Will Ford have some competition?
The sudden demise of conventional cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus in North America is making way for what appears to be a popular vehicle segment, car-based pickup trucks. The Honda Ridgeline won't be alone for much longer. While Ford has confirmed a Focus-based compact pickup will arrive in the near future, will GM and its bread and butter Chevrolet division offer some competition?
According to GM Authority, the answer is 'yes.' However, it remains unclear whether the US will benefit. At the moment, GM is working on a new compact Chevy truck with unibody construction, meaning car-based. The so far unnamed vehicle is set to serve as a replacement for the Chevrolet Montana (pictured here), a small front-wheel-drive ute sold in Latin America.
It will be built on the automaker's Global Emerging Markets platform but unlike the current Montana, the new "truck" will have a larger four-door body. Power is due to come from GM's 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with around 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission will likely be standard. Production will also take place in Brazil though its powertrain will be manufactured in Argentina.
If all goes to plan the new unibody truck/ute will arrive in Central and South American Chevy dealerships sometime in 2020. Will it come to the US? Nope. As you've probably already figured, the Montana replacement is aimed directly at the markets south of the border.
Ford's mini truck, however, is expected to be sold in these markets as well, along with the US. So why isn't GM developing a more global unibody small truck? Well, maybe it is. We'll be speaking with Chevrolet officials next month at Detroit and we'll inquire whether plans exist to enter this emerging segment. Hey, if Ford is doing so, why shouldn't Chevy?