Blog: Glenn BrooksGMC has a (pricier) future

Glenn Brooks | 24 January 2012

2012MY Sierra Denali

2012MY Sierra Denali

It's looking increasingly like GM is going to reinvent GMC division as an upscale truck brand.

Regular readers might recall that I wondered aloud about the likelihood of GM culling the brand. For the record, I still wonder about the need for Cadillac when the company has done such an amazing job with Buick in China, plus reinventing it in the US - why not push the latter further upscale?

Back to GMC. Mark Reuss, General Motors' president of North American operations, is being reported as saying that GMC has to "pay its way". To that end, the replacement for the GMC Sierra will apparently become pricier than its twin, the Chevrolet Silverado. Let's see if GMC can make this strategy work. Ford couldn't, not at first. Now it has sort of succeeded by having a rethink: the Lincoln Mark LT failed in the US market, but is still made in tiny numbers for Mexico. What Ford does is stick a Lincoln badge on the plusher versions of the F-150 to create that vehicle. Would you pay what Ford asks for a monthly lease on a $40,000+ F-150 King Ranch? Quite a few people do.

GM's rival big earners in the 1500 GVW pick-up class are due to be replaced for the 2013 model year so we should see them soon enough - I would expect at either next month's Chicago show, or the New York in April. And a facelift for the GMC Acadia should also turn up at Chicago.

Perhaps GM is planning to show us its new thoughts for GMC division at Chicago, just as Ford used Detroit to preview its relaunch of Lincoln. Keep an eye on our daily news headlines for the forthcoming Chicago show preview list too. There might be an Elantra Coupe, the new Pathfinder and Altima from Nissan and perhaps the next Kia Sedona too. But that's all speculation at this stage, I should add.

As for GMC's future line-up, I wouldn't guarantee the Savana van will be replaced and I am now hearing that the Granite concept won't reach production after all - I couldn't really see Americans taking to a GMC-branded Opel Meriva. Don't look for the Canyon pick-up to have a successor either. So a slimmed down but better focussed range. The successors for the Yukon and XL should also be big earners, while the two models which share the Terrain badge should be merged into one when replacement time comes around 2014.


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