GM's Big and Little Pickups Are in Transition

Colorados II

The last of GM's midsize pickups, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon (GMT 355), rolled off the line at the Shreveport Assembly Plant in Louisiana this past Tuesday. The two little pickups were originally designed with the help of then-partner Isuzu, until GM brought the final steps of the design and production process in-house. 

According to the the Detroit News, the plant itself has produced 4.5 million vehicles over its lifetime, from the Chevy S-10 pickups to the Hummer H3 and H3T. 

No announcements have been made about exactly when the new Colorado will start production and go on sale, but we do know they'll be produced at the Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri once the necessary retooling and upgrading are complete. GM has said it will spend at least $380 million to expand and update the plant to build the new pickups. There still has been no announcement about continuing the Canyon. 

We toured the Shreveport Assembly Plant in May 2003 and were quite impressed with how advanced all the systems and robotics were. The next generation of the small GM pickups is already being sold overseas (see our 2012 Global Pickup Shootout) and is being built in Thailand and enjoying solid sales success. 

Because of the relatively significant timing issues between the closing of the Shreveport plant (scheduled to be fully decommissioned by Dec. 1) and the opening of the new plant (likely to be sometime in 2014), dealers have been forced to order an unusually large supply of the trucks during the transition period. Of course, this may not be a bad thing since sales of the Colorado and Canyon have been climbing in the first half of 2012. The Colorado is up 32% and the Canyon is up 14% year over year.

On a related note, the days' supply of the full-size Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 has been climbing as well, largely because of increased production to accommodate dealerships that will also need to weather several plant changeovers as the 2014 GM full-size pickups get a significant design and engineering makeover.

We're guessing buyers who are interested in either a small or half-ton pickup truck will likely be able to negotiate some great deals in the coming months.  

Colorado line II

Colorado Z71 GMT 355 II


GM Cancels Next-Gen Hybrid Trucks and SUVs; Scrambles to fix interior

Remember that nasty looking interior from the spyshot?

"News of GM scrapping the hybrids comes on the heels of further reports from insiders that suggest a recent interior spy shot of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and reaction to it led to a shakeup of the ENTIRE new truck program."

So it is good news for Missouri and bad news for Louisiana? It sounds like the plant in LA is fairly up to date, so why close it and spend millions fixing another plant to do what seems to be a few minor changes in LA? I'm happy to see the new Colorado come to the US. People like myself who do not have a seriousl need for a full-size truck, but like to have a mid-size truck for the DIY stuff I do. Also, gas mileage is a plus with the new mid-size, especially if it gets a diesel engine.

I believe there is a new Chevy in my future! just make a reg cab 4X4 with a small diesel with a manual trans and I'll be first in line! or at least make sure there is a powerful gas engine with a manual trans! if they would just make it with a Z-71 package, but you can keep the funny looking snorkle, if the water is that high, every electrical devise will be ruined anyway!

there you go Jeff S.

Holy crap I thought your post was a joke! That means those interior shots were REAL and GM intended to roll the new line with that interior. And now, back to the drawing board with 10 months to production. I have to say I am beginning to believe the Ram will take over the #2 spot. GM guys will be jumping ship after waiting that long for a major update and it seems like it will be lackluster at best now.

New GM trucks, same junk as usual. Ram will be #2 in sales very soon. Look for the new interior to be slapped together and rattle like a....well.....a GM interior.

Also, I'd say since GM suddenly cancelled their entire Hybrid truck program says they realized they couldn't compete with Rams recent MPG announcements. Heads must be rolling at GM this week.

that is bad really bad news for GM guys now having to wait for another interior

Why did it take outside (of GM) reaction before GM had a clue about its new interiors?

Too many GM insiders need to outsiders.

GM, you've got a terrific product, but you totally dropped the ball by letting Ford introduce 3 high out-put engines starting with the 2011 pickups, and dodge with one in the 2013 pickup (Penastar). ????


Possibily. And GM might be afraid of what Ford is coming out with the lighter 2015 F-150 and smaller F-100.

From page 5 of the GMI post...

I was speaking to a GM rep a couple days ago that stated the trucks are to be revealed to dealers in a closed door meeting in November, and revealed to the public in April.

April? Damn, that means no NAIAS reveal.... not even Chicago.

If true, that means the next gen GM trucks will be revealed in New York.

@Dave - looks like those spy shots a while ago of the interior of the Chevy were real not camo. Ouch that really sad. Someone needs to be executed at dawn if they think that was a competitive interior.
I hope for Chevy's sake that they are hiding a stellar truck as opposed to a blackhole.

@Mark Williams, early days yet to see how successful the Colorado will be. I have yet to see one and Australia will be a major market for the vehicle.


