Though it’s getting somewhat long in the tooth, the current Chevrolet Trax is a decent subcompact crossover that serves its purpose well. So well, in fact, that it just posted its best-ever first quarter sales performance (see Chevy Trax sales), while consistently ranking in the top three of its segment in terms of sales volume. But the Trax name might not be long for this world. In fact, all signs point to the second-generation Chevy Trax being renamed to Trailblazer, with the Trax naming going away altogether.
We reported on this notion back in January, but new information has come to light that solidifies the rumor. Follow along for our reasoning.
Earlier this month, GM China announced that it will reveal two all-new SUVs at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show on April 16th, while providing a teaser image of both vehicles. The first will be the new Tracker, which will be based on the GM Global Emerging Markets architecture (aka the GM GEM Platform) intended for emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, China, and South America. This model will not be marketed in North America.
The second model that GM China will unveil on April 16th is the new Trailblazer. We have seen this model in spy shots over the past year or so. The vehicle appears to look like a shrunken-down 2019 Chevrolet Blazer of sorts, which made us call it the “mini Blazer“, which makes sense given that Chevrolet previously said that the Blazer will inspire the design of future Chevy crossovers going forward. We have been referring to this model as the second-generation Chevrolet Trax, but the aforementioned announcement by GM China pretty much confirms that it will be called Trailblazer instead.
In that regard, it would seem that Chevrolet is planning on discontinuing the Chevrolet Trax as a nameplate, and replacing it with the Trailblazer name, at least in China. The only question now is whether the same will take place in the United States… and all signs point to that being the case. That’s because General Motors filed to trademark TrailBlazer with the U.S. trademark office in November 2015.
We should note that renaming the Chevrolet Trax to Trailblazer does create some conflicts in Chevy’s international utility portfolio. Currently, the Bow Tie brand markets the Chevrolet TrailBlazer as an SUV derivative of the international-market Chevrolet Colorado. The vehicle is a midsize, body-on-frame SUV offered in Southeast Asia and in some South American markets. The possibility for confusion is obvious, but not without a solution.
If GM does plan to call the second-generation Trax as the Chevrolet Trailblazer, then the body-on-frame TrailBlazer SUV can simply be renamed to Colorado 7 – the name previously used by GM’s Holden subsidiary for the same vehicle in Australia and New Zealand (the “7” denotes for its passenger capacity). Another possibility is that GM simply discontinues the current body-on-frame TrailBlazer altogether, and replaces it with the new Blazer unibody crossover.
The last time Chevy used the TrailBlazer name in the United States was in 2008, for the GMT360-based midsize SUV that slotted below the full-size Tahoe and Suburban. The vehicle was produced from the 2002-2008 model years. Prior to that, TrailBlazer was an upscale trim level of the S-10 Blazer that ran from 1999, 2000 and 2001 model years.
As for the all-new Chevrolet Trailblazer, expect that model to be revealed on and go on sale as a 2020 model year vehicle.