The future of the GMC lineup became much clearer this week after insiders at GM's truck and SUV-based division gave staff at Automotive News a look at what future products are waiting in the pipeline. At least for the next few years (2011-2013), the GMC lineup will be primarily composed of updates and platform upgrades made to the vehicles that are currently available in its dealer showrooms.
Several models will see almost no real changes over this particular near-term period. The GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickup and the GMC Savana full-size cargo and passenger vans will be given the ability to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), but no other significant alterations will be made. The Sierra is slated for a more thorough update for 2014. Given that the Heavy Duty editions of the GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 just recently benefited from a redesign, they too count the introduction of a CNG drivetrain as their only major change before 2014.
In the crossover department, the GMC Acadia will benefit from a new look scheduled for the 2012 edition of the full-size people mover. It will also shift to a smaller 3.0-liter V-6 engine. The full-size, truck-based GMC Yukon and GMC Yukon XL models will remain full frame designs that stay true to their rugged roots. Rumors of GMC's interest in moving the Yukon to the same platform as the Acadia in order to maximize fuel mileage across the lineup will not come to fruition. The large SUV will receive a redesign in 2014, but it will not stray from its current symbiotic relationship with the Sierra pickup truck.
Overall corporate fuel efficiency for GMC will be improved, however, when the compact GMC Granite (pictured above) crossover finally makes it into production as a 2013 model. The vehicle is aimed at younger car buyers, and is part of a revitalization movement designed to draw the interest of the youth market towards the traditionally commercial and family-oriented brand. The Granite also allows GMC to prepare for the possibility of increased fuel prices - an issue that the company's current truck-heavy lineup is in no way capable of meeting head-on.
Missing from this snapshot of GMC's future lineup is the GMC Canyon mid-size pickup truck. The vehicle will not persist in its current form past 2012 at the very latest, and there are currently no plans to replace the slow-selling truck in the United States. This is despite GM's intention to continue to market an all-new Chevrolet-branded mid-size truck internationally.