CHEVROLET TRAX/TRACKER

 

The Chevrolet Tracker under this name arrived in autumn 1988 in Canada, while in the USA it was known as Geo Tracker, and as such in Canada as well by 1992.  It was basically a rebadged Suzuki Escudo (part-time) 4wd off-roader that had arrived in Japan in May 1988, and was exported as Suzuki Vitara.  This North American Tracker was built in Canada from April 1989 till 1998 (some 350,000).  Canada also built Suzuki Sidekick variants until 1996 for distribution in North America.  For 1998, the last model year for this generation, the Geo brand was abandoned, and the vehicle was sold as Chevrolet Tracker in the USA, Canada and Mexico.  Different from elsewhere, there arrived also a rear-wheel-drive Tracker by 1991 model year.  In Ecuador, this generation was built as Chevrolet Vitara until 2013.

The second generation rebodied Chevrolet Tracker was sold from 1999 model year, produced in Canada (300,000) from 1998 till 2004, again next to the Suzuki, now called (Grand) Vitara (75,000).  It had arrived in Japan in November 1997, again as Suzuki Escudo.  From March 2001, Brazil also sold the Chevrolet Tracker, built in Argentina until 2008, with exports to Mexico.  In Ecuador this generation was built till 2016 as Chevrolet Grand Vitara.  The larger unibody Chevrolet Equinox succeeded on the Tracker in North America by 2005 and was built in Canada next to the Suzuki XL7 with a different body, on the front-wheel-drive Theta platform with available permanent four-wheel-drive.  In late 2001 the Saturn Vue had already squeezed in on the shorter Theta platform, competing with the Tracker.

So, there was no Chevrolet Tracker variant of the third generation Suzuki Escudo that arrived in May 2005 in Japan, and was exported to Latin America as Chevrolet Grand Vitara SZ, now with full-time four-wheel-drive, or rear-wheel-drive.  In March 2006, GM had minimized its interest in Suzuki, switching to Daewoo-based models, and left in 2008.  The second-generation Saturn Vue, an Opel (Antara)-bodied Daewoo Winstorm/Chevrolet Captiva, built in Mexico, arrived by 2008 model year on the same platform as the first Vue and was positioned under the Equinox.

So, after these loosened ties with Suzuki, and after GM’s decision not to buy Fiat, the Suzuki SX4 (or Fiat Sedici), released in December 2005 in Japan, and since September 2006 in USA, came too late to receive a GM sibling.  Its hatch variant with available four-wheel-drive probably inspired GM Korea to develop the Trax ‘through 60 months of vehicle engineering’.  

Chevrolet Trax (G1UC)  Mexico: November 2012, Korea: February 2013, China: April 2014, USA: December 2014

The Trax debuted at the September 2012 Paris Motor Show, but within a year after its release in Europe in May 2013, it was decided to withdraw Korean Chevrolets from the European market, because of in-house competition with Opel.  From Mexican production, the first Traxes arrived late 2012 in Mexico and Canada.  USA sales started only at the end of 2014, after production in South Korea for Europe had ceased (and Mokkas were built in Spain), joining the Buick Encore sibling, without seeming to affect its sales, or the sales of the much larger and better selling Equinox.  It was a worthy but late successor to the Tracker that was deleted more than ten years before.  The Trax scored high in sales within the subcompact crossover segment, rising from zero to 5% in the overall US market during the 2010s. 

In South Korea, the Trax created a new segment, soon to be recognized by the competition, though the internal U200 designation succeeded on the U100 Rezzo (MPV), in the export known as Tacuma.

In both USA and Canada, Trax sales by 2017 became lower than those of the Buick Encore, following the availability of a stronger engine with direct injection in the Buick.  This engine was then also used in the Tracker for Brazil, where only front-wheel-drive models were sold.  China had installed its own SGM-developed 1.4 turbo engine, and here the earlier introduced Buick Encore kept outselling the much less expensive Chevrolet Trax, in good Chinese manner.

By 2019, the Trax sold better than the Encore in the United States, but in Canada Trax sales remained much lower.  US Trax sales increased year by year since 2014 and rose in 2019 with 30% to a record 117,000.  Over a third is four-wheel-drive.  China sales stopped in March 2019.

