GM has announced that their brand new Chevy Colorado will be unveiled at the 2013 LA Auto Show and they claim it will shake up the midsize truck market. That statement is a stretch to be sure, but the midsize truck market is anxiously awaiting the new truck. Here is what you can expect.
For months now, rumors have been spreading about the new truck and GM executives have been hinting at new features. Fueling these rumors of radical changes is many things including pictures of a new Chevy Colorado in Thailand (the worlds’ largest midsize truck market). There is also speculation that it will be styled drastically different than the new 2014 Silverado and finally have a true product differentiation. Also rumors of a diesel version of the truck are creating quite a stir.
So far, GM has said:
“The all-new Chevrolet Colorado will reinvent what a midsized pickup should be,” GM said in a statement. “The Colorado is engineered to be the most capable, most versatile and technologically advanced midsized truck in the market.”
The truck will officially be unveiled at a November 20, 2013 press conference at the show and you can see the unveil on GM’s YouTube channel. The expectations and wish list for the new truck are:
- A matching interior like the new 2014 full-size trucks
- New EcoTech engines
- Good MPGs – maybe 2-3 MPG improvement
- New trim levels including luxury trim
- Offroad package offerings
- Price point that makes it a viable competitor to Tacoma and a considerable difference from full-size trucks
Odds are for that the trucks will have a new interior/exterior much like the larger full-size versions and will have the EcoTech engines. It will have all of GM’s current technology including OnStar. And it will most likely not have a measurable improvement in MPG – based on the track record of midsize trucks.
One of the curious questions is why would GM unveil the truck in LA? Most new truck launches happen in Detroit or in Texas. The truth is that California is the largest midsize truck market in the US and is incredibly important to GM. Right now, Tacoma dominates the sales in the area and if GM has any plans on cutting into that market share, it HAS to be successful in California. This is a stark change to the GM of pre-bankruptcy where they didn’t give much thought to the competition or marketplace.
The midsize truck market is surely not as large as it used to be. Over the past several years, Ford pulled the Ranger, Ram discontinued the Dakota, which left Toyota to reign supreme for a long time. Why is the market so small? The truth is that the price difference between a compact and full-size truck is very marginal and the benefits of a smaller truck like better MPGs isn’t there. The fact is Ford pulled the Ranger because it didn’t offer a price discount or improved fuel economy versus the F-150.
Although, the market has shrunk, there is still demand for compact trucks. The full-size trucks just don’t have the turning radius of the smaller trucks, are bulkier to drive/park and access to the bed is often a concern. For example, Orkin, the pest control company, uses compact trucks everyday because they are easy for their employees to drive and offer much better access to the bed than a full-size truck. They used to lease/buy 7,000 vehicles a year from Ford and now they drive Toyota Tacomas. This is just one of the many examples of real-world uses for midsize trucks.
The unveil of the Chevy Colorado is a big deal for midsize truck fans. Can it be the rebirth of the midsize truck market? Will it spur on Toyota to finally improve the Tacoma? Will Ford bring back the Ranger if the Colorado sells well?
Those questions and others will play out over the next few years.
What do you think? Are you excited to see a new midsize truck?
Recent posts in News