How Will GM’s ‘Truck Story’ Be Written?

2014 GMC Sierra 1500

Pickup trucks are selling better than any other vehicle in the U.S., and General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) isn’t slowing production in any part of the segment. At a Center for Automotive Research talk on Wednesday, chief financial officer Dan Ammann flashed photos of the 2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon while confirming to reporters that the automaker sees even more opportunity in the pickup truck market.

The Detroit News quoted Ammann saying that the launch of the 2014 Sierra and Silverado was “really just the beginning of the truck story at GM” for the years ahead. While rumors of a potential launch of the company’s full-size SUV roster were reported by The Truth About Cars, GM is showing that there is much more to be revealed by the company, and it is banking on larger vehicles to author a tale it hopes is profitable.

As far as pickups are concerned, GM is playing its hand in expert fashion. Though the launch of the 2014 pickup line is barely underway, the company looks poised to take over the top sales spot in the coming months, and may win the sales crown for the year with Ford sticking to its 2013 models in the competition. There was speculation GM might rename the Canyon and Colorado, but Ammann’s speech put an end to those rumors. GM’s chief financial officer also outlined some of the company’s thoughts.

“We think there’s a big market opportunity that hasn’t been addressed,” Ammann told reporters, saying he had an idea why the segment hasn’t been growing. “It’s diminished over the years partly because…there hasn’t been the kind of offering in the segment that customers were really looking for,” Bloomberg quoted Ammann saying Thursday before the event. Ford (NYSE:F), for example, is not offering a truck in the segment.

The photos Ammann showed suggested new accents for the grille on both the Canyon and Colorado, trucks with big names expected to outdo predecessors in terms of aesthetic value, performance, and efficiency. On the last note, GM has been having a rough go at it.

A survey taken by Gasbuddy.com showed GM ranked worst of all automakers in terms of fuel economy ratings, with six of the 10 highest gas-consuming vehicles. Smaller SUVs may be selling best, as are pickups in general, but GM thinks there’s room for improvement. Mid-size pickups will be the next chapter in the company’s truck story.

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