PITTSBURGH — General Motors could add an entry-level crossover to its GMC lineup.
Duncan Aldred, head of Buick and GMC worldwide, said a vehicle smaller and less expensive than the Terrain — a compact crossover that starts at about $26,000 — is "a logical place" for the brand to expand.
"To me, there is more room for SUVs in the GMC stable," Aldred said during a test drive here of the redesigned 2018 Terrain. "An obvious place for GMC to be if it expands is that small SUV segment."
He declined to discuss specific plans but said the potential crossover likely wouldn't be a long-rumored competitor to the Jeep Wrangler midsize SUV. GMC, he said, doesn't need to compete with the Wrangler, a formidable off-roader that many brands have tried to challenge without success.
"I don't think it's worth trying to take on Wrangler," Aldred said in a separate interview. "But I think there's an opportunity somewhere in that space."
A compact or subcompact offering would help broaden GMC's range and bring in younger buyers, much like the Encore subcompact has done for Buick.
It also would better position the brand against Jeep, whose Compass compact and Renegade subcompact are smaller and less expensive than the Terrain.
Small crossovers have been among the industry's hottest vehicles in recent years. GMC "should have been first in the segment," said Aldred, who started leading GMC and Buick in 2014.
Buick has experienced tremendous success with the Encore, which debuted in 2012 at the Detroit auto show and has been the brand's top seller since 2015.
GM rebadged the Opel Mokka for the U.S. as consumer preferences were shifting to small crossovers from the sedans that traditionally made up Buick's lineup.
Competitors including the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR have arrived in recent years, but sales of the Encore continue to increase. They're up 13 percent this year through July vs. a 2.9 percent decline for the industry.