GMC plans to add Granite subcompact crossover
by Automotive News
GMC dealers will get a shot at a new set of buyers starting in 2013, when General Motors is expected to launch its GMC Granite subcompact crossover.
That will diversify GMC beyond its core truck buyers, building on momentum from hot sales of its Terrain crossover. For the first time, GMC dealers will have a vehicle to fit urban lifestyles, one that can compete for shoppers with the Scion xB and Kia Soul.
Not that the brand is ignoring its core truck buyers. The Sierra 1500 full-sized pickup and Yukon SUV account for almost half of GMC's sales. Redesigned versions of those two trucks are expected in 2013.
Here are GMC's plans for the 2012-14 model years.
Granite: GM has green-lighted the subcompact crossover for the 2013 model year. It will include Dutch doors on the passenger side, as shown on the concept version unveiled at the 2010 Detroit auto show. The concept had a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with a six-speed manual transmission; a 2.0-liter turbo and a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated option are possibilities, too.
Terrain: The hot-selling crossover is scheduled to get a high-end Denali version in 2012 for the 2013 model year. For the 2014 model year it may get GM's eAssist light hybrid system.
Acadia: The crossover will be reskinned for the 2013 model year, including a new grille, front and rear fascias and an improved interior. It also will get a 3.0-liter V-6 to replace its current 3.6-liter version. A next-generation Acadia is likely for the 2015 model year.
Yukon, Yukon XL: The next generation of the truck-based SUV will appear in early 2013 as a 2014 model. It likely will share some sheet metal with the Sierra pickup to cut costs. Powertrain enhancements probably will include an eight-speed transmission and the addition of GM's four-mode hybrid system, an upgrade of its current two-mode system, which uses planetary gears and electric motors to conserve fuel. The four-mode system improves fuel efficiency in a wider range of driving and towing situations.
Canyon: The compact pickup will be discontinued when the Shreveport, La., plant that makes it is shuttered by mid-2012. But in March, GM unveiled a next generation of the Chevrolet Colorado, a sister vehicle to the Canyon, at an auto show in Thailand.
GM hasn't announced plans to sell that vehicle in the United States, but sources say it will be sold here eventually. If so, it's unclear whether the mid-sized truck would be badged as both a Colorado and Canyon, as is done with the current generation of the pickups.
Sierra 1500: A re-engineered, restyled truck should appear in the second half of 2013 for the 2014 model year. GM is expected to deploy a number of powertrain features to boost fuel efficiency, possibly including a six-cylinder turbocharged version and an optional eight-speed transmission.
Sierra 2500, 3500: Restyled versions of the heavy-duty pickups, which were re-engineered for the 2011 model year, are expected in the 2014 or 2015 model year.