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Small GM pickup being considered?

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We’ve heard rumors that General Motors has been benchmarking the Ford Maverick. And now a media event held at GM’s affordable EV design studio in Warren, Michigan, seems to confirm a small GM pickup might be in the works. The automaker showed a concept two-door electric pickup that is smaller than the compact Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz — plus it’s electric.

If GM moves forward with the small pickup it would join other GM EVs as part of a push for more affordable models.

Small GM electric pickup

While the media event didn’t produce any photos of the concept, it was seen by several reporters. A story published in Automotive News says the concept has two doors with either a 4-foot or 4.5-foot bed aimed at active lifestyle buyers with images of surfers positioned around the vehicle. It would an all-electric vehicle, likely using GM’s Ultium battery technology.

Also, it is part of a plan to offer a variety of EVs for less than $30,000 aimed squarely at dispelling the notion EVs are expensive. There was no indication if the concept was badged as a Chevrolet or a GMC, but using words like “affordable” makes us draw some obvious conclusions.

“We’re creating these to get a reaction and then to try to modify it or move on. What does work? What doesn’t work? What’s expected?” said Michael Pevovar, director of Chevrolet affordable EV and crossover design, as reported by Automotive News. “Affordability is the key portion of this, and there’s lots of different ways to approach it.”

A 2-door pickup only?

While today’s truck market has moved to four doors as being the volume offering, it wasn’t that long ago two-door trucks were very common, and a compact truck was, well, truly compact.

Going back into GM’s truck history, we can see many examples of this. For example, it wasn’t until the 1990s when extended cab and crew cab configurations started to come out. Up until then, Chevy offered two-door compact trucks like the 1967 Chevy C-10, the Chevrolet LUV in 1972 and the 1982 Chevy S-10.

All of those trucks had smaller cabins, short stature and were priced reasonably.

There is also the Chevy Montana, pictured above, which is sold in Latin markets with its smaller dimensions and available two-door setup.

Today, we have the midsize Chevy Colorado with four-doors only, and the overall size is larger than the 1960s full-size Chevy trucks.

GM’s compact truck history as well as literally room in the lineup for something smaller than the Colorado make this concept seem like a good idea.

Ford Maverick, Hyundai Santa Cruz competitor?

News outlets are pointing to the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz as likely competitors for this new small GM electric pickup, and it makes sense on one hand and not so much on the other.

For example, the price point of a sub $30,000 pickup puts Ford Maverick squarely in the crosshairs as it is the lower-priced and more spartan of the two compact trucks.

On the other hand, the Ford Maverick only comes in a four-door configuration and has a 4.5-foot bed length. Also, there is no electric-only version — only a hybrid variant.

GM’s concept would be smaller than both the Maverick and Santa Cruz with just two doors and maybe a smaller bed in the 4-foot range. However, it’s likely it would be around the same price point since EV technology is fairly expensive.

The bottom line

For years, trucks have gotten bigger to accommodate a U.S. population, which has also grown accustomed to more room and people who have literally grown taller and wider than prior generations of Americans. This doesn’t bode well for a smaller pickup, yet cities and urban areas have also become more congested making a smaller vehicle easier to live with in those areas. Plus an EV in a city or urban environment makes a lot of sense with typical driving distances shorter than rural areas.

Ultimately, we are all in on more varieties and cheaper versions of pickups. This should be a welcome addition to GM’s lineup and would fill a need for people who want a pickup bed, just not the big pickup or the big payment to go with it.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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