GM to review its pickup strategy

  • Vauxhall parent firm rethinking global pickup strategy
  • Next-gen pickup could target lifestyle customers
  • Vauxhall Brava pickup was taken off sale in 2002

Could Vauxhall be planning to re-enter the UK pickup market? It’s now looking a distinct possibility, after parent company General Motors announced it was reviewing its global pickup strategy.

Currently, the American company’s global pickup, the Colorado (badged as a Holden and Chevrolet), is only sold in Asia and Australasia, but it seems it may now also be targeting Europe.

Vauxhall pickups: a quick history

Vauxhall commercial vehicles and its predecessor, Bedford, were active in the pickup market between 1976 and 2002 with the Bedford KB (1976-1988) and Vauxhall Brava (1988-2002), which were both manufactured by Isuzu.

The Vauxhall Brava (international name Chevrolet LUV) was succeeded by the Chevrolet/Holden Colorado in 2002 and sales were thereafter restricted to Asia and Australasia, although Isuzu-badged versions continued in Europe as the Isuzu Rodeo (2002-2012) and Isuzu D-Max (2012-present).

GM and Isuzu pickup partnership ends

Now though, the pickup agreement between Isuzu and General Motors is coming to an end, with the two manufacturers targeting different markets. Isuzu wants to focus on utilitarian customers whereas General Motors is instead targeting lifestyle operators.

“The direction each company wanted to take was changing,” an Isuzu spokesman told Parkers, adding that the Japanese truck maker intended to continue making trucks to be used as workhorse vehicles in markets including Australia, the Middle East and Asia.

The GM statement

“Both GM and Isuzu agree that due to unique requirements for each company, joint development of the next-generation midsize pick-up truck is no longer the optimal model for this project,” GM said in a statement.

Given GM’s presence in the US and the limited market size of Australasia, many analysts predict that General Motors will once again re-enter the European pickup truck market with Vauxhall and Opel trucks. A Vauxhall spokesman in the UK refused to comment.

The news comes days after Isuzu formed a relationship with Mazda to develop the next generation Mazda BT-50.