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GM May Revamp Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon Midsize Trucks

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author photo by Autotrader February 2011

General Motors’ increasingly-outdated Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups may finally have a refresh on the way. While the trucks are scheduled to end production next summer, several sources are reporting that GM does plan to redesign the trucks, aiming for a U.S.-market debut in 2013.

The redesigned trucks are expected to make their global debut at the Thailand International Motor Expo in December. While the midsize pickup segment is increasingly unpopular stateside, small and midsize truck sales are booming in foreign markets like Asia, where full-size American trucks are considered too large.

A move to update the Colorado and Canyon would be contrary to the company’s 2009 plans for emerging from bankruptcy, which called for cancelling the pickups. But it may prove profitable, as many other automakers – Isuzu, Dodge, Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Ford, to name a few – have left or are leaving the segment, leaving few options for buyers interested only in smaller trucks.

Expected to be refreshed next year, Toyota’s Tacoma is the undisputed king of the midsize truck segment, with the Nissan Frontier among its strongest competitors. Suzuki’s Frontier-based Equator also remains a competitor, as does Honda’s car-based Ridgeline pickup.

While the new Colorado and Canyon are far from confirmed, sources such as Pickuptrucks.com indicate that the trucks are still more than two years away – and that production will probably leave Shreveport, Louisiana, where the trucks are built now. The site reports that production is likely to move to the Wentzville, Missouri, plant where GM’s large vans, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, are built now.

The Colorado and Canyon debuted in late 2003 as 2004 models. Considered advanced upon their debut, the Colorado and Canyon used unique inline five- and six-cylinder engines, and replaced the archaic Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma. Sales for both models peaked in 2005, with more than 160,000 units sold – a number which dwindled to just over 30,000 last month.

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GM May Revamp Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon Midsize Trucks - Autotrader