NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM May Return To Small Truck Market

34 posts in this topic

Sources: GM Working on Return to Small Truck Roots

Posted by Mike Levine | May 26, 2010

While other manufacturers have announced plans to completely abandon the slow-selling midsize pickup segment, General Motors apparently thinks there's still life and new opportunity to be found in small trucks. GM is said to be working on a new compact runabout that's reminiscent of the original Chevrolet S-10, according to our sources.

The current Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins have been steadily losing sales and market share over the past few years. Year to date, the Colorado is down 30.3 percent from a year earlier and the Canyon is off 28.5 percent. Newly retired former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz said in February that the future of the two trucks were uncertain and, last year, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said it was GM's plan to end production at the Shreveport plant where the Colorado and Canyon are produced by 2012.

The two biggest players in the segment today are the best-selling Toyota Tacoma, which still sells more than 100,000 units annually, and the long-in-the-tooth Ford Ranger.

But some have complained that the Tacoma is too big -- it grew to its current size in 2005 -- and expensive. And Ford says it will end production of the Ranger next year because small truck buyers can make do with a small car or fuel-efficient F-150. Small truck buyers have also moved into full-size pickups because the cost of entry-level half-ton trucks is often close to the price tag of midsize pickups.

Those reasons are said to be enough to open the door for GM to potentially offer a modern take on a small truck that's similar in size to the compact pickups of the 1980s, when the segment sold more than 1 million trucks annually.

Through April of this year, only 87,985 compact and midsize trucks have been sold, according to J.D. Power and Associates' Power Information Network sales figures.

The key elements of success for GM's future small truck would be fuel economy that’s greater than its full-size pickups and a window sticker that’s significantly less.

GM isn't the only manufacturer still serious about small trucks. Chrysler has said it hopes to produce a successor to the Dodge Dakota, which ends production in 2011, and Toyota's subsidiary Scion has said it's also considering offering a true compact pickup.

If our sources are correct -- and we're confident they are -- we think this is a brilliant move on GM's part to take advantage of a segment that's only down on its luck because the product choice today is so poor.

link:

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/05/sources-gm-working-on-return-to-small-truck-roots.html

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hyperv6    774

GM would sell a lot of small trucks if they would make them better and update them more than every 12-15 years.

I would have one today but I would rather have had a new Sonoma ZQ8 vs the present Canyon or Colorado.

I have a 2010 Silverado in the drive way now and I have no need for a truck this large. The MPG is better than it was but still not what I could get in a smaller truck.

My ZQ8 was as close to a El Camino as I could get and enjoyed it as a daily driver. It was car like in handling, good on gas and hauled anyting I needed too.

With the rising CAFE GM need and has to have a viable small truck they have no choice. The full size trucks are going to change in many ways and only get more complicated with Hybrid systems and electric grills. They will get to the point once they are old you will not be able to afford to keep them on the road as the present trucks.

The present Siverado has so much wasted space in the nose it is cazy. I suspect this will be addressed in future truck. I don't highlight my hair and I still got a pair so I have no need to pretend that I am driving a mini semi.

The market for a good small truck is open and GM could take a great share of it if they do it right and make many forget about the failed Colorado.

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ocnblu    773

The GMT355 is not a failed product. It is, however, a product of GM's neglect. I love driving my new Colorado, it fits me perfectly, and I get a lot of looks from people on the road. Maybe sales have gone down because GM did not bother to update the product, nor give it marketing support. It is certainly not a bad product, it is just in need of updating. And it trumps the S/T Series trucks in a multitude of ways, which, by the way, were neglected themselves for 12 model years '82-'93, and then again for 10 model years from '94-'03. This is the 7th model year for the GMT355 with only small changes.

I, for one, am VERY happy to hear this news, and I hope it turns out to be much more than a rumor. There are millions of households who could use a true compact truck.

hyper, you should try a Colorado 3LT extended cab with 5.3, or even the 242 hp inline 5. The 3LT has the 18 inch rims and lowered suspension of the ZQ8.

