When the current GMT900 SUVs hit the market in 2006, gas prices were already near $3.00 per gallon, but the super-sized transports sold in prodigious numbers anyway. The reasoning from the General and its customers was that there were still people with big boats or trailers to tow, and unibody CUVs just aren't up to the task. In the two years that followed, gas prices have gone from pesky to pandemic, and buyers are leaving their body-on-frame SUVs by the thousands.

The General isn't blind to the trend, and a report from Bloomberg says that GM may be ready to take the drastic step of separating the platforms of its trucks and full-size SUVs by 2012. The move is extreme because SUVs and trucks have saved development time and money by sharing a platform for many decades, but with such a dramatic shift away from the handy but fuel-thirsty rigs, GM has little choice but to think of alternatives. A unibody Tahoe or Escalade wouldn't be able to tow quite like its predecessor, but they would be lighter and have better fuel economy.

Our first thought was that GM already has eight-passenger unibody CUVs like the Enclave, Acadia, Outlook and upcoming Traverse, but without more utilitarian SUVs like the Tahoe, there should be room for a more purpose-built CUV in the lineup. While this news isn't exactly earth-shattering, we're thinking it very accurately illustrates just how fast these times they are-a-changing, and how far automakers will go to stay viable. Thanks for the tip, Fro!

[Source: Bloomberg]

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