Ranger. It won’t even come down to the weight of my 25-year-old F-150 XLT Lariat. So your materials argument also becomes bunk.

            Why didn’t the older Colorado, Ranger, Dakota, et al sell well? Because all the upgrading was going into the larger trucks, and as you like to point out so frequently, the smaller trucks couldn’t keep up with the improved economy and performance of those larger trucks. Imagine a new Dakota with the Pentastar V6 and a 6-speed automatic or even one of the newer 8-speed models. Imagine a new Ranger with that 2.7 EcoBoost. We’re about to see a new Colorado with the newer engine technology. But Toyota? Nissan? They sat on their hands when they should have been moving forward–and I don’t mean upward in size but simply in putting better drivetrains into the trucks.

            And as far as looks; taking every single model now or soon available in the States, and the Colorado is the winner, followed by the Ram trucks. When it comes to having what _I_ want in a truck, the Colorado wins out because of it’s looks, stated performance and cabin design. The Tacoma comes in a close second because it is smaller and has a similar cabin design (for the extended cab model) but is underpowered and Japanese. Not that I have anything against Japanese–but I prefer an American brand. But if FCA does bring the Strada into the States, then my next truck with be Dutch.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Must be the landscapers and handymen in my area are better at hiding their wealth… Mostly they drive the tore back Nissan/Toyota mini-trucks of the ’80s. And I’m in the wrong business!!!

            No, most that want a new midsize pickup and are serious about it, are more than willing to endure the masochistic punishment that are current midsize pickups…

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Also you don’t realize Mexico imports up to a million of our pickup annually. And they prefer mini-trucks and midsize over fullsize. This creates artificial demand here. Yes on smaller pickups that are already low volume. You never wondered why pickups are in excess of 1 in every 10 new vehicles sold, but approx 1 out of 25 vehicles on the road?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM,
            What do you need a landscaper for if you live in a government supplied apartment in Canada?

            Boy, did you latest trucking empire collapse?

            How about the diesel trucks you claimed you would never own and now you’ve owned diesels trucks?

            So, have you been to Spain lately?

            Sincerity and integrity are just two words that don’t fit into a person that has an inferiority complex.

  • avatar

    While GM is never the one to have a long term plan this could very well play out in their favor. By 2020 full size pickups will get too expensive (CAFE, Gas prices etc). Ford and Ram will introduce their own midsize trucks by then but the GM twins would have built a solid reputation having been on the market 5 years longer. You can’t put a price tag on that. The Prius made no money when introduced in 1999 and a hybrid car was DOA during the SUV boom. Look where it is now. GM would just need to keep making marginal improvements every year to the midsize trucks and maintain best in class status.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Ranger is not coming to the US. It is 7/8 the size of the F150 and isn’t going to help Ford’s CAFE numbers. They’ll put an I4 in a downrated F150 before you ever see the Global Ranger in US dealerships.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Never say never. Unlike the Colorado the Ranger was originally intended to be sold in the North American market and was designed with that in mind. IF for some strange reason the Colorado sells in decent volumes Ford could have the Ranger ready to market relatively quickly. Of course that is a big IF. The likelihood of the less than full size truck market doubling is extremely slim and that is the kind of volume that would be needed to support a 4th player in the game.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          2020 not exactly around the corner, so plenty of things could happen between now and then. I would like a Ford Everest. I’m not holding my breath though.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The fact that Ford is already testing the “global Ranger” in the US says a lot for their expectations.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yes. The original plan was to bring it here. That didn’t happen.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Not really, they frequently test non US spec vehicles in the US since the US is the headquarters and many of their top people are here and not in Taiwan or wherever.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw,
            Yes, you are very correct. The global or T6 Ranger was earmarked for the US market.

            When the military in Thailand remove the then controlling government the US suspended all trade talks, which in turn screwed Ford.

            It’s a real pity you guys don’t get this truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Scoutdude – agreed. The diesel engine slated for the Transit van IIRC is also used globally in the Ranger.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yup the Global Ranger is a great way to test the US emissions spec version of that diesel. The only parts they need to hand fabricate are the US spec emissions parts. No need to hand build the mounts, radiator and the rest of the parts for the Transit until they have the emissions and drive-ability worked out. Then they can go directly to production tooling.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            The US variant of the engine is a little down on power, 200hp down to 185hp, with the same torque of around 350ftlb.

