Chevy is beefing up the Colorado to take on the Toyota Tacoma, but what happens if Ford enters the race?
Both Ford and GM took breaks from the mid-size truck market back in 2012, with GM returning to the competition in late 2014. Sales of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon have been promising, but Tacoma is still the big dog in the smaller truck market. The Tacoma sold 180,000 vehicles in the last year, while it has taken the Chevy Colorado two years to hit 160,000 in sales.
Chevy is giving the 2017 Colorado an all-new V-6 engine and eight-speed transmission. Some are skeptical of the eight-speed transmission but Chevy promises that it will improve towing ability. The 2017 Canyon will also get the new V-6 engine package but will also add an All Terrain X model for better off-roading.
Ford has been incredibly successful with its F-150, but there has been speculation that it will re-enter the smaller truck arena with a mini-raptor type Ranger. The Ranger is still produced for other world markets like Australia.
People commenting on a Tacoma enthusiast site seem to think that a new Raptor/Ranger vehicle will really shake up the mid-size arena. Jason N. posted “GM is going to hit them hard with the 2017/18 mid size trucks. They already said it, and Ford definitely is going to jump over GM and maybe even Toyota with the new Ranger. If it spec's out at what people are guessing at (probably just wishful thinking) it will be a mini raptor, which would be awesome”.
Jon C. says “I think Toyota will lose it's crown eventually. Ford Ranger is getting back into the game, Hyundai is jumping in (I know, it's funny but still) and other manufacturers too. Tacoma is selling less now than a year ago. Look at GM's gains."
The biggest problem that the automakers will have when dealing with the mid-size market is not cannibalizing their own sales. The Ranger will have to be significantly different to keep it from stealing sales from the F-150. The Chevy Silverado may be the biggest competitor for the Colorado. Marketing has to be aggressive enough to take from the other companies, not just their own big brothers.