GMC Canyon Is the Yin to Chevy Colorado’s Yang

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General Motors (NYSE:GM) is responding to the segment-leading Toyota (NYSE:TM) Tacoma with not a single stab but rather a two-pronged attack to try and shake up Toyota’s domination of the smaller pickup truck market. The first prong of GM’s strategy came in the form of a new Chevrolet Colorado, which is already seeing action globally but is not on sale in the United States. The second prong is the Colorado’s corporate sibling, the GMC Canyon, which was just introduced on Sunday evening, ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Both Ford (NYSE:F) and Chrysler Group (FIATY.PK) each had players in the segment — the Ranger and Dakota, respectively — though the two models were yanked about two years ago. General Motors stopped producing the U.S.-spec Colorado and Canyon trucks around the same time, essentially leaving the market wide open for Toyota and, to a lesser extent, Nissan’s (NSANY.PK) Frontier.

However, as fuel economy concerns grow — both for consumers who have to deal with the pump prices and manufacturers that are under pressure to adhere to more stringent fleet fuel consumption regulations — companies are finding that the breed of smaller, more efficient pickup trucks is an irresistibly appetizing market opportunity.

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