DETROIT -- When General Motors launched two mid-sized pickups last fall, it expected that 40 percent of the trucks' sales would be crew cabs.
But Tom Wallace, vehicle line executive for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, says GM quickly realized that projection was off target.
"We are a little surprised at the penetration of crew cabs," Wallace says. "We've bumped the capacity up twice. Now we're selling north of 50 (percent), and we're going to add more crew-cab capacity."
GM's experience is typical of pickup makers. As crew cabs morph into family vehicles with comfortable interiors, they are grabbing a growing share of pickup sales. They also provide automakers with high-ticket vehicles in the formerly humble pickup segment.
A Ford F-150 SuperCrew Lariat with four-wheel drive, for instance, has a $36,670 base price, including destination - $14,510 more than the cheapest regular-cab F-150.
Chevrolet Silverados top out at a $37,985 base price, including destination charges, for a 1500 LT Crew Cab with 4wd.
Crew cabs have four full-sized doors and a full-sized back seat. Their passenger compartments are larger than regular cabs, which have only a front seat, and extended cabs, which have a smaller rear seat and rear doors.