For months, news of a brand new Chevy Colorado has been circulating with hints from top executives and rumors spreading. Now all of that will be put to rest at the 2013 LA Auto Show when the new Chevy Colorado will be unveiled. Is the new midsize truck a big deal or just a new, ho-hum product in a dying midsize market?
GM has been building momentum for its new midsize trucks by declaring it will radically shake up the market. It will be so cool and different that buyers will flock to it. They put out a statement claiming:
“The all-new Chevrolet Colorado will reinvent what a midsized pickup should be. The Colorado is engineered to be the most capable, most versatile and technologically advanced midsized truck in the market.”
The truck will officially be unveiled at a November 20, 2013 press conference and people can follow along on GM’s YouTube channel.
Will the new Chevy Colorado be the game changer GM is saying it will be? Probably not. The new Chevy Colorado will probably look like a mini-Silverado and not be based on the radically different Thailand version. It will offer a 4-cyl and a V-6 EcoTech engine with basic tires. The interior will match what the larger trucks have and technology will consist of the same GM offerings like OnStar.
The real question is, will it offer such improved MPG at a lower price point that consumers will buy it? That has been the largest issue with the midsize truck market and a big reason why Ford and Ram left it. Both of those companies couldn’t see why they should even offer a midsize product when their full-size truck was so similar. (Side note: that plan has so far backfired on Ford with many companies like Orkin moving their 7,000 annual vehicle leasing/purchasing needs to the Toyota Tacoma.)
Midsize truck fans will point out though there is more to it than price and MPG. A midsize truck is easier to turn, better able to park in crowded cities and it is easier to access the bed. Those reasons are a big part of why the midsize truck market has been hungry for an even smaller truck – something more like the old 80’s size. They want the versatility of a truck without the large size. They want a smaller truck that they can use to haul plants, rocks, kids toys and groceries without worrying about messing up their SUVs or having to climb in and out like a full-size truck demands. So far though, automakers have said no to introducing new midsize trucks capable of such things. Could this truck be a difference maker? That is to be determined.
If you are wondering, why GM would unveil a truck in California, that answer is pretty simple. California has a large midsize truck market and so far the Toyota Tacoma reigns supreme. If GM has any hopes of the Chevy Colorado being successful, it MUST sell well in California. Simply put, regaining market share in the California market is critical to the Colorado’s success.
What do you think? Can a midsize truck be a successful product for automakers again?