Ford, Chrysler Looking to Get Back in Small Pickup Market?

Ford, Chrysler Looking to Get Back in Small Pickup Market?

The Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra have all seen updates in the past year, but what about smaller pickups which are seen as more affordable and fuel efficient? Well, they may be on the way back to relevance.

Small pickups are a pretty tiny market segment right now, with the only offerings being the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that new small pickups from Chevrolet might spur further competition from Ford and Chrysler.

Indeed, General Motors is going to bring new small pickups to the US market with the new 2014 Chevy Colorado and 2014 GMC Canyon. This move will help more fuel conscious buyers, and help with GM’s corporate average fuel economy.

Ford has recently discussed the possibility of a truck to fit in below the F-150, a replacement for the old Ranger. Chrysler is also debating a replacement for its old Dakota pickup truck, perhaps on a more global scale selling in regions such as Asia and South America where smaller trucks are preferred.

SEE ALSO: Where Did the Compact Pickups Go?

Overall, small trucks need to be more compact (obviously) and more affordable than the half-tons. Before the Ranger and Dakota were discontinued, their growth in size and increasing price made buyers opt for the bigger vehicles like the Ram and F-150.

However, other market segments are seeing buyers flock to smaller vehicles. Toyota VP Bob Carter says that he anticipates small pickup interest will increase, especially with fuel prices increasing and more automakers getting into the fray.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

Discuss this story at

  • Louis Choquette

    OEMs have been good at
    creating titillating compact pickup truck concepts but not so good at bringing
    them to market. Maybe that will change.

  • bloggin

    Word has it that Ford will be using the platform from the new 2014 Transit Connect.  It is already available with two different wheelbase that are very close to the old Ranger, and can handle fwd, rwd and awd.  

  •  If true, this would be a very smart decision.

  • Dbdixon57

    I am not brand loyal & when i saw the Colorado front end i was a little surprised.So i started looking at competitors,Isuzu D max,Mazda BT 50,Toyota Hilux,Nissan Foton,Mitsubishi Triton,T6 Ranger & all have the same basic outline but t6 Ranger which has a flat front & gets less mileage.Those wide flat fronted mocho fuel sucking big motored, loud mufflered full size trucks are going to soon be history, just to have to drive to work & look cool.U.S. CAFE is going to force the younger generation into smaller less powerful vehicles.I think the smaller diesel pickups are the answer for those of us that use trucks only part time in the U.S.Most guys in the U.S.have never been out of state most less out of country and have no idea how other people live or use trucks.They do not know that half or better of it was designed and built overseas and shipped here for assembly.A lot of Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado owners in the U.S. have no idea that they are driving a modified Mazda or Isuzu.Ford is a very popular U.S. truck and the T6 Ranger is a nice looking global truck.I think it would do well in the U.S.even though i will probability buy the Colorado diesel for fuel mileage. Oh read the comments by big Al from oz & Robert Ryan on some of these truck web sites,they know trucks of all makes and do not appear to show bias views.I wish these guys would post how these small diesels are holding up and which are showing problems.

  • TugboatPhil (D – Obamaville)

     Then look no further than the Toyota Hilux.  It is easily converted to a troop carrier, a mount for a crew served, heavy machine gun and even rocket launchers.  It can run after sustained, small arms fire, being rammed and driven on roads that make the lunar surface appear paved.

    It’s the choice of small armies, terrorists and insurgents world wide.  Look at news reports from war zones from the last 40 years and it’s the most recognized vehicle on the battlefield.

  • jbmcc

    There are several small diesel engines which should work well in small to mid sized pickups (Isuzu or Cummins 3.9L or MB 3.0 Turbo Diesels for example).  The Japanese manufacturers seem to do well selling small pickups in the US market, it’s a shame the Big-3 cannot figuer a way to do it too.

  • Tesmith44m

    Please Please power them with diesels.  More torque with less fuel.  Provide manual transmissions with 6 th gear being a true overdrive to be used when running near empty on the open road.  5th gear would be used for aloaded truck or pulling a small trailer or a boat.  4WD must be offered.  Where do I place my order?

  • Ford640tractor

    Me next! Please also offer ‘stripper’ versions in standard and king cab. I see conversions in FarmShow newsletters where people have done several conversions with excellent results. It looks like a mid sized or half ton truck with a 3.9 turbo diesel should get in the mid 30s on the road if geared properly.
    If there can be a good result of higher gas prices, it’s a renewed interest in efficiency

  • Kbarlow83

    My father owned Ford Rangers and Chev S-10’s since 1987 and he put up with how small they were and the mid 20’s MPG until I convinced him to buy a 2008 Silverado……now he has the room and same or better MPG then the little trucks. I hope the little trucks are not fuel pigs like they were before.
    I have known so many people who buy the little trucks expecting 30 MPG then end up getting low to mid 20’s.
    IMO I think that if you don’t want the big truck you are better off with a Jetta diesel with a utility trailer !

  • CL&LTR Co.

    “Those wide flat fronted mocho fuel sucking big motored, loud mufflered full size trucks are going to soon be history.” 
    I have to disagree with that, I have two 1990 and 91′ F-350’s, they both have the good old 7.3L V8 diesel, the 91′ has an ATS turbo (no muffler). I intend to never sell them, and when I can afford it I will buy a brand new Super Duty whether it be an F-350 or F-450. I won’t own anything smaller than an F-350, and it has to be a diesel otherwise I won’t even look at it. You would never catch me owning an F-150 much less a Ranger… So no, the full size trucks will never be “history”… The way I see it, if your going to buy a truck, go big or go home…

    Also if someone want’s to have a big truck just to “drive to work & look cool”, it’s completely up to them. My 90′ F-350 is a box truck, sometimes I just drive it because I feel like it, whether I’m hauling a load or going somewhere or not.

  • tim_lebsack

    U.S. Government fuel economy mandates prevent small pickups from being produced for the American market.