Could the GMC Granite Concept be the shape of things to come in the compact pickup segment?
American automakers have walked away from the once huge niche – or at least they will when Ford pulls the plug, next year, on the ancient Ranger. A new Ford bearing that name has been launched overseas but there are no plans to bring it here, the maker firmly declares.
For those who want something smaller than an F-150, Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra but want to stick with the domestics, that leaves little – make that no – option. Maybe.
“GM Design believes there is an opportunity for a small truck because nobody else is doing this right now,” says Clay Dean, the executive director of GM’s advanced global design studios.
If the Granite name sounds familiar, that’s because GMC has already used it on an edgy little crossover/SUV, which made its debut at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. Indeed, the pickup prototype has some key design features in common with the crossover concept from the nose back to the B-pillar.
Developed at the GM studio in Southern California, the Granite pickup was “designed to be modular,” according to the studio’s manager, Robb McCann.
That brings to mind some of the funky, but flexible styling exercises the now-abandoned Pontiac brand rolled out in the late 1980s and 1990s. The goal, back then, and again now, is to come up with a sort of Swiss Army Knife on wheels.