GMC Lobbying For Subcompact Crossover Amid Hot Sales18
We’re seeing the passing of the torch. Crossover sales have, and continue, to eclipse the midsize sedan segment. We’ve seen trends shift from SUV, to crossover, to the compact crossover segment and now the subcompact segment.
General Motors hit a bullseye by bringing the Buick Encore to the United States on the cusp of the compact CUV boom, and sales have shown. The same man who runs Buick, Duncan Aldred, also sits at the helm of GMC and, according to Automotive News, Aldred has been pushing hard for a subcompact crossover for the GMC portfolio.
We saw a brief glimpse of such a vehicle in the GMC Granite concept from 2010. But, the concept was reportedly supposed to be a Pontiac vehicle, and was rushed through with a GMC face at the last minute. Plans to produce the Granite also fell off following the concept.
But, Aldred has been lobbying hard, and told AN, “[The compact crossover] segment has grown so fast. I keep telling everyone, ‘How can General Motors’ truck brand not be in the fastest-growing segment in the industry, an SUV segment?'”
Aldred said he sees a future GMC subcompact CUV doing battle with the likes of the Jeep Renegade, and will not overlap the Buick Encore in the slightest, likely with unique sheetmetal and a more rugged presence to suit the professional grade.
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I’ve said it and I’ll keep seeing it: GMC should be positioned as a premium Jeep competitor. GMC could easily put a vehicle in this segment and differentiate itself from Buick by putting an emphasis on capability. Off road capability would be a great differentiation for the GMC brand from the rest of the GM portfolio.
Do this and every one will forget there ever was a Hummer brand inside of GM!
GMC should not even exist, let alone having them cannibalize everybody else’s sales like Chevrolet already and Buick, if this happens.
In Canada, GMC outsells Chevy regularly.
I know that in the past — haven’t seen recent data — 2nd choice data indicated that consumers saw the brands differently — the 2nd choice brand for Chevrolet buyers wasn’t GMC and vice-versa.
That’s how branding is done properly — it’s why GM was moving to the Canadian franchise model prior to the 2009 bankruptcy.
Put these in the same showroom and there will be cross shopping. If GMC outsells Chevy in Canada like you say, that makes my point. Chevy whips GMC in the USA where they are mostly sold in separate dealerships. A GMC compact SUV model is unlikely to bring in new buyers to Buick/GMC stores. Dealers will order and salespeople will sell whichever pays more or is easier to sell and if thats the GMC, Buick sales will suffer, plain and simple.
A GMC variant can draw is own unique customer and therefore not harm Encore/Trax provided it be a unique proposition.
Like any GMC, it must look industrial–the polar opposite of Buick–and have Renegade-like capabilities.
Enclave and Arcadia do little harm to one another even though they strattle the same segment. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with a little healthy in house competition when it pertains to such a booming segment.
Bob they take little from Chevy and what they do take is much more profitable as the profit per GMC is much more than a Chevy not even counting the Denali.
GMC produces some of the most profitable models there are at GM.
In fact my dealer is a stand alone GMC and they average transaction price there is $65,000 per unit and GM loves them to death. They move a lot of product and make a lot of money doing so. Who thought in this day and age a GMC stand alone dealer would do so well?
The brand also gives Buick the ability to sell trucks too. In fact most Buick dealers today are only alive because they were GMC too.
GMC is to a point that GM can take risk and do some special things with them. I hope to see more specialty products like the Jeep Wrangler Killer that has been hinted about.
Also if they do a small vehicle it has to be more than a fancy more butch Trax.
To be honest I buy GMC and if it had not been for GMC I would have not bought the Chevy in the past. While I know they are pretty much the same I like the styling of the GMC over some of the past Chevys so much I would have not bought a truck without GMC. Not a big chrome grill fan here. And I am not alone.
GMC still needs it’s own vehicle. I agree the Jeep Wrangler fighter would be cool.
With GM down to 4 divisions in the States, it is time to give GMC a model that is not a rebadged Chevy.
a wrangler or hummer like vehicle would be ideal.
I also agree, I would prefer a GMC vehicle over a Chevy.
GMC should not only have a version of the Buick Encore, GMC should get a version of the upcoming Envision as well; General Motors can be caught flat footed as this is the market segment in America that is growing as Americans love CUVs as GMC sold over 6,700 Acadia CUV with Chevy selling over 19,000 of the Equinox as this is all General Motors needs to look at and if GM does do this, the consumers will simply look elsewhere.
