For years, GMC has existed as a brand without a single unique product, reconstituting Chevrolet trucks, SUVs and crossovers with more frosting in exchange for a few extra dollars. The Sierra is a Silverado, the Acadia a Traverse, and the Terrain an Equinox, although admittedly the latter pair are visually differentiated to a significant degree.

GMC could be set to expand beyond its Chevy-based roots, though. During last week's Detroit Auto Show press days, GM's product boss Mark Reuss was asked whether there'd ever be a GMC that wasn't taken from Chevy. "Oh, yes, you will," Reuss told the media. "The health of GMC is astonishingly good from a consideration standpoint." Reuss wouldn't elaborate on what the model could be, although we're quite happy to make some guesses. GMC has its bases fairly well covered, with a mid-size and full-size crossover, as well as a mid-size, full-size and HD pickup. We doubt GMC will be building a family sedan, sports car, or hatchback, so really, the only place we can see the brand going is into a smaller crossover.

Automotive News points out that the most recent small GMC showcar, the 2010 Granite concept (shown above), won't see production according to General Motors. That vehicle likely would have rode on GM's compact vehicle architecture, known internally as Gamma II, which underpins the Chevy Spark and Sonic, as well as the Buick Encore (and its overseas Opel/Vauxhall/Chevy counterparts).

That seems like logical territory for GMC, especially considering the early success of the Encore in the US market. So while it's unlikely that the Granite will see production, we wouldn't bet against a GMC-version of the Buick Encore on US roads at some point in the near future.

What do you think GMC will do? Would you buy an Encore-sized GMC? Let us know what you think in Comments.

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