GM and Toyota to battle for smaller pickup truck segment

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Toyota Heavy duty truck

GM and Toyota to battle for smaller truck segment


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.


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 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 segment in saying customers prefer pickups. GM, embracing one of the few areas it won’t fight head-to-head Ford, is taking a risk.

The for these smaller pickups, weigh less and are more efficient than large makes up only 1.6 percent of the vehicle market, down 3.2 percent in 2008. It may increase to 2 percent in 2015, according to IHS Polk.

The customer can get a heck of a lot value in terms of towing bed size, engine size by a larger pickup, said Tom a Polk analyst. The competition in segment is hurting the one underneath it.

The is part of the 18 new or refreshed vehicles brought out this year and 14 year by GM as its works to transform its from among the oldest the newest.

CEO Dan Akerson is counting on the new to help boost North operating profit as he seeks to losses in Europe and expand in China.

‘Beautiful Truck’

The mid-size are also part of GM’s to meet federal CO2 restrictions, Reuss, president of GM North told reporters in September in GM sees the Colorado competing the Toyota Tacoma in markets as California where mid-size sell better, according to data.

While GM sees the competing against the Tacoma in such as California, the GMC Canyon target GM’s full-sized Reuss said.

Toyota Heavy duty truck

It’s a truck that gives you everything that a full-size might give you but at a lower he said.

Consumers paid an price of $27,903 for a mid-size in September compared with an $40,860 for full- size and pickups, according to Edmunds

Detroit unveiling

The Canyon be unveiled in January around the auto show, said a familiar with the plans who not to be identified because the plans been released publicly. The for North America will be at GM’s factory near St.

The U.S. market for mid-size has declined because of improvements big pickups.

You’ve got these full-sized that have just tremendously capable vehicles and more efficient than used to be, Jeremy Acevedo, an with Edmunds, said. just kind of taken from the market share of

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 like the potential for sales, he said.

Since bankruptcy in 2009, GM has rushed to new products in areas that it had let such as compact pickups, as it with the collapse of its business.

’08, ’09, ’10, had to pick and choose what made the most sense knowing they couldn’t do they wanted, Polk’s said. This segment didn’t make the list.

For the new Colorado is going to be a welcome

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Toyota Heavy duty truck
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