Early demand for the new GMC Terrain cross/utility vehicle is outstripping supply by a wide margin, and Buick GMC General Manager Susan Docherty is looking to keep it that way by taking market share away from foreign rivals.
“We have orders for three times more vehicles than we can build,” Docherty tells the Chicago-based Midwest Automotive Media Assn. “We'll probably get 10,000 units in this calendar year.”
The Terrain, sharing its architecture, powertrains and plant with the '10 Chevrolet Equinox but sporting exclusive sheet metal, is aimed at SUV owners “who don't want pain at the pump,” she says.
The Terrain is priced $6,000 below the old Envoy, and about $1,000 to $1,800 above an Equinox.
Docherty expects the Terrain's bolder, more truck-like styling to draw different buyers than the Equinox.
GMC owners tend to have higher incomes, and add about $2,000 more in equipment to a vehicle than Chevy owners do, she says. And while the Equinox is forecast to skew 65% toward female buyers, the Terrain is expected to appeal equally to both men and women, most in the 30-55 age range.
Meanwhile, Docherty says some payback is expected in overall demand due to the end of the “Cash for Clunkers” program that dramatically boosted industry sales in the U.S. the last couple of months. But GMC won't dramatically pump up incentives to soften the blow.
“You won't see us screaming deal, deal, deal as we move out of the Clunkers program and it becomes harder to sell,” she says. “Incentives will still play a role, but we've relied too heavily on selling the deal and selling $199 a month and not our quality and value and how we stack up against the competition.”