Rumors about a rugged, body-on-frame SUV from General Motors have been swirling around for awhile, but it appears the program might have been killed late last year.
Citing multiple sources, Muscle Cars & Trucks says the project was quietly shelved as part of GM’s restructuring in 2018. That restructuring called for the idling of five plants in North America and the elimination of a number of different models.
At the time, the company confirmed the move would spell the end to US availability of several different cars including the Buick Lacrosse and Cadillac XTS as well as the Chevrolet Cruze, Impala and Volt. What the automaker didn’t say was that the cuts also affected several unannounced projects. Among them was the 32XX midsize truck platform which was originally slated to underpin the SUV as well as next-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
While new generations of the Colorado and Canyon are coming, they’ll reportedly ride on an updated version of their current platform. It remains unclear why the SUV couldn’t be adapted to fit the updated architecture, but GM could have decided to keep the modifications to a minimum to lower costs.
Regardless of reason, the SUV program is reportedly dead. MC&T also said the model would have been a GMC exclusive unlike the countless badge-engineered products that make up its lineup.
If the report is correct, it’s a bit strange that GM wouldn’t enter a booming segment. The SUV was envisioned to battle the Jeep Wrangler and that model is a huge success as Carsalesbase data shows FCA sold 240,032 units in the United States last year.
Even the ancient Toyota 4Runner has seen renewed interest as the company almost sold 140,000 units in 2018. That’s nearly twice as much as four years prior.