GM counts on redesigned Canyon to pull sales from rivals

Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:09am EST
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By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) will not mind if its new GMC Canyon steps on the toes of its larger cousin the Chevrolet Silverado, as long as the redesigned mid-sized pickup truck stomps on vehicle sales by other automakers.

Executives at the No. 1 U.S. automaker are counting on the 2015 Canyon pickup when it debuts in the fall to be a "true conquest machine" that will attract full-size truck owners from rival brands. Target buyers include those who want something smaller and people who currently drive crossover vehicles but want the utility of a truck.

Any sales Canyon pulls from the low end of the full-size Silverado should be minimal, GM believes.

The Canyon, scheduled to be unveiled on Sunday night ahead of the Detroit auto show this week, is meant to pull sales from Ford Motor Co's (F.N: Quote) F-150 and Chrysler Group's FIA.MI Ram 1500 pickups, but it may also take sales from Silverado as well, said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of marketing for GMC.

"If there is somebody that's in a full-size today that really needs a smaller, more convenient package to better fit their lifestyle, I'd rather they stay with us than go elsewhere," DiSalle told reporters.

"That's an important part of retention. I would much rather give our customers the breadth of choices than have them go elsewhere," he added. "The role of this truck is to go gobble up business from competitors."

GM showed Canyon's Chevy sibling, the 2015 Colorado, at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November.

The automaker stopped making the previous Colorado and Canyon models in 2012 because of declining popularity. Now, GM is counting on the new designs to appeal to lifestyle buyers much as Subaru (7270.T: Quote) has done with its vehicles, offering space, utility and a refined interior.   Continued...

Vehicles are covered with protective wrap as workers prepare the General Motors automakers display ahead of the media preview of the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook