America’s love for large vehicles is a long-standing trend, which continues to be made evident by the ever growing popularity of SUVs and pickup trucks. While these vehicles continue to attract new customers, they also continue to swell in stature. In order to help entice buyers who aren’t willing to take on something so large, automakers have reignited the midsize truck segment. With offerings like the Ford Ranger and GMC Canyon now duking it out on dealer lots, MC&T sat down with Stuart Pierce, Senior Marketing Manager of GMC trucks & full-size SUVs to discuss the segment.
General Motors was the first American automaker to reintroduce a midsize pickup into their product line back in 2014, with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins. The pair has been applauded by the media and owners alike, specifically when it comes to the off-road oriented ZR2 and AT4 models. Despite facing off against established contenders like the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, as well newer entries like the Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger, the GM trucks have managed to carve a lane all their own.
“It’s a segment where we don’t have enough capacity,” said Pierce at the Chicago Auto Show. “Demand is exceeding supply. We don’t have a big segment share in there right now, but it’s been interesting, as these new competitors have come on, that the segment has grown but hasn’t necessarily taken away business from us.”
Now it is important to note that the Canyon hasn’t been the brand’s greatest sales success. Last year, GMC sold 32,825 examples of the vehicle, down two percent from 2018. While that puts the Canyon squarely in last place in overall segment sales numbers, the holdup for GMC appears to be on the production side of the operation.
“Our segment share is going down because it’s getting bigger, but we just can’t build any more (Canyons),” said Pierce. “Just like Sierras, we need more Sierras. It’s a good problem to have.”
As we move into this new year, it will be interesting to see what happens with the GMC Canyon moving forward. With all of the interest surrounding the truck, you would expect General Motors to find a way to increase production. The GMC Hummer EV electric pickup is slated to arrive by the end of the year, meaning the GMC truck brand is only going to get more popular. Hopefully GM finds a way to capitalize off of that.
The 2021 GMC Canyon was recently announced, with a first-ever AT4 trim level. The off-road oriented truck effectively replaces the shelved All Terrain sub-brand for the truck. The new 2021 GMC Canyon lineup will be built alongside the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado exclusively in America at the GM Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri. Pricing will be announced later this year.