GM Prices Midsize Chevy Truck Below Rival Toyota

By Dow Jones Business News, 

General Motors Co. said its new Chevrolet Colorado midsize truck will start at $20,995, about $500 less than its primary target, Toyota Motor Corp.'s Tacoma pickup.

The Detroit auto maker's aggressive pricing, announced Tuesday, signals its determination to reclaim market share in a segment it abandoned about two years ago. The Colorado and its sibling, the GMC Canyon priced at $21,880, will begin rolling into dealer ships in the fourth quarter.

GM says the Colorado and Canyon will appeal to younger pickup truck consumers who want the flexibility of a full-size pickup truck but in a more maneuverable, efficient package.

Toyota has about 70% of the market for the midsize pickups. It sold about 159,500 of the trucks last year.

"We expect an all new pickup with an attractive price to change the conversation among truck customers," a GM spokesman said. "Colorado will bring a lot of midsize truck fans back into the market, and offer a cost-effective alternative to technology intensive full-size trucks for commuters and casual users."

Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, for now, are taking the opposite view and keeping clear of the midsized pickup truck market. Both Ford and Chrysler once sold small and midsize pickups, but dropped them to concentrate on selling more efficient versions of their more profitable, larger trucks such as the Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram.

Toyota now dominates what's left of the midsize truck segment, selling 88,398 Tacomas through the end of July. Nissan Motor Co. is a distant second notching 41,740 sales of its Frontier pickup truck.

"The Tacoma sets the standard for compact pickup quality, durability and reliability at a great value," said Bill Fay, Toyota division's group vice president and general manager. "As more customers are drawn to the segment, Tacoma will continue to deliver on this promise and benefit from this increase in shopping."

U.S. sales of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon peaked in 2005 with 163,668 vehicles combined. In contrast, GM sold 664,803 of its full-size Silverado and Sierra trucks in the U.S. last year.

Write to Jeff Bennett at

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Referenced Stocks: 7201 , 7203 , FIAT , FIATY , GM

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