By June 2018, General Motors, we were invited to an unveiling of importance, on the side of Atlanta Georgia. We promised as a nice surprise, but, it was said, too, a revolution in the world of midsize SUVS.
A few days before the trip, the information flowed. We may learn the great return of the Blazer, the 4×4 so loved by fans that had timidly finished his career in 2005.
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Of course, my colleagues and I imagined the return of an authentic all-terrain, coming to compete with the popular Jeep Wrangler, a little, as had been the Blazer of the 70’s and 80’s in the face of the Dodge Ramcharger, Ford Bronco, Jeep Cherokee, and the International Scout. It must be said that Jeep, the only one in its niche, it ran out in 2018 not less than 265 000 Wrangler at the north american level. A smashing success, considering moreover that this model preserves on the used market an excellent resale value, and it is also the vehicle the most accessorized of the planet!
After our arrival in the enclosure, the journalist that I am immediately directed to the vehicle, then covered with a cover. This last, without revealing the product, was, however, suggest a form which was not what we expected, to the point where we wondered about his true identity.
It was a concept vehicle, another product Chevrolet that we would present ourselves before the grand unveiling? Unfortunately not, the lifting of the cover, Chevrolet unveiled its…a car. We had grafted the name Blazer to another tasteless crossover, pretending to be a competitor of the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and even the GMC Acadia, which is not sold already not very well. A formula that is too easy, in which Chevrolet and told us to come back the Camaro in the SUV. Yep!
Up to a certain point, it is easy to understand the needs of Chevrolet in front of such a vehicle, designed to fill the gap between the Equinox and Traverse. But why use a nomenclature that doesn’t fit at all with the product? And then, in the light of the limited success of this ” Cross-Blazer “, was it ultimately the right strategy to adopt?
Ford does things differently
One thing is for certain, Ford has done things in a much different way with this new family of Bronco unveiled this week. Not only is it with a product that builds directly on the first Bronco, launched at the end of years 60, but it is proposed for the first time a true competitor to the Jeep Wrangler. A product at this point innovative and desirable that it is easy to bet on the price that he will win in the next year. Truck north-american of the year ‘ award by the jury of the NACTOY (North American Car and Truck of the Year), a price which will no doubt also picked up by the magazines Motor Trend, Truck Trend, 4-Wheeler magazine, and maybe even… by the Guide of the self!
The new Bronco, which Ford risk of leverage, will likely create a situation ideal for the industry. You will be able to attract new buyers by pure passion, without, however, steal huge sales to Jeep. Because the purists Jeep will not necessarily massively at Ford.
However, the Bronco will liven up the segment, a little as did the Colorado/Canyon in 2015 the face of the category of vans in the interim. Indeed, it is from 2015, and thanks in large part to GM, that the genre has regained popularity. Even the aging pickup truck Frontier had seen its sales to climb this year, a sign that the enthusiasm for a model little even revive one of its competitors.
A missed opportunity
On second thought, it would therefore have been logical to develop the Blazer from the foundation of this pickup truck Colorado, as was done by Ford using the platform derived from the Ranger. The success would then have been at the rendezvous, which would have, however, involved development costs much higher. This was certainly the case with Ford, who has worked for the past five years to the development of the Bronco, in juchant at the center of its design studios, a model of 1966 as inspiration.
Then, using the architecture and engines with the Ford Escape, the engineers have also designed the Bronco Sport. A vehicle radically different from the Escape, and that risk certainly steal sales, but we would have to my mind been baptized Bronco II. Of course, in reference to this model of the 80’s, but also because the Bronco Sport is certainly less “Sport” than the “real” Bronco.
One thing is for certain, the Ford engineers have had to bang on the thighs by assisting as we in the unveiling of the Blazer, summer 2018. Two years later, and with only 61 000 sales in 2019, GM must admit that this strategy was not the best.
However, it is necessary to believe that in this constructor, we learn little from its mistakes, we repeat this year by affixing the name Trailblazer on a crossover urban three-cylinder engine, which aims to attract former buyers of the Chevrolet Cruze. To believe that one prefers to watch the parade instead of joining…