When contacted by Autoblog, a GM spokesperson only stated that the automaker could "not comment on future products or related technologies."

Does no comment mean it's true?

I think if Chevy is going to offer a diesel in the Cruze they should offer one in the Colorado as well. Also don't change this truck from what is offered in Australia. This is the wrong time to take drastic cost cutting measures. Also it is good to comment on such things as dashboards because GM needs to get this feedback and as some of you said if they can't figure it out themselves then maybe they need to be told.

@Dan the Man--I hope that they get this Colorado right for those of us that want a midsize truck. This is Chevy's chance to do right by their loyal customers. It would be a good idea for GM to show us some more of the interior and exterior pictures of the Silverado/Sierra and get some feedback from pickup readers. It appears that they need some truck owners feedback. Maybe all of us could help critique their new Silverado/Sierra. I know you accused me of being a fanboy but I hate to see any manufacturer flush their product down the toilet and that would be true if Ford or Ram were in the same situation. In this case this is not the union workers fault and they have to suffer the consequences if the product is not good (if it doesn't sell then they might lose their jobs). Hey GM let us look at these trucks for you, you could use our input.

I remember reading an article where they were considering dropping the 2.8 Colorado diesel into Caddy's.

If they do that hopefully they will make their way into your Colorado's.

Also, I have read where hybrid technology isn't the saviour for fuel usage as some smalll diesel cars are returning better fuel economy.

I do think all of your manufacturers are at a cross roads with your 1/2 ton trucks. To meet EPA and CAFE regulations some real radical ideas are needed. You can only lighten a pickup so much before it affects strength. Extensive usage of aluminium is out of the equation because of costs.

Different engines, aero shapes etc for 1/2 ton trucks. Some of you guys won't like it but it has to occur.

The other problem you have is the ever increasing cost of your engine technology. Companies can't afford to design engines every few years. And the "bolt on technology" they are currently using can only go so far. The engines aren't changing.

Something will give, you guys appear to complain about costs alot. Maybe the 1/2 ton is near its zenith.

I have driven Chevys for years but GM is fumbling badly. The only decision I agree with is cancelling the hybrid system on these trucks. I am not trying to upset anyone that is loyal to Chevy but maybe it is time to sell GM to the Chinese and recover our taxpayer money or just let Ford take them over. GMs recent bumbles are on par with Clint Eastwood's rambling speech at the Republican Convention. I will keep what trucks I have for now but maybe it is not worth bringing over the Colorado if this is what is going to happen. Hopefully I am wrong and they will get this right but it looks like the lights are getting dim and maybe the party is over. I see a Tacoma or a Frontier in my future.

@Jeff S
I think GM has institutional cultural issues. As I have pointed out in the past the Big 3 have a different culture to the Euro and Asian manufacturers. This is shown by the recent financial crissis on how bad the Big 3 operate.

Chrysler seems to be changing quicker than the others. I do think they can change, but GM will need to be sold and a broom put through the company from the top to middle management.

I work for a large institution and change is hard, it can't start on the floor. I read an article which stated that it takes a minimum of 7 years to change culture in a large institution.

Also the American consumer has to realise change is needed, they can't go on expecting more of the same. I did note that alot of people did comment on the prices we pay for vehicles. But we aren't broke like the US. Part of the US's woes is the importation of oil. Some think that the US can be self sufficient in oil but this is nowhere near the truth.

Maybe the US society and industry has to be realistic on its expectations.

In their wisdom the US Government with the EPA has stifled real progress with the change in vehicles required.

All of your domestic manufacturers are in an awkward position at the moment with their pickups. There is a divergance of design between pickupts and cars and 1/2 ton pickups historically they were much aligned to car technology. That kept them affordable.

Just by having a modest increase in fuel cost would have been sufficient to encourage the change in habits. This path would have been cheaper and more effective.

Jeff S.
yes i think the Diesel would be a good move for GM, and i think this truck could do well if there is a bigger separation from it's 1/2 ton rivals, like i said not a big fan of the smaller truck until they get better FE then may consider one, for now i like my half ton paid for and has been reliable plus i can tow up to 9200LBS which has been happening a lot lately

Yes, I have been critical of GMC's management and the quality of the current generation of trucks. Only a rabid fanboi would say that criticism was unwarranted. Cancelling the hybrid program is a good move. They were useless for most people. It is funny to read that they probably will keep the hybrid system for their Cadillac SUV's. They are throwing a bone to the wealthy tree huggers so they can feel good about the gas guzzlers they are driving.
Stockpiling trucks on the lots is usually not a good strategy. Will GMC give dealers a break on interest charges? My understaning is that after 90 days they have to start paying interest on those vehicles.
Had GMC learned anything from their financial crisis?
I was feeling some positive vibes coming from GMC. It is starting to look like a case of indigestion on my part.

