GM Cuts a Check for New Midsize Pickups

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm cuts a check for new midsize pickups

With the perennially popular Toyota Tacoma no spring chicken and the Nissan Frontier now older that the Dead Sea Scrolls, General Motors’ Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon gained newfound — and far fresher — competition in 2019 from Ford’s returning Ranger.

There’s still life left in the current-gen models, which gain a (very) mild refresh for the 2021 model year, but GM is making sure the models don’t grow complacent. The automaker has now pledged $1.5 billion for a new generation of its midsize pickups. Good timing, too, as the Tacoma is expected to go all-new for 2023.

And that’s not the only thing GM needs to worry about.

Of that sum, Missouri’s Wentzville Assembly receives $1 billion; some 4,000 jobs — basically, the existing roster of full-time workers — will be retained at the site, which also builds the ancient Chevy Express and GMC Savana commercial vans.

While GM’s announcement contained zero clues about incoming changes to the two models, GM President Mark Reuss commented, “GM sells more pickups than any other automaker and we have aggressive plans to build on our strengths.”

Introduced in 2014 for the 2015 model year, the second-generation Colorado saw its sales hit a new peak in 2018, while its Canyon twin reached a high water mark in 2016. In the first three quarters of 2019, Colorado volume dropped 7.6 percent while Canyon sales rose 4.1 percent.

Though volume remains healthy, and while both trucks offer a class-exclusive diesel powerplant, Ford’s Ranger wins on the technological side of things, offering a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 10-speed automatic. The Tacoma, which bests all midsize nameplates in terms of volume, seems immune to any decrease in brand loyalty and return buyers. With Toyota’s upcoming revamp expected to address the model’s oddly high seating position, GM can anticipate increased competition for the foreseeable future.

At some point, too, Nissan will get its act together and create a new Frontier, and there’s a baby Ram on the way. Eventually.

Best get planning.

[Images: Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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2 of 22 comments
  • Akear Akear on Dec 16, 2019

    The problem is GM trucks are no better quality wise than their car line. Also, Ford and FCA are beating GM's brains out in interior quality.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Dec 17, 2019

    The Colorado/Canyon are good trucks even though they are not perfect. Hard plastic interior pieces are not enough to dissuade me or even most people from buying a particular brand or type of vehicle. A bad transmission, bad engine, and electrical problems are the things that will completely prevent me from even considering a vehicle. I would much rather live with more hard plastic interior pieces than an Aisin CVT. Maybe my priorities are different than many of the enthusiasts on this site but if a vehicle does not last and has serious issues I will not buy it. Maybe GM uses a few more hard plastics than some other brands but name me one mass produced affordable vehicle that doesn't have hard plastic in their interiors. If you don't want hard plastics then you should look at buying a well restored or survivor vehicle from the 50's and early 60's.

  • ThomasKing The right spec has a lot to do with the value you get for your money. No matter what vehicle you're looking to buy, there are certain specs that are important when it comes to making sure you get the best bang for your buck. Also, you check this and get more new things for warranty problem-solving. The 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback is an excellent example of a model that offers very high value while still giving you all the features and amenities that make passenger cars so enjoyable.
  • Sayahh Toyota Century
  • Probert Really needed more front and rear overhang.
  • Varezhka Autozam AZ-1 or a Toyota Sports 800.
  • Jeffro I can’t recall a visit to a Honda or Toyota dealership that wasn’t revolting to some degree. Why run yourself ragged going through the sleazy and greedy system store gauntlet, when you can purchase your luxury vehicle with just a few clicks on your smartphone?