General Motors is considering new names for its all-new mid-size
pickup trucks expected to go on sale next year, a top executive said this
The new trucks, which will be shown later this year, will replace the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. They will be aimed at luring buyers away from Toyota's market-leading Tacoma pickup.
"We're researching the names," Mark Reuss, GM North America president, told reporters this morning. "Do they mean something to people -- or the trucks are so different, do we need a change of names, too?"
The Free Press reported earlier this month that GM was developing new mid-size trucks aimed at "lifestyle" buyers.
Reuss, who was speaking at an event hosted by Bloomfield Hills law firm Dawda Mann, said the trucks would have dramatically different styling and powertrains than the full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.
"I think you're going to be surprised," Reuss said, adding that the trucks would "attack the West Coast" with a package that "is really beautiful and fun."
As GM prepares to report first-quarter earnings on May 2, investors are watching to see if the company has been battered by the effect of the weakened Japanese yen. The U.S. automakers have called on Washington to pressure Japan to rein in its currency policies to avoid giving Japanese automakers the ability to sell cars to the U.S. at cheaper prices.
The weakened Japanese yen is "a real threat" to GM but hasn't affected sales yet, Reuss told reporters Tuesday.
But the "once-in-a-generation yen move is the elephant in the room that few" auto companies "will want to acknowledge, but eventually will have no choice," Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said today in a research note.
Reuss also said:
The Buick Encore, a new compact crossover that hit showrooms in the first quarter, is "moving off our lots as soon as they come in, which is very encouraging for us."
The 2014 Corvette Stingray, which will reach dealerships in the fall, will carry a "very attainable" price, but he declined to say what it is.
"A younger demographic will get back into Chevrolet as an aspirational sports car once again."
The company has no plans to lower the Chevrolet Volt's price, even after its March sales fell 35% from a year earlier. GM CEO Dan Akerson said in London last week that he believes Volt sales would soar if the company lowered the $40,000 price tag by $5,000.
(c)2013 the Detroit Free Press
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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