Pickup Price Separation Should Work to GM’s Advantage

2015 GMC Canyon rear II

Some GM dealers are saying they like the company's new three-truck strategy (heavy duty, half-ton and midsize) because the price separation between midlevel and full-size trim packages is much better than it was 10 years ago. Ford's decision to pull out of the midsize/compact pickup truck segment was predicated on the fact that the price overlap between a midlevel midsize and a stripped full-size was close, if not identical. But some are saying that's all changed now.

According to Automotive News, there is data to support the idea that the net transaction prices for full-size pickups have climbed to a point that could make the introduction of a less expensive and smaller pickup much more attractive than it was more than a decade ago.

Some analysts are predicting between 70,000 and 90,000 combined unit sales for the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, but no one seems to understand exactly where these sales will come from. GM seems adamant that these new pickups will not cut into existing half-ton sales because they'll attract buyers from the crossover and sedan segments. Still, issues like fuel economy, garagability and carrying capacity could be the key issues that determine the new trucks' success. There seems to be plenty of room beneath the full-size half-tons for midsize pickups, but we likely won't find out about fuel economy for the GM twins' base 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder or optional 3.6-liter V-6 until the end of the month.

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2015-GMC-Canyon-Crew-Cab-SLE II



Put me in the camp that enjoyed the size of the Canyon. However, even with the last model year, it was a dated truck and my fuel mileage sucked. I do tow things, but so much that I needed all the towing capacity a lot of you only seem to care about. In the end, I did trade it for an updated truck (RAM 1500), and love nearly everything about it except... yes, the size. I've grown accustom to the size, but really for my needs, the Canyon was the perfect size. Hopefully when it comes time to buy another truck, these will still be around because I like the looks of them and the size of them.

> The Corvette was the only bright spot they
> had this year but that is only a low volume car.

That's not true. The Buick Encore has exceed sales by quite some numbers this past year. Analyst thought 18-19K at best, but they sold 31K. I'd say that's a bright spot in my book.

On the safety side of things, the Spark was the only subcompact to get acceptable ratings by the insurance institute, which is important to many in that segment.

Now sales of the 1500's hasn't lived up to expectations, but there have been a few bright spots in a rather dismal year filled with recall headlines.

I think they did a good job with the Impala, the Corvette, and Tahoe/Suburban, not so much the 1500's

I have used smaller trucks for many things that people use larger trucks for. Pulling tree stumps out with a chain, hailing gravel, hauling patio pavers, hauling tile up to the top of the bed, top soil, mulch, furnaces, lawn tractors, lawn equipment, lumber, and many of things. I would not call all those uses light use. Toyota use to make a long bed 1 ton pickup truck that was compact but it was no light weight when it came to use. Maybe some people need a bigger truck and maybe some feel more manly in one. I understand those who feel their manhood is threatened--good news there are even bigger trucks in the HD segment where you can feel even more manly. A market that has a variety of choices and sizes is much better than a one size fits all. It is funny that those who don't want to be told what to buy are more the ready to tell others what to buy. Those people are better described as hypocrites which are very abundant in politics and religion. There must be a unfulfilled need to dominate others. Choose what you want to drive and don't shove your choices down others throats.

@Greg--I agree the Impala is a nice car and the others are nice as well. GM has some competitive products but they need to put more effort into quality. I like the new Colorado/Canyon twins and will take a closer look at them when they come out.

@Greg - GM does own the full sized BOF SUV market. The Impala has to compete with cars like the Camry and Accord. The Camry is noted for being bland but extremely reliable.

@Lou BC--No midsize comes near competing with Camry except the Accord. The Impala is a nice car with a much nicer interior and features that Camry doesn't have. The Impala is much more like the Buick LaCrose which it shares platforms with. One could mistake the Impala for a Buick with nicer interiors than the typical Chevrolet. Hopefully the Colorado has a nicer interior on the upscale models.

I am one of those in the market for the new mid-size. My Sonoma 4x4 crew-cab is 12 years old and there is no way I am going to get a full-size PU. I need a shorter, more maneuverable package. I get just over 20mpg on the highway with the 4.3L V-6 but will see if the numbers come in better on the new model with the 3.6L. Figure on an LT 4x4 Z71 V-6 extended cab.

@Jeff S - I'd like to see competition open up in the small truck market. It won't be too long and my 2 boys will be old enough to drive. A small truck would be a good buy for them.


Don't forget to tell your boys to be careful about overloading the truck.

I like to make jokes about the ladies at the Depot loading flower pots in their crew cab dually bed but honestly I see more grown men and boys with little trucks at the supply stores loading the bed down beyond what would be necessary to ride on the bump stops.

Why, just recently, I recall rolling down the window and saying "I hope you don't break a shackle!" to this older gentleman with a small toyota pickup loaded with only a few sheets of rock and small amount of lumber...but yet it was heavy enough to sag the rear end down to the stops.

I am of the mindset that brake performance is of utmost importance whether hauling or towing and nobody can deny that people driving around with extreme overloads are putting us all at risk.

