• Aug 6th 2010 at 9:29AM
  • 39

Chevrolet mid-size pickup patent drawing – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre was apparently quite chatty during his visit to the Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City, MI this week. In addition to his comments about possibly selling all of GM's stock during the upcoming IPO, he also revealed that the product planning staff under Stephen Carlisle is looking at getting back into market segments the company has or will soon abandon.

After 20 years of unsuccessfully trying to get traction in the minivan market, BusinessWeek reports that GM is considering trying again with stretched version of the European Opel Zafira. Oddly, this comes not long after the automaker decided not to offer the forthcoming similarly sized Chevrolet Orlando in the U.S. market. GM is also apparently revisiting the mid-sized pickup truck. A replacement for the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins is under development for overseas markets, but it's not currently planned for sale here.

Freed of much of its debt, GM appears to now be at liberty to look at the entire vehicle market for new opportunities – particularly at the low end for Chevrolet, where it has always had a hard time making profitable products.

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[Source: Bloomberg]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the OEMs are starting to understand that mid-size trucks are a bad idea. It's time they went away for good IMO. There should only be full-size, and mini.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think there's a market for any of them really, (midsized or mini). You can't seem to make them cheap enough to be worth buying over heavily incentivized new full-sized or a used fullsized. And their capabilities are just too curtailed if you make them too small.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You missed the market for low-bed car-based haulers like the Elkie. *That* would be cause for celebration.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm no fan of those either, sorry. Unfortunately, you put a bed on a vehicle and most people assume they can safely haul whatever fits in it. I can safely haul more in my SUV than you could ever hope to in a car-based hauler so, what's to be gained? You want a pick-up, buy a pick-up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not all new variations of the chevy brand need to use the same grill, it looks like a malibu with a bed
      • 5 Years Ago
      We've seen how the Tacoma has aged, Ford seems to be flat-out giving up on small(er) trucks, and Nissan and Dodge are in holding patterns. If Chevy revamps their small truck with the same magnitude they improved models like the LaCrosse, Equinox, and SRX, they could actually set a benchmark for the neglected small truck segment. I think its a chicken-and-egg argument. Yes small truck sales are down, but isn't some of that due to the fact the automakers hardly ever do anything with them?

      As for the Orlando, I always thought it was a great idea, but Chevy seems to have re-branded it as the Volt MPV5 or some such, so if it ever comes on sale, it will sell to an even smaller slice of the market than a conventionally-powered small people-mover. The Orlando could have made a profit; a Volt-ized one certainly won't.

      For now, if I ever need a small truck pickup, I won't take Ford's advice and buy an F-Series...I'll settle for a used Ranger or pre-bloat Tacoma.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As for Dodge small truck. This is the latest rumor. 2012 Dakota or different name will ride on a minivan platform. Maybe FWD or converted to RWD. Minivan is offered in AWD.
        But it still probably bigger than what Chevy plans as for motor size and mpg. Most likely will use the 3.6L MDS penstar motor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good, we need a replacement for the S10/S15/Colorado/Canyon...

      Those were all good trucks in their time. I can see people wanting to get a light duty truck to fill roles that a bigger one would be too much, or an SUV wouldn't be suitable for.

      Hopefully it will be body on frame.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They need an S10 replacement... Not a colorado/canyon replacement.

      A bare-bones, small, pickup. The mid-sized pickups (Tacoma/Frontier) compete, at a price level, with full-size trucks and GM can ill-afford to do that as it'll commit their new small truck to a dismal level of sales while people walk into their dealership and can clearly look at a 1500 and their new small pickup and wonder why the full-size can be picked up for so damned cheap while the little one is nearly on-par.

      I think that's the success of the Ranger. It's cheap and small... It's enough of a delta in price that people don't cross shop it at the same dealership.

      Unless they want to move their 1500 upmarket which'd push some traditional pickup buyers to look elsewhere for cheap hauling.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As long as it's actually SMALL...
        • 5 Years Ago
        If GM would just slap a short bed on the back of the 'bu and call it an "El Camino", they'd pretty much own the mini-truck market.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they do a small truck...it needs to actually be small. BOTTOM LINE!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think they meant mid size

        that looks about the size of a Colorado

      • 5 Years Ago
      That draw screams Toyota, except for the grille.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Reminds me of a Chevy Luv. The truck before the S-10.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Within reason.

      I have an S-10. If it wasn't an extended cab, I couldn't fit in it and I am only 6'-1".
        • 5 Years Ago
        anoldbikeguy - "not too fast" is being quite generous. My daily driver is an extended cab 2.2L with the 5-speed manual, and even with that, 0-60 is measured on a sundial. I could only imagine how much slower the slushbox is.

        As for the Colorado's fuel economy ... it sucks. With the I-5, the EPA numbers are 15/21. What's the F-ing point, GM? Your mid-size truck has the power of a compact truck with the fuel economy of a full-size. Is it any wonder why folks didn't buy 'em?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why can't they just bring over the Zafira as is rather than stretching it out and adding a useless 3rd row seat. They'll end up with another too-narrow-to-compete minivan just like before. Let the Traverse sell to the 3rd row seat crowd. It's doing just fine in that capacity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The third row is required. Nobody buys 2 row minivans. That is likely why Chrysler stopped making them. I would totally look at a GM minivan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This all sounds good but GM needs these vehicles sooner rather than later.
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