Work on Next-Gen Colorado and Canyon for North America Under Way, Sources Say

Development of Next-Gen Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon for US Under Way
Story by Chris Doane for

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon small pickup trucks are expected to end production at their home in Shreveport, La., by June 2012, but that's not the end of the road for GM's midsize twins in North America, according to our sources.

We've learned that development on the next-generation 2014 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon for the U.S. and Canada is under way, based on GM’s all-new GMI 700 body-on-frame global small truck platform that will be built in Thailand starting late this year.

The GMI 700-based Chevy Colorado is expected to make its world debut at the 2011 Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok.

GM’s original plans during the company’s bankruptcy and financial restructuring in 2009 called for the end of the Colorado and Canyon, but those plans were reversed in the last few months.

The move runs contrary to the latest trends in the dwindling midsize segment, whose vehicles have grown stale and manufacturers have been exiting the segment. Later this year, U.S. production of the Ford Ranger will end after 29 years. The Ranger hasn't seen a major mechanical update since 2001 or a design change since 2006. Mazda, Isuzu and Mitsubishi also left the segment in the past few years.

Ford’s next-generation Ranger, code-name T6, will start production later this year for markets outside North America, leaving domestic Ford truck buyers with the F-150 as their only option.

Next-Gen Chevrolet Colorado

GM’s new trucks will still face competition from Toyota and Nissan. A heavily refreshed Tacoma is expected to debut for 2013 with all-new sheetmetal and at least one new engine, though its platform will likely be mostly carry over. Nissan is also expected to sell a next-gen Frontier based on its latest global small truck chassis. A replacement for the Dodge Dakota may also be available by 2014, possibly riding on an innovative unibody platform.

The current Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon debuted in 2003 as 2004 models. They replaced the Chevy S-10 and GMC Sonoma compact pickups.

So how long do we have to wait for this new truck? At least two-and-a-half years. Our sources indicate that production couldn't start until at least the very end of 2013. The first half of 2014 is more likely. Production is likely to move north, to Wentzville, Mo., where GM currently builds its full-size Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans. With only one shift building vans at Wentzville, there’s untapped capacity for a new product.


It is still an overgrown mid-size truck that will not get any better fuel mileage than a fullsize truck! Why even waste the money and resources on this truck. Just what GM needs, spend money on something that does not sell well. Leave the small/mid-size trucks to Toyota and move on. Invest that time and money in to the fullsize trucks.

I just wish they would bring back the S-10. I have a 1989 S-10 and I love it to death.

Great News! Hopefully they'll give it a good little inline-4 diesel and price it right.

Great news! I hate the thought of a US corp throwing in the towel in any business. I bet this next gen is a dandy.

If it looks like this it will be sweet

Oh and dump those stupid torsion bars too and make a regular cab long bed 4x4 and you will have a winner , what does this mean for the Ranger is Ford going to give in and sell the new world Ranger here in the USA after all ?

"A heavily refreshed Tacoma is expected to debut for 2013 with all-new sheetmetal and at least one new engine, though its platform will likely be mostly carry over."

Mike where did this information regarding the Tacoma come from? It seems like there is some varying reports regarding the Tacoma, whether it will be redone/refreshed for model year 2012 or 2013.

Also, at least one new engine for the refreshed Tacoma, can you expand on what we might expect?

Thank you in advance!

@Jim: From two other sources that matched what the other said.

Thanks Mike,

Other news sources? Any word from Toyota?

Thanks again.

@Jim: I don't expect to hear official word from Toyota for at least another year or longer, other than they are sticking with Tacoma.

I sure hope that they do offer the Canyon/Colorado here in the U.S. AFTER they move production to MO. Maybe the people that would have bought a Ranger will gravitate to the G.M. twins. That would be better than these buyers heading over to the Datsun and Toyota lots!

You know, people always complain about how much bigger the Colorado is than the S10, but when you run the numbers it doesn't really pan out:

Colorado RCSB Length: 192"
S-10 RCSB Length: 190"

Colorado RCSB Width: 68"
S-10 RCSB Width: 68"

Colorado RCSB Height: 65"
S-10 RCSB Height: 63.5"

So, the Colorado is only 2" longer and 1.5" higher. However, when you take into consideration that the S-10 uses slightly smaller tires than the Colorado, the height is almost identical.

