Truck wars: General Motors vs. Toyota
After having left the midsize pickup territory, the US automaker is returning to take on the Japanese.
The midsized trucks will do 95% of the workload of a big truck, according to Mark Reuss, GM's president of North American operations.
Reuss emphasized the new trucks are not makeovers of the older Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models, saying, "Don't think of them as Canyon and Colorado replacements, because they're not." Reuss did say that GM is evaluating whether to keep the Colorado and Canyon names.
The two new trucks, which will be a little larger than the Toyota Tacoma, target specific buyers. The Chevrolet version, according to Reuss, will serve as a lifestyle and sport truck, aimed at younger buyers who use trucks to haul recreation equipment and play outdoors. The GMC will go after more functional, work-oriented buyers.
Both will have a list of options to allow buyers to customize their vehicles to their activities. Both will get better fuel economy than larger full-size trucks and neither will share a power train with GM's larger trucks, Reuss said.
With the unveiling of these models, General Motors hopes to reverse a trend away from midsize and small pickups that started when sales slumped after the recession. The primary drivers, according to The Washington Post, were the fact that businesses curtailed spending and, of course, the drop in the housing market.
Ford Motor (F), which stopped selling its Ranger pickup in December 2011, has no plans to offer anything other than its full-size F-150. In fact, no Detroit automakers currently sell a smaller-than-full-size truck.
Jeff Schuster, an LMC Automotive analyst, told the Detroit News that he thinks GM will use the two new trucks, plus the full-size Silverado and Sierra, to combat both Ford and Toyota. "We see this more as a strategy . . . to use these two (smaller) trucks as entry-level trucks and allow the Sierra and Silverado to move upstream," he said.
Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs said pricing would be a key. "Sales of small and midsize trucks have had a roller-coaster history, and whether there's a market there in the future remains to be seen. GM sees one, Ford does not, and Toyota has enjoyed good success with the Tacoma, but will the pie expand?"
Sales of the Tacoma this year are up 22.9%, through March.
After opening Thursday at $29.27, GM stock is down about 1% in afternoon trading.
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As of this writing Jim Probasco had no position in any of the mentioned securities.
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The reason people stopped buying small to mid-sized trucks was due to cost and rebates. A buyer could purchase a full-size truck with rebates at nearly the same price as a small truck or even less in some cases!
The increased functionality of a larger truck, and identical mileage ratings from the same V6 engines used in both sizes, steered buyers to the larger trucks.
All I can say is CHEAPLY MADE !!!
In 2012 GM sold 465,000 full sized pickups. Toyota sold 83.000 Tundras. There is no reason to believe the next small trucks from a reborn GM won't outperform and outsell the Tacoma as well.
Here's what CAR AND DRIVER had to say about the Toyota trucks:
TACOMA: "brakes feel weak, expensive, cruddy V-6 fuel economy, weak frame, weak performance, disappointing, jiggly ride and equally jiggly structure".
TUNDRA: "rough ride, quality issues have dinged reputation, interior materials look and feel cheap, jiggly ride".
Get the picture? Add to that Toyota's numerous recalls (and record fines for lying to the NHTSA) and one begins to see just who needs to improve.
Upper Mid-west Guy,
Who in their right mind buys a full size truck with a v-6 engine? (not many) The increased functionality and reason for buying a full size truck and not a small truck is for the v-8 engine. Another thing, In my estimation people who want to purchase a full size truck already know what their going to get in mileage (not the greatest.) If you want and need a full size truck mileage is not a issue at least not for me.
I would love to be able to buy a new mid-size pickup over a full size. I had two Rangers in the past but outgrew their capabilities. And Ford's Ranger sales went down the crapper because a Ford never made a major body redesign in over 20 years. Ford neglected it.
Give me a mid size that can tow at least 6,000 lbs with a quality interior and I'll seriously concider it. A V6 diesel would be a good start.
The biggest mistake GM made was to discontinue production of the Chevy S-10 line of trucks.
They had a truck that was worlds apart from everything that came from the Asian countries, Europe, and even Ford and Chrysler...Why they dropped it is a mystery.
99% of people don`t need a truck.Americans want to have the biggest truck, biggest
boat, biggest wife, biggest house.
Well I just made a 5400 mile round trip via the Interstates to the left coast and back. Generally on these trips I see dozens of Fords on the side of the road in various states of disrepair. This trip the most noticable due to numbers were the Silvarados, Suburbans, and RAMs. Only saw three Toyota's and two had flat tires and one was a about a 1995 model pickup with a broken transmission or U Joint and about 4 Fords...So Toyota or a Ford which used to have the worst reputation as Found On Rode Dead...
I test drove a Toyota Tacoma, it was a very nice truck, I carefully compared the build quality to the Chevy colorado. I did not see much difference. I ended up purchasing the colorado, It is now 6 years old and never went back for warranty. Zero defects. I still want to try a Toyota after the Colorado wears out, but it looks like it is going to be awhile. I think GM did a good job on this truck, If they were that bad, they couldn't offer nearly 3 times the powertrain warranty, and for $3000 less money, I don't think it was a bad value. Resale is a non-issue for me, because I drive them until a major component fails. My S-10 now has nearly 350,000 miles on it and has been great. I don't see the difference.
If they build this truck to haul a small trailer say a two bike trailer and still get decent mileage count me in. Right now I drive a ford ranger. Comfortable truck but fuel economy is not there. No better than a full size truck. I also agree that a v6 diesel would be a real deal maker, but knowing how GM operates I doubt that will happen. One can hope. Chrysler is the one American company that impresses me the most right now, even if they are foreign owned. They are on the right track.
I have no doubt that it will look nicer than the Tacoma, have more bells and whistles than the Tacoma, but it's durability will be all smoke and mirrors.
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