GM Ready to Jump in if Diesel Half-Tons Take Off

GM Ready to Jump in if Diesel Half-Tons Take Off

If new diesel offerings by Ram and Nissan in the half-ton pickup truck segment prove popular, General Motors is poised and ready to compete.

The 3.0-liter diesel that Ram will use in its trucks comes from Italian engine builder VM Motori. General Motors owns a big piece of the company and originally commissioned that engine for its own use. General Motors spokesman Tom Wilkinson confirmed that GM still has access to the engine.

But you still shouldn’t expect to see that engine in either Colorado or Canyon small trucks when they arrive in North America. GM currently sells the Colorado in other parts of the world with 2.5- and 2.8-liter Duramax diesel four-cylinder engines. Expect one of those in the U.S.-bound mid-size pickups.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon to get Diesel Power

GM is pessimistic about selling a diesel half-ton to compete with Ram and Nissan. According to Wilkinson, the company doesn’t think the benefits of a diesel half-ton will be enough to offset increased costs to consumers. That’s a perspective both Ram and Nissan would dispute.

Diesel versions of the Ram 1500 and Titan will both command price premiums over their gasoline siblings because they require heavy duty engine components. Often, that premium is thousands of dollars over the same vehicle with a gasoline engine. Starting with the 2014 model year, Jeep is offering its Grand Cherokee with an optional diesel engine for an extra $4,500.

GM is betting that premium and the higher cost of diesel fuel will be too much for most buyers to swallow. But the brand is just as ready to backpedal if customers crowd into Nissan and Ram showrooms demanding diesel trucks. Wilkinson said if that happens, GM is “in a position to respond quickly.”

Ram and Nissan will both offer diesel options in their half-ton pickups very soon. Toyota is also reportedly considering a similar move, although there hasn’t been an official announcement. General Motors is jumping on the diesel bandwagon with its compact pickup trucks, which will return to North America under both the Chevrolet and GMC brands soon. It won’t be long before the world finds out which company has the winning formula.

Discuss this story at

  • smartacus

    GM proudly stands ready to follow by example instead of leading by it

  • CA

    You got that one right? They are quite pathetic. Using GM’s name in a commercial as a follower instead of a leading could be quite interesting.

  • KokomoKid

    A lot of people say they want diesel half tons, but whether they make sense after you “run the numbers” will depend on the price premium for the engine, your prediction about the price of diesel fuel vs. gas over time, and the mpg the diesels will actually get vs. the gassers. There are a lot of unknowns here.

  • VetteMan

    Wonder what happened to the innovative 4.5-liter diesel GM was developing back in 2008 before bankruptcy?

  • Dave.swift6270

    I have a 7.3 D ford and love the long range millage on the hwy. city is a dismal 9 mile/gal. I would buy a fuel efficient diesel in a second. that will be my next purchase either car or truck. I would trade in my two GM pickups for a diesel – love the torque and milage.

  • jimszr2

    Not quite.sure what about that gutless oil burner. 7.3. The.noise away
    Ya.9mpg is great in the city
    NOT!. You fail to.mention you.probably have a 55 gallon barrel under the truck.acting as a fuel.tank. hense your “long range” ability. And lastly.the cost to fix complex pos’ is frightening . You.have to put everything you own.on the line to get a loan to buy a diesel truck. And then get bent.over every time without lube to fix the.damn thing. No thanks.I’ll stick with spark plugs :)

  • Chris

    One factor in deciding to buy a diesel is the expected longer life of the truck. I would not consider buying a 1/2 diesel unless I knew I could get 200k out of it. My 2011 Silverado Hybrid has 75,000 and shows no sign of any problems – my guess is 200k is within reach.

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