But it'll need some substantial upgrades first.
General Motors in Latin America recently introduced the 2024 Chevrolet Montana, and it might be coming to other markets, including the USA.
GM's product marketing director for South America, Rodrigo Fiocco, spoke to Motor1, and he confirmed the countries in which it will be sold initially. These include the usual emerging markets, including Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico. When asked if any other territories are under consideration, Fiocco mentioned the Middle East and Africa, but he also mentioned the US in passing.
"We export the Chevrolet Colorado double cab developed in Brazil to the United States, [so] anything is possible."
CarBuzz interviewed Ram's CEO, Mike Koval, earlier in the year, and he said that he's keeping a close eye on the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz segment. In that same interview, Koval noted that being part of the Stellantis group grants him access to an entire portfolio of vehicles.
Ram is not part of the General Motors Group, but we're confident the bean counters at GM are doing the same thing. They must be taking notes and keeping tabs on the millions Ford and Hyundai are making, respectively. Like Ford and Stellantis, GM also has various global subsidiaries it can tap into.
The 2024 model is unfortunately not yet ready for the American market. It will require significant powertrain and interior updates before it gets a stamp of approval from the American people.
First of all, the Latin American Montana is powered by a 1.2-liter turbo three-pot that reportedly produces 133 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. The base Ford Maverick comes standard with a hybrid powertrain that produces 191 hp, and you can get a turbocharged four-pot producing 250 hp.
Vehicles designed for emerging markets also tend to have less standard safety equipment and lower-quality interiors. A prime example is the Ford EcoSport made for the Indian market versus the one sold in the USA. You would not believe the differences.
The quality and safety are relatively easy to fix, but what about the engine? Most GM brands are going electric, with very few ICE engines left.
The previous-generation Chevrolet Colorado was sold with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four pot which could get the job done, but the more likely candidates are the 1.5-liter turbocharged four from the Malibu (160 hp and 184 lb-ft) or, our personal favorite, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot as used in the Camaro and the Equinox, the former of which it produces an impressive 275 hp and 295 lb-ft in.
With that kind of power, the Montana would be a more realistic option in the small pickup segment, at least on the gasoline side.
Still, the Maverick hybrid is the most popular model, and GM could source hybrid powertrains from its conglomerate in China. SAIC-GM-Wuling recently introduced the Wuling Asta Hybrid, which is equipped with a 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain producing 134 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It's still on the low side, but if Chevy can bring it in at a reasonable price...