Edited by ocnblu

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PurdueGuy    72

IMO the small trucks need to get at least 5mpg better fuel economy than the full size trucks, or be more than $5k cheaper (preferably both) to be a worthwhile alternative.

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ocnblu    773

I went to Edmunds and optioned out a Silverado as closely as I could to my new truck, and it came out $5k more in MSRP. So the pricing, at least as far as MSRP, is already in line. If the discounts were more equitably distributed, there would be no issue, but the car companies seem to WISH to count out the smaller trucks with all this aggressive discounting on the fullsizes. GM was offering $4k off in rebates on Silverados, and $1k on the GMT355s. And they wonder why more people are getting into unwieldy pickups they really don't need.

As far as fuel economy, if the smaller trucks had DI engines and 6 speed auto and manual transmissions like the fullsize trucks are going to, the fuel economy would be in line as you wish it to be, as well.

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hyperv6    774

The GMT355 is not a failed product. It is, however, a product of GM's neglect. I love driving my new Colorado, it fits me perfectly, and I get a lot of looks from people on the road. Maybe sales have gone down because GM did not bother to update the product, nor give it marketing support. It is certainly not a bad product, it is just in need of updating. And it trumps the S/T Series trucks in a multitude of ways, which, by the way, were neglected themselves for 12 model years '82-'93, and then again for 10 model years from '94-'03. This is the 7th model year for the GMT355 with only small changes.

I, for one, am VERY happy to hear this news, and I hope it turns out to be much more than a rumor. There are millions of households who could use a true compact truck.

hyper, you should try a Colorado 3LT extended cab with 5.3, or even the 242 hp inline 5. The 3LT has the 18 inch rims and lowered suspension of the ZQ8.

I did try the new ZQ8 with the inline 5. I just in no way could accept it. I would take a brand new 97 Sonoma ZQ8 like I had over the new one any day. The funny thing is many may think it was becaus of the I5 but it was one of the few things I liked.

I even autocrosse it and still would not take it. Interior is horrrid, the sheet metal like the full size truck are as thin as the cars now. Never was a big fan of the styling. I hated seeing the passenger seat shake due to the poor quality with the stiffer suspension my old ZQ8 did not do this. The tires even at 17" look too small. THe only tire that looked right was the 4x4 with the larger tires.

As for the V8... that was the last thing this truck needed. The I 5 was fine for what this truck was to do. The money they spent on that fiasco could have gone to more improtant things like a interior.

My 97 and 88 were both good trucks and I got a lot of mile with little problems with either. When I sold them I got top dollar and had no rust holes or body damage even here in salt county. THe only sissue the 88 had was the sunshine stripe packge started to fade at 10 years and the 97 the fuel sending unit failed as it did on most 97 GM cars. We had 3 1997's in the family and all lost the sending units. Two were cars.

The biggest factor with the new truck is it cost too damn much. Like state here it need to be less and smaller.

I deem the new truck failed as they sold no where near in the same numbers of any of the old trucks. In fact many dealers have few of them since they can't sell them and if they do they have to discount them now.

I know you are a Fan of this truck and I respect that. But I have tried and tried and just could not bring myself to buy one no matter what model or style. I tried them all. I wanted to like it but there was no sweetner that could make me take one home.

I know you may nor agree but I know I am far from alone on this. Just at work the older truck were one of the most common vehickes in a parking lot of 500+ cars. Today most refused the new truck for many of the same reason as I have. Also those who did buy one I did not get one that said they were real happy with it. Many had quality issues and the trucks just did not make them happy. Many just went to the full size since it was about the same price.

One was the president of the company. I talked the truck up before it came out so much he ended up buying one. After many trips to the dealer for assorted issues he traded it for a Ford Expedition.

So don't try to convince me about this truck as I could not talk myself into one as much as I tried. This is why I am excited to see them try again. I hope they may be able to correct much of what I do not like.

Edited by hyperv6

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loki    287

curious what you feel a "ranger" sized truck could use as engines from GM...

basically the solstice/sky engines?

