Special Coverage

Chicago Auto Show

CHICAGO – The market and bottom-line performance of Pontiac’s new imported G8 sports sedan may have a big say in whether General Motors Corp. pulls the trigger on its unibody, GMC Denali XT 4-door pickup.

The Denali XT concept, unveiled at the auto show here, resembles a 4-door Chevrolet El Camino of the past.

GM Holden Ltd., the auto maker’s Australian subsidiary that is supplying Pontiac with the G8, has been rumored to be working on a 2-door car-based pickup off the G8 platform for the U.S., possibly as a way to broaden the G8 lineup, and the concept Denali XT shares that same architecture.

“The technology is doable and we want to see the public reaction to it from real people at the Chicago auto show,” GM North America President Troy Clarke says of the 4-door Denali XT.

“But we have to consider current foreign exchange rates and the weakness of the dollar and the impact that would have.

“We are getting great feedback on the G8, and it would be exciting to have other variants of it,” he says. “We’ll see. It’s something that could be done in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable investment.”

Asked why the concept went to GMC instead of his division, Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper says the unibody truck wouldn’t be a good fit with the Chevy brand.

“We have the Avalanche, and a vehicle like that would simply take sales away from Avalanche,” he says.