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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
General Motors will re-introduce mid-size trucks to the North American market in 2015, and when they do, a small diesel engine is a likely option.
Bigger isn’t always better, although domestic automakers are pretending not to hear you when it comes to compact pickups. Why?
Top 10 Best Selling Pickups
The pickup truck is an icon that embodies the working spirit. It’s every blue collar employee’s calling card and farmer’s best friend. Truck buyers grow especially close to their vehicles as trucks are a key tool in earning a living, depending on them to last through days and years of service.
GM has issued a recall on Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pick-up trucks produced between September 9th, 2011 to October 19th, 2011 for a faulty driver’s side seatbelt buckle. An electrical connector on the buckle might not have fit snugly with the connector pins which will cause the seat belt warning light to not illuminate when the belt is not fastened.
It’s not exactly the most disastrous of recalls, though NHTSA wanted to remind everyone that the lack of an audible or visual warning that the driver’s seatbelt isn’t fastened could increase the risk of injury during an accident. Either way, GM will rectify the issue by installing a new electric connector terminal with the recall beginning on November 30th.
[Source: LeftLane News]
Chevrolet‘s new mid-size Colorado pickup will offer most of the functionality of a full-size light-duty pickup without the operating costs, according to Mark Reuss, head of General Motors North America.
“You may have 85, 90 percent of what a big pickup will do,” Reuss told Automotive News at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The previous Colorado offered a 5-cylinder and a V8 option but Reuss did not announce powertrain options. With upcoming fuel economy regulations and rising gas prices, the Colorado will be an important entry in the pickup truck segment, the dominant vehicle in the United States.
Reuss also said that ”rather than putting full-blown four-mode hybrids or two-mode hybrids into large pickup trucks and trying to get efficiency out of it, which is extremely expensive, we can do things with lower displacement, hybridization, alternate fuels.” Reuss also noted that the running costs of the Colorado would be significantly less than a full-size pickup.
General Motors will have to convince buyers that the smaller Colorado will be able to meet their needs, while marketing the pickup in such a way as to avoid the stigma that small pickups have among some buyers. GM did not say whether GMC will get a version to replace the GMC Canyon, sister truck to the Colorado.
[Source: Automotive News]
GM is recalling 10,000 trucks and SUVs that have been impacted by two safety issues worldwide. The majority of the recalls are for the 2011 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (9,215 combined) that could roll away when shifted into park due to a faulty part manufactured in China. The recall will be officially issued out on July 19th, and GM will install new automatic transmission adjustment clips. This recall impacts 6,700 vehicles sold in the United States.
Fortunately this recall (and the other one) doesn’t involve any crashes. The Colorado and Canyon recall was discovered when a vehicle failed to start while at a GM assembly plant. The other recall is being issued out to 891 SUVs and trucks for steering problems. 739 of the vehicles impacted are in the United States. Those impacted will have their intermediate steering shaft bolts properly tightened to ensure no loss of steering can occur. Those letters will be sent out on July 13th.
The 891 SUVs and trucks affected by that recall include the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Sierra all from the 2011 model year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) has stated that the windshield wipers may become inoperative. The issue centers around potentially loose nuts on the wiper’s motor crank arm intended to secure the windshield wipers. The nuts were not properly secured during manufacturing. This could reduce driver visibility, therefor increasing the risk of a crash.
General Motors has halted production at their Tonawanda, New York engine plant, due to a parts shortage that has affected another factory in Louisiana.
The New York plant builds engines for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, which are assembled at the Shreveport, Louisiana plant. While GM has acknowledged that the closure is due to an issue with Japanese parts, GM hasn’t specified what components are affected.
Of the 623 workers at the plant, 59 have been laid off due to the shortage. Some have suspected that GM is diverting the components to more profitable vehicles, as it fears an extreme disruption to its supply chain. GM plants in Spain and Germany have also been closed due to the shortage.
[Source: USA Today]
General Motors Shreveport, Louisiana factory that builds the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will face a production halt until March 21st due to supply chain issues stemming from Japan’s natural disasters.
