GMC may get one of its own

GM mulls a stand-alone for Chevrolet's sibling

DETROIT -- GMC's lineup is in the midst of a major overhaul, including the Canyon mid-sized pickup unveiled here last week. But General Motors' truck brand still plays the role of little brother to its corporate sibling, with a lineup of rebadged Chevrolet trucks in distinct sheet metal.

That could change, though. GM global product chief Mark Reuss confirms that the company is working on at least one GMC product that would not share its underpinnings with a Chevy.

Asked last week after the Canyon debut whether the market would someday see a non-Chevy GMC vehicle, Reuss answered: "Oh, yes, you will."

He declined to elaborate on the vehicle or development timing but touted GMC's strong prices and appeal to non-GM consumers as reasons to invest more in the brand.

"The health of GMC is astonishingly good from a consideration standpoint," Reuss said.

While GM has taken pains to differentiate the designs of Chevy and GMC trucks, a stand-alone GMC would be a departure from GM's platform-sharing strategy. But Reuss emphasized that GM is not returning to the days when GMC ran a relatively autonomous product development operation with its own engines and platforms.

In 2010, GMC showed a concept of a compact, vanlike crossover called the Granite, which likely would have been built on GM's global compact vehicle platform. GM has said that the Granite won't go into production.

But a future car or crossover does not appear likely. GM global design chief Ed Welburn told Automotive News last week that GMC's design studio is "as busy as it's ever been," including several concepts under development but that the products are "all trucks."

You can reach Mike Colias at autonews@crain.com

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