GMC needs more than a version of the Trax and Encore. We already have two and we do not need two in the same showroom.
The Envision is a in the same show room as the Terrain why does GMC need another like vehicle?
I agree CUV’s are where the money is but you can not get crazy with the badge engineering. GM paid dearly for that in the past.
Flat wrong is as bad as flat footed.
I think if what I heard is coming we will have more variety in products with things we have not seen yet.
The CUV and SUV market is not going anywhere soon. GM will be right in the heart of it.
The Buick Encore is a two seater. Yes, I know, it has a back seat too… but if you regularly use a backseat it lacks.
So a GMC CUV with more backseat space addresses a need. Presuming it would offer such.
Two weeks ago, I traded in my 2007 Saturn Outlook. I was the original owner and my family and I enjoyed driving it 162,000 miles. I wanted a smaller GM suv/cuv that was sporty looking, AWD, good gasoline mileage and had many amenities (I.e. Leather, heated seats, navigation, etc.) for around $30k. Despite identifying these features, I decided I would NOT walk away from a deal that didn’t include all of these. The few amenities I refused to forego were: sporty exterior (alloy wheels), good gas mileage and comfortably transport 4 adults. While sporty is subjective, the cars that met that criteria for me are the Ford Escape, Subaru XV, Kia Sportage, Range Rover Evogue and a few others. Although I like the Buick Encore, it is too small for my family. The GMC offerings are attractive, but I wanted a car platform – not a truck. Long story short, in my opinion, GM didn’t have anything I liked except the Encore, which I said was too small. Based on what I’ve seen of the Envision, it would have met my needs, but I couldn’t wait. Given the number of Escapes and Sportages I see on the road, i don’t expect sales in the segment to decrease anytime. For the readers who discourage GMC from offering true alternatives to the Escape, Sportage, Subaru XV, Evogue, etc, I say that thinking is outdated. By the way, I bought a 2016 Kia Sportage SX.
You will be sorry!!
GM had the Pontiac Vibe. Toyota had the Matrix. Both companies failed to see the demand for “small-wheel-drive” vehicles. GM imports the substandard Trax/Encore, while Toyota still has no Matrix replacement. So, yes there is probably a market for a GMC vehicle in this segment. Too bad it has to be imported and five years late.
The first time I saw the Granite, I said “build it”. No derivative of the Encore. It shouldn’t even look like a cousin of any other GM product. Build a Granite type one. And quickly.
It was different and had the unique 2+2 layout which I thought would be great as a single person who occasionally had a few people along. The only company that offered something like that was MINI with the Countryman, but most of the variations I liked ended up being almost 40K, while I could get a KIA Soul (needless to say that didn’t happen) with lots of features but no AWD for far less. If GMC builds this they should include the CrossTrek as competition as well since they sell like crazy in the midwest and are considered to be “right-sized” vehicles. They could get away with pushing it’s dimensions at least 173 inches since the Terrain is essentially a premium compact model at 185″.
GMC can’t get away with borrowing platforms forever. The differentiation necessary for them to have products that personify that precise, professional grade (rugged, capable luxury) image has to go beyond styling and interiors.
The inevitable truth is that after Cadillac, GMC will need GM’s development dollars to invest in a bespoke, scale-able, modular platform focused on towing, hauling, and off-road applications. Such a platform can see widespread use in GM’s international markets instead of GM having to import platforms to use domestically. Chevrolet could borrow it for the Trailblazer (not to use a 4×4 truck frame-like setup would be sacrilege similar to the latest Ford Explorer), but it would have to widely be used by GMC.
GMC doesn’t even have to use the Gamma platform, they could easily use the D2XX platform since many of the premium (GLA, Q3, X1, Countryman) CUV’s use a longer platform, including the HRV and Crosstrek (which is a tweener type). I assume they would use a beefier suspension setup to make it off-road capable, GMC’s subcompact would be larger than the current GM twins. Also having some engine options that aren’t available on the other two models, a 2.0T (detuned to 210-220hp/230+lb-ft) 8 speed combo would be an obvious choice. Also, by adding some unique features that aren’t available on the other two models would help differentiate it as well. Maybe a version of Cadillac’s driver info display like the Yukon uses, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated seats, rear sliding doors like on the concept, or upgraded sound systems (10 or 11 speaker Bose system). If GMC is a step up for Chevy it needs to exude more of that premium feel.