Time was, single-cab pickup trucks were a dime a dozen on our roads, but in recent years these have virtually disappeared from the market. Today, only work-focused base models can still be had in this configuration.
Consumer interest has certainly trended towards bigger, more spacious and better-equipped trucks, but there is a clamour for more choice among buyers in the segment. General Motors, no doubt aware of the potential demand, is currently looking at the possibility of introducing more smaller variants.
The company has even introduced single-cab versions of the Chevy Silverado RST and Trail Boss, though only for the Middle East. It also currently sells a single-cab variant of the GMC Sieera AT4 outside of North America.
In an interview with Muscle Cars and Trucks, Chevrolet head of marketing Hugh Milne recognized that the company had made a conscious decision to focus on larger truck models, but added an interesting point. The decision, he said, was made at least in part in reaction to the U.S. government’s CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations that address the environmental impact of each vehicle.
One effect of these regulations is that if GM offers a smaller pickup that isn’t much more fuel-efficient that its bigger variant, it faces penalties.
"We had customers that were disappointed that we didn't do a reg cab short box, and we're seeing whether or not (offering one) makes sense."
- Hugh Milne, Chevrolet
We shouldn’t expect to see any results coming out of this reflection any time soon, however, because politically there are just too many uncertainties at the moment. The Trump administration has promised to freeze the CAFÉ standards at levels set by the previous Obama administration for models from the 2021 to 2026 model years. This represents a difference of 10 miles per gallon for the overall average of all vehicles sold by a manufacturer (37 mpg versus 47 mpg, or 6.4L/100 km versus 5.0L/100 km).
Another recent possibility floated lately has the U.S. government proposing a requirement to gain a 1.5% improvement in emissions every year, as opposed to the 5% annual improvement demanded by the Obama administration. This could certainly change GM’S calculations.
The upcoming electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado will also help the company improve its overall “green” score and possibly give it the elbow room to produce more single-cab trucks.