Ideal scenario: Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler vs. GMC Jimmy/Chevy Blazer.
Cars that ascend to the status of a popular cult-classic are usually ones that will guarantee the lucky automaker a monopoly for years to come. However, the trouble starts when a competing company decides to introduce an answer to promptly end the sales frenzy. Chevrolet’s unveiling of the Camaro to compete with the Ford Mustang is one such example, and now, Automotive News is reporting that General Motors is gunning for another unchallenged rival, the Jeep Wrangler.
FCA’s popular off-road SUV is modeled after a vehicular war hero and has sold well despite enduring complaints about quality. However, GM has spent some time mulling about how it can improve on the Wrangler and it may finally do so by building a competitor and giving it GMC badges. The mid-sized SUV would feature a body-on-frame chassis and utilize the same platform as the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Like the Wrangler, the truck would be marketed as a ready-to-go off-road machine and would help GM’s subsidiary reach its sales targets. If GMC builds the Wrangler fighter, it would finally have a standalone model of its own instead of a lineup made up of upgraded and rebadged Chevy trucks.
Additionally, if GMC builds the truck, a new front will be carved out in the war of the big three American automakers. Most gearheads recognize the muscle car war and the battle of the pickup trucks, but if GMC releases an off-roader into the wild after rumors about the rebirth of the Ford Bronco come true, then it will once again be an all out GM vs Ford vs FCA battle on the trails. The problem for GMC would be finding a way to attract consumers to a new car that doesn’t share the credibility of a war veteran. GM’s best hope for recognition is to build the two-door SUV and revive the Chevy Blazer/GMC Jimmy nameplate in order to give buyers some context of what they are stepping into. Don’t expect to see our fantasy SUV on, or off, the road anytime before 2020.