I have found it is difficult to go backwards in capacity once you have gone up to the next level. Unless parking space, economics, or lifestyle predicates a smaller pickup, most people who have bought a half-ton will probably continue to do so settling for a mid level trim before they step down to a smaller "less capable" (in their minds) truck. I know I did that recently, I started with a used 3/4ton and when it came time to sell that and buy another I bought a 3/4 and justified it based on the fact that the few times I needed the capability outweighed the extra costs/ poorer ride over a half ton. (Im still buying used trucks and the half tons that can tow 10k still aren't in my price range and I don't do loans, so in the future I may make the move back down to a 1500).

So over all, I think there will be fewer sales stolen from 1500 silverados and far more new customers coming over from Toyota and Nissan. The Tacoma and Frontier are classic examples of how complacency and lack of competition kills. Ford did this to fullsize market in 2007/2009 when the new superduty and then F150 were light years ahead of GM and Ram.

There will be Toyota loyalists who will ramble about past records of reliability who will never buy anything other than Toyota out of pure ignorance, but mark my words, Toyota is in for a world of hurt once word gets out about these trucks. The top trim package for Tacoma isnt even close to comparable to the new midsizers, and if the price is close, Toyota is going to hemorrhage sales.

"Older men love the mini pickups cause they are easy to drive than a full size pickup."

Since I qualify for this statement for a couple of reasons, I disagree because of the narrow viewpoint.

"Easy to drive" is a subjective argument because even the full-sized trucks are "easy to drive", but by no means are they as agile--requiring far more real estate to turn than a more compact model. Younger people especially are taught to drive in a relatively compact car and they get used to the ability to effectively 'turn on a dime' in those cars. When a full-sized truck needs more than twice the area to turn around, this becomes an issue for the first-time pickup driver. More rural student drivers have the (dis)advantage of starting in full-sized trucks and quite honestly they simply don't realize what issues that full-sized truck will have in more crowded conditions as found in urban areas.

As a result, a true compact truck--in the same general size range as the average CUV/SUV--would see far more adoption than mere "Older men love the mini pickups cause they are easy to drive than a full size pickup."

I currently have A 2012 Frontier, which I do not care for. I will wait until this time next year. And try to pickup A 2015 Colorado, end of year deal.
Also they should have all the bugs out of the early 2015's
Have to stay with the midsize trucks as the full size will not fit in the garage.

There is a misunderstanding of what half ton trucks are. A midsize or compact are considered half tons unless otherwise designated. A full size half ton is a more accurate description as compared to a midsize half ton.

small RV sales have sky rocketed in the past few years. I just need 1500 tow capacity for my small teardrop. These midsize trucks will move especially with women ... my humble thoughts. Ex-Nissan Frontier owner

I am sitting out my purchase till the 4cly turbo diesel option comes into play NEXT year. GM screwed the pooch on waiting an extra year for it... Bet those number will fall short for that very reason!

I have a 1996 Sonoma with the 4.3 Vortec engine. It was my grandfather's, my father's and now it is mine. I love it. It doesn't get great gas mileage, but it does sh*t and get. The first time I drove it I was like, whoa, grandpa, what the h*ll did you buy that's under the hood? However, it is getting up there in years, and it has over 150k on the odometer. In a few years I will be looking to upgrade, and I am starting my research now. I've had full-sized trucks, and I've owned compacts, as well. I love my Sonoma with its extended cab. It fits my needs. I'm not in construction; I don't live on a farm or ranch. I'm a mental health provider who needs to haul the occasional load from Home Depot or Lowes to my house, and if I have to make two or three trips, I don't mind all that much.

My 2008 Silverado Crew is approaching 135K miles, and I generally buy a new one at about this point. I'm holding off and haven't bought a 2014 Silverado because I want to consider a Colorado/Canyon. Reasons are:

1) Crew w/5ft bed will fit in my garage (barely, but I've measured it out). It's hot in Texas. Former homes had big enough garages, but not the current garage.

2) Small enough for my wife and daughter to drive more regularly. Right now both only use my truck in a pinch. This will allow for more flexibility when shuffling vehicles.

3) I only need a truck 10% of the time, but when I do, it really, really sucks to not have one, so I have to have one. When I do need one, the smaller one will handle 90% of what the bigger one can do. I'm willing to be inconvenience that last 10% in exchange for the smaller form factor.

4) For the same price, I can spec the smaller one out better than a full size.

So, if I do switch, at least 1 full size sale will be lost to the mid-size (which really is almost a 1990s full size).

When I do need one, the smaller one will handle 90% of what the bigger one can do.


You have really thought this one through. As long as your passengers are comfortable it in. Take them with you to road test it. My advice.

I am interested in the V6 Colorado. My 2010 Equinox 4 cyl. had engine replaced at 30000 miles. My 2012 GMC Terrain had new pistons and rings installed at32000 miles. I will never buy another 4 cyl. from GM. Hoping the V6 is a better engine. Love my 07 GMC pickup with small V8, except for gas mileage. That truck rides better than the Equinox and Terrain. So what ever route I take it means one less customer for their small crossovers.

when I had a s-10 pick-up I could not keep my wife out of it, I would buy one, my wife like driving smaller pick-ups

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