With global appetite for SUVs showing no signs of slowing down, General Motors is reportedly preparing to capitalise with a brace of new high-riding SUVs and crossovers for its US brands.
And there's potential for one of those new models to make its way across the Pacific to Australia, where it could be sold as a replacement for the Holden Captiva 7.
According to The Detroit Bureau, GM is currently looking at adding a new SUV model to sit between the existing Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse, with the former being pushed down in size and the latter moving up to make way.
With the Equinox measuring in at a shade over 4.7m long, a new model designed to sit in its place could prove an ideal successor to the 4673mm-long Captiva 7 (below) - at least in terms of footprint. Whether GM intends for its new Chevy SUV to be built in RHD is not yet known.
But when it comes to vehicle sourcing, Holden says its options are open - and include the United States.
Speaking to The Motor Report last year, Holden's Executive Director of Sales Peter Keley said the company's ability to source overseas product wasn't necessarily limited to Europe and Asia:
"The good thing about Holden is that we're not locked in anywhere," he said. "we can take product from the US, Europe, anywhere."
However currency may be a limiting factor. With the Australian dollar currently only buying 71 US cents (though somewhat stabilising since values started to slip south from 95 US cents in mid-2014), Holden's buying power in the 'States is constrained.
Other factors that will determine whether the as-yet-unnamed model has a future in Australia is the presence of a seven-seat configuration and the availability of a diesel engine - both regarded as crucial for success in the large SUV segment in this country.
The Chevy Equinox has neither, while the Traverse offers seven seats across three rows in a 2-2-3 configuration but with a petrol-only powertrain lineup.
That said, the Toyota Kluger manages to dominate with petrol-only power and the 2016 Mazda CX-9 (above) will only be available with a turbocharged petrol engine. Not having a diesel may not necessarily be a handicap.
Chevrolet's new SUV will be built on the same platform as the Cadillac XT5, which made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November (pictured at top and below).
Meanwhile, the Buick Envision (below) mid-size SUV is preparing to enter the US market after a successful debut in the Chinese market - interestingly, all Envisions for the USA will be sourced from GM's Chinese plants.
Sized slightly longer and 5cm narrower than the now-discontinued Holden Captiva 5, the Envision would be well-suited to step in as Holden's medium-sized SUV offering.
Indeed, with the Opel Antara - Europe's version of the Captiva 5 - expected to be replaced by the Envision sometime this year, odds are high that it will find its way Down Under too. We'll have to wait and see if Chevy's upcoming large SUV will follow in its footsteps.
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