So, the only dimension where the Colorado is actually larger than the S10 is in length, and even that is only by a few inches. In fact, the present North American Ford ranger is actually taller and wider than the current Colorado.

Chevyman- those trucks DO sell outside of N America. In fact, they are just about the only pick-ups outside NA. Fuel economy will increase in importance, and these trucks CAN get better economy, if the drive trains are upgraded.
Taylor- don't hold your breath for the T6.
Jim- Don't expect to see or hear anything until 4-6 months before the release. They are very tight lipped over there.
Buy American or say Bye to America!- Please stop referring to Nissan as Datsun. Datsun was a brand under Nissan, eventually discontinued. Wanting to refer to Nissan as Datsun makes as much sense as calling all GM vehicles Saturns.

Mrknowitall -

Referring Nissan as Datsun makes as much sense as...When people refer to the Chrysler Corporation as "Chrysler-Fiat", or the General Motors Corporation as "Government Motors", or the Ford Motor Company as "Furd", etc. It is all in poor, but equal, taste.

Surely they will sell those pickups as Isuzu in Europe. As to economy - maybe l-4 turbodiesel with a common rail injection system? Evvery new pickup sold here in Europe has one.

Yay! Small truck news!

I'm excited that not EVERY small pickup is flying the coop. I really hope that they can lower the price and improve on the fuel economy. I think we'd see this segment grow in popularity then, or at least I would hope so.

Any word on if Nissan is still thinking of shrinking the next Frontier a little bit?

Dear General Motors,

If you build it, they will buy. Give the people what they want!!!

Unlike cough *FORD* cough, I think I got a cold/flu.

i have been a loyal ford owner for 40 + years, but i feel that ford wants to keep it's f150 as the best truck by doing away with the ranger. if this happens, you can be sure that my next truck will be gm. i don't need a full size truck, but do need a small truck to haul stuff from time to time.

@ Mark Lavine: I generally like your articles, but sometimes misinformation seems to creep in. You are stating that Mitsubishi, Isuzu and Mazada left the midsize market, but that is not really true. Their North American arms left the playing field after being obstructed by the Chicken Tax (don't get me started on that one). As a matter of fact, Mitsubishi's L200 aka Triton midsize truck is the best selling truck in Europe. A place that isn't known for pickups at all. Mazda's BT-50 aka Ford Ranger (International) is doing quite well around the globe and will be replace along with the new Ford Ranger T6. Isuzu is also selling quite well around the world and I would bet that since the place where they build the Isuzu trucks in Thailand is the same as the GM plant, it will be also the next Isuzu truck. Same as what happened to the last gen. Colorado, it was first released as a Isuzu truck and later as the Colorado / Canyon.

Lukas: I'm pretty sure Isuzu won't be getting a copy of the new GM pickup this time arond. I believe Isuzu will build the next D-Max on its own, or with assistance from Toyota or Mitsubishi.

Taylor: I checked out the link for the renderings. I see a bit of Toyota Hilux and VW Amarok, but it looks great.

Buy American: I am hoping as well for production in Mizzou, or anywhere in the US. the post on Jalopnik is saying the trucks will be sourced from Thailand. It that's going to be the case, I'm hoping that means CKD's, so they'll be upgraded to meet US standards, and avoid the 25% tariff. And good call on the Datsun-Nissan reference.

MIke: I heard a rumor last year of Mitsubishi planning to ship Triton CKD's to Normal for the US market. Do you think this is still possible?

Wants going to happen to the people at the Shreveport plant that are currently building the product now?

@bill hoyt,

I am with you 100%. However, an F150 will run cost the same as a Ranger but with more capabilities, hence EcoBoost.

But I know you do not care for the EcoBoost.

How about a Reg. Cab, shortbed, XL EcoBoost?

Wouldn't that be sweet?

Chevyman, they are still trucks, and as such will never get the same mileage as a mid-size sedan.

Hmmm, made in Thailand!

I would rather stick with my U.S. built Tacoma!

They get bailed out and still close their U.S. plants in favor of moving jobs abroad...

I do not buy from FAILED company's, why reward their leadership fresh off some major bonuses, yes the same creeps that ran the company to the ground just got bonuses!


