The subcompact crossover segment is one of the fastest growing in all of the automotive industry, as evidenced by a so far convincing first year of sales for the new Jeep Renegade. Other automakers are taking notice, however, and soon the Renegade will have an influx of rivals to contest in the subcompact crossover arena.
One of those automakers is GMC, who has sat on the sidelines and watched fellow General Motors’ brands Chevrolet and Buick enjoy the benefits of having the Trax and Encore available to the subcompact crossover-hungry market. Brand boss Duncan Aldred thinks GM’s truck division should be leading the way in the segment, not opting out of it, and is wondering when the brand will step up.
“That segment has grown so fast,” Aldred told Automotive News in a recent interview. “I keep telling everyone, ‘How can General Motors’ truck brand not be in the fastest-growing segment in the industry, an SUV segment?'”
Aldred, who also runs Buick, is mindful not to rob Buick of Encore sales. He realizes there may be some product overlap, but maintains that each brand must strive to be the best it can be and must not be held back by GM’s other products.
“We’ve got to build world-class brands,” Aldred said. “If the first thing we do is ask, ‘Well, hasn’t Buick got one?’ Then we’re constantly suppressing one brand for another.”
Aldred seems adamant about bringing another subcompact crossover to market, which will surely put Jeep and other automaker’s with recently released vehicles in the segment on notice, such as Honda and its new HR-V.