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Ford Says No To Small Pickups As GM Forges Ahead; Chrysler Undecided

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Ford Says No To Small Pickups As GM Forges Ahead; Chrysler Undecided

Even as General Motors readies their new Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup, Ford and Chrysler are hedging their bets that consumers won’t return to the floundering small truck market, and continue to opt for full-size pickups instead.

General Motors has claimed that the new Colorado will do most of what a full-size truck can do with substantially reduced running costs. GM’s strategy appears to hinge on rising gas prices and a general trend towards more fuel-efficient vehicles. On the opposite end, Ford is killing off its Ranger pickup entirely, and will offer a replacement in world markets, but not North America. Thailand will be a big market for the Ranger (it’s the world’s largest mid-size pickup nation) and much of the Colorado’s development work was done there.

Studies have shown that the current mid-size truck entries are actually costlier to own once depreciation is factored in. Fuel economy advances in the full-size segment, along with the macho image of a full-size truck have helped contribute to the demise of the mid-size pickup.

Chrysler, which recently killed off their Dakota mid-size pickup, is still exploring whether to bring a new smaller truck to market, with spokesman Dave Elshoff telling Automotive News “We believe there is still a substantial market for small pickups,.. “We’re studying the demographics and business case for a small Ram pickup . [Source: Automotive News]