The small truck category of vehicles has been a hot topic for many automakers due to their once phenomenal popularity to their current, more like a wallflower at the prom type of popularity. There is still a niche market of small truck lovers out there such as the 67,150 Tacoma pickups that have been sold this past sales season, 27% more than the same six month period from the 2011 sales year. But beyond Toyota, the other small truck makers haven’t been doing as well. The Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline are struggling with sales of a mere 29,385 and 7,269 respectively.
The automakers are considering that maybe the drop off in the popularity of the small trucks was not about the models, but about how expensive they had become. Consumers would just assume get more for their money and when a small truck is as much as a big truck, the big truck is going to win out. However, with more people looking to scale back now due to gas prices, the small truck might start to look more attractive. Joe Veltri, VP of product planning for Chrysler notes, “Based on our data, young males still aspire to own a pickup. Historically, if you go back to the ’80s, the compact or midsize pickup segment was bigger than the full-size segment.”
So it looks as if Chrysler is going back to the drawing board to come up with a small size truck that will have a chance of prom king and have been looking at a unibody pickup to replace the now obsolete Dakota. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler admitted that there is better than a 50% chance that a Dakota with a unibody will happen. Chrysler isn’t the only one toying with releasing new small and midsize trucks. General Motors stated that they will produce a new Chevrolet Colorado, but has not said when and we are sure Ford will pick up the reigns to offer something to stay in the competition as well.
Source Detroit Free Press