GM’s Mark Reuss sees plenty of room for variety in U.S. pickup market

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 21, 2011

In the past decade, the U.S. market for small and mid-sized pickups dropped as full-sized pickups became more fuel-efficient and less expensive. But despite this trend, General Motors chose to continue to offer smaller pickups in the U.S. with a redesigned Chevrolet Colorado. Notably, many of its rivals in this segment have already left.

Mark Reuss, GM's president of North America, believes that the pickup segment has a sufficient bandwidth and that full-sized pickups can serve various functions to different people. He pointed out that a full-sized pickup has nearly the same price as a smaller, less-capable truck.

For instance, a fully loaded regular-cab Chevy Colorado has a price tag of almost $22,000. This is almost the same price as a base model Chevy Silverado 1500 full-sized truck. About 1.1 million small pickups were sold in the U.S. in 2000. This made up 6.1% of all light-vehicle sales. Last year, only 265,278 units were sold, covering 2.3% of the market.

When interviewed last week, Reuss said that there will be a “micro-segmentation of what the bandwidth is of a pickup truck,” adding that this is a big opportunity. He explained that many people continue to make a living driving these trucks.

He said that the Colorado offers a fuel economy and a duty cycle that can’t be achieved on a bigger pickup truck. Last April, Reuss had said that Holden's Commodore Ute, a car-based pickup, may still be offered in the U.S. He believes that the versatile Ute will do well in the U.S. as fuel-economy regulations get stricter.

Topics: gm, pickup truck

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