By on July 22, 2020

Putting aside your author’s own predilection for traditional sedans (a kink shared by many a TTAC resident, but fewer and fewer buyers), one can understand why General Motors canned its Chevrolet Sonic, Cruze, Volt, and Impala, and why Buick stands to become a utility-only brand come 2021.

Less understandable, especially after last week, is why one newish model arrived in its present form. And it seems some people at GM are wondering that, too.

As soon as the fawning over the 2021 Ford Bronco began, so did the collective dumping on what could have been its rival: the Chevrolet Blazer. It’s not the Bronco’s rival, of course. The Jeep Wrangler is.

The Blazer, which arrived for the 2019 model year, marches to the beat of a different drum. Eschewing its heritage, unlike the Bronco and Wrangler, the Blazer returned to life as a crossover built atop a front-drive passenger car platform. Filling the significant CUV gap between the Equinox and sizable Traverse made sense (Ford has the Edge, after all), but using the Blazer name for this entry rubbed many purists and history buffs the wrong way. Many felt that, unless the model in question was a body-on-frame SUV with real off-road chops, resurrecting the Blazer name was inappropriate.

We remarked on it then, and the griping continues to this day. It continues in the pages of The Detroit News, too.

While one can understand a company with no intent to offer up a rival in the dedicated off-road SUV space choosing to get some mileage out of its history by dusting off a familiar nameplate for a new CUV, it also locks a company into its current direction. Better not change product plans, as that name’s now out of commission.

Image: GM

Columnist and associate business editor Daniel Howes offered up the usual lament for what might have been re: Blazer, but the surprising takeaway from his piece is that apparently GM’s leadership might feel the same way. That’s the claim.

In describing the overwhelming enthusiasm for the history-steeped Bronco and GM’s decision to sit out that battle, Howes writes:

A winning strategy it’s not, if only in the never-ending PR battle. The mountain of pre-orders for Michigan-made, compact Broncos flooding Ford Motor Co. is a harsh reminder that GM’s Blazer revival as just another sporty midsize crossover, something it originally wasn’t, is shaping up to be one big missed opportunity. No less than CEO Mary Barra, I’m told, tersely reminded senior product planners as much in a meeting amid last week’s Bronco brouhaha.

We can’t confirm whether this inside line is a juicy nugget of pure truth, but GM, like any major automaker, doesn’t want to find itself lagging behind its biggest competitors if it can help it.

Trouble is, the Bronco belongs to a segment that grew suddenly scorching, past Wrangler success notwithstanding. To start pursuing its own off-road SUV now would lead to a terribly belated market entry for GM, as well as a product that can’t access the model name it should be able to lay claim to. The heat could easily have died down by then, too. And besides, GM’s future isn’t something that’s just scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin (regardless of how some readers might feel about the company’s electric ambitions). There’s a structured plan afoot, just as there’s a cost-cutting strategy. There’s also a pandemic and a concurrent recession underway. Money isn’t plentiful right now.

GM could choose to make use of the frame underpinning the next-generation Chevy Colorado, but there’s no word on any green light for such a product, or even corporate musings related to the hypothetical beast.

Still, it’s interesting to hear that the person who’s led GM since 2014 reacted in such a manner (or at all) following the Bronco’s debut.

[Image: Ford, General Motors]

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75 Comments on “After Ford Bronco Reveal, Is GM Ablaze With Envy?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I don’t want to hear it. For the last 20 years both GM and Ford sat on the sidelines watching Jeep walk away with all the money for this segment. Ford finally woke-up and provided the world with a viable alternative in the Bronco. GM as usual phoned it in with the Blazer. So, Mary is pi$$ed? She wreaks of incompetence

    Hey, Mary, I have an idea that will make GM the automotive leader it once was…

    Tail fins!

    You don’t have to thank me, just trying to help :)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Naah, they didn’t phone it in with the current Blazer – it’s a butched-up family SUV that will never go a foot off pavement, and that’s exactly what it’s been since the early ’80s.

      If anything, I think it’s a pretty clever take on the Nissan Murano, which was a pretty desirable vehicle at one time. And, as people are pointing out, it’s selling, and that’s the bottom line.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        ” it’s selling”

        For the life of me I can’t figure out why, maybe Mary got the Russians to interfere and Moscow is lousy with them :)

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Circa 2005 or so, when I could have really used a bigger family car with a hatch and AWD, I’d have given the Blazer a look – I like the styling, particularly in the sportier trims. It strikes me as “Dad’s CUV.”

