GM and Toyota to battle for smaller pickup truck segment

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GM and Toyota to battle for smaller truck segment

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Tim Higgins

November 18, 2013 1:24 pm ET

(Bloomberg) — For Alpern, who runs the Keyes auto dealership in Los Angeles, few are tougher than selling big to eco-conscious Californians looking for enough pickup to fit a bike, keg or surfboard.

Consider his recent to persuade the owner of a mid-size Tacoma to switch to a full-sized Silverado.


We talked about into a Silverado, Alpern last week. He goes, problem is that Silverado is too big for me for what I do.’

General Co. is out to change that. While the Three dominate big pickups, Motor Corp. has become the top truck seller in the U.S. its Tacoma. GM, which stopped a mid-size pickup for the U.S. year, is returning to the segment a redesigned version of the Chevrolet betting it can appeal to Toyota

The styling on the Colorado is unique that it’s going to some eyebrows and create attention — and all of the attention we can create bringing prospective back to the Chevy showrooms is Alpern said.

The Colorado, GM plans to reveal at the Los Angeles Show Nov. 20, extends an to offer a wider variety of to U.S. shoppers than any company. Along with the GM will also offer a GMC called the Canyon.

Ford Co. whose F-Series has been the truck for 36 years, only full-size and heavy-duty versions, as Chrysler Group LLC’s Ram Toyota doesn’t offer a pickup while offering and compact trucks.

GM’s

We have a three-truck strategy, Rohrer, marketing director of trucks, said in September a presentation in Austin, Texas. We that we ought to have a of mid-size, full-size and heavy-duty. the only ones that all three.

GM didn’t totally its mid-size truck effort stopping production for the U.S. A Colorado, which was revealed at the Motor Show in 2011, is in 16 global markets, including Thailand and Argentina.

While the new U.S. Colorado is on the same platform as the one sold it has been pretty much for North America because the needs are very, very than they are in Thailand or Tom Wilkinson, a GM spokesman, said in a interview.

California buyers

To hold in the U.S. wooing is key. The state is the largest for mid-sized trucks, with 16 of registrations this year September, according to Edmunds.com. The biggest markets were with 9.7 percent and Florida, 6.7 percent.

Alpern, the Los Angeles car said he was given an early at the new Colorado by GM last year. He its styling isn’t as radical as the version, though it’s enough to appeal to California especially those who will use it for purposes such as biking and

Lifestyle truck owners are apt to change to something that has features, more styling, said.

Ford got out of the mid-size in 2011, saying customers larger pickups. GM, embracing one of the few where it won’t fight with Ford, is taking a

The market for these smaller which weigh less and are fuel efficient than pickups, makes up only 1.6 of the total vehicle market, from 3.2 percent in 2008. It may only to 2 percent in 2015, to IHS Automotive’s Polk.

The customer can get a of a lot more value in terms of capacity, bed size, engine by getting a larger pickup, Tom Libby, a Polk analyst. The in that segment is hurting the one it.

The Colorado is part of the 18 new or refreshed being brought out this and 14 next year by GM as its works to its lineup from among the into the newest.

CEO Dan Akerson is on the new models to help boost America operating profit as he to stem losses in Europe and business in China.

‘Beautiful

The mid-size trucks are also of GM’s strategy to meet CO2 restrictions, Mark Reuss, of GM North America, told in September in Dallas. GM sees the competing against the Toyota in markets such as California mid-size trucks sell according to Edmunds data.

GM sees the Colorado competing the Tacoma in markets such as the GMC Canyon will target full-sized competitors, Reuss

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It’s a beautiful truck gives you almost everything a full-size competitor might you but at a lower price, he said.

paid an average price of for a mid-size truck in September with an average $40,860 for size and heavy-duty pickups, to Edmunds data.

Detroit

The Canyon will be unveiled in around the Detroit auto said a person familiar the plans who asked not to be identified the plans haven’t been publicly. The trucks for North will be assembled at GM’s near St. Louis.

The U.S. for mid-size trucks has declined of improvements among big pickups.

got these full-sized trucks have just become capable vehicles and considerably efficient than they to be, Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst Edmunds, said. It’s kind of taken away the market share of compacts.

Tacoma led the mid-size segment year with 141,365 a 28 percent gain from according to researcher Autodata Combined U.S. sales of the and Canyon peaked in 2005 163,668 deliveries, Autodata That compares with U.S. sales of GM’s pickups of 575,497 last

‘Diminished Segment’

Mid-size comprise a segment that to be a very big portion of the overall market, Dan Ammann, GM’s financial officer, told in August. It’s diminished the years, partly because in our there hasn’t been the of offering in the segment that were really looking The Colorado is really going to be at the sport truck segment.

Few buyers shop for smaller Edmunds’s Acevedo said. 11 percent of Tacoma shoppers, for looked at a Silverado 1500, to Edmunds data.

It seems the potential for incremental sales, he

Since exiting bankruptcy in GM has rushed to develop new products in that it had let slide, such as pickups, as it dealt with the of its business.

During ’08, ’10, they had to pick and what programs made the sense financially knowing couldn’t do everything they Polk’s Libby said. segment probably didn’t the list.

For Alpern, the new Colorado is to be a welcome addition.

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Toyota Heavy duty truck
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Toyota Heavy duty truck

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