Chevrolet Trailblazer launched in South Africa with one aim - To dethrone the Toyota Fortuner

26/10/2012 - 10:52 | ,   | Shrawan Raja

Chevrolet Trailblazer rearTo cut a long story short, this is what GM South Africa's marketing man Alastair Ironside said at the launch of the Chevrolet Trailblazer in South Africa this week -

We are going after Toyota’s Fortuner. It’s the Trailblazer’s reason for being.

The Fortuner is such a phenomenon in the SUV market of South Africa, the situation quite clearly like the one seen in India.

GM pitches its competitor with a lot more standard features, and a longer service interval (15k km compared to the Fortuner's 10k km). This translates into a 12-18% savings in maintenance, service and collision costs for the customer.

South African dealerships sell the Trailblazer in two variants - the LT variant powered by a 2.5-liter diesel engine paired to a 4X2 system, and the LTZ specification available with a 2.8 l diesel motor and a 3.6-liter V6 petrol engine. Prices start at 22.31 lakh rupees.

Blazing a trail in Brazil

The Trailblazer has led to a lot of tension among rival companies in Brazil too. Two best selling SUV models, the Toyota SW4 (Fortuner's Brazilian name) and the Mitsubishi Pajero, maybe feeling jittery as GM showcased the Trailblazer this week at the Sao Paulo Auto Show that is touted to attract 700,000 visitors in the ten day period.

Chevrolet Trailblazer Sao Paulo 2012To be available only in the LTZ version, the Chevrolet Trailblazer will feature 3.6-liter V6 engine with 239 hp or a 2.8-liter diesel with 180 hp paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and a 4WD system. The launch date hasn't been revealed yet, but Noticias Automotivas expects it towards the end of 2012 or in 2013.

GM’s Brazilian subsidiary, GM do Brasil, designed and developed the Trailblazer for a range of markets in Africa, the Pacific Rim, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America.

It is manufactured in Thailand and GM India's Lowell Paddock's eyes sparkled when we asked him about the Trailblazer's chances in India, as assembling it locally will lower tariff due to the FTA -

There is no question that the Trailblazer is a wonderful product, I’ve a kind of emotional attachment towards it. It really depends on the economics of it..can we come up with the right mix of CKD or CBU? Given the desire for that kind of vehicle here, it’ll be great product in the market but the question is coming up with right equation. It’s still in process and is something we are definitely looking at.

[Source - via]

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