          The MSRP is stupid, but that’s before the inevitable GM giveaway deal – and you can pick one up for low-30s around here with a six, leather and nav. That ain’t bad. I can see why people are buying them.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I wont claim to be someone who this segment is really aimed at, I’m not. However, in my view, is the Blazer really that storied a nameplate that people would be clamoring to own one if it was done right? I don’t think so. It seems to me that Bronco and Jeep have a much bigger following.

      It also seems to me that if GM were to do this, they would have better marketing success selling it as a Hummer than a Blazer. That is just my take on it. I don’t think GM had the history or springboard to do with the Blazer in a similar fashion to what Ford did with the Bronco. Period.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Lie2me _ I do suspect that the commonly held belief at the Big 3 board rooms what that the various off-road segments weren’t large enough for competition.

      Case in point: Ford Raptor – no direct competitor. Colorado ZR2 – no direct “domestic” competitor, Ram Power Wagon – no direct competitor until 2020 Ford Tremor but Ford hedged its bets by offering the package on 1 ton trucks (which is the only variant I’ve seen in Canada). Same can be said for the Jeep Wrangler.

      It usually takes up to 5 years to develop a new model. When did the “rugged SUV” fad kick in?

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Making GM an automotive leader would need to start by showing this incompetent clown the door.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM either needs to go away or just become Chinese. I have purchased mostly new GM products over the past 45 years but I doubt I will ever purchase another GM product. I might purchase another Ford but I am more likely to purchase a new Toyota, Honda, Kia, or Hyundai. FCA is another brand I will avoid anything German or British since I avoid high maintenance vehicles.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    If GM tries something like the Bronco now I’m sure it will be cynical and half-a$$ed.

    (Source: GM product history since about 1970.)

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      So much this. GM plays catch up, usually cheapens the heck out of the finished product; only to fix the bad things and then cut it.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      That’s not entirely true. GM will work on it during the production run and have an update that makes it respectable/competitive so they can cut it the next model year.

      Or best case scenario the update turns things around enough that there is a second generation, but it will be clear GM learned all the wrong lessons about what people liked about the first generation/segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @PrincipalDan – GM’s best option would be to resurrect the Avalanche. Make a full-sized truck based short wheel based SUV with a removable 2 piece canopy and a mid-gate to turn it into a trucklet if one so desires. They could then overlap the Wrangler, Bronco, and Gladiator with a “convertible” and even take a swipe at the Raptor.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    GM offers the Trailblazer abroad. It’s based on the Australian Colorado. The OG Trailblazer was a trim of the Blazer. This one, according to wiki, is BOF and off road capable, but looking at what I am reading, not quite as off road capable as the Bronco or Wrangler.

    While I am certain a straight up captive import is highly unlikely, can anyone here who is/was in the industry tell me what’s to stop GM from using that basic platform as the basis to build a Trailblazer here in North America that is more inline with the Wrangler and Bronco? How long would that take?

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      They’d need a new name at the very least. I wonder if Jimmy is still available.

      • 0 avatar
        markmeup

        welp, some glad of it, and others… not so much.

        but yeah, at 95yo he= def still truckin’ along. guess one would need ask Roz on the ‘available’ part though

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      There are typically yuge issues with “homologation” when attempting to adopt a ‘global’ platform for the U.S. market. It takes time, it takes money, it takes engineering resources [and engineers are busy posting on TTAC]. It often is deemed to be not worth it.

  • avatar
    Mackey

    Its hard to believe Barra could be upset at anyone else for this missed opportunity. Is she trying to pretend like it was a surprise to her that this happened? Every arm chair auto expert and non-expert has seen this coming, from both the product segment and marketing aspect.

    GM has the ZR2/Bison that could have offered an extremely capable underpinning for a top notch offroader- the platform existed all along.

