GMC Envoy XUV: GM Bad Idea

GMC Envoy XUV: GM Bad Idea

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, General Motors did a lot of weird shit.  Looking back, it’s almost as if they were releasing as many strange vehicles as possible just to play chicken with financial insolvency.  Everyone remembers the heinous Pontiac Aztek and the Chevy SSR convertible pickup.  But few recall when GM hit its real low point: the 2004 GMC Envoy XUV.

The Envoy XUV was born during the unfortunate period when pickup-SUV combos were “in.”  Years from now, historians will uncover a picture of a Chevy Avalanche and consider this a low point in American history, exceeded only by the Trail of Tears.  Or that time Jimmy Carter was attacked by a swamp rabbit.

But while the Avalanche at least had cool styling, the Envoy XUV looked like a normal Envoy wearing a backpack.  It had a retractable roof over what should’ve been its cargo area, which let drivers carry tall objects normally restricted by an SUV’s ceiling.  But the rest of the XUV’s roof was fixed, so the objects couldn’t be very long.  The price premium?  $2,700.

Researching this post, I ran across a period piece from USA Today in which GM pegged the XUV’s volume target at around one-third of Envoy sales, or “around 30,000 units annually.”  Of course, the actual figures were much lower: nine grandfather clock salesmen bought them, as did three people who routinely haul saplings.

The rest of GM’s buyers stayed away in what journalists are required to call “droves.”  Interestingly, that word is something of an Envoy XUV theme, as it describes both how the XUV stacked up on dealer lots and the mass firings that must’ve taken place at GM for the vehicle ever reaching production at all.

By 2006, the Envoy XUV was gone.  Only two years later, GM finally lost its game of chicken with financial insolvency, confirming what most of us knew all along: it was losing money.  In droves.

4 Responses to “ “GMC Envoy XUV: GM Bad Idea”

  1. Pontiac 6000LE says:

    Love the picture of some neo-redneck on the highway who’s finished off a wknd of antique hunting, wiping grease onto his sleeves and hunkering down on his way back to the concrete L.A jungle as he looks at the city despisingly. Hahahahha

    • Daniel L. says:

      Hopefully complaining about the high cost of gas and how the “Max A/C” setting just isn’t as good as it used to be

  2. ChargerRT says:

    I used to have a Hispanic coworker who wanted one so bad when these were coming out. He would carry around a photo in his pocket and show it proudly to people. His main reason for wanting one was the “retractable roof” and he had another baby on the way. Not sure how that would help with the baby but that was his selling point lol. Not sure if he ever got one though.

  3. frogberg says:

    I thought this was a great idea at first. Our family had an Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon and the tailgate worked like this. Swing open like a door or put the window down and drop it like the tailgate on a pickup. Plus, the wash-out-ability of the cargo are makes sense. I think if they had stopped there and not even made it a separate model, they would have been fine. I think the partially retractable roof and stupid marketing campaign are what killed this.

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