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General Motors Corp. is counting on its new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups to hold fast to their profit margins by luring buyers with content - not cash on the hood.

The new pickups, which replace the outgoing and aging Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma lines, benefit from significant investment resulting in a new stiffer frame, addition of rack-and-pinion steering and a standard equipment list that includes antilock brakes and dual-stage airbags.

Options include a segment-first locking rear differential, traction controls and roof rail side airbags. With all that refinement and extra content, GM could have a problem maintaining its margins in favor of stiff competition from the Ford Ranger and other competitors in today's incentive-laden, price-sensitive market.

But Mark Hogan, group vice president-GM Advance Vehicle Development Team, says GM is confident having a better pickup in showrooms will pay dividends.

"The old truck was a pretty old design and margins were eroding," Hogan says. "And we really had to heavily 'incentivize' it just because of its age and relative perception in the marketplace."

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