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ocnblu    773

On all of my S-10 pickups with 60/40 split bench seats, the unoccupied passenger half would quiver over rough roads once they got miles on them, so that is not a 355 problem, but a GM problem. Yes, my '04 Colorado with 60/40 passenger seat quivered, as well, once it got miles on it. This new one hasn't started doing it yet. I understand that some of the few parts that carried over from S/T to 355 were the seat frames... so that is old news.

And I agree on the wheel size appearance, until they went to 16" rims as standard, with 17" on the Z71 and 18" on the ZQ8, the 15" wheels on the 355 looked way too small except for the 265/75R15 tires on the Z71. But that's over now, with even the base model W/T having 16" steel rims.

But whatever. We'll have to agree to disagree on this. Meanwhile, I am happily driving a new GM compact truck while you wait.

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GM AT WORK ON SUB-COLORADO PICKUP

By Andrew Ganz

It’s not secret that the small pickup market has been in decline for about a decade; most automakers have emphasized and improved their full-size offerings to the point where only reduced dimensions are an advantage (to some) on small and mid-size pickups.

According to our friends at PickupTrucks.com, General Motors is working on a small pickup “reminiscent of the original S-10,” a back-to-basics workhorse that could be practical for in-town delivery and light loads.

Sources indicate that the truck will be based on a smaller platform than the next-generation Thailand-market Colorado, a strong seller that’s related to the slow-selling current North American model.

It’s expected that GM will drop the five-cylinder it currently uses in the Colorado and its GMC Canyon sister and instead likely focus on only four-cylinder powertrains. Fuel economy, light load capacity and tight spaces maneuverability would be the big draws for a small pickup, not cargo hauling and towing. Those virtues would be left to GM’s larger Silverado and Sierra trucks.

A potential blueprint

Our speculations, not based on any formal reports or sources, lean toward two cab offerings (standard and extended), standard manual transmissions, small-displacement, naturally-aspirated four-cylinders producing around 180 horsepower and a lightweight frame. Towing capacity might not exceed 5,000 lbs., but would be sufficient for light utility trailers, while payload levels would be high enough for furniture and some tools, but not cement, rocks or soil. We imagine this small GM pickup would be sized a little smaller than today’s Ford Ranger and would be offer limited upscale features.

A base price around $15,000 strikes Leftlane as an ideal target, with a fully loaded part-time four-wheel drive model possibly packing a turbocharged four-cylinder stickering at around $25,000.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/gm-at-work-on-sub-colorado-pickup.html

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regfootball    250

GM would be better off instead of offering a cheap truck, to refine the current Colorado. But the thing is new GM cannot sell at volume and cheap. So they have to sell what they can at high prices and not very many.

So that means no 1,000,000 a year segment. Mainly the compact truck segment got cannibalized by Explorers and SUV's and those won't all come back.

BUt there were indeed millions of folks who owned S-10s and loved em for what they were.

Colorado, the name change probably did them in.

Many S-10's were simple 4 poppers and you could buy em for less than 10 grand.

GM now has to peddle their Colorados and Canyons loaded with this and that, big heavy crew cabs and 6 poppers and 4wd.

Instead of developing a cheap new platform, I would spin off the current colorado, make the colorados the nicer upmarket trucks. But rework the platform and powertrains a bit to allow for the new S-10.....4 cyl short and long box std cab rwd. man and auto. 4 cyl ext cab rwd. offer a smaller fuel efficient six. Leave the big 6 cyl and crew cabs for the colorado name.

The money saved by not having to do an all new platform means you can keep the price down on the S-10.

Basic colorado is the minimum size for a truck, IMO. GM just needs a decent fuel efficient four to offer, make the interior a little nicer, clean up / refresh the styling.

GM needs an s-10 base, with air, nice seats with a little room behind for grocery, rubber floor, abs/stab control, stick, radio and such for around 15 grand. Add auto and trimmings/PW PL PM and you are at say, 17-18000.

