General Motors has submitted a trademark application in the US to protect the name Envoy for "motor vehicles, namely, sport utility vehicles, engines therefor and structural parts thereof." The filing was discovered by a user on the GM Inside News forum. The trademark application may be a first step in the company’s efforts to revive the GMC Envoy, which was retired in 2009.
According to Motor1, in addition to a possible revival of the Envoy, GM has also announced the discontinuation of five sedans next year—the Chevrolet Impala, Cruze and Volt, as well as the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CT6.
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The Envoy was a mid-size SUV manufactured by GMC. First introduced in 1998, it was discontinued in 2000, though it was redesigned in 2002 and was available until 2009. A four-door version of the GMC Jimmy, it was featured on the same platform as the Chevrolet Trailblazer but included more upscale amenities like standard power front seats.
In 2004, GM presented the Envoy XUV, a five-passenger combination of a pickup truck and an SUV. It included a retractable rear roof section that could slide forward, creating an open load area. It also featured a midgate that separated the load area from the passenger cabin. The possible reintroduction of the Envoy would coincide with Chevy’s revival of the Blazer. The two models are similar in terms of design, though GM tends to add more upscale features and additional standard equipment.
The discontinuation of the original Envoy coincided with the recession and high gas prices. Yet, now that gas prices have somewhat stabilized and the economy is more secure, reviving the Envoy may make sense from a marketing perspective since SUVs are increasingly popular among consumers.
The new Blazer, which includes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, delivers 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet. A 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet upgrade will also be available. The new model will also feature a nine-speed automatic transmission. An all-wheel-drive system that can be removed from the rear axle to enhance fuel economy will also be available.
Though the trademark filing is simply an application, it does indicate that GM is concerned about keeping the name Envoy in the family for now.