GMC’s U.S. vice president Duncan Aldred has been rather vocal lately about the upcoming plans for General Motors’ premium truck brand. While nothing completely official has been announced, Aldred has admitted to WardsAuto that the automaker does have a new vehicle coming to market and it could be here within the next 12 months. This comes on the heels of the rumored Jeep Wrangler-fighter GMC has been polling its dealer network for opinions about.

The case for such a rugged SUV grows after Aldred said in the interview, “When you look at the portfolio, you start to think, ‘What niches are there?’ You could argue a third (CUV) between the Acadia and Terrain. But there is not much space,” he says. While WardsAuto figures the new GMC vehicle is a shrunken version of the seven-passenger Acadia, that’s hard to believe considering the Acadia shares its platform with the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. A full redesign of that Lambda platform would greatly impact both Chevy and Buick’s model lineup flow.

Introducing a new vehicle seems the most practical. Either way, Aldred reassures saying GMC will not introduce a less-than-stellar product. “It’s a truck brand and it’s a premium-truck brand. We’re not going to move away from that.”

The new vehicle will help GMC achieve a slight growth, expanding its U.S. market share from three percent up to four percent within the next five years, Aldred explains. Beyond that, the growth is projected to hit five percent within 10 years.

Click past the jump to read more about GMC’s future model.

Why it matters

GMC is in an interesting spot as every one of its vehicles are rebadged versions of other General Motors products. Though GMC is marketed as a more premium brand, customers are able to buy the same vehicle at any Chevrolet Dealership, just with less standard equipment, among other things. Adding a stand-alone vehicle – especially one that’s so hotly anticipated – would do wonders for the brand. The Wrangler hasn’t had competition from GM since the death of Hummer in 2010, and now seems like the perfect time to introduce a competitor as Chrysler prepares for the next generation of Wrangler set for production in 2017.

Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is a no-nonsense off-road vehicle with a heritage that dates back to WWII. The latest Wrangler, the JK, comes in both two- and four-door versions, both offering seating for five people. The four-door Wrangler Unlimited offers more passenger comfort and cargo room, along with a more stable platform for off-roading. The standard, short-wheelbase Wrangler offers better maneuverability in tight trail situations.

Both versions come powered with Chrysler’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 making 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive comes standard, as does a six-speed manual transmission. Jeep offers a five-speed automatic as an option. Perhaps the Wrangler’s best selling point is its removable top, doors, and fold-down windshield. This brings an unparalleled level of open-top freedom to customers looking for that experience.

Prices for the Wrangler start at $22,795 and can exceed $45,000 for the Wrangler Unlimited with all the options.

Source: WardsAuto

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