The world of tiny crossovers continues to grow and GMC may be the latest brand to dive in. President Duncan Aldred is reportedly keen on producing a subcompact crossover based on the Granite concept that debuted at the Detroit Motor Show in 2010.
“That segment has grown so fast,” GMC chief Duncan Aldred told Automotive News. “I keep telling everyone, ‘How can General Motors’ truck brand not be in the fastest-growing segment in the industry, an SUV segment?’”
Though it’s been more than a few years since the concept was introduced, and GMC probably missed the initial wave of subcompact crossover popularity, the segment is still surging, even within its own ranks at GM. Buick’s Encore is leading the brand to a record 53% sales increase in 2014. Considering Aldred is also in charge of Buick, his desire for yet another ringer model shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Of course there’s the legitimate fear that a GMC small crossover would steal sales from the Encore, especially since Buick and GMC models are often sold on the same lot, but Aldred appears unfazed. There’s also Chevrolet’s Trax to consider, which is usually sold at different dealers.
“We’ve got to build world-class brands,” said Aldred. “If the first thing we do is ask, ‘Well, hasn’t Buick got one?’ Then we’re constantly suppressing one brand for another.”
More likely, GM will face a greater challenge from the rest of the industry, which includes models like Jeep’s Renegade, Nissan’s Juke, Mazda’s CX-3, Honda’s HR-V, Fiat 500X, and MINI’s Countryman. All the above are selling well for their respective brands so GMC can anticipate at least modest success for a new entry-level crossover. The only question is if it will be distinguished enough to rival the class leaders.