GM Shall Increase Midsize Pickup Production

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Sales of the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon have exceeded GM's initial estimates, so General Motors wants to make hay of the strong demand for its midsize pickup range.

Selling 114,507 combined units last year (Colorado & Canyon) was a huge improvement over initial estimates which ranged from 73,000 to 99,000 units.

The St. Louis-area plant has been running three shifts per day plus weekend overtime in order to keep up with pickup demand, while also manufacturing commercial vans such as the Chevy Express and GMC Savana cargo vans.

Currently, work is being done at GM's Wentzville, Mo, plant where the Colorado and the Canyon are assembled in order to "add hard tooling capacity on the line," explained Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet's director of truck marketing.

"We will have additional production capacity at Wentzville" said the GM exec during a company event yesterday. According to Darin Copeland, GM's spokesman at the plant, efforts are being made "to increase the line speed to make more trucks for our customers down the road. Small production increases daily can mean bigger numbers over the course of a year."

Back in November, there was a memo floating around stating that GM was considering a partnership with AM General, in which the latter would take on some van production, therefore creating extra capacity. Both companies declined to comment on the issue.

As of February 1st, Chevy dealers had a 58-day supply of Colorados compared to 20 days on June 1st, which is impressive considering the various cab types and bed sizes offered. At the same time, there was a 90-day supply of GMC Canyons at the beginning of this month, though sales wise, the Colorado is a much more successful model.

Story references: autonews