By on December 27, 2018

2009 GMC Envoy Denali

Someone at General Motors has been studying the company history books again. Fresh news earlier this year taught us the company is bringing back the storied Blazer nameplate, appending it to a FWD-based crossover in a move that disappointed some fans but will surely delight GM beancounters as they’ll probably sell every one they can make to a crossover-thirsty public, the majority of whom care not one whit about the old body-on-frame machine.

A trademark application uncovered by a GM Inside News forum poster suggests GM could be poised to bring back another well-known badge. This time, it is GMC’s turn to plumb their collective memory for a popular name. The lead image above gives you all the clues you need as to which one it may be.

GMC’s current portfolio overlaps like roofing shingles, at least from a pricing perspective. The little Terrain starts at $25k and runs into the low-30s, at which point the Acadia picks things up and carries it well north of $40,000 before the Yukon appears at the fifty-large mark. Denali versions of either rig plant their Monroneys squarely in the larger vehicle’s camp.

However, the Acadia is only theoretically available at the $29,000 price point. That SL model, complete with front-wheel drive and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, is harder to find on the ground than unopened Christmas presents on the 26th. Sure, this three-row rig (available in a grand total of two colors: white and silver) exists on paper, but dealers are much more likely to stock higher-margin SLE and SLT trims, not to mention the zooty Denali.

This leaves a two-row, Edge/Murano sized hole in the lineup. What to do? If you’re GMC, a smart play is to dust off the old Envoy nameplate, engineer some corporate front and rear styling that’ll fit on the new front-drive-based Blazer, and put it on sale ASAP. That’s your author’s bet as to where the Envoy nameplate will eventually land.

The old Envoy, you’ll recall, was a originally a variation on the truckish, S-10-based Jimmy of the late ‘90s. After binning that model around Y2K, a stand-alone Envoy appeared in 2002. Sharing much with the Chevy TrailBlazer, it was marketed as an upscale SUV, particularly in Denali trim.

2004 GMC Envoy XUV

Two variants showed up in the form of XL and XUV models. The XL was actually longer than the Yukon of the day, with a raised rear roof cleverly disguised by a roof rack. The XUV answered a question no one asked with its retractable rear roof that turned the cargo area into an open quasi-pickup bed. It delighted movers of grandfather clocks and tall houseplants but that was about all it did. Kudos to GMC for trying, though.

Rumours exist of a second body-on-frame SUV appearing out of the GM woodwork, as well, but that speculation does not seem to line up with what we know of The General’s product plans, nor does it align well with current consumer tastes. Having a lineup of three or four unibodied crossovers of varying capacity and capability topped with a BoF halo model seems to be the ticket, at least for now.

[Images: GMC]

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16 Comments on “Envoy to the Horde: GMC Trademarks a Name From Its Past...”

  • avatar

    With Mary at the lead I don’t think anyone expects to be surprised by anything GM pushes out at us.

  • avatar

    Since it’s just GM in general making the trademark application, hasn’t it occurred to anyone that it’d make far more sense to use the Envoy name as a Buick?

    Encore, Envision, Envoy, Enclave. They also have a major gap in their lineup between the compact Envision and minivan-substitute Enclave. It’d still be a rebadged Blazer. Also isn’t the Blazer basically a rebadged Acadia with 2 rows to begin with, since the Traverse and Enclave are now quite a lot larger?

    No one has positive memories of the GMC Envoy so very few would care if it was used on a Buick crossover.

    • 0 avatar

      This makes a lot of sense – as Buick gets rid of all their cars, give something to the dealers to make them happy. Let’s just hope they don’t resort to rushing a rebadged Blazer to market.

    • 0 avatar

      “Since it’s just GM in general making the trademark application, hasn’t it occurred to anyone that it’d make far more sense to use the Envoy name as a Buick?”

      I think that Buick is probably going to revive “Electra” as the name for their version of the new Blazer.

    • 0 avatar

      An excellent point. Would make a lot of sense.

      Although, I do believe it would do better as a GMC. Buick is on life support.

    • 0 avatar

      So, what will the next En**** model name be?

      For the ex-wife: Entitlement
      Full sized model: Enchilada
      For the military recruiter: Enlistee
      George Jetson GMC: Encapsule
      For law enforcement use only: the GMC Enforcer
      For the MD: GMC Endoscope
      For the GM accountant: Enumerate
      For the henpecked hubby who has to special-order it in rose gold: GMC Enfeeble
      For the young lovers: Enrapture
      For the pontifical pederast: the Encyclical
      For university fundraisers: the Endowment
      For the mother of quadruplets: the Enclosure
      For the farm-to-fork agrarian: the Endive
      To auto enthusiasts, it could only be the GMC Ennui
      What we really want: the GMC Enchantress

  • avatar

    CUV all the things while killing sedans… Duh

  • avatar

    Groan. Instead of Envoy they should make Denali a vehicle unto itself and then offer a Denali Denali edition. Think of the profits!

    (Note to GM: If this actually happens I’m having this post notarised and I’ll take the settlement money in US dollars.)

  • avatar

    What a terrible name from a truly wretched vehicle to bring back. Should work out well for a company thats tanking.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Keep the name, but feel free to bring back the Atlas I6. Put it in something like an ATS and I’d consider GM again

  • avatar

    GM has had a horrible last few years. They built the best large car they ever had with the Impala, the best compact with the Cruze and a decent mid with the Malibu but the end of the age of cars caught up with them. I drove an ATS while vacationing in California and it was a delight but with a terrible interior. Same with the excellent Camaro, with a more terrible interior. Was looking forward to the new Silverado and although I do like the exterior styling, for the most part, (the front end is terrible) and again, the interior is the absolute worse in ANY segment. Interior materials are sub-par in all of their vehicles and the switchgear is laughable as well. I just drove a new Buick Tour-x and found it a very nice car, but the interior materials let it down. Can’t pull the trigger. My grandson has a 2015 Regal and the interior fit and finish are remarkable. The Silverado is going to bring GM down if not fixed immediately. To stave off a disaster, they need to put their new 2.7 into the Canyon and Colorado until the can turn around the Silverado. Barra needs to go or she needs to fire the entire engineering and design team responsible for EVERY SINGLE INTERIOR of their vehicles.

  • avatar

    Ah, the old Envoy XUV. The perfect vehicle for my pet giraffe, if I had a pet giraffe.

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