Edited by regfootball

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ocnblu    773

GM AT WORK ON SUB-COLORADO PICKUP

By Andrew Ganz

It’s not secret that the small pickup market has been in decline for about a decade; most automakers have emphasized and improved their full-size offerings to the point where only reduced dimensions are an advantage (to some) on small and mid-size pickups.

According to our friends at PickupTrucks.com, General Motors is working on a small pickup “reminiscent of the original S-10,” a back-to-basics workhorse that could be practical for in-town delivery and light loads.

Sources indicate that the truck will be based on a smaller platform than the next-generation Thailand-market Colorado, a strong seller that’s related to the slow-selling current North American model.

It’s expected that GM will drop the five-cylinder it currently uses in the Colorado and its GMC Canyon sister and instead likely focus on only four-cylinder powertrains. Fuel economy, light load capacity and tight spaces maneuverability would be the big draws for a small pickup, not cargo hauling and towing. Those virtues would be left to GM’s larger Silverado and Sierra trucks.

A potential blueprint

Our speculations, not based on any formal reports or sources, lean toward two cab offerings (standard and extended), standard manual transmissions, small-displacement, naturally-aspirated four-cylinders producing around 180 horsepower and a lightweight frame. Towing capacity might not exceed 5,000 lbs., but would be sufficient for light utility trailers, while payload levels would be high enough for furniture and some tools, but not cement, rocks or soil. We imagine this small GM pickup would be sized a little smaller than today’s Ford Ranger and would be offer limited upscale features.

A base price around $15,000 strikes Leftlane as an ideal target, with a fully loaded part-time four-wheel drive model possibly packing a turbocharged four-cylinder stickering at around $25,000.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/gm-at-work-on-sub-colorado-pickup.html

A brilliant plan! This is exciting.:)

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hyperv6    774

To get this right it needs to be the size of the original.

The price has to be less.

It needs around 200 HP.

It needs to trailer only a small trailer since few people with these truck would attempt anything larger.

Diesel failed here once so save them for the larger trucks where towing is prime.

Keep the price down but offer 3 levels of trim so if someone needs a nicer truck they can buy it and use it as a car too. The Truck/car they vehicle is important in this class.

Skip the 4 door at least in this country the bed gets too small on this size truck.

Build this truck to be able to be sold world wide as that would make it very profitable. Mos other companies sell small truck in S America, Middle East and Asia.

Also add some inovation to this with creative storage compartmens similar to the new Ram.

The key is make it smaller and cheaper than the full size and give people a reason to buy one. Right now in Oct you can buy a Silverado LT exteneded Cab that stickers for $32K for $19K if you get the fall rebate and know how to deal.

Make this tuck different so people have a reason to want it over the other. The present truck is just not a good value vs the full size as it is priced.

Something that is a little sporty,easy to drive, sporty, good on gas and usable if you need to haul something would work as it did before. The market for these trucks died as they grew. One that did not grow was the ranger and even as out dated as it has been it still sells for a reason.

Now that Ford has a new one coming GM had better get a move on.

Edited by hyperv6

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hyperv6    774

On all of my S-10 pickups with 60/40 split bench seats, the unoccupied passenger half would quiver over rough roads once they got miles on them, so that is not a 355 problem, but a GM problem. Yes, my '04 Colorado with 60/40 passenger seat quivered, as well, once it got miles on it. This new one hasn't started doing it yet. I understand that some of the few parts that carried over from S/T to 355 were the seat frames... so that is old news.

And I agree on the wheel size appearance, until they went to 16" rims as standard, with 17" on the Z71 and 18" on the ZQ8, the 15" wheels on the 355 looked way too small except for the 265/75R15 tires on the Z71. But that's over now, with even the base model W/T having 16" steel rims.

But whatever. We'll have to agree to disagree on this. Meanwhile, I am happily driving a new GM compact truck while you wait.

All I know is my old trucks did not quiver and the new ones did in everyone I test drove if no one was sitting in it.

