• May 8, 2007

These are trying times for GM, so it's only natural that decisions made today will suddenly be in flux tomorrow. First RWD platforms were on hold, then they weren't on hold, then some were pushed back. Now it's reported that GM will be "taking a hard look" at the vehicles supposed to replace its mid-sized SUV's like the Trailblazer.

Fritz Henderson, GM's CFO hedged his bets on the issue, first saying "We need to step back and think about fuel prices and regulation as we develop our portfolio. We shouldn't just leave it static. We obviously need to consider the dynamics of the market as we think future choices." He then followed that up with "[G]iven the uncertainty it's something we're looking at. But I wouldn't say I have anything to announce today. It's just natural that we should be looking at our portfolio choices in a different regulatory/fuel economy environment." All of which sounds like he's saying that GM can't realistically keep pumping out a full range of SUV's in light of the current gas and environmental regulation issues . . . but that doesn't mean that GM is actually going to stop pumping out a full range of SUV's in light of gas and environmental regulation issues. At least, it doesn't mean that today. Perhaps this just means they are, like RWD cars recently were, on "pause."

Interestingly, the same article noted that GM is expected to ring up $9 billion in capital expenditures this year, while Toyota expects $14 billion -- and it costs GM more than Toyota to borrow money. In light of the issues already mentioned, and with additional development costs, and with GM getting outspent by its competitor, the outlook for putting more energy and money into GM's mid-sized SUV's looks less than positive, if only slightly.

[Source: The Car Connection]



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  • 31 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Look at the overlap at toyota of unibody vs BOF SUV's, then look at GM.

      The trailblazer does not need to die, as there is a market for BOF midsize SUV's. The trailblazer needs to get better, in many, many ways... but does not need to go away.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unfortunately the I6 engine is limited in its applications. It can't be used in any of the CUV platforms due to the transverse layout in these vehicles and it produces less power and lower gas mileage than the antiquated 4.3 V6 does.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The trailblazer ext is one of the best SUV's out there. I am very disappointed that they discontinued it.

      We have a family of 5- 3 boys.... We do not like minivans. We looked at the explorer- a little too small. The expedidtion and tahoe too big and too expansive.

      In addition the trailblazer extended has about as much space behind the third seat as the trailblazer ext. So the ext is the best SUV out there. But they did away with it. I am not the only one that feels this way either.

      The Acadia, is nice too expensive.. Chevy needs one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm a huge GM fan and I still think the Trailblazer twins need to be phased out.

      The only thing I'd keep is the excellent I6 engine from these vehicles and find a way to put it into other models.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i think its a good idea to kill some trucks and SUV's. why does gm need all them? they already offer incentives to buy what they have now!
      the market should move to smaller Urban-UV similar to that of the groove,trax,corsa-x concepts.
      hyundai will be making the hellion which is around the same range.
      gm should get with the times.
      i'm a 24 yr. male and would buy a UVU, corsa with 4wheel or awd would be great as i live in NY.
      GM- why not build something small with great mileage.it would off set the bigger suv's & trucks.
      gas price are gonna hit $4 per gal. by summer
      • 7 Years Ago
      Makes perfect sense. They have full-size CUV and Mid-size CUV with big truck based utes for those that need serious hauling. I'd phase them out.

      Chevy is supposed to get a CUV based off the Lambda platform.

      With gas hitting a probably $4.00/gal this summer it would be the smart thing to do. Of course it would have been really smart to do it 3 years ago but...
      • 7 Years Ago
      34...you say it's a limited market. Just an FYI, I don't mean to sound like I'm insulting anyone, but the GMT900 series sells more units just in the states than what their global car platforms sell world wide. That's why they haven't stopped their production and won't until the market tells them to.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM has so much overlap it's ridiculous. They should keep each line with unique vehicles.

      2 words that will help HM: !!!NEW EV-1!!!

      being the only manufacturer with a car like that on the market would give them TONS of revenue. It was a great vehicle.. and now it's gone... GM, enough greed... bring it back.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM sold 42,208 Trail Blazer in the first 4 months this year, that is down 24.9%, and 14,189 Envoy for the same period, down 39.9%. With this pace GM sould sell 175,000 to 180,000 units in total for both vehicles by the end of this year. For the first 4 months of 2007 both vehicles sales down 29.3%, this is quite alarming and if it goes like this I would expect both to go out of production by 2010 may be earlier. Now it is the time for crossovers, GM have the right vehicles to close the gap, I think we will never see a second generation of Trail Blazer and Envoy unless fuel prices goes down, and it does not look like it. Based on those facts, I have to say good bye for two very great vehicles born in the wrong time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mike,
      In Chet's defense, your first post was very disingenuous. Listing a bunch of high-profit, low volume luxury SUVs as an argument that there is a market for the TrailBlazer is ridiculous. You threw in some obviously full-size models even though they obviously compete on the Tahoe level, and as for the non-luxury models like the 4Runner , FJ and Xterra, all there sales combined don’t add up to what GM currently finds unacceptable for the Trailblazer and Envoy.

      Face it, in the past, this platform sold well into the multi-six figures, and its because they were bought by families that now have more choices and find their needs better suited by crossovers. There is still undoubtedly a trailer towing market out there that still appreciates these models, but it looks like there may not be enough to make a business case for this vehicle’s continuation.

      To see these models go would be a better irony since I have always, for better or worse credited the original ’83 S-10 Blazer for starting the whole SUV craze. (the ‘84 4-door Cherokee picked up on a hunger created by the 2-dr only Blazer, but the latter got the ball rolling) So it would be a bit symbolic if it’s direct descendent were to come to an end by a market shift similar to the one it started.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM needs to downsize for its truck portfolio to make sense. The Equinox needs to be a little smaller, the TrailBlazer needs to be a little smaller, and then you'd avoid any overlapping with the new CUVs. Just my 2 cents: smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient trucks. How about that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I say ditch them. Keep the I6 for another app. It's an excellent engine.
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