@Big Al from Oz--Here comes all the complaints," you don't understand the American truck owner! You are messing with our trucks which is a God given right!" Al I agree with you but as you stated we in NA are swimming around in our fish tank and what is obvious to outsides is not apparent to us fishes in our tank. Those girly front ends will be coming to a truck dealer near you in the future. There is only so much you can do with rectangular design with a blunt front and rear ends and squarish features with a front grill that resembles the foil head of a Remington electric shaver. Granted these trucks look like trucks and have there own form of beauty but they are not good for mpgs (don't get upset Ford guys just stating an aerodynamic fact) and GMs fronts and backs are not any better. If anything Ram has a little more aerodynamics but they all will have to change.

Another thing you stated is that it is expensive to design new engines every few years especially if you are trying to contain costs to make your product more affordable. Yes Ford guys this is your argument for Ford not having a midsize truck but it is a much stronger argument for redesigning a product frequently and coming out with new motors frequently. It is admirable what Ford has done with the V6 Ecoboost and it is great that it is selling so well but this is where my accounting background and understanding kicks in. When you design a new motor you need to use it on more than one product and you might have to stretch out the life cycle to recoup more of your investment. For GM starting using that new Caddy V-6 in your trucks. For Ford maybe that Ecoboost could find its way into the new Transit van and possibly into the Taurus, Fusion, Edge, and Explorer. If this is such a great engine then spread this around to your other products and advertise the heck out of this as selling feature (get Mike Rowe in adds to go out to the public and get them to try the all new Ecoboost Edge). I am not as big a fan of diesels Al but I understand where you are coming from that the limits of the gasoline engine development have about been reached unless there is some hybrid technology that we don't know about but with GM cancelling the hybrids in trucks this does not look to promising.

And Al the last and most controversial is the globally shared pickups. Better duck Al here comes the tomatos and rotten eggs. The added costs will necessitate more global development and joint ventures. I myself might get banned from this site for life the mere mention of the above.

@Lou--You sum it up much better in that any changes to trucks are more Evolutionary than Revolutionary. Any of the changes mentioned above or what I stated will not happen all at once but will happen over a period of time. I believe the manufacturers got an extension on starting the new fuel standards to 2017 but if I am wrong please correct me. Even if these new standards start in 2015 they have till about 2025 to implement most of these standards. Hopefully this give the manufacturers enough time to evolve the half ton pickup.

@Lou--Chrylser stockpiled inventory in 1979 and had so much inventory that the dealers refused to take anymore. Chrysler had so many new cars parked in Detroit abandoned shopping centers and sports stadiums that you could not physically walk around them. I remember an article in the Wall Street Journal in the Spring of 1979 stating this and that is one of the things that lead to their bankruptcy. I remember getting advertisements in the mail for huge tent sales for new Chrysler products at cost with slogans like "Once in a lifetime savings help us move them out". The dealers are paying interest on all their inventory and after a while if GM wants to shove more trucks on them they will say no. I realize GM is closing their plants on a rotational basis to get ready for the new Silverado/Sierra but if something is not selling in enough volume the dealers will not take it regardless of the incentives that GM gives them. This is history repeating itself.

@Jeff S - I haven't seen any "stockpiling" yet. The local GMC/Chev lot has 1/2 of their lot empty. Perhaps they are making room for the onslaught. In my town the same guy owns the Ford and Gm/Chev dealerships, he also owns the Honda dealer. I doubt he is hurting too much. When GMC forced dealerships to close all he did was amalgamate both dealers unto his Chevy lot. He then turned the GMC lot into an extension of the Ford lot (were across the street from each other). His family (siblings/parents) ownd dealerships all over BC and Alberta. The guy who owns the Chrysler dealer also owns the Hyundai, and Nissan dealerships. His family (siblings/parents) also own car lots all over BC and Alberta. The Toyota dealership is the only indendant.
Same old story. The "big" get bigger, richer and fatter and the rest struggle to stay independant.

@Jeff S and Lou
Eco Boost technology is an interim measure. There are no great savings. Yes, it did improve fuel economy, but marginally. The other issue for Ford is globally the Eco Boost is a lemon so far. It isn't producing the promised savings.

The article on the V10 F-650 is a point in case against Eco Boost. Why did Ford not develop a 5.4 litre Eco Boost for this truck instead of the V10. The reality is Eco Boost does save only if you drive it sedately.

The Pentastar doesn't provide adequate savings as Chrysler would want you to think. The Ram is gaining much more from the aerodynamics, shutters and 8 speed transmission. We can compare these engines as we have them. The Grand Cherokee diesel with a 5 speed is getting better economy than the Pentastar, let alone the 5.7V8, in which the diesel has more torque.

