There's a reason why other GM divisions exist.
Over the past year or so, General Motor's premium truck, SUV, and crossover division, GMC, has been debating the merits of whether or not to launch a subcompact crossover slotted below the Terrain and potentially called Granite. This is one of the hottest-selling segments these days, so the temptation exists. The question was never about whether such a vehicle could be technically possible, but rather if it's necessary.
You see, it would have been yet another heavily rebadged and restyled version of the Chevrolet Trax. The Buick Encore is, more or less, a much fancier Trax with a higher price tag. This formula has worked wonderfully for Buick as the Encore has been its best-seller, but can this be replicated for GMC? Should it be? Today, we apparently have our answer.
GM Authority recently spoke with Mark Alger, GMC Canada's Regional Marketing Manager, and asked him outright whether the brand intends to enter this segment. "I'm going to give you a definitive no on that one. We want to position GMC as a premium brand, focus on our trucks and capitalize on the AT4 name. We recently announced that we'll be opening up the AT4 variant to all our products. This is where our focus is at right now."
For those who don't follow GMC, the brand has continued its upmarket quest to become the luxury truck and SUV brand Cadillac never will be, the sole exception being the Escalade. GMC will also soon be expanding its AT4 off-road treatment to more models. The Sierra AT4 was only the beginning.
It really boils down to this: GM does not GMC to sell a premium subcompact crossover. The Encore does that job just fine. Furthermore, a completely redesigned Chevy Trax is due to arrive next year as a 2021 model and like the new Blazer, it's expected to go even further upmarket. Same deal for the next Encore. There's also the all-new 2020 Chevy Trailblazer and Encore GX. Although slightly larger than both the regular Encore and Trax, both are aimed at a similar type of buyer. The last thing GM needs is overcrowding in this particular segment or any segment for that matter.