Based on a close reading of the latest GM-UAW contract proposals, it now appears that, after much hemming and hawing, the General has decided to build a next generation of its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups here in the U.S. after all. Although for some folks, “decided” isn’t exactly the right word. A certain section of the media views this as some sort of UAW blackmail program, in which the union is forcing GM to build a kind of vehicle that no one in this country wants buy—albeit while adding a few hundred jobs in the process—in return for concessions elsewhere.
There’s plenty to chew on here, but it begins with the underlying assumption that the compact pickup segment is a non-starter in the U.S., primarily because full-size pickups offer significantly more capabilities at MSRPs that are insignificantly higher. And that’s the case even when you look at fuel-efficiency, where you’d think the smaller vehicles would have a large advantage—yet a V8-powered Colorado puts up an EPA line of 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway/16 mpg combined, while the full-sized Chevy Silverado, with the same engine, achieves 15/21/17.
But let’s dig a little deeper here, shall we?