General Motors will not be giving up on the midsize pickup segment as other carmakers have done due to low sales. Sources say that GM is currently working on a new compact runabout that shares some qualities with the original Chevrolet S-10. In recent years, sales for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins were steadily decreasing.
Market share has also dropped. Sales of the Colorado fell 30.3% from a year earlier and the Canyon dropped by 28.5%. Last February, newly retired former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz said that the future of the two trucks were uncertain.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said that GM planned to end production at the Shreveport plant, which makes the Colorado and Canyon, by 2012.
The current top sellers in this segment are the Toyota Tacoma (with sales of more than 100,000 units each year) and the Ford Ranger. Most complaints about the Tacoma are that it is too big and that it costs too much.
Next year, Ford will end production of the Ranger because small truck buyers would prefer a small car or a more fuel-efficient F-150. It was also found out that small truck buyers have a tendency to go for full-size pickups since the cost of entry-level half-ton trucks is very close to the price of midsize pickups.
GM sees the opportunity to offer a modern take on a small truck that's similarly sized to the compact pickups of the 1980s, a period when the segment sold more than 1 million trucks annually.