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GM study attempts to predict future of SUV and pickups


As sales of heavy SUVs and pickups continue to dwindle and at the same time pull down the market share of the Detroit 3, product planners are now contemplating the final demise of truck-based designs and doing as much as they can to pick up the pieces. We saw earlier today that Ford is planning to add a smaller version of its popular F-150 pickup and previously we reported that GM was close to dropping its decades old truck designs.

The General has now gone a step further and announced that it will conduct a research project into the state of pickup and SUV sales. GM's president of North America, Troy Clarke, has stated an internal study was in place seeking to determine the "structural impact" of the consumer shift away from pickups and SUVs. Product planners are looking to the long-term future and attempting to decide whether today's trend towards smaller cars will necessarily be tomorrow's prerogative, reports Automotive News.

April of 2008 represented an especially poor month for GM's pickup and SUV sales, compared to the same period last year. In just one year, the sale of full-sized pickups dropped 18.5%, while full-sized SUV's suffered a massive 31.5% loss in sales. Both figures are worrying for the General, who has previously seen these two segments as market strongholds and is now banking on increased sales of new crossover models like the new Chevrolet Traverse (pictured).

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Comments (3)
  1. The sooner the big monsters die the better.
    Small numbers will be still made for those who really need them.
     
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  2. True.
    Those who tow, really have big families or need them for work will still be able to buy them, but the fact that people aren't buying them anymore as just another cool vehicle is a good thing...

    I wonder how this will affect the recreation industry (like trailer boats and toy haulers) since many people who buy those toys can do so because they already had a vehilce that could tow them. I'll bet they will be hurting for a long time...
     
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  3. C6R, agreed. at the same time, the tahoe hybrid and other vehicles like that that GM has made are pretty impressive. I think the truck designers need to really re-evaluate what people need a truck for. if we were to stop and realize that most people will only ever buy a truck to put a COUCH into it... (or the cadillac and lincoln ones to put their armoirs into)... then truck designers could really reduce the weight of these full sized pickups and get them back to more appropriate weights. also, most trucks could lose half a foot in the suspension. clearly you want to still make your F450s and what ever.. long travel suspension, bigger frame.. so on.. but most people only need to haul so much weight.

    In the end I realyl believe the key here is higher quality steels. for the short term. and then liberal use of CF ASAP
     
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