Mid-size pickups on forefront of GM’s truck strategy

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 30, 2014

Mid-size pickups are made to lighter loads than their heavy- and light-duty cousins. But at General Motors, mid-size pickups are being made to bear the load of the carmaker’s truck strategy. GM believes that as the auto industry shift from smaller pickups, customers -- who doesn’t need to carry heavy loads and yet seek the versatility of a truck -- don’t have much options to choose from.

That is where the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon comes in. These GM midsize trucks are expected to surpass the segment’s Nos. 1 and 2 – Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier – in almost every aspect. Based on a recent comparison tests, the Colorado and the Canyon have quieter cabin, smoother powertrain as well as more features.

According to GM, its new midsize trucks feature industry-first fuel saving measures like electric power steering, aluminum hood and knuckles for reduced mass, and grille shutters that close at higher speeds. But GM’s trucks need to prove they are better mid-size pickups; they need to prove they could conquest from their segment rivals as well as capture buyers from other segments like crossovers and full-size trucks.

Both the Colorado and Canyon are underpinned by GM's global midsize truck platform that also underpins the Colorado sold in Brazil, Thailand and elsewhere overseas. The trucks have been engineered for the US – and now are more similar to their full-size cousins like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

For instance, the frame is a mini version of their cousins’ fully boxed one. The Colorado and the Canyon are also just about 16 inches shorter and 6 inches narrower than the Silverado and Sierra.

A good number of GM’s new midsize pickups will be powered by the carmaker’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine. The available engines will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission although a six-speed manual can also be availed.

Topics: gm, truck, strategy

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