MILFORD, MI – General Motors is confident its ’15 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will succeed when the midsize pickups hit the market in the fourth quarter.

GM left the segment when it axed the last-generation Colorado and Canyon at the end of the ’12 model year, following Ford’s discontinuation of the Ranger pickup in 2011. Chrysler also exited in 2011 when it chopped the Ram Dakota from its lineup.

The only remaining major players in the segment are the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, which posted sales increases last year of 13.4% and 12.8%, respectively. Through June, Frontier deliveries rose 22.6%, while Tacoma sales dropped 7.4%, according to WardsAuto data.

The Tacoma last year controlled 65.1% of the Small Pickup segment, as defined by WardsAuto, while the Frontier held a 25.6% share.

Chevrolet and GMC marketing managers say when the number of trucks in the segment dwindled, many left for other vehicles, including fullsize pickups and small CUVs. The automaker is taking aim at those consumers with the all-new Colorado and Canyon.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand, especially if you think about domestic-minded customers,” Tony Johnson, Chevrolet Colorado marketing manager, tells WardsAuto during a media event here. “There is no Dakota and there is no Ranger. So we have the only domestic entry in the segment.”

Johnson says he expects the new pickups to be fully competitive with the segment-leading Tacoma and Frontier, both of which he says are outdated.

Toyota and Nissan have “neglected the segment,” Johnson says. “They haven’t had a major refresh in a decade and it shows. We’re going to leapfrog them with this product.”

The Canyon and Colorado will be available in both 2- and 4-wheel drive and be powered by either a 2.5L inline 4-cyl. making 200 hp, or a 3.6L V-6 producing 305 hp. A 6-speed automatic is offered on most trim levels, while a 6-speed manual can be had on base-level 2WD trucks.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but Johnson says the duo will be priced competitively with the Tacoma and Frontier, which start at $18,125 and $20,510, respectively.