@Mike Levine @Chris, there is a huge Global market for these pickups. The Hilux is coming in 2013(so I guess the Tacoma could be its twin). The new Colorado in Australia will have a VM Motori sourced diesel rather than the old Isuzu engine. Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Nissan are all bringing out new product. The Chinese are also trying to get into the act as well, with their basic copies of Toyota and Nissan pickups.

The next-gen Colorado and Canyon are expected to be built in the U.S. to avoid the chicken tax.

@imoore I think you are on the money. Thailand is not only the pickup Capitol of the world(50% of registered vehicles are pickup based) but becoming the Pickup production Capitol, with more and more manufacturers having their pickups assembled and built there.

@Mike Levine. Thailand was in the process of signing a free trade agreement with the US under George Bush, but did not complete the process. I would say the pickups will be built in Thailand, shipped to the US in CKD form and assembled in the US. One of the problems of midsized pickups in the US, is their cost relative to full size ones. Building them in Thailand would make them pretty cheap to start with.

I thinks it's a good move. I hope they bring a modern powertrain with it. Unlike the gutless 5 cyl they currently have.

Since this is going to be a uni-body and per the picture, looks like taking the Equinox or Traverse and extending the wheel base, maybe have the DI 4 and 6, so even with a bed will get 25-30mpg highway.
I have not figured why it takes the big 3 so long to bring a vehicle to market, 2 and a half years, come on,,,, that is why other companies outsell them, when the gas crunch came the foriegn makers had something for us. Look how long it took the Cruze and Focus to come out, long after the gas crunch was gone. They both missed that boat. My buddies at the Wentzville plant will be glad to hear this..

While we are waiting on the next gen Chevy trucks, Gov't Motors to pay out $189 million in bonuses; some workers to get 50% payoffs..

@Dave it will not be a unibody. All the Thai stuff is BOF. Unibodies do not survive towing anything. The Ridgeline is a US only vehicles. Not sold anywhere else.

why not use 3.6 liter V-6 with 304 hp or I-6 4.2 liter. and 25 MPG?

@Dave: If the truck is giong to be unibody, it would likely be styled like the old Jeep Comanche, in which the bed was the only section separated from the rest of the truck. I don't think unibody will be the order of the day for the GM.

@oxi: GM was building trucks in Thailand long before it went bankrupt. In fact, GM, Isuzu, Ford, Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi all have facilities in Thailand. The US did not lose jobs; Japan did. And if GM does decide to ship trucks from Thailand to the US (which is probably unlikely), it will ship CKD's to a US facility for final assembly, so someone will have a job. (And last year India's Tata joined the club, using Thailand to build its Xenon pickups for the world outside India.) Besides, if GM was a failed company, it would not even be in business today.

@Robert, Thanks for the comment. And your're right about the Chinese. Great Wall has a good presence in South Africa, and they have already stolen market share from Mahindra in Australia. Great Wall may the brand to watch out for right now. I'm waiting to see what impact Tata's Xenon will have on the market. I'm still waiting to hear their plans for North America.

GM, and put a nice, preppy V-6 in the new Colorado upgrades this time! Thank you.

I'm thinking that most of the "work" that a small truck does can be equally done by a 1982-1984 Dodge Rampage type vehicle.Rarely did a V6 S10 ever tow travel trailers or low boy trailered excavators....most mini truck owners are wannabe full size truck owners but they realize that they dont need a V8 5000lb gas hog.With all that they ever carry,a 120 hp 4 cylinder,FWD,2900 lb unibody truck would be sufficient.And the popularity of FWD Rabbit diesel trucks are on the rise....
A FWD,4 cylinder,turbo optional,and diesel possibility pickup with load levelling rear suspension would be enough truck for most in the years to come.Make it 25-35 mpg,give buyers time to get over the stigma of a FWD truck,and they will eventually come.

GM will slow walk this truck until the public forgets about it or is tired of hearing their crap.

But then again, that's their standard MO.

Ford could and should build a new truck on F150 chassis, but without the "kick up" in the door window area lowering that body line down about 2-3 inches, it would then lower the bed top rail by the same amount. Put a Expedition style grille on the front and put it on a diet to reduce weight by at least 750 Lbs. Use Ecoboost technology in the 3.2L inline 5 cylinder that Ford produces in Dagenham England and you would have an F100 that would be a hit, and be able to be counted in the coveted F-series sales numbers for shear superiority...

