Ford giving up on small pickups, GM still committed image

American carmakers have different approaches on small pickups, a class of cars whose sales have plummeted in recent years but which could see a comeback as regulators may try to revive it.

Ford has announced it will soon end U.S. sales of Ranger, the former mid-size pickup leader, with the carmaker aiming to hold its share of full-size trucks by concentrating its resources on the F-Series.

On the other hand, General Motors will continue making the Chevrolet Colorado truck past the 2012 model year, as the company believes buyers may come back to the mid-size segment if gasoline prices rise, thus determining large pickup owners to switch to small trucks.

In between these two trends, Chrysler hasn’t decided yet whether to replace the Dakota, discontinued in August. Full-size trucks remained the top-selling vehicles for U.S. automakers as GM and Chrysler reorganized under U.S.-backed bankruptcies in 2009 and Ford lost $30.1 billion from 2006 through 2008 before becoming profitable again. Ford’s F-Series and GM’s Silverado rank No. 1 and 2 in U.S. vehicle sales.

“You really can’t argue with the sales numbers here,” Mike Levine, a Ford spokesman, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. “We have very strong demand for full-size pickups, and that’s where we are putting our time and investment,” he added.