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Chevy’s Colorado Chassis-Cab

by Bill Cawthon on

At the 2015 Work Truck Show, Chevrolet showed off the latest version of the mid-size Colorado pickup.

Chevrolet-Colorado-2015-BoxDelete-Web

Beginning in April, customers will be able to delete the pickup box and rear bumper on the Colorado Work Truck, turning the pickup into a small chassis-cab ready for the addition of a flat-bed, stake-bed or other vocational body.

According to Chevrolet, the Colorado is the only mid-size pickup offering this configuration from the factory.

The option is available on Chevy Colorado “WT” Work Trucks with the 3.6-liter V6 and automatic transmission, and comes with a $300 credit for deleting the pickup body — making the estimated base price $24,235, including destination charges.

Chevy says the truck will have a 2,200-pound payload rating and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,001 pounds. The truck comes with temporary taillamps installed on the rear of the frame, a full-size spare tire, eight body mount provisions (four per frame rail), the Z82 trailering package and the G80 locking differential.

Chevrolet-Colorado-Knapheide-WebThere are many  possible applications, such as Knapheide utility bodies, and GM appears to have tried to make it easier for such “upfitters,” apparently making  the long bed similar in length to the prior Colorado.

While some people believed the Colorado/Canyon would simply steal some sales from the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, that doesn’t appear to be the case. As of the end of February, sales of all models have increased as the market segment has grown 68.1%, the biggest jump of any market segment.

Furthermore, it doesn’t look like sales of the smaller pickups have hurt sales of the full-size versions. Chevrolet, GMC and Toyota all reported increased sales of the bigger trucks; Nissan doesn’t count because the discontinued Titan is being sold down.

So is it time for Ram and Ford to start crash programs to develop their own smaller pickups?

While it’s likely there are already plans in place should the need arise, the need isn’t pressing quite yet.

Fiat-Doblo-Work-Up-Web

Even with the big jump in sales percentages, the total volume of mid-size pickup sales is still a niche. Ram sold more pickups in February than the total of mid-size pickup sales; automakers sold more minivans than mid-size pickups.

Ultimately, of course, Ram, like Ford and everyone else, is going to have to develop smaller, more fuel-efficient trucks to meet rising CAFE requirements. But that’s an ongoing process.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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