Chevrolet is emulating the visual strategy that Subaru has been implementing for years now -- telling the public that its products are lifestyle vehicle for adventurous families. In fact, promotional images for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado show it being loaded with camping gear or festooned with mountain bikes and other outdoor equipment.
Subaru has been using this active style image to boost its sales and market share in the country. And in the land of the free, other carmakers are following suit. "It hasn't gone amiss on us that they have been very successful," Chevrolet global chief Alan Batey remarked last month. While Batey and other General Motors executives primarily target the Toyota Tacoma for the Colorado, the position of their mid-sized pickup entry places it beside Subaru.
According to Chevrolet, the sporty rear- or all-wheel-drive Colorado is targeted toward buyers with "a zeal for adventure." It comes with a number of outdoor-related accessories like load bars that can be adjusted quickly to swap out a bike rack for a canoe carrier. Subaru is also facing a challenge from Volkswagen, which is launching an awd version of the redesigned Jetta SportWagen in the US in late 2014.
According to sources, VW is mulling an off-road variant to rival Subaru's awd Outback wagon, featuring higher ground clearance and body cladding. According to Tom Libby, a Polk analyst, it is only logical for Chevrolet to position the Colorado as a versatile, awd vehicle for active buyers, since those are the attributes that sparked the popularity of the compact crossover segment.
He said that that such positioning allows the Colorado be more appealing to a broader market of buyers, than if it just highlights its pickup characteristics. He, however, remarked that it would be tough for Chevrolet to conquer Subaru buyers, as "Subaru has developed such brand loyalty over the years because of its reputation for reliable all-wheel-drive vehicles."