    To not field a product at all is one thing. To offer one completely different and cut off a future opportunity is intentional self-harm, and anyone involved in the branding and marketing of the Blazer (including those who approved it- e.g. Barra) should be facing significant pressure to justify or resign.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Related: What models of GM cars of past and present were truly class leading? These days I’ll give them the Corvette, especially the latest C8.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      If you go back 60-70 years there were plenty, GM had 50% of the world auto market post WWII. They’ve been riding on that ever since

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yup. GM got bit in the a$$ with the Corvair, aluminum V8 in the 60s, Vega in the 70s… etc. They became a conservative bunch of accountants who preferred mediocrity over innovation.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      – Suburban
      – Yukon XL
      – Escalade

    • 0 avatar
      Rick Astley

      All of the GM made overhead valve V8’s of the early 50’s were an evolutionary step over the Ford Flathead V8’s. Ford Flathead V8’s were literally the only engine to run after WWII if you wanted a fast car.

      Overnight in 1949 when the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 came into the world, the power wars were comprehensively won by GM and they “won” the 1950’s power wars.

      Hemi’s started to come in there but the GM motors in any of their models were the thing to have. Even their Blue Flame inline 6’s were taking the lower speed segments over Ford.

      Things got weird (and stupid, IMHO) once the muscle cars started and I have no knowledge or interest in what happened from 1964 through about 2010 with American vehicles.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    As I’ve said on here before, I’m not immediately buying into the Bronco hype because I view the early 2000s retro Thunderbird as the warning from history. I think there’s a decent chance that the Bronco can end up living the same lifespan where it garners tons of hype upon release, Ford sells a decent amount at mark up during the first year as all the blue oval faithful who have been waiting in pins and needles for it go running to the dealer to buy one, but once everyone who wants one has one, sales dry up and it’s gone after a couple years.

    If that ends up being the case while Blazer sales hold steady right at what GM was expecting to sell and it manages to get redesigned, will the GM execs like Barra still deserve the same scorn they’re getting now?

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      While I agree that it’s likely that Ford may not be able to steal too many sales from Jeep, I don’t think it’ll end up being like the Thunderbird.

      At least this time they’re putting in effort. Decent price, good performance. Unlike the fat turd of the T-bird.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Correct, the Bronco is nothing like the retro Thunderbird. No one asked for the Thunderbird, everyone asked for the Bronco. First Editions already sold-out

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          The cautionary tale for the Bronco is not the Thunderbird, it’s the NSX, Supra, and Gladiator.

          All hyped to return for years, all selling with ADMs at first, all heavily discounted soon after the buzz wears off.

          I’m not saying this will necessarily happen. In fact I hope it doesn’t since I like the Bronco. But its premature to call something a success based on hype a year before the thing goes on sale.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’re right with a couple of caveats, the NSX and Supra are very expensive sports cars and the Gladiator is a somewhat expensive “lifestyle” vehicle. The Bronco, although niche, can and will be used as a grocery getter in in 90% of purchases. It’s also priced within reach of most people

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      Expecting GM to make a real modern Blazer worthy of the name is like going back to a one star restaurant over and over and expecting to get a really good meal. It’s not happening, it will never happen, you were lucky to get a Blazer crossover for $30k starting price with front wheel drive and a lousy 4-banger under the hood. And if you complain any more you’ll end up with a 3-banger turbo and a CVT. You will drive the front wheel drive crossover based on minivan DNA and you will like it!!!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The Blazer has been a grocery-getter with 4wd since around 1982. Does anyone besides us old farts even remember when it was “worthy”?

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          There are plenty of modded K5s used by younger offroad enthusiasts rolling around in the Everglades.

          And how is an ’82 Blazer more of a “grocery getter” versus an ’82 Bronco?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            They were both grocery getters, and that’s my point – the key factor with any vehicle is execution. If it has a “heritage” name, then great, but having a “heritage” name isn’t necessarily critical – Ford recently bombed with the names “Thunderbird” and “Continental,” which have heritage out the a**. They were the wrong cars, wrong time, with so-so execution.

            Off road enthusiasts are like car enthusiasts – they respond to performance, just in a different context. If Chevy made a real off roader, they’d take a look.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      The problem with the Thunderbird is that the only people who remembered the 50’s Thunderbirds were also very retro themselves (old timers). So there was no demand for that T-Bird from the bulk of working age car buyers. The Bronco enters a large market of truck buying, SUV buying consumers, so it should have a much better chance of success.

      • 0 avatar
        Runfromcheney

        While the retro Thunderbird is today remembered as a flop, it actually sold over 30,000 units during its first year on the market. It looked at first like Ford had really delivered something, but in its second year sales halved to 16,000 and continuously declined until Ford ended production in summer 2005. Once everyone who wanted one had one, Ford couldn’t maintain interest.

