Report: GMC mulls new body-on-frame SUV

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2017 GMC Acadia

2017 GMC Acadia

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GMC is looking to capitalize on strong demand for SUVs and pickup trucks by expanding its lineup, and one of its new offerings could be a rugged mid-size SUV.

According to Automotive News’ (subscription required) sources, GMC is drawing up plans for a new SUV based on the body-on-frame platform of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins.

General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] already offers such a vehicle in the form of the Chevy Trailblazer (shown below), though the vehicle is only offered overseas at present.

Any new body-on-frame SUV for GMC will likely be a next-generation design, as product planners are said to only be at an early stage of the development.

2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer (South American spec)

2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer (South American spec)

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GMC boss Duncan Aldred hinted in 2014 that GMC could launch a rival to the Jeep Wrangler, and speaking recently with Automotive News he said GMC could be positioned as an “alternative to Jeep” to help boost sales. Jeep is on fire right now, with its annual sales in 2015 breaching the million mark.

Aldred said new products for GMC were part of “Phase 2” of the brand’s growth strategy and would only start arriving around 2020. “Phase 1,” he said, is currently underway and includes building brand awareness and elevating the premium Denali tag to sub-brand status.

GMC isn’t the only brand that’s looking at introducing a new rugged SUV. Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] is due to launch a new Bronco based on the next-generation version of its Ranger mid-size pickup truck. Nissan has also started testing a prototype for an SUV based on its NP300 Navara mid-size pickup truck.

Stay tuned for an update.

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