I do think there is some smoke and mirror stuff going on about your mpg ratings. As was shown with our mid size comparison. Even with off roading and urban driving our mid sizers are producing much better mpg figures than your trucks. This was evident with the 4.0 litre V6 Hilux, which runs the same engine as your Tacoma. And your V8s will not be as economical to run as a Tacoma (I know someone will dispute this).

I do know you have your dedicated pickup guys, as we have our Holden and Ford V8 ute guys, but these vehicles will slowly drive into the sunset as a distant memory.

The only smart move by GM is the building of a new Colorado factory. The big three has put themselves into a corner again, with poor planning and foresight.

They did this by forcing out smaller pickups, and now have to retool which will costs billions of dollars. As the cost of engineering and designing is prohibitive. We have the vehicles you need.

I'm not saying our trucks are better, they are more apt at the moment.

About the interiors of the Chev pickups and quality of them overall.

If you read the reviews about our new Colorados, there have been the same criticisms.

The vehicle build quality and design of the interior, including the dash is not up to the same standard as its competitors.

GM also invested much less than Ford/Mazda and VW in the design of the Colorado.

It appears GM has a global problem with design of light trucks.

Nissan/Chrysler/Mitsubishi are having a similar problem coming up with medium and larger 4x4 vehicles globally.

I don't think the Colorado will be a huge seller in Australia. Also, I haven't seen one yet.

It really sucks when any manufacturing plant closes, because it's not just the people that work their it effects, it's the surrounding area.

I lived arcossed the red from shreveport for awhile and I know alot of the people that worked at that plant and their families and they have told me their discust for what GM has done.

Why isn't the Shreveport plant building the next Colorado? It can handle the capacity, can pass all codes, easy to get in and out via rail or truck!

Indirectly of the shrevport plant closure it will cut out vendors, suppliers and construction contractors
that have made a living doing bussiness with the Shreveport GM plant and now they have to regroup because of poor diecision making!!

Louisiana is rich with history and it's sad to see a part of it go!!!

To GM:

The People of Shreveport/Bossier would like to extend their thanks for all that you have done and wish you luck on your future ventures with your communist chiense brethren and hope you choke on those little chinky nuts that you are sucking on so tightly.


Looks like that bed is really high. I don't want a high bed as I use it in my photography business. A high bed is hard to climb into. I'll keep my 2000 Ford Ranger because it's the right fit and it has a side step.

@GoFaster58 - sounds like you need an F150 with tailgate step. An exclusive at Ford. That manstep makes the Ford vastly superior to their competition.

PS. Kidding ;)

@x007,@Dan the Man,@Big Al, @Dave, @Lou-The reason I was hopeful for GM was not that I am some fanboy, I could just as easliy buy a Toyota or Nissan, it is because of all the jobs at stake and the ripple effect upon local and national economies. Dan this is what I was getting to by saying I am not that much into multinational corporations but their effects on all of our lives is real. My father had a couple of Studebakers and liked them but when Studebaker went away he adapted by switching to another product. I had the same experience with Noma 4 wheel steer lawn mowers which I liked but a failed company called Murray bought them out then closed them up and sent a lot of jobs to China. Noma was originally a Canadian company that put some state of the art enginering into their products and not only had state of the art 4 wheel steer which saves time on extra trimming but it included hour meters and one of the first to widely use overhead valve motors and spin on oil filters. Murray was bailed out of their mess by Briggs & Stratton who now is doing something with them by selling their mowers at Wal-Mart which as you would guess "Made in China".

The reason why Chrysler is now succeeding is that they have an Italian CEO and Italian ownership that has infused new life into a bureucratic American corporation. GM needs to have a major shakeup and yes Al someone needs to take them over and get the deck brooms out and do a clean sweep.

The consequences of bad management are much wider than most people realize. Studebaker's demise not just effect loss of jobs but all pensions were terminated as well for all employess regardless of how long they worked for Studebaker or if they were already retired. Studebaker's bankruptcy and the pension failures were so bad that it lead to Congress passing the Pension Reform Act of 1975 and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation to insure that if a pension plan fails again that the at least the beneficiaries would get something which is a fraction of what they were promised.

Dan and Dave I am not trying to single you out but that is why I commented on GM, not because I am a GM fanboy but the consequences of GM's actions and the effect it has on their workers and the total economy. There is a point at which the life support systems need to be shut down. GM still has a little more time but the clock is ticking and the grains in the hour class are about finished. I am skeptical after these most recent developments but unlike some fan boys I want GM to prove me wrong because their actions effect many lives.