        Many people who buy Wranglers just want the name and to be a “Jeeper”. Will they even look at the Bronco given that it’s a name that’s been dormant for 25 years and doesn’t offer the same social status? Outside of the car blogosphere asking Wrangler customers to consider the Bronco will almost be like asking how many loyal Mercedes-Benz customers will be willing to consider a Genesis.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Most buyers are more concerned about looking rugged than scraping sliders on rocks or headlight deep water crossings. With that being said, the Bronco’s success does hinge on its actual off-road abilities since posers want to be able to brag about what their rig can do.
      I know a few Jeep guys tired of all of the mechanical problems with their rides. The bigfoot er Sasquatch package has them interested since it is all factory. Suspension issues can be a warranty nightmare if the OEM dealer blames the lift kit or the aftermarket builder blames the OEM. I’ve seen that play out with a buddy’s Jeep.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick Astley

      Ironically, i’m pretty interested in the new Bronco, and own a 1961 Thunderbird (plus a ’51 Fleetline). I’ve literally never been interested in a vehicle that has off-road capabilities (or pretenses, as 99% of them are) and am a self professed “car, not SUV/CUV” guy. Bronco has peaked my interest in converting to having offroad adventures that the vehicle in Black Diamond trim can capably tackle a few times a year.

      The Bronco has massive appeal to a huge segment of people who view Jeep people the same as they view Toyota Tacoma people: Capable vehicles, but I wouldn’t want to be associated to their ass-hattery nature or deal with their “people” on forums for information.

      Bronco could and should be 90% of Jeep’s offroad nature, and 400% of the on-road nature with some comforts and styling and it will be a literal hit for many years and many sales.

      It doesn’t seem Ford aimed at the Jeep as it’s literal target, but it’s spiritual target, and possibly hit one out of the park with it.

  • avatar

    I’m sure Ms. Barra, having lived her entire adult life inside the General’s walls, is intimately familiar with the history of what became the 1969 K5 Blazer/Jimmy.

    THEY STARTED DESIGNING A JEEP/SCOUT/BRONCO COMPETITOR AND THEN CHANGED TO A FULL-SIZE PICKUP DERIVATIVE.

    So GM has NEVER, EVER played in the Jeep/Bronco sandbox, and the S10/S15 Blazers/Jimmys and captive Trackers that came along later were similar in size only.

    I’m sure the Bronco family will be a hit.

    Meanwhile people are buying Blazers and the ones I’ve spoken with LOVE them.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “Meanwhile people are buying Blazers and the ones I’ve spoken with LOVE them.”

      Why? What’s so special about them over any of dozens of CUVs?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @Lie2: The new Blazer is really a quite nice vehicle; probably the best mid-sized crossover available from any brand. BUT… it is not a Blazer any anything but name. It is much more comfortable than the two (three) models below it and is a true example of what GM can do, if they set their minds to it. Honestly, I would wish that the Colorado had been based on this size rather than the so-much-larger Traverse (which is listed as Full Sized by some sources.) Yes, I know the Colorado is BoF and the Traverse isn’t; I’m talking physical dimensions, not platform here. I will also note that the starting price of the Blazer is significantly higher than the two (three) smaller models but only $1,000 cheaper than the Traverse, which happens to be less comfortable for being larger.

        If Chevy were smart, they would drop both the Trax and the Equinox and not replace them. The Trailblazer can easily replace the Trax while the Blazer’s starting price could be reduced to fit the middle of the Equinox’s price range with only minor trim changes.

        But again, the Blazer name has lost its original meaning and I don’t see any way to restore it. Not without even more controversy than GM can really afford.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d say GM DID play in the “Jeep sandbox” – remember Hummer? It didn’t work out well for them (bad timing, mainly).

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      They are buying them, but people are buying the Explorer, Edge, Grand Cherokee, Highlander, Pilot and Traverse in Larger numbers per the Q1 data.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The Blazer is a niche vehicle – think Nissan Murano, before it was assaulted with an ugly stick.

        The only real fault I can find with it is a stupid-high MSRP, but after incentives, they’re not bad deals – you can pick one up around here with a six, AWD, leather and nav for low-$30s money. That ain’t bad for a good-looking family hauler with AWD and lots of goodies.