GM hasn’t specified which part is causing the stoppage, but both trucks feature a manual transmission made by Japanese firm Aisin. GM apparently has a 58 day supply of the small trucks (compared to an industry average of 60 days), but the slow selling vehicles are due to die, along with the plant, in 2012.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
With the Ford Ranger having left the building, General Motors is capitalizing on the death of a legend by going full steam ahead with the development of their next compact pickups, which will replace the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
While the Ranger will be sold in markets across the globe, save for the United States, the GM twins will be developed as a world platform, with General Motors leveraging the expertise of their divisions in Thailand, which is a significant market for small trucks. Of course, the trucks will have to be built Stateside, since imported trucks are subject to extraordinary duties thanks to the infamous “chicken tax“.
Of course, Toyota and Nissan still make a compact truck, but we can see the appeal of a domestic alternative for a large section of the market. GM had originally planned to kill off their small truck twins, but the recent change of events seems to have made them re-consider their plans.
General Motors has announced that is recalling some 192,676 2004-11 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup regular and extended cab models (plus certain 2008-09 Isuzu i280/i370 trucks) fitted with 60/40 split front bench seats because of tether issues for child seats.
According to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards applicable in the U.S. and Canada, the location of the top tethers on the center part of these seats means they aren’t accessible for properly securing child seats. Although to date, there have been no reported instances of injuries resulting from this issue, GM is urging customers who own one of these vehicles to contact their local dealer as soon as possible to have the tethers modified.
The dealer will fix the problem at any time and free of charge, regardless of the age or mileage of the vehicle. In the meantime GM is stressing that owners of these trucks, if they are going to install a child seat, should secure it on the right side of the front seat, where the top tether is more accessible and the child chair can be better secured in place.
Several sketches of a pickup truck have been leaked from the U.S. Patent Office, showing what appears to be the next-generation Chevy Colorado. GM filed the design patent on November 23rd of last year and received confirmation from the office yesterday.
Judging from the big grille, the drawings show what is quite obviously a Chevrolet. And while it’s not confirmed that this is the new Colorado, recent spy shots have shown what appear to be a Colorado replacement out testing. Adding to the speculation is news from GMI’s sources that a new Colorado is set to be built at the company’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant where die kits for a “new small truck” are scheduled to arrive later this year for initial testing.
There is a possibility that this new truck might be a product destined only for South America, especially as several of the designers mentioned on the patent are from Brazil. Our GM-crazed friends at GMI assure us, however, that this the next Colorado.
GALLERY: Chevy Colorado Design Patent Sketches
The small pickup truck segment seems to be a dying category, with the future of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon now in doubt. According to a report by PickupTrucks.com, GM’s product boss Bob Lutz has said that both models may not live on to see another generation. “It’s uncertain at this point,” he said. “They may well [go away].”
GM has yet to announce any plans for the trucks and last year it was announced that production at the Shreveport plant where the trucks are assembled would cease by 2012.
Ford has already said that it will stop production of its Ranger pickup by the end of 2011, and Dodge has decided to kill-off the Dakota pickup around the same time. Dodge is likely to replace the Dakota with a new model, however. Ford is debating several changes, with the potential to bring over the Ranger model currently overseas or offer a stripped-down version of the F-150. Currently, the only automaker having any success in the segment is Toyota with its dominant Tacoma, selling more than double the number of Rangers as last year.
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Republicans everywhere rejoiced last week when Massachusetts senator-elect Scott Brown won an election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. Now not only is he on his way to Washington to quash the Obama Administration’s health care bill, but he’s helping out the U.S. auto industry in the process.
Brown campaigned for the seat from the seat… of his 2005 GMC Canyon pickup truck. “I love this old truck. It’s brought me closer to the people of this state,’’ said Brown in one of his campaign ads. The truck, which features as prominently as Brown himself in the adds, has 200,000 miles on the odometer and Brown says he’ll drive it all the way to Washington.
GMC has never been much of a player in the compact truck market, but the cameo appearance in Brown’s adds has caught the attention of more than a few folks – at least in Massachusetts. According to Al Cerrone, the owner of a local GMC dealership, “We’ve gotten eight to 12 phone calls from people asking, ‘Do you sell trucks like that?’ It prompted inquiries, and when you’ve got inquiries, you’ve always got sales.’’
It might not be much, but GM dealerships in Massachusetts can use all the good news they can get these days with almost half of the state’s 98 dealerships slated to close.
As for Bezema Buick GMC Truck Corp. in Norwood, which sold Brown his truck back in 2005, they are planning on offering a look-a-like GMC Canyon with 70,000 miles, which will be prominently displayed out front.