What If: Return of the GMC Envoy
by, 11-26-2011 at 03:49 PM (16501 Views)
The components are there, could the Envoy Return?
November 26, 2011
By: Nick Saporito
Welcome to my first-ever GMI blog post! Many times I have thoughts or even tid-bits of information that I'd like to share, but it isn't enough to justify a full article. I'm thinking our new blogs will give me an outlet to relay such. For my first blog post, I'm going to talk about the GMC Envoy.
Recently GM revealed the all-new Chevrolet Trailblazer for global markets. The new Trailblazer is certainly not a crossover; it is based upon an all-new body on frame chassis that will also underpin our next Chevrolet Colorado truck. This new platform is called "31xx" internally. As of today the Trailblazer will not be coming to North America (at least not the U.S. and Canada), but that could change. Though with the 31xx platform having a confirmed production outlet in the U.S. (Wentzville, MO), one can speculate.
Right now the GMC brand is in a fairly quiet state of being. The brand launched the Terrain and the revised HD trucks, but nothing else in the way of new product has happened in recent years. In other words, GMC is ripe for some attention and unique product.
If I were at GM, I would seriously consider the idea of developing a 31xx-based Envoy for GMC. By now it is clear that Chevrolet is focusing on cars (specifically small cars) and nurturing their "green" image. In other words: adding a BOF SUV to the Chevrolet brand does not seem to make a lot of sense at this point. On the flip side, GMC is a truck brand and could use a "Professional Grade" midsize SUV.
So instead of selling the Trailblazer here, develop an Envoy and let GMC sell it exclusively. Considering that there is going to be a GMC small truck on the same platform, it should not be terribly difficult to swap out the Trailblazer front end for the GMC.
Another factor to consider is that a new Envoy would likely command higher transaction prices than the Trailblazer could. The only problem would be cannibalization of sales by GMC's crossover lineup. By the time this Envoy could launch GMC will have a smaller Terrain and smaller Acadia. The Envoy would have to theoretically straddle between the Terrain and Acadia.
What do you guys think? Should a new Envoy happen? Just an FYI, I didn't come up with the idea of a new Envoy on my own.