Jeff S
it sure will effect a lot of people, but i am a firm believer that if you give someone money it will not be used the same way as if they earned it, and that is what i see happening now, i really hope they do turn it around and become successful, not that i care for the company but for the employees, taxpayers sake

@Dan the Man-I agree if you have to earn your money you are more likely to take care of it. The bailout to me was not so much for GM as it was for the workers. Iacocca got one for Chrylser but Chrysler paid it off and Chrysler was doing well until Daimler took them over. As I said the verdict is still out but it is not looking too promising. Also Dan it is always smart to pay your vehicle off and if it is still running strong then you are always ahead by keeping it and that is regardless of brand. That is why I have kept my 99 S-10 which I have had for 13 1/2 years. It runs and looks like new and I really like it. I get 20 mpgs around town and 27 mpgs on the highway (it is the 2.2 4 cylinder with a manual 5 speed LS extended cab). When I bought my Isuzu new in 2008 the trade-in was so low that I decided to keep it and it is now worth about what they offered me for it 4 years ago and it is paid for.

I like the Colorado. It looks rugged unlike the neutered Holden.
My neighbor just bought one. If I was in the small truck market it would be the first on my list. Being built in america with union labor.
I think G.M. is not out of the woods yet financially. People confuse sales numbers with success. It's not how many you sell
it's how much profit you bring.

how many times are you guys going to say " GM got bailed out by the Goverment"? it was't GM that got bailed out, but the UAW!!! and not just at the expence of the tax payer, but the bond and share holders got the obummer boot also!! they are the ones that lost the most! and the union got the most! and it make me laugh that the biggest complainer are obummer supporters, and they are the first ones to drive toyotas and other japanese imports, and talk trash on how GM has gone downhill. I for one dispise the current admin. but I have always and will always buy Chevy's, because I have owned them, I can say that the quarlity has either stayed the same or has gone up! and they make a fine product! if you folks that talk like you do, would just open your minds and go down and take a test ride at least before you talk trash, maybe you would at least know what you are talking about! that would be an informed opinion, not just trashing a make you have no experience with! first hand, give them a break! Chevy will even give you your $ back if not satisfied! it is not the workers, but the union that is to blame, and management from the past has a lot to be blamed for also, but the product now is as good or much better than ever, and we the tax payers will never see our $$$ again if all you can do is talk talk talk about how bad you think it is, without ever giving them a chance!

there is something else I need to say, I also own a Dodge, bought it new in 2003 a 4X4 reg cab Dakota that has served me very well, but with that said, all you rambois out there saying that Ram will take the #2 spot from GM, even IF they were to sell what is it now 3 times as many trucks as they do now, just how are they going to do that? I believe they are at manufacturing cappacity now, are they going to have the $$$ to build new plants? and build 3 times as many Hemis? and so on? don't think so, and this is when GM is selling a what 5yr old truck at the time? I can't wait to se the look on everyones faces when GM come out with their new trucks, everything about them has been so secret that something big is comming, and when they talk about doing away with the Hybrid, that only makes sence if the new trucks are getting more mpg in testing no? maybe even more than Ram says they are getting, because it has been a fact that they were getting better mpg than all the rest until the new F-150's came out, (I know I have one of those too) even though the Ecco-Boost gets the same or better than my 5.3, that is only if you take it as easy on the trottle on each of them, and if you use the extra power in the E/B you don't do as well with the gas mileage after all. So I would just sit back a while and see what happens, because I think there is going to be a lot of egg on a lot of faces, and as far as interiors go, a lot of that is a matter of taste, you can't please everyone, but if you can remember the Chevy's up to the late 70's, they all had realy nice interiors for the $$$ spent, and I belive they will again.

@Sandman4x4, who has the best truck on the road in your opinion this fall and why?

@Sandman-Chevy's fixes are easy but it is so easy that they can't see them. Put a few soft touch items in the interior and take the curves and bumps out or at least soften them up. Offer a Denali like package for Silverado and do what Ford and Ram are doing refresh and update every few years without spending money on a radical new redesign. Silverado is not that ugly but a few tweaks here and there would do the trick. Look how long the 88 Chevy design lasted (up to 1998) and the 73 Chevy truck design went thru the 1987 model but there were changes here and there and a refresh to the exterior without a major redesign. I don't entirely disagree with you Sandman but the perception of a product being all new is more important than it actually being all new. Look at Ram and Ford they have consistently updated their products but they are not totally new. I have owned GM products for almost 40 years and for the most part I have been satisfied but I can honestly say that about Ford, Chrysler, Honda, and Mitsubishi which I have owned as well. I do understand how people perceive a product which is why I say that is what GM needs to concentrate on. It also won't hurt GM to update their motors and transmissions as well which are good but they could stand some updates.

