Bronco and Blazer. Those brands roll off the tongue like Coke and Pepsi, or Mac and PC. When brands are that powerful they’re priceless. In this day of hyper marketing and bombardment of messages about all kinds of brands and products when you have something like “Kleenex” or “Big Mac,” you’ve got a gold mine. With this week’s reveal of the Ford Bronco, car enthusiasts have witnessed that power at full throttle. A brand invisible for over 20 years is now leading a sales charge like Ford hasn’t seen since 1964 and the Mustang. But this dynamic spectacle of a brand’s power also points to the travesty of what GM chose to do with the Chevy Blazer.
Chevy took the lazy route by giving it a powerful name
In a desperate stab at drawing attention to its mediocre SUV, Chevy took the lazy route by giving it a powerful name. But the product that is Blazer is no Bronco. Nor is it a Blazer. Chevy missed a golden opportunity. It could have held onto an iconic name to wait for a product worthy of being called Blazer.
Chevy already has 85% of its Bronco rival tooled. It’s called Silverado or Colorado. By using a shortened Silverado or Colorado chassis and tooling up the other 15% to make a Blazer, it could have already been on the road. It’s what they did for many a Blazer in the past. It’s part of the Blazer DNA. And it would almost have been a turn-key new model.
It squandered the Blazer’s name
Instead, it squandered the Blazer’s name. Chevy could still do it. But now there is confusion in the consumer’s eyes and minds. There are new Blazers running around that look like half of all of the other SUVs running around. There’s no continuity between the 2020 Blazer and a shortened, two-door Silverado or Colorado that is lifted with 38-inch tall all-terrain tires. Chevy: you blew it.
One of Ford’s big problems is that it takes years and years to do something like the Bronco. It took eight years from the first rumors until its debut. This gave Chevy plenty of time to conjure up a unique, Chevy-like response as it did in 1969 and the original Blazer. Not an entirely new development like the Bronco but a short off-roader sharing many of the Silverado’s or Colorado’s elan.
Short-sightedness, laziness, and arrogance are sometimes front and center at GM
From the outside, it just seems that short-sightedness, laziness, and arrogance are sometimes front and center at GM. For all of the die-hard GM people that occupy the hallowed halls there doing terrific jobs, and there are many, there are decisions and products that come from this vast resource that seems dull at best. GM is foregoing sedans for SUVs and trucks. If it wants to make up for the cars it has killed off it needs to replace those with SUVs and trucks. A proper Blazer would be a combo of both. Seems like a perfect synergy of where GM is at.
Plus it would have a worthy rival for its foes across town. Now, if it does do a shorty Silverado or Colorado it will have to start from scratch in the name category. It was set up to have the perfect Bronco response and now this bad decision from a couple of years ago is biting on Chevy very hard and not letting go.