Detroit 2014: GM’s Barra and Reuss Present the 2015 GMC Canyon

At the reveal of the 2015 GMC Canyon midsize pickup, newly-minted General Motors CEO Mary Barra reiterated the company’s plan to make “every GM vehicle the best in its segment.” On paper, the 2015 GMC Canyon and its mechanical twin, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, seem to fulfill this promise.

Both GM trucks jump into the midsize pickup segment, where only Nissan and Toyota compete with the aging Frontier and Tacoma, respectively. The 2015 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado are set to offer better powertrains, more modern interiors, and increased payload and towing capacity over both of the Japanese trucks. The 2015 Canyon looks great too, with a clean front end and attractive proportions that eliminate some of the awkward angles present on the Chevrolet Colorado.

GM product chief Mark Reuss dismissed concerns about the 2015 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado’s profit margins and possible overlap with the Silverado and Sierra full-sizers, saying that these two smaller trucks allow the company to “do something different than the competition.” In the truck sphere, he’s right; neither Ford nor Ram are present in this class of trucks, leaving more room for the Colorado and Canyon to make inroads in a segment desperate for something new—the Frontier and Tacoma are both more than 8 years old. If GM gets the pricing right for these trucks and is able to raise awareness among truck buyers through a marketing push, we think the Colorado and Canyon could be a hit.

Don’t expect the smaller trucks to tread anywhere near the sales of the recently redesigned Silverado and Sierra, though, which saw sales rise 14.8 percent and 17.3 percent respectively for 2013. Still, the sales numbers for both GM trucks combined fell behind sales of the dominant Ford F-150; Reuss pointed out that “we’re still selling a lot of trucks too,” and said GM has not given up on being number one. When asked about the threat of the redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 and its lightweight construction, Reuss reiterated that GM would not be resting on its laurels, saying that “if we need to keep making these trucks lighter, we can.”

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