@Big Al from OZ. Both Ford and GM(Holden ) had previously about 10% each of the Australian Ute Market(not counting the car/tuck, Commodore and Falcon Utes).
The order has been Hilux, closely followed by the Navara, then much further back the Triton, then everything else.
How the New Colorado and Ranger go will be interesting. It will be even more interesting with a new Hilux and the joint Nissan /Mitsubishi Pickup.

@Hemi V8 - you seem to fucus on the micro whereas many of us look at the macro. In other words big picture versus small picture.My truck/brand is better than your brand is as micro or as small picture as it gets.
Many of us are worried about the next gen of GM trucks not because they will mean our favorite brand will be beat but because it will show GM's direction and their future. As several people have pointed out - if GMC fails it will hurt a lot of people. Will you be employed in the HVAC industry if GMC failed? That is how damaging it would be to the economy of the USA. GMC cannot fail because the state of the USA economy and of the USA treasury is too fragile to weather that storm. It may of been better to let GMC go through bankruptcy in 2008 than now. I do agree that it was just as much a bailout of the UAW as it was of GMC. The USA government is too weak financially to consider any more bailouts or financial stimulus packages.
I don't care if Ram or Chevy or Toyota or Nissan comes out with a better truck than what I currently have because I know that they will. Even Ford has come out with better trucks than what I currently have. That is how things work. It means little to me because I do not plan on getting a new truck for a long time. I enjoy the debates and back and forth, and I enjoy keeping abreast of new truck developments. I plan on buying my next truck close to my retirement in 7-9 years. If the world in in the middle of the Second Great Depression, non of us are going to be buying jack sh-t.

@Hemi V8
I have to agree with Lou, at times (most) you tend to focus on the smaller issues ie a Ram has 2 more hp than a Ford etc.

If you hadn't realised, the US and European economies are screwed. You say you are a union man, but when there isn't money there is no work. Personally I think within a couple of months the ass will fall out of the financial markets. Can you understand the significance of what I just stated.

The US auto industry is at a pivitol moment in history, never has it had so many chanllenges. This isn't about being pro Chrysler, GM or Ford, this is about the future of the NA economy. I hope all economies improve, not just in NA but worldwide as it has a bearing on everyone.

Europe is in an awkward position with inflation starting to rise with declining growth, third world stuff. Generally you will deflation from the supply and demand side.

The US is down in the dumps at the moment. If the ass falls out of the economies around the world there will be massive layoffs in the US auto industry and it may never recover to what it is even now.

Europe and the US are very broke with no money to bail anyone or anything out. The government can only do so much now, which is very little.

Use some of that Allpar time and read WSJ, Bloomberg, Ibtimes its all on google.

I read one post about the loss of a plant in Mississippi and the Colorado manufacturing sent up north. As sad as that is for the community in Mississippi it is necessary in order to rationalise. It sad but true, if they don't do this more jobs and communities will be lost. Unfortunately something has to give.

@Robert Ryan
The Nissan/Mitsubishi joint venture is intriguing. There is a large difference in the size of the current Navara and the Triton, yet they are built on the same line in Thailand.

I can understand the Ranger/BT-50 and the Colorado/D Max being manufactured on the same line as they are similar and the robotics and jigging require little change. But the current Navara and Triton are very different.

When they started the joint manufacturing is when the Triton ute back lengthened, I wonder if that has anything to do with the current jigging etc.

Regarding Fiat's takeover of Chrysler, if you have been keeping track of the rough time Fiat has been having in Europe (to the point Sergio has been BEGGING Volkswagen to back off a bit), you may come under the impression that Fiat bought Chrysler out of desparation to save themselves. Fiat got a gem, the 'backruptcy' cleaned up Chrysler very well. The problem I see is if Fiat continues to loose in Europe, will Chrysler be sacrificed? Essentially that was what Daimler did, they bought Chrysler for their bank account, after they blew through Chrysler's cash saving themselves, they dumped them quick. Hope it doesn't happen again.

@Lou & Big Al from Oz--You expressed my point that it will not make any difference which brand is the best if more companies like GM go under. GM and other manufacturing jobs effect all of us. If workers are laid off they are not going to be buying consumer items and they will be spending less on services. The ripple effect is other businesses are effected and then they either shut down and/or lay workers off who in turn don't have money to spend and then more laid off workers on unemployment and governments collect less taxes and spend less on services and in turn need less workers. GM doesn't not have to make the best trucks and cars they just need to make affordable and reliable vehicles that people want to buy. If consumers don't like their vehicles and perceive them as inferior then no amount of government loans will help them and governments don't have the funding or the will to lend them anymore. @ Hemi V8 that is why most of us our concerned about GM, it is the workers that are employed not GM itself. If I never had a chance to buy another GM car or truck that would not be the end of the World. Believe me between the American, Italian, German, Japanese, and Korean car and truck manufacturers there will be no shortage and someone would quickly fill in the void that GM would leave. My concern is like Lou's when I retire in 7 to 10 years will I even have enough money to buy any vehicle and hopefully I will have a job for 7 to 10 years. I plan on buying at least one new vehicle before I retire and that will probably be a crossover and hopefully they will offer something like an e assist 4 cylinder because I want to be able to afford the gas when I retire. I think even most of the Ford guys really don't want to see GM go under even though they want to have their truck still be the Number 1 seller (there is nothing wrong with being proud of your brand as long as you don't go crazy).