        I’d certainly pop for that over a similarly priced RAV4 or CR-V.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          How is it Niche? It is a 4 door midsized crossover. It lives in the biggest “niche” of vehicles sold that doesn’t have a bed on the back. If anything something like the Grand Cherokee is far more niche, yet it outsells it.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The niche is “stylized two-row midsize CUVs”. Examples: Nissan Murano, VW Atlas Cross, and the upcoming Toyota Venza. They’re aimed at people who want a CUV but don’t want something “vanilla” like an Equinox or Edge. I expect to see more of this kind of vehicle.

            GM’s volume seller in the segment is clearly the Equinox, which is kind of a neither-nor size-wise – not quite as big as an Edge, not quite as small as a CR-V.

            I’d also say the Grand Cherokee is something of a niche vehicle too, given that it’s RWD and is skewed more at actual off-roading.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I guess I just don’t see the styling. It looks more like the Santa Fe I just unloaded to me than any of those vehicles you mention and If it is transacting in the 30’s, that is where the normal “nonstylized” players in that segment live (Edge, Passport, etc) so I am not sure people are buying that marketing. They may have wanted to set it up with a premium on the styling, but if it is low 30’s with the 6, people aren’t willing to pay more than an Edge for them and less than the 2 row imports.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            To me, these vehicles are all characterized by lower-looking rooflines and a slant-back rear window. Compared to one of these, a current (or older) Santa Fe, or Edge, looks pretty boxy.

            What I mainly like about the Blazer is that you can get it with a six, and from what I’ve read, the handling dynamics are solid. I also like the interior styling quite a bit.

            But all of this is YMMV, of course.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    41,870 Chevy Blazers 1st half of 2020 U.S. sales. GM is laughing all the way to the bank. If GM needs an off-roader, they could call it GMC Hummer H3

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    When the new Blazer came out, I believe GM knew it had made a mistake by giving that vehicle the name, though they needed the name to create the buzz for the vehicle as any other name would have made it merely another crossover. I will admit I like the new Blazer for what it is but I don’t like GM for giving it that name.

    I think now that GM realizes just how big a mistake they made because now, to put it simply, they have to create an all-new vehicle that will have no connection to the Blazer’s “legendary” past (even if the former Blazer wasn’t all that Legendary.) And no, GM destroyed the Hummer brand similarly as the only Hummer with any off-road chops worth speaking about was the H1, directly taken from the military HMMWV, a much larger vehicle than any of the jeeps before it. Something that large has no chance of being ‘competitive’ with the new Bronco and current Wrangler models.

    And I personally think that attempting to re-brand the current Blazer as a “Blazer Sport” in order to re-create a more boxy, off-road centric version, would end up making a bad situation even worse. GM blew it two years ago and their smartest move now would be to build off the Colorado as their ONLY choice. But even the Colorado is too big, which is something I’ve complained about for over six years now.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Mary Barra wakes up on July 14 to discover that her company has squandered a historic model name, as if she wasn’t aware of the development of the current Blazer. The Bronco has been hyped for the last several years. GM had plenty of time to choose a different name for their latest anonymous crossover.

    At this point I would tell GM not to bother. They came to market with their Ford Edge competitor 13 YEARS after the Edge debuted, and did so with a meh product. At the speed GM moves, they would take 10 years to come out with a Bronco competitor, and it would probably be behind the times when it got here.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Yeah, GM seems to be out of step with what the market wants quite a lot for the past few years. I never understood why, during the diesel mini revival of 2006-2015, they chose to bring the 2.0 Opel diesel engine and offer it in a Chevy Cruze. That was a decent engine with good specs that would have sold better in a true midsize car such as the Malibu or the Impala. Arguably, some people say it was a better engine than VW’s. I really wanted one but the Chevy Cruze was too small for my needs at that time. Also, the addition to the Cruze made the vehicle too expensive. A Chevy Cruze for $26,000 in 2013 was a decent amount of money. There were some takers sure, hardcore diesel guys desilusioned by VW quality problems but most people wanted a bigger vehicle. Well, what does GM do..a little to late though, after the population soured on diesel? Offers a smaller diesel engine ( 1.6l I believe) in the new body style Cruze which was appropriate but diesels time was gone by now. They compound the mistake by also adding the same engine into a relatively decent size SUV, The Chevy Equinox and its GMC cousin. Now of course, they were underpowered and no one wanted them.
    A few years later, they stop the production of The Impala, which as GM goes, isn’t a bad car, but they keep the Malibu ( just drove a rental 2020 for 1200 miles and it wasn’t pleasant).
    Also, instead of being at the forefront of the new BOF SUV craze with the Blazer, they miss the opportunity. I am not even trying to get into Cadillac which has been a mess for the past 15 years. Deadweight came hard on GM most of the time, but about 80% of the time he was right on the money. By the way, where is Deadweight?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’d say GM should develop a Jeep-fighter. Why not? Clearly there’s a market, and they have experience with off-roaders – remember Hummer?

