General Motors to bring next Colorado small pickup to North America

General Motors to bring next Colorado small pickup to North America
12:21 AM, Mar. 8, 2011  |  
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A show car previewing the global next-generation Chevrolet Colorado debuts in Thailand this month. A Chevy spokesman declined to give a time for the U.S. introduction or say where it would be built. / MATT YORK/Associated Press

BY CHRISSIE THOMPSON
DETROIT FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

General Motors is planning to bring the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado small pickup to North America in a bid to grab share when the domestic segment leader, the Ford Ranger, disappears after 2011.
Production of the current Colorado in Shreveport, La., is slated to end when the plant closes by June 2012, and reports after GM’s bankruptcy had said planners were debating whether to introduce another version or exit the small pickup category completely.
The dithering has ended.
“We have expectations for having a future Colorado in North America,” Chevy spokesman Mike Albano said Monday. He declined to give a time for the U.S. introduction or say where the new Colorado would be built.
The Colorado — together with its GMC Canyon sibling — made up 13.1% of the small pickup segment last year, according to Autodata. The Ford Ranger made up 22.2%, second only to the Toyota Tacoma’s 42.6%, possibly leaving room for others to gain share.
Ford is closing the St. Paul, Minn., plant this year, which it had planned to do in 2008. The plan was delayed as part of labor negotiations when high gas prices helped sales of small pickups. Ford is leaning on the V-6 versions of its F-150 and other vehicles such as the upcoming Ford Focus as gas prices again rise.
A show car previewing the global next-generation Colorado debuts in Thailand this month, where the truck goes on sale this year. Pickups made up 43% of vehicles sold in Thailand last year, GM said.
Chrysler also may sell a next-generation Ram Dakota in North America. The Dakota made up 5.2% of small pickup sales in the U.S. last year.

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