@Big Bob-You are correct that if Fiat's situation gets worse Chrysler could get sacrificed. This would be terrible as well but hopefully Chrysler will continue to grow and prosper and keep Fiat interested in keeping Chrysler. You are also correct about what Daimler did to Chrysler. Chrysler cannot afford for something to happen like that again. Not trying to upset the Mopar guys it is just we all have a stake in what happens to Ford, GM, Chrysler, and all industries that are in the USA and Canada that have good paying jobs. We cannot afford to have Wal-Mart and McDonalds be the major source of jobs. Let's just hope that the economy does't get any worse and that car and truck sales continue to rise.

@JeffS, Big Bob - when Fiat bought into Chrysler there were contractual safeguards put into place to prevent a "rape and pillage" of Chrysler like what happened with DaimlerBenz. Fiat is continuing to buy more of Chrysler. The more they control the more power they have to renegotiate access to that cash.
Some of the Rambo Motard types have implied that Fiat does not run Chrysler. That isn't true. This link clearly outlines who is calling the shots:
Here is the exerpt I am refering to:
"As envisioned by Chrysler, Fiat and the government, Wednesday’s sale will create a new carmaker freed from the old Chrysler’s crushing labor costs and debt levels. In Fiat, which will run the company, it will have gained a partner skilled in making and selling small, fuel-efficient cars around the world"

Fiat cannot screw Chrysler out of their cash reserves but Fiat is running Chrysler.

The 2 companies combined have global sales approaching those of Ford. They are still well off the pace of VW,Toyota, and GMC. GMC is #1 globally in sales but they need to figure out how to make more money. VW may very well be the 800 lb gorilla that eats all of Fiat's European banana's. They could take a huge bite out of GM's flabby EU ass(ets). GMC's mediocore financial performance globally isn't making me feel warm and fuzzy all over.
VW will gain #1 globally but they need a higher profile in NA. I think that they could gain a bigger presense in NA with the diesel Amarok and a diesel SUV based on the Amarok. The wolf could come nipping at the heels of GMC's Colorado. That definately would not be a good thing for GMC.

Then they want "in" as far as the US Commercial truck market goes. I think VW will use a Scania to make a bid for Navistar, if/when things start to improve globally.

@Robert Ryan
For the US market VW can use their 3.6 V6 in the Amarok. I have read because of demand the Amarok will be built in Germany as well.

I do think the 2.0 litre diesel is small considering the asking price. The little diesel is quite powerful and torquey, but loses out at low rpm's.

I think the bottom line is that we want GM to succeed for the number of good paying jobs that would be lost and the effect it would have on the economy. Axing GMC and Buick is not the answer for now they just need to keep their eye on quality and not quantity and give nicer trim packages that are equally available on both the Silverado and Sierra that are comparable to those offered by Ford and Ram. If further worsening of market share and financial conditions necessitates more drastic action then it would be wise to evaluate the continued existence of Buick and GMC.

One of the things GM could do is take a survey group of independent truck owners who have no financial interest in GM and do not work for GM or have family that works for GM and have them review interior changes and exterior changes to gauge their reaction. Before you even think of releasing anything on the market you should do this. Perception of a products quality can make or break a product regardless of the actual quality.

Another thing is planned refresh cycles on a product which is not the same as a totally new redesign. This is much more cost effective and gives the perception of a new product which again perception is more important than reality because perception can drive the desire and motivation to choose that particular product over the competitiors. Also planned refresh cycles would allow GM react quicker to if Ram comes up with a refresh such as for 2013 and adds some additional features and refinements then GM could introduce refinements as well instead of waiting for a totally new model to be introduced. What GM is doing reduces the opportunity to compete on a more level playing field with Ford and Rams changes. This is not rocket science it is more of what Big Al from Oz says the stale corporate culture of GM that needs to be swept out.

@Lou-Thanks for pointing out about the agreement with Fiat taking Chrysler over, that is a little more reassuring but that does not mean Chrysler is totally out of the woods. Lets hope Chrysler continues to grow and prosper and keep more jobs in NA.