    Give it a shot. And who cares if it’s called “Blazer” or not? Let’s face it – “Miami Vice” hit the air around the same time that Blazers started being little more than butched-up family SUVS that never go off road. The days of the “real” off-road Blazers are long, long gone.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “And who cares if it’s called “Blazer” or not?”

      I do. GM squandered a good name.

      It’s not like the history of “Bronco” is much different. The “Jeep” style version that this new one invokes was gone in ’77. After that it became a full-size SWB SUV until ’96. The Chevy K5 lasted until ’91.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, they haven’t been making Broncos since the mid-’90s, and the last ones were fairly legit off-road vehicles, so it went into the sunset with some cred among off-roaders.

        Meanwhile, Blazers have been Mom’s Own Family SUV for almost 30 years, with the current iteration being a lifted family sedan, ala Nissan Murano. Yes, some people remember the “real” off-road Blazers, but most just remember them as Mom-mobiles.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Mike, the Blazer you’re picturing is the S-10 Blazer, equivalent to the Bronco II and Explorer. You’re right to say this vehicle wasn’t much more than a family SUV.

          But the K5 full size was produced until it was renamed Tahoe in the early 90s, and the 2 door version wasn’t discontinued until ’99. These were the direct competition for the 78-96 full size Broncos and were their equal off road.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I forget were those S-10 Blazers (Jimmy) any good? They were ugly as sin, but I still see them limping along

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’ve heard mixed things. Generally it seems like they aren’t especially “reliable” but they are quite “repairable” so it is easy to keep them going compared to a GMT360 or 3rd gen Explorer or certain imports. They are also cheaper to buy than an XJ Cherokee.

            Off-road they seem about equal to a modern Cherokee.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Jack:
            True, and I know the “big” Blazer was still being produced along the S-10, but as a consumer, when I think Blazers of that era, I think of the S-10, mainly because they were so common.

            Same can be said of the Bronco, I suppose – they had the smaller version as well – but then again, Ford had the advantage of O.J. Simpson…and after that everyone *knew* what a Bronco was.

            So, again, as a consumer who’s pretty knowledgeable about the car biz, if I think “off-roader,” I think Bronco before I think Blazer. Maybe that’s not rational, but that’s marketing for you. YMMV, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            MRF 95 T-Bird

            My dad bought a new 91 S-10 Blazer 2 door Tahoe trim in 1990 for around $18k. The 91 had come out earlier that year in the spring. It had the 4.3 which was better than the 2.8 on previous years, The 4.3 had a growl to it with a fair amount of torque.
            The only issues he had with it was the white paint like many cars of the era managed to decompose and peel after a couple of years. He managed to wrangle a fresh respray from the dealer. After around 40-50k the front suspension bushings wore out prematurely so he had them done. Other than that it was reliable for 20 years and 200k and sold it.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “shaping up to be one big missed opportunity. No less than CEO Mary Barra, I’m told, tersely reminded senior product planners as much in a meeting”

    Put the LT1 into the CT4 and CT5.

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    The original Blazer was built off a shortened C/K-Series full-size truck. Removable top on the original, blah-blah-blah. When it gained 4 doors, it was renamed Tahoe. The 2-door models (which weren’t selling) were discontinued. So, technically, the Blazer has been available all along, it’s just been renamed Tahoe. To be true to its roots, they should re-introduce the shortened 2-door version. Just a big size-class jump up from the Wrangler/Bronco class. GM never really played in that class.

    I do agree that the current Blazer (a worthy Murano competitor despite those craptastic engine options) shouldn’t have been called Blazer. There are SO MANY vehicle names in the GM archives that could have been dusted off to create a “lifestyle image” that it’s a real shame they used “Blazer.”

