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Sources: GM TrailBlazer and Envoy Will Be Gone by 2010

Date posted: 07-06-2006

DETROIT — Amid an industry move away from midsize SUVs, General Motors is planning to phase out production of its midsize Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy utility vehicles by 2010.

GM earlier this year killed the long-wheelbase versions of those two midsize SUVs because of slumping sales. The automaker had planned an extensive redesign of the standard TrailBlazer and Envoy for early 2008, suppliers sources told Inside Line, but more recently has shelved that overhaul and canceled requests for tooling bids.

Now, sources say, the company is likely to continue building the current models in Moraine, Ohio, until demand dwindles to the point that it is no longer feasible to keep the assembly plant running. Through May, sales of the TrailBlazer were down 18 percent and Envoy down 27 percent from the previous year.

GM also plans to kill companion models, including the Buick Rainier and the Saab 9-7X, in 2007, and replace them with car-based crossovers. The Enclave will supplant the Rainier in spring 2007, while a new model that shares its underpinnings with the next-generation Chevrolet Equinox and Saturn Vue could be added to Saab's portfolio in late 2007.

The Envoy will be replaced, to some extent, by the upcoming Acadia crossover, which makes its debut in late 2006; it is built on the same platform as the Buick Enclave and the Saturn Outlook. Chevrolet is expected to get a companion crossover model in 2008 that will be positioned above the Equinox in size and price.

What this means to you: Like much of the competition, GM is moving increasingly from truckish midsize SUVs to car-based CUVs. But the big boys like the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon still exist.

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