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GMC Granite concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

GMC has always been General Motors' truck and SUV marque, but the brand could break new ground if it decides to build a small urban vehicle based on the Granite concept from the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. The Granite would likely be smaller and less rough-and-tumble than any other vehicle in the GMC lineup while also carrying a lower base price tag. If GM's "Professional Grade" brand builds a Granite-like vehicle it could take the marketing road less traveled; television-less advertising.

Buick-GMC advertising director Steve Rosenblum has reportedly told Automotive News that the next step for GMC could be a four-passenger vehicle that slots below the Terrain, and the Granite certainly fits that bill. Rosenblum went on to hypothesize that a Granite-sized vehicle would be heavily marketed to car buyers under age 35, and that its marketing campaign could be focused almost entirely on the Internet. And the tried-and-true "Professional Grade" tagline? GMC could exclude it from Granite ads, says Rosenblum. Hmmm...

GMC could also focus its marketing dollars on "smart phone" advertising. Rosenblum says that by 2011, two-thirds of cell phone users under age 40 will own a smart phone. One application the ad team designed is a brochure for the Granite with bar code designs that can be read by smart phones. The codes would then lead interested parties to a website with features about the Granite, along with a social networking site where interested parties could chat with designers.

Is the Granite a smart direction for GM to be taking with GMC, or is it a bridge too far? Have your say in Comments.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's a vote For the Granite - but please don't water it down.
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1 if it can do more then the cube, xb, and soul, I think this one is a clear winner. just dont introduce it as a chevy. GMC has a sense of cool when it comes to this. Also I guarantee it will be popular among youth in the middle east where GMC is one of those brands they love to get their hands on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And so many still don't know the difference between badge engineering and platform sharing.
      Not even close. http://www.chevrolet.com/pages/open/default/future/orlando.do
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just realized this is the updated Aztek!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If it came with a turbo Diesel and got 50+ MPG then I would buy it.
      GM has to understand that It all depends on the engine options not as much cosmetics in the energy era.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like this vehicle even though I'm 52. Now the hard part. Guess I'm one of those strange breeds who want a multipurpose vehicle that looks good, can haul 4 adults or most of the items I buy at my home improvement store, take me to work, gets 30mpg on the intersate, cost around $15,000-$18,000 "decently equiped" and have either 4wheel drive/AWD on demand as I live in the snow belt.
      The other concept recently glanced at and liked was Kia Soul'ster as it's an eyecatcher but I don't think it or any of it's classmates can handle snow. (I sure don't want a 3/4 year vehicle)
      Pipe Dream...Right!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If GM is going to justify the GMC brand it needs to either pursue a direction like this. I can't see a Denali or Sierra bridging the gap between V8 terratanks of today and the inevitable future of electricfied vehicles.

      A small GMC should not confuse industrial styling with industrial design though. I'd hate to see this thing arrive and have it just be a chunky version of a Nissan Cube. I'd push for functional innovations in both HMI and materials at the very least. A future evolution (in price and size) could be spun from the Volt platform and offer a heavy dose of cool features. (like using the Volt powertrain as a mobile genset for example, for a mobile vehicle repair man or something).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pontiac did the same no-TV / internet buzz marketing with the G5.

      We know how that story ended.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In other words GM wants to do what ford did with the Aveo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I will not buy it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Quite a nice looking concept. I guess they want to make the GMC brand attractive to youths.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yet another case of someone drinking too much energy drink like the hipsters and "trying too hard" to fit in.

      The Granite, IMHO, is not a bad idea though. I just think that rather than try to fit the urban slang, make GMC a Gen-Y friendly brand (whatever the hell that truly means), and be different for the sake of being different... why not build a product and market it by all possible means necessary? It seems pretty logical to me and I happen to own a Scion tC and fall into Gen X (just before Y). I didn't strictly buy my tC because Scion only marketed it on the internet... because, Scion didn't. There was print and TV ads showing the car just as much or more than web-based ads. Go viral GM... that's the way to be.

      If the Granite sells to 20-something and sub 20-something hipsters... fantastic! If it sells to some grey haired dude trading in his first gen. xB that Scion wasn't wanting to sell him, great as well. I'm tired of the focus groups and demographics and "You only appeal to x % of this particular market segment." trying so damn hard to turn a simple process (going viral) into some form of crazy artform. If my ad agency for my product tried to spin some sort of inane artsy faux paux crap on me like this, I'd be out looking for a new ad agency.

      Sell in volume, build entertaining and quality product, design it well and "FOLLOW THROUGH" (promise little and yet deliver everything and the kitchen sink above people's wildest dreams) and you're good to go. While GM has been getting better, they're still not up to where Toyota and Honda were years ago. The only thing that Ford and GM and Chrysler might have going for them though is that apparently, even Toyota and Honda have slipped some (in quality) by some accounts that are out there in black and white. I still say I'd trust both more than GM from my own experiences (owned multiple GM products, as has most of my family after supporting them for decades)... but that's up to Ed (Whitacre) and the gang to figure out and fix, everyone else's mileage may vary.

      The Granite looks pretty good to me... it's better styled than the current xB, it's less cutesy than the Soul, and it has a masculinity that'll fit with "industrial grade" image that GMC has somehow been given over the years. I can see it easily drawing in young urban males... whether to deck out like they do their xB's and Soul's, or to leverage utility out of that might not be a configurable option for the more obvious competition. After all, IMHO... if GMC is to get something like this, the xB and Soul and Fit and Fiesta aren't so much the direct competition as something like the wildly successful Transit Connect and forthcoming Dodge based on the Fiat Doblo. In this vain, I can see GM building one vehicle that bridges both market segments... esp. if GM goes the extra mile to match the types of stuff that Ford is doing with the Transit Connect.

      IMHO, GM shouldn't ditch the motto in as much as make this crossover fit the bill. Provide elements of rugged durability into it for "the urban jungle", whether for work or play. Engineer it capable of having storage bins, stow and go seating, configurations with or without flat load floors or seats, promote utility. Give it rugged grab-handles, the ability to hose things out, the ability to have an in-built sound system and theater lighting, experiment with unorthodox rugged materials (canvas, nylon, etc.). Make it available as a competitor to the Transit Connect and Fiat Doblo, give it multiple configurations (i.e. design variant in picture and a taller roof version for commercial applications)... for the consumer and business person alike.

      To me... the Granite has lots of potential, it's only left up to what GM and GMC intends to deliver it as.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GMC's motto is, 'professional grade', not, 'industrial grade'.

        Interesting that the blog's writer has the wrong impression, and that no one else caught it. Which makes one wonder if 'industrial' is the impression one makes when one uses 'professional' when talking trucks.

        The new, much higher CAFE mandates are going to change the entire landscape of what cars and trucks mean. This Granite is, to me, a little car styled to look like a truck, to ease truck separation anxiety on the part of folks who soon won't be able to get or justify or afford a truck anymore.

        I like the looks of this Granite. The name suggests genuineness, solidity, and a certain greenness. I like those longitudinal ridges running along the tops of the front fenders. Kinda remind me of the 58 -59 Chevy pickups. Don't expect the suicide doors to survive into production. Too much structural rigidity at stake.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Save your ad dollars; don't build it.
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