GM Testing The Jeep Wrangler; Is It Working On A Competitor?

Jeep Wrangler sales hit a record 240,032 units last year and have been increasingly almost regularly ever since 2009. Thus, it’s not surprising to learn that rivals want a piece of the action.

Ford’s answer is pretty well known at this point, as they announced plans to resurrect the Bronco back in 2017.

While we still have to wait a little longer to see the production model, previous reports have suggested it will borrow heavily from the Wrangler playbook.  In particular, dealers have said the model will have a retro-inspired design with removable doors and a hard top.

The Blue Oval, though, might not be the only company eyeing a Jeep competitor. According to as GM Authority, a couple of four door Wranglers were spotted undergoing testing at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds. While it’s not unusual for automakers to test products from their competitors, rumors about a hardcore SUV have grown increasingly louder.

A mysterious Chevrolet Trailblazer was spied undergoing testing in Europe earlier this month and the model was said to be a mule for an all-new SUV. That remains unconfirmed, but the current Trailblazer is based on the international version of the Chevrolet Colorado (The recently announced 2021 Trailblazer is something else entirely).

To make matters more interesting, General Motors is said to be considering a $1 billion (£782 million / €895 million) investment in its Wentzville plant, where the current Colorado and GMC Canyon are being built. It’s been rumored (but unconfirmed, to this point) that some of those funds could be used for a new body-on-frame SUV, presumably based on the next-generation of The General’s mid-size pickups.

If this were to happen, it would echo what Ford is doing with the Bronco, which is closely related to the Ranger and will built alongside it in Michigan.

While it’s not entirely certain that GM is building a Wrangler competitor, the company has toyed around with the idea in the past. In 2008, the then HM-owned Hummer unveiled the HX concept, which featured a removable roof and doors. The Hummer brand was axed shortly afterwards and the project never came into fruition, but a report from 2015 suggested GM asked dealers about a Hummer-like model to battle Jeep.

 

  • Mr. EP9

    If GM is working on a competitor for the Wranger, the Blazer should have been it instead of a mall running CUV. Hummer is dead and I don’t see GM bringing that brand back so perhaps it will be GMC.

  • Brian Regan

    Since the Blazer is off the table my suggestion would be reviving the GMC Jimmy, if they make anything at all. That way GM can utilize a heritage name with some 4×4 cred and actually give GMC a unique product.

  • caddy45

    They should have done away with GMC and kept the Hummer brand. GMC is too much of a Chevy clone and Hummer was so distinct on the road. I’ve always thought they should resurrect it, especially since because of continuous popularity of SUVs / CUVs in the US.

    • Mike anonymous

      I absolutely agree. Personally GM should focus their brands and product lines world-wide to the following;

      Chevrolet
      (General Consumer Vehicles . Entry Level to Mid-Level; Hatchbacks, Crossovers, & Sedans (Also the Corvette)).
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e5031e74dbecb3288e79da43079cbb3336244f6d293af30b1ce400eaa6854d3a.png
      Also in addition Chevrolet needs a completely new design language that can translate well onto SUVs’ Sedans and Hatchbacks, something that looks good. I am not sure what that design language should be, but I am just putting some photographs of some well designed concepts of the past built by the automakers that should be at least used in inspiration going froward. Build vehicles that are desirable & unique and people will buy them.

      Hummer
      (Off roading SUVs’ . Entry Level (general consumer) to Top-Level-(semi/full luxury);
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/615cf49897ba7988947697ab4ff0c1d16a75086b779b53ce8555995ad777e27b.png
      Off Roading Vehicles That can directly compete with Jeep & LandRover). A specialty brand specifically for Off Road capable SUVs’ & (Possibly ‘Trucks’ like the Hummer HX Concept shown). (On a personal note a Defender competitor (put alongside a baby variation of that vehicle to compete with the Jeep Wrangler) would be nice). (Oh yes.. and make sure they are cleaner & more efficient vehicles with good range).

      Cadillac
      (True & Desirable Luxury Vehicles . Top-Level-(full-luxury) ; SUVs & Sedans.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b85cb01c57718cd6ce61fe96605b19ccd4eb03c7561469ec8cd721702329823d.png
      The brand should head in the direction of building powerful Luxury Plug-In Hybrid vehicles across the range (becoming a completely plug-in hybrid brand) but also maintain those powerful engines as well. They already have the edge with technologies such as Super-cruise, simply add in a technology based side to the brands image alongside a new design language. They need to go back to their more ‘angular’ design language of the 2000s’ (but of course updated in a modern way as shown by the Cadillac; Urban Luxury, Ciel, & Converj, Concepts above) to offer something unique in the luxury space. Maybe even realize those efforts of competing with RR eventually as was originally planned in the early 2010s’ before management changed in 2013.

      What GM needs are vehicles (not only in categories, but vehicles themselves) that are desirable (in class, powertrain, and design). If you make a vehicle that is desirable, people will want to buy and own one. If you have resources, don’t spread them thin. (Personally, I believe) They need a vision, the need desirable vehicles, & most importantly GM is going to need to keep it simple.

  • THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS WITH THE BLAZER SINCE IT WAS THE BRONCO’S COMPETITOR.

  • Ben

    GM should never have sold Hummer. The H2 was better than most give it credit for and the H3 could’ve worked, but was released too late.

  • helloWorld

    it won’t be a hummer. AM general owns those rights and has it licensed to VLF Automotive

    • psumba

      AM General owns the HUMVEE name. GM purchased the HUMMER name from AM General, but allows AM General to use it within limited contexts.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    That Hummer-like thing on what seems a shorter wheelbase is interesting though. I love it as much as i love the Wrangler (and the Bronco). Maybe the sole cars i’d own understanding i can’t go fast to have fun and have some personality

  • charlotteharry57

    NO!!! Not Hummer again! The big question is why would GM need ANOTHER Jeep competitor? Do something else – it doesn’t. The GMC Envoy/Jimmy that may be coming (the overseas model that you keep showing us badged as a “Chevy”) isn’t a Jeep competitor – just another SUV that we also don’t need. The Lemming effect again. One does it, so 50 have to also. Shortsighted.

    • Ben

      The H2 and the H3 weren’t bad vehicles. Their bones and concepts were good, but just needed more polish. That brand was just launched at the wrong time. Hummer nowadays would make a killing.

  • SteersUright

    GM, always late to the party…how are they still in business? Who the heck actually wants anything they make these days?

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