There is a lot of buzz around the 2022 Ford Maverick. It’s the smaller pickup that’s the unibody Ford will use as an entry-level truck. As usual, Chevy is behind or waiting to see if there really is a market for them or some other dubious issue. But they’re in luck for this one because they don’t have to develop a Maverick competitor-Chevy already makes a pickup like the Maverick. It’s called Montana.
Chevy started making these subcompact pickups back in 2003. In Mexico, it is called Tornado, and in Africa, it’s called Chevy Utility. Call it what you wish but it is ready and waiting for Chevy to market in the US. The front-engine, front-wheel-drive subcompact has Opel Corsa B bones. But the next version utilizes GM’s Global Emerging Markets architecture.
Chevy has been down on car-based pickups since it killed the El Camino
GM has steadfastly stuck to their statement from the past that this was not headed to the US. It has been generally down on car-based pickups since it killed the El Camino in 1987. But Ford is betting the market for these car-trucks is big enough to develop a new one. Why not Chevy as well?
The competition that largely is a result of Chevy making the first Montana back in 2003 includes the Ram 700/Fiat Strada and soon-to-be-available Hyundai Santa Cruz. Currently, the Montana only comes as a single cab two-door. The next version will also include a four-door to spread the love.
Chevy sees Montana’s largest market as Latin America
Chevy sees Montana’s largest market as being Latin America, so it has chosen the GM São Caetano do Sul plant in Brazil to manufacture it. That may be part of the problem of getting it in the US. The “chicken tax” means pickups imported into the US carry an added tax as an incentive to build it in the US.
There might be a reason beyond Ford’s Maverick for Chevy to bring the Montana to the US. As most all of the other manufacturers have done, Chevy has discontinued all of its sedans. That’s fine, but by killing models it is also killing sales. So, what a number of companies have done is to try and replace dead models with new ones.
Chevy could use a new product for a new segment
To do that you need new products. And killing off models in certain segments means you need to produce vehicles for new segments. Otherwise, you’ll never see the numbers you once had. Chevy has always had a subcompact sedan or two. It could use a new product for a new segment to test the waters and help bring back the volume of sales in markets it has killed.
As we’ve said many times GM works in mysterious ways. Whether they do this or not is unclear. But if the Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz show strong demand we doubt Chevy will think twice about bringing it out.
Here’s hoping Chevy takes a chance and sees much success with a car-truck like Montana.