- Special-edition models, distinctive accessories and the possibility of performance parts are part of the business plan to woo buyers to the redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck.
- Former members of the Chevrolet Camaro team will help to create special versions of the Colorado pickup.
- Chevrolet's truck marketing boss told Edmunds that performance parts are being considered for the Colorado.
SAN DIEGO — Special-edition models, distinctive accessories and the possibility of performance parts are part of the business plan to woo buyers to the redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck.
The new Colorado pickup is larger and more refined than the previous-generation model, and it offers high-tech options commonly found on full-sized pickup and SUVs. The new pickups are just starting to trickle to Chevy dealerships and are aimed at buyers who do not want a full-size pickup. In fact, GM calls the Colorado and the nearly identical GMC Canyon midsize.
Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet's truck marketing director, told Edmunds that special-edition models, a successful formula for the Camaro over the past years, will be applied once or twice a year during the Colorado's lifecycle to keep a buzz on the truck.
"A lot of the folks on my [truck] team were working on the Camaro special-edition models and that certainly applies to trucks," Piszar said during a recent interview. "We have an enthusiastic owner base, you have a lot of competitive activity going on, and special-edition models are a great way to keep what we call 'new news' going in the showroom."
The package adds a body-color grille with a black bowtie, black mirror caps and door handles, two wide black rally stripes on the hood and other equipment. Silverado pickups equipped with that package are hot commodities, selling within 20 days of arrival at a dealership.
"There is a lot of excitement around it," Piszar said. "The dealers get excited. We are going to do the exact same thing with Colorado."
Duncan Aldred, Buick-GMC sales and marketing vice president, told Edmunds the 2015 GMC Canyon will follow a similar path.
"We believe that is an important part of the lifecycle management for a truck in this space," Aldred said. "We will be doing that."
Piszar said Chevrolet is considering a wide range of performance parts for the Colorado, including intake and exhaust systems, brake kits and suspension systems.
"These are all things that a lot of consumers consider or add when they buy a truck so we think there is an opportunity there for us to help them with that customization, right from the showroom floor," he said.
No timetable was given as to when the performance parts might be offered.
However, both the Colorado and Canyon at launch are available with about 50 accessories that are specially designed for the pickups. For example, there are four different styles of assist steps, two separate tonneau covers, plus ladder racks, fender flares, and other equipment.
"This is really the first truck that we have aligned our accessory offerings right at launch," Piszar said.
In particular, both the Colorado and Canyon offer several configuration packages for the pickup bed aimed at outdoor enthusiasts and tradesmen, called GearOn. The packages provide flexibility in terms of loading, proportioning space with bed liners, and tall, configurable supports for carrying long objects.
"We have two-tier loading so if you have long items like a kayak, you have that mounted high and have a lot of configurability in the lower space," he said.
The pickup segment has the highest level of accessorization of any vehicle segment with truck owners spending on average about $800 on their vehicle. Each Chevrolet dealer will be asked to put special emphasis on the accessories during the sales transaction.
Piszar said if Colorado buyers don't purchase their accessories at the Chevrolet dealership, they "will certainly do it with the aftermarket."
"The benefit of doing it with Chevrolet accessories is that these components were designed, engineered and validated by the same engineering team that designed and engineered the truck," he said. "The components were developed under rigorous testing standards" and carry the same warranty as the vehicle.
Piszar said another benefit is the accessories can be rolled into the financing when the pickup is ordered at the dealership, something "you cannot do with aftermarket accessories."
Edmunds says: Special-edition models are a good way for Chevrolet and GMC to keep the spotlight on their new pickups and excite buyers.