Small trucks getting big response at Detroit Auto Show

U.S. automakers pushing into midsize truck market

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DETROIT - The small pickup truck segment has typically been dominated by international automakers -- like Toyota's Tacoma and Nissan's Frontier.

In contrast, U.S. companies have traditionally been the leader in the large-truck segment, moving away from midsize options.

For example, GM phased out its midsize Colorado and Canyon pickups last year. Crosstown rivals Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC ended production of the Ford Ranger and Dodge Ram Dakota in 2011.

But now many U.S. automakers are switching gears to make the smaller trucks again.

"We are listening to our customer," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "They want more midsize truck options to meet their needs."

The first big reveal at the Detroit Auto Show was the GMC Canyon, a midsize offering, aimed at buyers whose biggest haul might only involve a trip to Costco.

The smaller Chevrolet Colorado was unveiled a few weeks earlier at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  

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