GM exec hints El Camino may return to U.S.?

While most Americans likely thought they would never see the return of the Rancheros or El Caminos to their roads, one GM exec says that very well just might happen.

With General Motors' current small truck for the American market having fallen out of favor as it nears death, GM must decide what - if anything - they intend to offer in the future in order to fill the role of a small pickup in the U.S. market.

Although the latest word out of GM seems to suggest that the Chevy Colorado will continue in the U.S. with the recently introduced global Chevrolet Colorado Show Truck, GM North America president Mark Reuss recently suggested to Australia's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that an ute might be a good fit the U.S. market given gas prices.

"When you look at fuel prices today, I think there's going to be a segmentation of that bandwidth," said Reuss regarding North American truck buyers. "I've lived in Australia and I've seen where fuel prices are $5 a gallon, and lots of tradesmen will use a ute with a tray on the back to do lots of different things, and they don't need the bandwidth of a big pick-up truck."

Whether or not Reuss was just pointing out that an El Camino-like vehicle could make sense in the U.S., or if the automaker is or has seriously considered bringing a form of the Australian ute to the U.S. market is still not clear. Ultimately, any decision will likely hinge or whether or not GM follows through with the latest Colorado, which if it did, may prove to make an ute a hard proposition due to the relatively similar positioning of the products.

Then again, the return of the El Camino could give GM a unique vehicle with no direct competitors - but only time will tell what the world's expected top automaker in 2011 has planned for the U.S. market as gas prices continue to rise.

1.'Colorado or El Camino...' view