DETROIT — General Motors will replace the Pontiac Torrent with a small GMC crossover for the 2009 model year.
The new vehicle will be called the Terrain, say sources familiar with GM's product plans. Moving it to GMC reinforces the identity of brands within the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel. GMC focuses on trucks and crossovers, while Pontiac markets performance cars.
The Terrain will be built on the same basic architecture as the next-generation Chevrolet Equinox — a new version of the Theta architecture that underlies the current Equinox and Torrent. But the Terrain will have unique sheet metal and a different interior, sources say.
The vehicle will have a bolder appearance than the Equinox. GM will price the Terrain near the Equinox, which starts at $22,995 including shipping.
GM plans to build the Terrain at the CAMI Automotive Inc. plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which it runs jointly with Suzuki Motor Corp. That plant produces the Equinox, Torrent and Suzuki XL-7 SUV, also built on Theta.
"The Terrain will add an opportunity for GMC dealers to win some business in a market that we're not in right now," says dealer Mike Bowsher, a partner in Carl Black Automotive Group in Kennesaw, Ga. Bowsher also is the national dealer council chairman for Buick-Pontiac-GMC.
GM showed the Terrain to dealers about eight months ago. Dealers say it is about the size of the Jeep Liberty. c