According to sources leaking information to PickupTrucks.com, GM is considering entering the compact pickup truck market. The Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins are due for replacement, possibly in 2012. It’s unknown at this time if the rumored compact truck is a replacement for the Colorado/Canyon, or would be sold concurrently with them.
I am speculating that GM is looking for new market segments to get into. They have abandoned several segments over the years and now are looking for ways to utilize existing resources to reach these market segments. However, a compact truck would likely require a brand new platform and would require multiple markets to sell in. Since compact pickups sell in huge numbers in every other civilized country in the world, why not sell them here?
I’m not saying that Mahindra awoke the sleeping giant that is GM. After all, compact trucks that exist here in the U.S. today make up a 100,000+ unit segment. But, recent events have conspired to convince GM that there’s money to be made in the compact truck market in the U.S. Fuel price volatility is a leading reason. Ford recently opened a virtual suggestion box online. One of the leading complaints/ideas poured upon Ford was a compact pickup, preferably with a diesel engine. Mahindra is bringing a single engine in its two truck models, a four cylinder turbodiesel, and then will follow that with a RAV4/CR-V sized SUV, also only with the turbodiesel engine.
Political and “green” considerations cannot be discounted. GM has lately become more savvy and sensitive to “green” cred. Producing a compact pickup will be something that GM can point to as evidence that they are listening to what the buyers want. Now, if we can just prevail upon GM to federalize one of the wonderful small diesels they sell in Europe and bring it here as an option to the gas engines they’ll offer.