General Motors is preparing two all-new, mid-size crossover SUV to expand the utility portfolio of its two biggest-volume brands – Chevrolet and Buick. We are specifically referring to future all-new Buick Enclave and the future Chevrolet Blazer XL, two midsize utilities with three rows of seats that are closely related to each other and that will launch in the very near future.
GM Authority has collected an extensive amount of exclusive information about both vehicles over the past few months, allowing us to identify several noteworthy aspects that both models have in common. Below, we have listed five elements shared by the all-new Enclave and the future three-row Blazer.
Before we go forward, a quick note about naming: the mid-size crossover we refer to as the all-new Enclave or “baby Buick Enclave” in this report shares its name but is otherwise smaller than the full-size Buick Enclave sold in North America. It is currently unclear if the “baby” Enclave or the three-row Blazer will be marketed in North America.
|Vehicle:||“Baby" Buick Enclave||Chevrolet Blazer XL|
|Platform:||GM C1 “Chi"|
|Expected assembly:||SAIC-GM-Cadillac Jinqiao plant in Shanghai, China|
|Expected availability:||China. Availability in other markets unknown|
|Expected length:||~196 inches|
|Expected starting price:||~$30,000 USD equivalent|
1. They Are Based On The Same Version Of The GM C1 Platform
The Baby Buick Enclave and the three-row Chevrolet Blazer are assigned project codes C1UB and C1UC, respectively. These internal GM codes indicate that the vehicles are being developed on the short variant of the GM C1 platform, which has a wheelbase of 112.7 inches.
2. They Will Be Made At The Same Plant
Our sources indicate that both the all-new “baby” Enclave and the Blazer XL will commence production at the beginning of the 2020 calendar year at the Jinqiao Cadillac plant, located in the city of Podong, Shanghai, China. As we have mentioned previously, it is currently unclear whether GM plans to market these models in North America or produce them in countries outside China.
3. They Will Go On Sale Almost Simultaneously
An internal document obtained by GM Authority indicates that serial production of the baby Buick Enclave will start in January 2020, while the three-row Blazer will go into production a month later – in February 2020. This indicates that the models will launch almost at the same time, and that they were probably conceived together.
4. They Will Use Names Of Existing Models
These two new GM mid-size CUVs will hit the market as variants of existing utilities, with which they will share a name. Last month, it was confirmed that the Buick C1UB project will be marketed as the all-new Enclave, at least in China, thereby becoming a shorter, mid-szie variant of the longer, full-size Buick Enclave currently on sale in North America (but not in China). Note that we initially reported that the C1UB model would be marketed as the Buick Envoy, but GM has since gone in a different direction to create “families” of models, at least in the Chinese market.
On the other hand, project C1UC that represents the three-row Chevrolet Blazer that will be a variant of the all-new 2019 Blazer, and its expected name is Chevrolet Blazer XL.
5. They Will Resolve A Competitive Disadvantage For GM In China
Both Chevrolet and Buick have offered crossovers with three rows of seating since 2009 in the Traverse and original Enclave. However, the full-size format of these models is too large in most international markets, including China.
For this reason, the new “baby Enclave” and Blazer XL will resolve a competitive disadvantage currently faced by GM in markets outside North America, where it doesn’t offer dedicated crossover utility vehicles with three rows of seats.
Finally, we want to highlight one small detail: upon our first sighting of the camouflaged C1UB in September 2018, we believed that the prototype was a potential three-row Blazer, but shortly thereafter realized that it is actually Buick. As such, we were far off from reality in our assessment.