Did GM give up on off-roader?
GM has long been rumored to be developing a competitor for the popular Jeep Wrangler. The rumors started way back when they still had Hummer, with one model based on their large SUVs and another on the TrailBlazer; a third was always in the works to go after the Wrangler.
Even now, they were supposed to be working on a body on frame SUV, sharing with the Chevy Colorado, for launch in 2022 and an estimated production of 80,000 per year. But with the Bronco here, and a second Wrangler plant helping to fill any market that might exist, there are new rumors—that GM may either have postponed the vehicle, or dropped it entirely.
Wrangler prices have hit an upward spiral, to the point where many customers find them priced out of the most popular “true offroader;” but with two plants pumping out similar vehicles, Jeep could drop prices if they needed to counter a new competitor. On the other hand, the auto market has softened, and many expect a recession to slam car sales or push people into more practical, cheaper, and more fuel-efficient vehicles. 2021/2022 might be just the wrong time to introduce a new, heavy off-roader; and Chrysler, not GM, has traditionally been the company to launch vehicles at just the wrong time. Pushing back the timetable by two years would let GM catch the United States in an economic rebound, far better timing.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, lives in Farmingdale, New York, and can be reached at +1.516-531-4021.