GMC drops plan to bring Granite concept to showrooms

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News

One of the stars of the North American Auto Show two years ago has faded away.

The GMC Granite was a compact, stylish, van-like concept that was intended for young, urban buyers.

It was aimed at consumers who considered the GMC Terrain or Chevrolet Equinox way, way too big for their neighborhoods. A 2013 debut was hinted.

"There's no Granite," says Jim Federico, vehicle line executive for General Motors' small and compact cars. "We got a lot of input, pretty good input, but we never moved it out of concept."

Federico was interviewed Monday at Detroit's North American International Auto Show. He offered no other details for the concept's demise.

GMC has dropped plans to market the Granite -- a compact, stylish, van-like concept that was intended for young, urban buyers. Photo credit: GMC

Two design elements stood out on the concept:

First, a wide opening on the side of the Granite provided as much functionality for loading cargo as the entry through the rear hatch. The B-pillar was absent, and Dutch doors (call them suicide doors) created a wide entry when opened. With tight parking spaces in large cities, the side entry is how most people were expected to access the vehicle.

And second, the Granite's reconfigurable interior provided a front passenger seat that pivoted up and toward the console. With the seats up, a bicycle could be positioned without having to take the front tire off.

While the word "Scion" was never used by GMC's team, the Granite was expected to be an xB competitor.

Instead, the Granite is now gone but not forgotten.

Says Federico: "There's always an opportunity in the future."

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