I still hope that GM has gotten the Colorado right. I would like to see a good midsize truck from a US manufacturer to give us midsize truck owners another choice and to keep the midsize market alive. Otherwise some of us who do not want to buy full size might be rebuilding our midsizes and it might start to look like Cuba around here. Instead of old Oldsmobiles and Chevys from the 40s and 50s you might see old S-10s, Rangers, Toyotas, and Nissans from the 90s and 2000s running around restored. I for one will do that before I buy a full size truck that I do not need or want and if I have to spend a couple of thousand dollars every few years to keep my S-10 and Isuzu running for as long as I need them I will so. Denver Mike that is my anser to you about midsize truck owners being forced to buy F-150s. I am not going to debate about Ford's decision about killing the Ranger but I will tell you that is how I feel about being forced to buy a full size truck. I just spent $700 replacing a body panel that had rust starting to form on my S-10 and some more money going over the mechanics of my S-10 as preventative measures that if I had to I could get another 10 years out of it. That is how strongly I feel about owning a smaller truck. Now if all manufacturers are forced to downsize the full size half tons to the size of my Isuzu then I would change my mind and get a new full size.

Let me remind you Chrysler and G.M were on the ropes a few years ago. G.M. in my opinion is still not out of the woods yet. The U.S. tax payer is still on the hook at G.M. Chrysler LLC has paid off it's government loans early at 16.8 percent. I understand your concern for the economy. You want me not to be proud and show my pleasure in knowing that Chrysler was on the ropes a few short years ago and now are building the best cars and trucks they ever have. In my opinion better then Ford of Chevy. Some on here would have loved Chrysler to fail.
I don't feel so sorry for G.M. and Ford who are getting their ass handed to them in Europe. Taking american and Canadian tax money and going to Russia and China Turkey and God knows were while they close factories here in the U.S. Mean while Chrysler is building Fiat based cars here in the U.S. and selling them to sixty countries overseas. You really need to watch 60 minutes on saving Chrysler.

Hemiv-8--I am glad you like Chrysler and that they are doing so well but I as a taxpayer and fellow countryman want to see GM get it right so that we might have a chance of getting the loan paid back and to preserve those jobs of your union brethren. I want Ford to continue to do well. I prefer a win win for everybody and not I win and you lose. I do not wish Chrysler to fail, I hope they continue to prosper and grow and provide more cutting edge products and hire more workers. GM and Ford have been in Europe for years and years long before either of us has existed. As for Europe I do not hate Europeans and what happens to Europe effects all of us. The economies are global and even if we wanted to become totally isolated from the rest of the World it will not happen. You being a loyal Chrysler fan should hope that the European market picks up because Fiat is a major player in Europe and Fiat now owns Chrysler. We all have a stake in this regardless of brand and if you want to keep your job as much as I want to keep my job I want to see businesses succeed and not fail and that is regardless of brand or what the product is. I have read very few comments on this website hoping for Chrysler's demise, most of us continue to cheer their continued success even the Ford guys. And @Hemi V-8 Fiat has been getting their ass handed to them as well in the European market which is not a good thing as well. Let's hope that this financial mess in Europe turns around.

I don't recall ever saying I wanted anyone to fail. I hope all Americans buy U.S. built cars and trucks made with pride by the U.A.W. Compared to a few years ago these cars and trucks of today regardless of brand are incredible. My 2003 Dodge Ram
is like a cave mans truck compared to these new vehicles out today. It's remarkable how much technology is going into them.
The great thing is it's only getting better. I am getting the itch to trade my perfectly good Ram in for a new one. I honestly believe these new Rams are going to take some sales away from Ford and Chevy. In my opinion they have the truck to beat right now. Of course the target is always moving. Remember Dodge Ram started the horsepower wars again with the Hemi in 2002. Started the 20" Rims, Rack and pinon
steering for tighter turning. Fully boxed hydro frame in 2002.
Chrysler is always cutting edge. I like that. Trend setting. Chrysler is tiny compared to Ford and Chevy but have a huge impact on the industry. How cool is that?

@HemiV8 - that wasn't so hard, was it?
You spoke using your own words and voiced your opinion without turning it fanboi rant.
That is what we want to hear. Opinions with some well sourced references to explain where you are coming from.

Personally, I find no real pleasure or pride in the successes of the builders of the machines I own. I like to see those builders succeed because it shows that they actually take pride in their work and have done some careful planning to provide me with a product I want.

Chrysler has done well and that is commendable. Fiat has done a good job of turning them around. They have just about returned to pre-crisis sales levels. Does that mean their sales will plateau? Time will tell.

@Robert Ryan - no one in NA pays attention to VW because they are seen as a a company who makes econobox cars. VW had said that they will only bring the Amarok to NA if they can sell 100,000 units a year. Once we loose cheep gasoline in the next few years the market will be ripe for their arrival.

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