General Motors Doing Well In Midsize Truck Segment, Success May Not Last

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
general motors doing well in midsize truck segment success may not last

General Motors’ return to the midsize truck segment has done wonders for the automaker and the market, but skeptics aren’t sure how long that will last.

Ever since the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins left for the showroom last fall, the segment has grown to over 2 percent of the overall U.S. new-vehicle market from 1.4 percent last summer, Reuters reports. Industry execs add that as many as 500,000 midsize pickups could be sold this year, double what was sold in 2014.

However, IHS Automotive analyst Tom Libby found that 9 out of 10 Colorado and Canyon owners traded in other GM cars and trucks for the smaller pickups, with over 16 percent coming from ownership of Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras alone. Libby warns this could be a sign of undercutting of sales of models with higher margins.

GM execs and dealers, on the other hand, are happy with the midsize twins. GM President Dan Ammann called the duo a “very good investment,” while GMC’s director of marketing, Rich Latek, says the midsize segment as a whole is “a sleeper segment with huge opportunity.” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson adds the Colorado and Canyon happen to have been the right trucks to come at the right time to give the segment a shot in the arm.

The party may not last for the duo, though. LMC Automotive notes that the segment would hold at 2 percent for this year, then slip back down by 2020. Meanwhile, the twins would fizzle out from projected sales of 74,000 for the Colorado and 29,500 for the Canyon this year, falling 8.4 percent and 21 percent over the next five years.

[Photo credit: Blake Z. Rong/ The Truth About Cars]

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  • Fiasco Fiasco on Apr 23, 2015

    Looking for the manual transmission diesel 4x4 extra cab. Preferably in brown. :) I have an odd desire to get a Barcelona Red 4-door stick shift 4x4 V6 crew cab, but they're gas pigs for what they are. My mythical perfect vehicle would run my 60 mile round-trip commute around 30 mpg empty, but still be able to yank my Lemons car or a cord of firewood on a trailer without self-destructing. After driving my dad's 2006 KING RANCH DUALLY CREW CAB POWERSTOKE 4X4!!!!, I want something half the size that will tow 7,500 lbs (slowly is fine, just so long as it can do it) and get better than 11 mpg doing it (a friend's 95ish 4x4 Dodge Cummins with 260k miles on it will get 20 mpg towing 5,500 lbs. without breaking a sweat, so it's not unpossible). Come on, Generic Motors, build somethingI can't resist!

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    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Apr 24, 2015

      gtemnykh, I'm familiar with the issue and it is an active and current debate for many people who see reduced performance in their DI vehicles, because of coking. In my case, the fuel injectors in my vehicles are ahead of the valves. A friend I know who owns a Sonata DI was also concerned since he racks up the miles. After much cussing and discussing this with me over a number of beers I suggested he add the detergent additive to his engine oil so some would get sucked into the combustion chamber by way of the EGR PCV system. He opted to add the detergent to both the fuel and the crankcase. He and his wife travel a lot but so far he hasn't mentioned any problems with adding the detergent to both the fuel and the engine oil.

  • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Apr 24, 2015

    I'm holding out for the Frontier with the Cummins. My Frontier has been solid. Yes, it feels cheap inside but it is cheap materials that are put together well. It's just an honest truck. I like the interior of these trucks, the GMC in particular but I find the exterior odd. They don't do anything so much better than my Frontier that I'd roll the dice on a GM product at this point.

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    • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Apr 25, 2015

      @fiasco Think 2012 was the magic year for the Frontier. The timing chain guides were redesigned and coupled with the 2010 radiator fix the mechanical weak points were addressed. Yes, the interior scratches if you look at it funny and the paint is really thin but it is solid and the VQ40 makes it fun. Loaded up they don't feel lime as good of a value but I still want a pro 4x. Nissan did a concept of the current Frontier with the 4 cylinder Cummins. That and the Titan getting the V8 are fueling the speculation. I know I would give it a serious look but I'd have to order it...I'm one of those fools that likes to roll up his own windows.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Apr 24, 2015

    I'm seeing more newer GM's than Toyota's, and I'm in a town that loves Toy's. Problem for GM is, they all belong to contractors, several of which I've befriended, and they're all leases. None are personal vehicles, unlike the Toyota's.

  • SC5door SC5door on Apr 24, 2015

    I care less about the size than the pricing on these things. Selecting 4wd adds $7,000 to the price! No thanks!

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    • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Apr 25, 2015

      I feel like one of the Big 3 will give you a diesel in your full-sizer for less than $7,000...