GMC to Go It Alone on New Model Without Chevrolet Counterpart
When General Motors consolidated brands in the wake of its 2009 bankruptcy, many wondered why it decided to keep GMC around. GMC, after all, had no unique models to itself; they were all tarted-up Chevrolets. And yet, GMC is among the most profitable brands that GM has. And if you believe GM's global product chief Mark Reuss, GMC is about to get a whole lot more differentiation to further differentiate it as the premium "Professional Grade" brand that it aspires to be. When asked in an interview by Automotive News as to whether or not GMC would ever receive a separate model of its own, Reuss replied, "Oh, yes, you will." Typically, GMCs are more premium versions of existing Chevrolets; the 2015 GMC Canyon pictured above has soft-touch interior materials that the similar Chevrolet Colorado will not receive. At one point, GMC was a nearly autonomous operation. It was assumed that GMC would receive a version of its Granite concept van, but GM has denied that. GM's design director Ed Welburn has said that GMC's studio is as busy as it has ever been, and trucks are at the focus--not crossovers. One product that GM has in its global portfolio is a next generation of the Chevrolet Trailblazer that's sold in the rough-and-tumble parts of Asia and Australia. With the overseas GM midsize pickups having undergone a U.S. conversion, a new midsize, body-on-frame SUV might make sense to go up against other premium off-roaders like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, and Lexus GX 460. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)
GM expects earnings will improve "modestly" thanks to its markets in U.S. and China.