Since GM exited the medium duty market with its Chevy Kodiak and GMC TopKick trucks in 2009, a number of dealers have been feeling the pinch. Gordon Moore, from McCormick Motors in Nappanee, Indiana, says that the lack of any mid-duty product on his lots is causing would be customers to shop elsewhere. The problem is that both Ford and Ram offer both light and medium duty trucks, essentially allowing their commercial customers to do one stop shopping at their dealers for their specific needs. “The more simple and direct solution you can provide people for the range of vehicles they need, the better off, they’re going to be,” he says.
With GM not currently offering any medium duty trucks it makes little sense for buyers to shop at one store for light duty pickups and then go to a different store to acquire different brand, medium duty vehicles. Although according to Moore, McCormick Motors has yet to feel the true impact of no medium duty trucks, sales of light duty rigs are so far up only slightly from last year and still significantly below pre-recession volumes.
GM sought a buyer for its medium duty trucks, but when deals with Isuzu and Navistar fell through, it pulled the plug on the Kodiak and TopKick. At present, there are rumors that the company is looking to re-enter the medium duty market, possibly via a joint venture with Freightliner or Navistar, but there’s been no official word from the General as of yet. In the meantime, those GM dealers (like McCormick Motors) that traditionally sold a lot of commercial vehicles are doing what they can to retain those customers, but it’s a tough battle.
[Source: Automotive News]