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    GM sold 59,000 Blazers in 2019 v. 243,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 138,000 Ford Edges. Jeep also sold 228,000 Wranglers. So I don’t think the regret is an either/or matter.

    GM was always going to offer a 2 row mid-size SUV in the same vein as the Grand Cherokee, Edge, or forthcoming Toyota Venza. The issue is that GM had a name with credibility if it wanted to get into the segment with the Wrangler. Toyota jumped in (and out) with the FJ and now Ford with the Bronco. GM would have to either use HUMMER, which they have committed to EV vehicles (and may find a niche in this segment), or dig around for another relevant name. Start looking at the trim levels in prior GM trucks, which is where Silverado and Sierra came from.

    IMO, they could have named the current Blazer as a Monte Carlo as these 2 row CUVs are the modern day personal luxury coupe.

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    Since the Blazer name isn’t available for a Wrangler/Bronco fighter, they could send a product like this to “Professional-Grade” GMC dealers and call it the Jimmy. Very few people will remember the original Jimmy’s, but it’s there, and finally would give GMC an exclusive product (instead of just fancy Chevy’s).

  • avatar
    Gravy

    Ford Bronco uses new BOF platform = Chevy BLAZER on existing or new BOF platform
    Ford Bronco Sport used Escape platform = Rename newer CUV Blazer as Blazer SPORT

  • avatar
    Mike TowpathTraveler

    GM and Suzuki had a partnership thing going that gave us Geo. Why can’t GM explore that partnership again as Suzuki has a vehicle in their lineup that a large bunch of United States enthusiasts want……the Suzuki Jimny; but can’t get since Suzuki left the US market a few years back. A modern Samurai for today’s short wheelbase off roaders. I think it would be a surefire winner for GM and Suzuki and it could be sold in Chevy showrooms.

    GM never had a true Bronco competitor. But Suzuki created it’s own niche with the Samurai and judging by the comments of readers when the Jimny was shown to the public, it’s clear there is a market for it here. GM has the dealer floor space to show these vehicles and it would bring in those folks who want to go off roading, but not at prices ranging from the low 30’s to 60k+ for those Ford’s……

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    With Ford doing such a poor job on the big Bronco II and Baby Bronco, I don’t think GM has anything to worry about. As long as the Blazer can roll off the assembly line without needing immediate repairs they are ahead of Ford.

    Although by that metric so is Tesla…and they build absolute garbage.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Mary the clown is in top form in taking GM to new heights of mediocrity so this is really rich coming from someone who couldn’t steer a canoe without screwing up.

    And the greatest hits just keep coming. Promises of an all electric future. Promises of triple zero fantasy. Turning Buick into a frump mobile CUV only brand for NA. Removing the one bright spot for it’s compact twins the Nox and Terrain by killing off the 2.0 turbo option and also the diesel. Bringing out the once formally second best selling pickups with dud 8 speed transmissions and cheap interiors and thus relegating it to third place in the sales race. The Blazer name fiasco. Keeping the outdated Trax and Encore with 138 HP first generation Cruze engines when the superior 155 horse version was available and then dropping it, mileage ratings that somehow keep dropping on many newly introduced models, plans to kill off everything but a slow selling Bolt and the clown car Spark despite the fact that the Malibu, Cruze and Impala all outsold both of them and the disaster that is called Cadillac which I’m too tired and bored to get into at this point.

    Just announced yesterday, the highest trim level Silverado gets downgraded to the wonderful 8 speed transmission because GM is having issues getting a part needed for the 10 speed. Meanwhile Ford has no trouble supplying 10 speed automatics to all but the basic stripper 3.3 V6 equipped F-150’s. Too bad they caught the same disease as GM and killed off everything but the Mustang in there car line.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    Need an idea GM? You designed and sold one of the best looking pick ups in the history of pick ups. The 1967 to 1972 Chevy, GMC C/K10, 20 series. Make your current generation of either the ugly new full size or the mediocre… I mean medium Colorado pick ups short lived and design a modern take on the C/K series from that time frame. This look / platform could chain out into a refreshed Blazer that would be closer in spirit to what the public actually wanted. One request would be to source a smaller percentage of the parts from China and come to the table with a quality product that really sets the bar. Until then, or until International Harvester reincarnates itself, I’m waiting eagerly to get my hands on one of these Broncos. Ford really knocked the cover off the ball with this one.

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