The Ford Maverick has critics buzzing around with every spec that is released. The size, price, and design are all making waves in the truck world. However, Chevy has raised a hand to get into the game with a truck under the GM brand. What is the Chevy Montana, and will it be able to steal the thunder of the 2022 Ford Maverick?
The 2022 Ford Maverick started the trend
The 2022 Ford Maverick has created quite a buzz since it popped onto the truck scene, primarily for its compact size. The Maverick is barely bigger than a Ford Mustang! According to the 2021 Ford Mustang specs, the Mustang EcoBoost, 2.3-Liter High-Performance Package, Mustang GT, and Mach 1 are all 188.5 inches long. The 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is 189.5 inches long. The 2022 Ford Maverick is 199.7 inches long. That’s just about 11 inches bigger than the Mustang – a surprising fact given this is a pickup truck versus a car.
But that’s the point. The Maverick is for drivers who want the capability of a truck without the size of a truck. It seems that the Maverick has started a trend. Or has it?
The Chevy Montana and the Global Emerging Market
The Chevy Montana is a pretty big deal in Brazil, where the small pickup is transforming. It is currently a unibody truck with two doors and looks like many other Chevy vehicles from the front. However, Chevy has announced that the third-generation Montana is growing a bit.
In 2019, Reuters reported that GM was centralizing manufacturing to lower the cost of vehicles in specific markets. This project, titled GEM, stood for Global Emerging Market. Due to GEM, cars like the Chevy Montana are made where the vehicles are sold, i.e., Latin America.
Another facet of GEM is the philosophy that fewer parts on these vehicles translate to a lower cost. The brand pulled out of some markets that didn’t make sense, profit, or design-wise. GM wanted to create a vehicle that had a lower cost but did not lack safety features or look like a “lower-cost” car.
GEM project chief engineer Doug Houlihan commented to Reuters that GM gave the green light for spending more on machines and specific aspects of the vehicles. “This gives the customer more than they would expect,” Houlihan noted.
For now, the Maverick will remain king of the compact trucks
However, that doesn’t make the Chevy Montana affordable once it arrives here. According to The Drive, The United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) specifically exempts light-duty trucks from a 1964 import tariff on such trucks. This means the Maverick, which is made in Mexico, is exempt from the 25% tax. However, since the Montana is made in Brazil, that exemption does not apply.
After taxes, travel, fees, and an expedited passport for the Montana (just kidding), the cheap truck wouldn’t be cheap any longer. So while the Chevy Montana might be Brazil’s answer to the compact truck trend, it likely won’t be stateside anytime soon. If Chevy decided to make the Montana in Mexico, that would change things. But until then, the Maverick will have to battle it out with the Hyundai Santa Cruz instead. The 2022 Ford Maverick will shine on, despite the GEM project and the 2022 Chevy Montana.