Wow, that's an interesting change. Maybe GM figures they will only have Toyota as a competitor, as Ford's new jumbo sized Ranger is so close to an F-150 there is probably no posibility we will see it stateside. BTW- Mike, still waiting for some news on GM's medium duty plans. Thanks!

I think that it is funny how; Chevrolet used Isuzu to tap into the compact pickup market, with the Luv, back in the '70s; Dodge used Mitsubishi, with the Ram 50; and Ford did the same with Mazda, with the Courier, and look at where they are now. The American companies bought some time, by importing and re-branding these foreign trucks, so that they could start developing their own offerings.

Fast forward thirty-plus years and the tables were turned. Isuzu (Hombre & IS250/IS350) started buying trucks from General Motors, Mazda (B-Series) was buying from Ford, and Mitsubishi (Raider) was buying from Dodge. These companies' knock-offs were not good enough. Americans want the real deal.

If General Motors imports the Canyon/Colorado and Ford imports the T-6 (Ranger), I believe history will repeat itself. They will not sell very many. They will do worse than the current Canyon, Colorado, and Ranger. Many Americans, still buy from American companies because of American pride. Take the American made part out of the equation and people might as well just buy a foreign brand like Isuzu, Nissan, or Toyota.

It will be interesting to see how this will turn out for GM.
They may be thinking all of the old Ranger fans/owners will flock to them instead of Toyota or Nissan.
If that were true they'd see a huge increase in sales.(relative to the pathetic Colorado/Canyon sales).
I suspect that will not happen as GM will not able to release it until 2013 at the earliest.
That will give Ranger customers 2 years or more to buy alternative vehicles.
I doubt they will wait for GM to get their crap together.
Ford's Transit Connect, C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, and Escape will probably adsorb sales that do not go to the F150 or Toyota and Nissan.
I'd consider GM a better alternative than Mahindra, and it will show up before Mahindra will.

@ oxi - re. bonuses - think of it as a tax rebate.

@billy, I'm sure the folks at the GM plant in Shreveport will lose their jobs. When all production ends there, the plant will be closed.

The Big Three should all produce a compact truck that will get great mileage (25 city/35 highway) and have a decent payload (1200-1500 lbs) and promote the heck out of them and people would buy them. Think back to the Ford Falcon Ranchero, Datsun pickup, Ford Courier, Chevy Luv, etc. With the CAFE standards being increased, there's only so much economy that can be squeezed out of full size pickups. Just build a basic small pickup with a few "modern" options (navigation system, OnStar/SYNC, etc.) and let that be it.

@Big Bob all of these Pickups will be the same size as the T6.


"Besides, if GM was a failed company, it would not even be in business today."

GM went crying to their daddy the federal government because they could no longer compete, got their welfare check and stayed around.

If ALL businesses could do the same, I would open up one tomorrow, run it to the ground and ask Uncle Sam to bail me out so I can continue to run it to the ground but I would get those sweet bonuses!!!

^^^ Someone's worried the Tacoma will have a competitor.

You're a fool, Oxi.

Nevertheless,oxi, my comments remain the same. They are only considered a failure if they closed their doors for good. Studebaker is a failed company. AMC is a failed company. GM is not.

And no, they did not get a welfare check. Adn they are paying off their loans. Plus, they did save jobs. Maybe you would be happy if the whole country followed Wal-Mart's example and bring (almost) everything from China or elsewhere and put homegrown companies out of business and people who want to earn a decent wage out of work and on welfare lines.

FYI, I own and drive domestic vehicles, and I haven't had one bit of trouble out of any of them, aside from normal wear and tear. It's what I choose to drive. I may not be pleased with everything they do (such as Ford's mishandling of Mercury, their current plans for Lincoln, and the decision surronding the Ranger), but I will proudly defend them against any unwarranted criticism.

@imoore - what about warranted crticicsm? ;)

I sent an email to Ford and Chevy telling them exactly what
I want in a small truck and that I would not buy what I don't want, and would buy what I do want from the company that provides the product

If they get thousands of like emails, they might take notice

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