            This leads me to believe the torque band has been narrowed and maybe even shifted lower.

            This will provide for a better ‘truck’ engine.

            The Transit should be averaging around 25mpg. That’s what our 3.2 Transits averaged here.

            The again are an ‘Amercianised’ version of a global vehicle, like the Colorado.

            They will be an eye opener. These diesels aren’t fast, but boy they can lug.

            They seem to get off on torque at much lower revs than many other turbo diesel offerings in the light commercial vehicle sector. Great engine off road and they should also be available in the F-150 as they are a $hit tin cheaper than the Ford V6 Lion diesel.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think this discussion on pricing is quite premature.

    How can you start to make a price comparison on recommended retail between a vehicle that doesn’t quite exist yet to an established vehicle that is discounted?

    Even looking at our prices here in Australia for midsizers I do think there is plenty of room for discounting in the yet to be released Colorado.

    I’m quite surprised at overall pricing of these, how much will a diesel variant cost in the US? A four cylinder diesel shouldn’t attract the same costs as the V6 diesels, ie Ram. Here the V6 diesels are at least $10 000 per vehicle.

    Also many dwell on the past on these car sites and rarely look into the future. Full size trucks in the US are morphing and will cost more than what is currently on offer.

    This will make the Colorado more attractive to the consumer.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Maybe this is a more appropriate analysis of the Colorado/Canyon price?

    http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/2015-gmc-canyon-chevy-colorado-prices-compared-to-clo-1617045435/+travis

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …“My 2014 GMC Sierra SLE Double Cab 4×4 with Z71, leather, 18″ wheels, auto climate control, heated seats, 5.3L V8 stickered for $44,455, I negotiated to $41,140 – $6750 rebates = $34,390+++. They priced the Canyon Crew Cab 4×4 V6 with leather at $37,875. Do you see the problem here…”…

    I see the problem and agree in principal – BUT.

    A similarly equipped (hard to do apples to apples without a GMC Canyon build sheet) Toyota Tacoma quad cab Limited is just under $37K. A Tundra Crewcab Limited is $44K. The Tundra comes with lease deals or cash on the hood and dealer discounts run around 9%. So the Tundra realistically is around $38K if you buy.

    Is the Colorado / Canyon overpriced?

    Yes.

    Is the pricing model “broken” compared to Nissan or Toyota.

    Apparently not when you run a very rough (stress very rough) apples to apples comparison.

  • avatar
    ccode81

    Just curious from Kei car kingdom, wondering why the smaller Explorer always sells better than Expedition in SUV world, when the story is different on Trucks? appreciate for your inputs.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Price. A base Expedition starts in the range where the Explorer tops out. There is no $27K Expedition. It’s tough to find a used one for that price.

      However, all of the volume, truck based, midsized SUVs are gone in favor of crossovers. The Explorer is a butch Taurus wagon that is made to look like a Land Rover.

      • 0 avatar
        ccode81

        Haha thanks for reply, sounds obvious. sorry I didn’t realise the price difference so large between them, imagining more about a relatively smaller differnence from Fusion to Taurus.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        >The Explorer is a butch Taurus wagon that is made to look like a Land Rover.

        I found it really interesting how many friend’s wives are really into the D based Explorer, but refused to even step inside a Freestyle or Taurus X. What a difference a bit of branding and styling tweaks make.

  • avatar
    segfault

    The double cab is a very good sized cab, compared to “extended cab” models of yore. I wish they offered it with a short (5.5′) box from the crew cab. I think the F-150 offered this extended cab / short box combination for a few years, but I’m not sure how popular it was. It would make the truck a more maneuverable size for the 90+% who only occasionally haul things in the bed.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    We should probably take a break from posting stuff about small/midsize pickups before someone has an aneurysm.

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    Figure it out yet? Those fat incentives are for leftover 2014 models. Pricing a GMC Sierra SLT 4×4 crew cab, with texas package, bedliner, nav and upgraded stereo and all rebates, it comes to about $46,000 at a major car pricing site.

    A similar Canyon? $38,000. The big brother costs 21% more, about what one would expect for a truck that is about 20% bigger, eh?

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