GMC rules out subcompact crossover to go premium, focus on trucks

The company's statement ends a nearly decade-long rumor

Don't wait for GMC's on-again, off-again baby crossover any longer. The company confirmed it has no plans to enter the growing car-based subcompact crossover segment in the near future because the expansion wouldn't fit its image.

"I'm going to give you a definitive no on that one," answered Mark Alger, a regional marketing manager for GMC's Canadian division, when asked about the entry-level segment by GM Authority. "We want to position GMC as a premium brand, focus on our trucks, and capitalize on the AT4 name," he added.

Positioning GMC as a premium brand wouldn't prevent officials from giving an entry-level the green light; Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz all sell cars priced in the vicinity of $30,000. Focusing on trucks like the Sierra and the Canyon makes sense, however, because they compete in a bigger segment of the market where profit margins are much wider. It helps that GMC doesn't have to worry about markets outside of North America; it's not concerned about its sales and image in, say, Spain.

We've heard speculation about GMC's entry-level model since the Granite concept (pictured above) made its debut during the 2010 Detroit auto show. It was approved for production in 2010, approved again the following year (complete with rear suicide doors), and canceled in 2012, but the reports never went away. The segment's popularity added credibility to the recent murmurs describing a born-again Granite aimed at the Honda HR-V and the Toyota C-HR, among others. The Chevy Trax and Buick Encore are both GM vehicles that compete in this segment. 

GMC also canceled a body-on-frame, Bronco-taming SUV, according to a recent report. The truck-focused automaker promised every nameplate in its range will receive the rugged AT4 treatment by 2021, however, and it announced plans to show the off-road-ready Canyon in early 2020.

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