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.