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Would You Buy A Small Truck From Chevy?

Chevrolet Montana Brazil Mexico Small Truck Ford Maverick Rival US Market Canada

It’s no secret that pickup trucks have gotten bigger, more powerful, and more capable with each passing generation. They’ve also gotten more premium, as well, and as a result, prices have crept higher and higher. But this isn’t just true for trucks. It’s true for all the other new vehicles for sale here in the United States. Per Cox Automotive data, the national average transaction price for a new vehicle is $48,528 as of May 2023. And, as of April 2023, the average vehicle payment was $766 USD. These are averages.

All of that is to say, not everybody wants or needs a mid-size or full-size truck. And not everybody can afford one, either. Correlating this data with the lack of financial savings nationwide, and it’s clear that people could use some relief. That’s why demand for small trucks like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz remain white hot, and why other automakers (Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Stellantis via Ram Trucks) are expected to enter this space shortly. At General Motors, America’s biggest and best selling pickup truck and SUV maker, there’s opportunity to join the fray, but it would appear that the focus right now is on mid-size and above.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Trail Boss L3B

“We think customers are best served with a body-on-frame pickup truck. We think that gives the the capability, the ability to modify it simply, the off-road capability, and durability that’s inherent of a body-on-frame chassis,”said Mike MacPhee, director of Chevrolet truck marketing in a conversation with MC&T during the 2023 Colorado first drive program.

In 2023 alone, the GM truck brands have been busy launching new mid-sized trucks in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, upgraded Class 2b and class 3 trucks in the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD, and new full-size variants such as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 Bison and GMC Sierra 1500 AEV Edition. GM’s current focus has largely been on high-earning, lifestyle-oriented pickup trucks, as evident from the growing portfolio of ZR2 and AT4X sub-brands. Indeed, things are busy, and exciting. And profitable.

Whether there’s financial incentive to do so or not, the United States and Canadian regulatory environments don’t make it simple for automakers to sell small trucks built for global markets in this landscape. Markets such as South America see several small trucks for sale, and this is where General Motors sells the Chevrolet Montana (pictured: top), which is a FWD-based unibody pickup truck like the Ford Maverick. And in Mexico, GM sells what’s called the Chevrolet S10 Max (pictured: below), which is a body-on-frame truck imported from China that sells for roughly the same price as the Ford Maverick.

2023 Chevrolet S10 Max
The Chevrolet S10 Max lineup for Mexico.

To comply with USA and Canada laws, these more entry-market vehicles would have to feature various mandated safety equipment, pass crash tests with favorable marks, and pass emissions tests. Moreover, to avoid the 25-percent tariff subject to any pickup truck imported from outside of the United States, Canada or Mexico, these trucks have to be built in any of those three countries. None of these hurdles are impassable, but they do amount to added costs, time, and human capital, which all could be allocated elsewhere.

Looking ahead, GM has hinted that it could soon build and sell a small Chevrolet truck that’s electric. But considering that it’s likely to lose money at any price point below $40,000, it would make the new Chevrolet Colorado, which starts at around $30,000 USD, the truck of choice for customers looking for something more utilitarian. Unless, that is, if GM figures out a way to homologate the Chevrolet Montana for the USA and Canada markets. Which is something that Stellantis has reportedly figured out with the upcoming Ram Rampage small truck.

2023 2024 2025 2026 Ram Rampage Toro 1200 1000 700 Stellantis small unibody pickup truck usa canada brazil mexico north america argentina

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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  1. GM wants to pound the trucks out for more profit over a decent price sale!!! Rangers and s-10 trucks are at a premium and the ACTY tiny trucks are great if you want to import a old used truck! The trucks available are nothing but a rugged car without a trunk lid!

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