Anybody telling you that General Motors is developing a body-on-frame midsize SUV for the North American market is operating on old data. At one point, this may have been true. But word from sources is that the automaker has decided against pushing forward with the plan as of November 2018. This is when GM announced a major restructuring that would include thousands of white-collar layoffs, and several North American plant closures. Internally, this also meant the shelving or restarting of several vehicle programs in the works, such as the sixth-generation Camaro Z/28 and its LT3 V8 engine, as well as the 32XX midsize truck platform.
MC&T has exclusively learned that this body-on-frame midsize SUV was to be based on the 32XX platform. When GM decided to axe this platform for the future in favor of a massaged-over 31XX platform that underpins the current Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, this SUV program went with it. Read more details about the 31XX-2 program here.
Further details include that this vehicle program was meant to give the GMC brand a standalone product unique from Chevrolet. Every GMC product otherwise has a platform relative in a Chevy showroom. It would have have been a vehicle to rival the upcoming Ford Bronco, as well as competitive offerings from Jeep and Toyota.
It’s unclear if this midsize SUV program, which would have been a gas-engine vehicle, transitioned to GM’s top-secret future EV portfolio. Nevertheless, the move is puzzling, as body-on-frame sport utility vehicles have otherwise been a cash cow for the automaker, and therefore could mean that GM is leaving money on the table.
This news comes at a time when demand for street and off-road performance in the SUV market has been booming. And even though the next Cadillac Escalade will offer a supercharged V8 engine, GM has so far avoided making either a dedicated performance SUV, or an off-road SUV for that matter.