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Lack of Small Trucks at GMC Dealership a Good Sign, or Intentional?
Commentary and Photos by Ming
www.gminsidenews.com

I recently took a trip to a couple of GM dealerships looking for small GM pickups - and ended up at a rather prominent (and my favorite) Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealer in the Houston area. I took some photos of the situation on the lot, which was a bit surprising, but indicative of a trend at the other dealerships. And, well, I'll admit I just like taking photos of GM cars and trucks.

Large trucks and SUVs filled an unpaved lot nearly the size of the rest of the GMC dealership's paved lot beside it.

And among all of the dozens of Yukons, Acadias and Sierras, I could only find TWO Canyon pickups buried in the back, with no apparent effort to sell them.

One was just my style. A 4-door, 4-cylinder stripped down model. Very practical, with a decent sticker price and acceptable fuel economy. The other was a little less practical with an off-road package.

So -- Is it that GM is suddenly selling a lot of these small pickups within the last month or two and I came too late to find any -- or are the dealerships just not ordering any?

One would think that at $4.00 / gallon, these trucks would be more popular, and the dealerships would try to take advantage of that, putting them up on a ramp outside of the dealership for all to see. But no such effort was being made.

I can only come to the conclusion - assuming sales of these are not skyrocketing - that these GMC dealers are just as hesitant as GM itself to market and sell the small Canyon/Colorado trucks (incentives have never been as tempting as those on the big trucks), especially with so many large trucks and SUVs languishing on the lots. Or perhaps the more profitable H3 Hummer trucks that share the assembly line with the Canyon/Colorado are eating up the supply? Just one factory shared with HUMMER can't meet the demand?

Your take? Any "inside" reasons you know of? I find it hard to believe that "no one wants" the small trucks. I sat in one and it looked fine to me, aside from the circa 1999 design radio unit (that thankfully said "MP3").

I was simply disappointed at the slim selection of small pickups compared to the many, many Sierras in 4 rows on the secondary lot. Especially given the scary fuel economy numbers on many of the the Sierras (see below).

After all, how can you sell what you don't have in inventory for browsing buyers?



Note the text below the annual estimated fuel cost is $2.80


At long last, a Canyon!

 

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Interesting observation. I wonder what the dealer's margins are for the Colorado/Canyon? It's not an inventory problem ... as of May 1, Chevy had 23,200 Colorados for a 116-day supply, and GMC had 7600 Canyons for a 160-day supply. (source: Automotive News Data Center)

I've always liked my daughter's Colorado, and was thinking of getting one myself for hauling stuff around my property. I don't want/need a full sized pickup.

I'm looking forward to what others have to say, especially from the Chevy and GMC dealer crowd.
 

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I'm aghast that an urban/suburban (well it's Houston, the whole city is one big suburb) would have a gravel lot. How trashy-looking...

Maybe there are no Canyons because suddenly everyone wants one and they've all sold out?
 

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I can't believe the lack of marketing skills in the era of $4.00 gas. One local Chevy dealer is totally surrounded by GMT-900 vehicles facing the roads. The lot is at a little higher elevation than the roads around it, and it looks like an intimidating fortress. Do you really need 150 GMT-900s facing the road to let people know that you have a good selection? You really have to look hard to see a car when you drive by.

People looking for something with good gas mileage aren't even going to slow down. IMHO it would be better for the dealer to sell cars at a smaller profit than to sell nothing.
 

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I do think they need to stock more of GM's small pickups everywhere. The only problem is that these trucks were barely competitive when they came out. Now we have a newer Tacoma and Frontier for them to do battle with.

Whoever decided these pickups should not be updated needs to taken out behind the barn...
 

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I am starting to see more of the GM mini trucks in the KC area as well. I can definitely see their usefulness. Never driven one though. Hopefully GM will realize their is a market for quality mini trucks and does a quick rework of this platform. (A V6 would be nice, the 5.3 V8 even better!)
 

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Sadly though, if buyers begin opting for smaller trucks in big numbers, most will gravitate to Toyota and Nissan before looking at the GMT355s. Little surprise considering how half-baked they are. Once again, GM only pays attention to the products that makes them money and ignores everything else. Little wonder why GM's market share today is two points lower than where Ford was a few years ago. Soggy, ugly, poorly-executed crap like the GMT355s are part of why that's so.
 

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I've lived in 3 very different states this year and can tell you this...it is the same all over. No dealer stocks these Colorado/Canyons. Not even Colorado! None. Zip.

It isn't a stock issue. Everytime I've been there to look at one, they steer me toward a full sizer! Why? Dunno. :(
 

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When I bought my 07 Colorado there was only four to choose from, but like the dealership you went to there was row after row of Full size trucks. Unfortunately the Colorado and the Canyon are not very popular so they don't keep that many on the lots.
 

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I would have bought a Colorado or Canyon Crew cab 4x4 with the off road package, but unfortunately none were available in the Houston area. There were none like that in stock anywhere. I ended up in a full sized truck from Mac Hiek Chevy on the Katy Freeway.

