Sales of the Toyota Tacoma are up this year almost 23 percent over last year. No, that’s not the most significant or exciting statistic ever mentioned in a car blog, but it could be the foundation for an exciting development over at General Motors.
GM got out of the midsize truck business last year after the mediocre GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado failed to light showroom floors on fire. Ford and Chrysler exited the market in 2011, leaving the Tacoma and Nissan Frontier as the two major midsizers in the Unites States.
The Tacoma is the undisputed king of the world in its segment, and challenging it isn’t an easy task. That’s pretty much the common consensus, as most automakers would rather roll over than even try to offer a challenge.
Luckily for fans of small trucks, it appears GM is tempted by the growth in the market and will try again to compete with the mighty Tacoma. The new trucks should be on the market in about a year.
GM North America President Mark Reuss said,
We’re going to really target different buyers with these two trucks…. We’d love to have a truck like a Chevrolet midsize truck go really attack the West Coast with a lifestyle truck that is really beautiful and fun. It’s a different positioning than a semi-serious, duty-cycle truck that we might do with a GMC Canyon.
What these trucks won’t be, what they can’t be, are new versions of the old Canyon/Colorado. These need to be all new and offer significantly better fuel economy than their full-size stablemates. They also need to be priced right to make a compelling case with the American people. If I were in charge of marketing over at GM, I’d make sure these trucks came with new names as well. It would be wise to separate the trucks from past associations and build a brand new experience for both.
It’s the only way to even give the Tacoma a run for its money.
Would you consider a smaller GM pickup over the Tacoma?