I am not disagreeing here I just could not make myself like this truck and God knows I tried. I struggled on this one for a couple years waiting for improvments. I even was in a GM clinic on this truck once and gave feed back. I just could never come to terms to the point I would spend my money on one.

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GMTruckGuy74    228

I guess GM's Bare Necessity Pickup Truck is making it's return!! I'm rooting for this to be GMC's entry:

medium_3811957884_3fb7583e9d_o.jpg

And here's one creative way to solve the regular cab vs. extended cab model issue:

Bare_Necessity_Truck.jpg

I'm excited by this news :metal:

Edited by GMTruckGuy74

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daves87rs    349

I loved my S-10. It wasn't a big truck, but it did everything I needed it to do.

We'll see about the looks, but if things look good, I'd jump on one...

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

IMO, there should be 4 & 6cyl options in the small truck.

260hp/260 ft.lbs. out of the Ecotec turbo with a vast majority of that torque at low rpm should be plenty

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PurdueGuy    72

260hp/260 ft.lbs. out of the Ecotec turbo with a vast majority of that torque at low rpm should be plenty

Maybe - I guess the question is how many buyers will consider/believe that, and how many will just scoff at the lack of a 6?

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

Maybe - I guess the question is how many buyers will consider/believe that, and how many will just scoff at the lack of a 6?

In a strange way, Ford can help convince buyers of that. The Turbo Ecotec is just Ecoboost without the clever marketing name. After that, it's just getting butts in seats.

Or, to put it another way.

A 2wd Colorado standard cab is 3300lbs. A Solstice GXP is 3000lbs.

For a small truck, it would go like snot if they put the Turbo ecotec in it.

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hyperv6    774

260hp/260 ft.lbs. out of the Ecotec turbo with a vast majority of that torque at low rpm should be plenty

I too would ecpect only a 4 and maybe a turbo option.

The LNF would need to be retuned a little but would make a great engine if the cost would not be too much. But with the coming CAFE GM will keep the MPG up on this vehicle. The Eco Turbo would be more than ready to be able to haul and tow. Mine makes both of my 4.3's feel like boat anchors.

I soon expect we will hear about a V6 Turbo option in the new updated full size trucks. With Ford already commited you know GM may have already given he green light to do the same. I expect it as an option to start and they as more people drive them they will slowly remove the V8 to a more limited and expensive role.

Truck as we know today are in for not a eveolution but a revolution in the next 10-15 years. We may have big trucks but the shape and driveline will change greatly.

With oil able to just in many $$$$ at a monents notice GM would be wise to keep a smaller truck available.

This also will be a vehicle for more than just North America so this truck needs to be right. This could be a big player in China! Hmmm Buicks first pick up?

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hyperv6    774

In a strange way, Ford can help convince buyers of that. The Turbo Ecotec is just Ecoboost without the clever marketing name. After that, it's just getting butts in seats.

Or, to put it another way.

A 2wd Colorado standard cab is 3300lbs. A Solstice GXP is 3000lbs.

For a small truck, it would go like snot if they put the Turbo ecotec in it.

Ford will lose it's marketing advantage soon enough since most companies will be offering DI Turbo engines and the people will understand it is the systems not that it is a Ford that provide the power and economy.

Besides I expect GM will soon start marketing the Eco Turo soon with the Regal and Cruze. Right now it is hard to market a Turbo 4 that is out of peoduction for this summer.

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hyperv6    774

Maybe - I guess the question is how many buyers will consider/believe that, and how many will just scoff at the lack of a 6?

This never hurt most Toyot sales as most were 4 bangers.

The Eco even in non turbo drives a very heavy Equinox failry well a smaller and lighter truck should not be an issue. Computers, VVT and DI can work wonders.

The key is to get people to drive these new engines.

I too said I would never own a 4 cylinder. I have one today and have no regrets. Something about 290 HP and 315 FT-LB out of 2.0 liters can change ones mind. The new systems make all the things we once hated on turbo 4's go away. Little to no lag broad Torque band etc and V8 like power.

This is not a Ford, Chrysler or old GM turbo.

Edited by hyperv6

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