Chevy’s Colorado pickup to be built back in the U.S.?

Oct 10, 2011

From Mike Colias, Automotive News

General Motors said Oct. 10 that it will sell a new, mid-sized truck in the United States under the Chevrolet Colorado nameplate. GM wouldn’t release timing or product details.

The company launched production of the new pickup the first week of October in Thailand, with plans to roll it out to other global markets.

The pickup is based on GM’s new global, body-on-frame, rear-drive platform for mid-sized trucks.

It’s unclear whether the truck also will be sold under the GMC brand, which currently sells Colorado’s sister vehicle, the Canyon.

GM didn’t announce where the U.S. version would be built, but in September, the UAW disclosed that GM intends to build a new, mid-sized pickup at its Wentzville, Mo., assembly plant. GM’s plan was part of the new four-year UAW contract inked last month.

In a statement, Chris Perry, Chevrolet’s vice president of global marketing and strategy, said, “We think the design, capability and fuel efficiency of the new Colorado will make it attractive to U.S. customers.”

The truck will be larger than the current Colorado, which is considered a compact. The vehicle lineup being launched in Thailand will include two-wheel and four-wheel drive and extended-cab and crew-cab variants.

The engine lineup includes both gas and diesel, including new 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter turbo diesel engines.

GM said it would disclose more information about the U.S., version, including engine availability, at an unspecified date. The company said engineers will “tailor the truck to meet local needs.”

The prospect of a next-generation Colorado was revived in March, when GM unveiled a next-generation concept at an auto show in Thailand.

U.S. sales of the Colorado are up 30% this year through September; sales of the GMC Canyon have climbed nearly 35%.