The only Colorado crew that I found was 2wd with the off road package. The rest were stripped down 4 cylinder trucks.



I hate to hear GM complain about the lack of interest in smaller trucks (and smaller cars with a manual transmission) when it's impossible to find any on the dealer's lots. Naturally, the dealer pushes people into the full sizers.
 

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I can't believe the lack of marketing skills in the era of $4.00 gas. One local Chevy dealer is totally surrounded by GMT-900 vehicles facing the roads. The lot is at a little higher elevation than the roads around it, and it looks like an intimidating fortress. Do you really need 150 GMT-900s facing the road to let people know that you have a good selection? You really have to look hard to see a car when you drive by.

People looking for something with good gas mileage aren't even going to slow down. IMHO it would be better for the dealer to sell cars at a smaller profit than to sell nothing.
Apparently, then, it's not just a trend in my area, minnfang. The podunk Chevrolet dealership next to my home frequently lines up all of their large trucks along the very small portion of their lot that faces the main route. When they include a car in this intimidating lineup, it's usually this [gorgeous] blue Corvette convertible that they seem to be having a problem moving off the lot. No Aveo's, no new Malibu, no Cobalts. Just big trucks. Seems odd, too, because there are plenty of economy cars and family cars in my area.
 

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Sounds like a good time to buy a big truck. FS SUV's actually got cheap last year.
 

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You won't see Colorado/Canyon on the lot because dealers and buyers figured out a long time ago that they are a sorry excuse for a small truck. If you equip one like a full size truck after rebates the price is so close that the full size truck is a better buy. The mileage on a 4X4 Colorado is nothing to brag about.
I bought a Z-71 4X4 Extended Cab in 2004. After owning about ten S-10s the Colorado was a great disappointment. The truck had no feature that I could pinpoint that was exceptional. It had no power, had shake rattle and roll, had the turning radius of an aircraft carrier, and had a really cheap interior. The front end ate tires........new ones at 18,000 miles. I found out that the front end was incorrectly set at the factory, but Chevy kept it so quiet..........a fix it if you complain warranty.
My neighbor had an 04 also. His truck was in the shop forever with engine valve problems. He also was donating money to tire companies.
The Colorado/Canyon line is junk..........period..........an ISZUSU dream. Bring back the S-10 with an efficient engine.
If I was a dealer, I would hide them in the back row also!
 

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Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of the small trucks a $4.00/gallon?
Not really...a 5.3 with afm would be perfect. Bigger engines barely working get the same mileage as smaller engines working hard. I know several guys who swapped out 5.3s for 6.0's over the years (naturally for performance) but when they were just driving around like normal mileage never changed enough to be noticed.
 

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Lots of Colorados and Canyons available in Southern Quebec and they do sell well,especially the 4-doors. I certainly see far more of these than the Tacomas. Even though I'm not a big fan of the twins, a four door,4 cylinder,5-speed manual stripper would make for an economical somewhat appealing vehicle.
 

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It seems as though GM leadership constantly show that they lack foresight time and time again which is why they are in the mess they are in now.

Doesn't someone sitting at that large table say "hey incase gas prices keep going up we should put money into our smaller trucks and cars"

Instead they try to tell us, people don't want to buy small cars they want huge tanks thats what they want so thats what we have to build.
 

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You won't see Colorado/Canyon on the lot because dealers and buyers figured out a long time ago that they are a sorry excuse for a small truck. If you equip one like a full size truck after rebates the price is so close that the full size truck is a better buy. The mileage on a 4X4 Colorado is nothing to brag about.
I bought a Z-71 4X4 Extended Cab in 2004. After owning about ten S-10s the Colorado was a great disappointment. The truck had no feature that I could pinpoint that was exceptional. It had no power, had shake rattle and roll, had the turning radius of an aircraft carrier, and had a really cheap interior. The front end ate tires........new ones at 18,000 miles. I found out that the front end was incorrectly set at the factory, but Chevy kept it so quiet..........a fix it if you complain warranty.
My neighbor had an 04 also. His truck was in the shop forever with engine valve problems. He also was donating money to tire companies.
The Colorado/Canyon line is junk..........period..........an ISZUSU dream. Bring back the S-10 with an efficient engine.
If I was a dealer, I would hide them in the back row also!

My 2006 had the same front end problem...tires shot at 15K.

Also have had a few trim issues.

Otherwise I must say the truck has been pretty good.

I have the 2.8L Crew Cab 2WD.....perfect for my 35 mile commute and car pool, plenty of room....has plenty of power to run 75 MPH on the highway...gas mileage runs 18-22 MPG depending how fast I go and if in stop and go traffic.

The perfect truck for the ocassional trip to Home Depot and to the garden center for the wife in the spring.....also great for tailgating during football season.
 

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The Colorado/Canyons are just too much money when compared to a fullsize. Who in their right mind wants to shell out full-size money on a less capable truck? Alright, so with higher gas prices that may no longer be the case. But regardless, the C/Cs just aren't as well executed as they ought to be. Had they paid a little attention to what Toyota was doing over the last twenty frickin' years, they would probably be among the best selling vehicles on the road today.
 
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