The Trax is said to have been Korea’s No.1 export car model from 2016 to 2018, and is exceeding 200,000 exported units in 2019 for the sixth consecutive year, but this includes the Buick Encore sibling to North America, and the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka X to Europe, of which production stopped in March 2019, also in Spain.  USA/Canada also received Traxes from Mexico up to mid-2019.

platform:

Gamma II

Chevrolet Trax/Tracker

1350

kg

engines:

Opel

Opel/SAIC

Opel

Opel

GM

Opel

rear suspension:

compound crank, coils

SUV

Family 0

SGM

SGE

Family I

Family I

MDE

ex Isuzu

wheelbase (cm):

255.5

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

length from (cm):

424.8

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

width (cm):

177.6

cc:

1364'

1372

1399

1598

1796

1598

1686

injection

injection

dir. inj.

injection

injection

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

turbo

turbo

turbo

turbo

turbo

diesel

diesel

South Korea

13-

Chevrolet Trax

13-

15-

fwd

fwd

6A

6A

kW

103

99

kW

hp

140

135

hp

Europe

13-14

Chevrolet Trax

13-14

13-14

13-14

fwd/awd

fwd

fwd/awd

6M/6A

5M

6M/6A

kW

103

85

96

kW

hp

140

115

130

hp

awd 6M

awd 6M

export

13-

Chevrolet Tracker

13-

13-

fwd/awd

fwd/awd

6M/6A

5M/6A

kW

103

103

kW

hp

140

140

hp

awd 6M

awd 6A

Australia

13-20

Holden Trax

14-20

13-20

fwd

fwd

6A

5M/6A

kW

103

103

kW

hp

140

140

hp

6A -17

China

14-19

Chevrolet Trax (Chuangku)

14-19

 suffix 16-

330T

fwd/awd

6M/6A

kW

103-105

hp

140

awd 6A

Mexico

12-20

Chevrolet Trax

13-15

12-20

fwd

fwd

6A

5M/6A

kW

103

103

kW

hp

138

140

hp

5M -15

Canada

12-

Chevrolet Trax

12-

USA

14-

fwd/awd

6M/6A

kW

103

hp

138

6M -14

awd 6A

Brazil

13-20

Chevrolet Tracker

17-20

13-16

fwd

fwd

6A

6A

kW

110-113

103-106

kW

hp

150-153

140-144

hp

South America

13-

Chevrolet Tracker

13-

fwd/awd

5M/6A

103

kW

140

hp

awd 6A

 ' Korean-built engines quote 1362cc

 

Chevrolet Tracker (JBUC)  China: June 2019

The successor to the Trax was developed in China, together with the new Buick Encore, on the GEM platform, weighing 150 kg less, in China with front-wheel-drive only and using a 3-cylinder 1-litre turbo SGM/SAIC E-Tec engine or the 3-cylinder 1.3-litre E-Turbo engine, which was introduced in autumn 2018 in the Korean Malibu.  Fuel consumption for the basic manual model improved with a quarter.  The 1.3-litre was the most popular.  By December 2020, only automatics remained.  Export to the Philippines started in July 2021.

This generation is the first to be manufactured in Brazil and sold from March 2020, and isn’t equipped here with a direct injection engine, different from the previous generation in this country.  The engines are so-called CSS (Cylinder Set Strategy) Prime engines.  In 2019, 16,300 units of the Tracker were sold in Brazil, and in 2020 almost 50,000 were sold.  It is priced 15% below the previous generation.  The Tracker will also replace the Trax in Mexico, that stopped production here in 2019, taking advantage of the new free trade agreement between the two countries.

platform:

GEM

Chevrolet Tracker (JBUC)

1205

kg

engines:

SGM

GM

GM

GM

rear suspension:

compound crank, coils

E-Tec

E-Turbo

Prime

Prime

wheelbase (cm):

257

3 cyl.

3 cyl.

3 cyl.

3 cyl.

length from (cm):

427

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

width (cm):

179.1

cc:

999

1341

999

1199

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

inject.

inject.

turbo

turbo

turbo

turbo

China

19-

Chevrolet Tracker (Chuangku)

19-

19-

325T

335T

fwd

fwd

6M/6A

CVT

kW

85

116

hp

116

158

l/100 km

5.1/5.5

5.7

6M -20

20: 5.6

Brazil

20-

Chevrolet Tracker

20-

20-

fwd

fwd

6M/6A

6A

kW

85

97

kW

hp

116

133

hp

 

Chevrolet Trailblazer (9BUC)  China: August 2019, USA: April 2020

The larger Trailblazer was designed in South Korea on the basis of the Chevrolet FNR ‘Find New Road’ -X concept on the 264 cm (Vehicle Set Strategy) VSS platform and is built there for the local market and for export to North America (next to the Buick Encore GX) by early 2020.  Chinese-market models are built in China, and with 5,460 wholesale units sold in 2019 slightly less than the Buick Encore GX.  1,658 actually were delivered to the customers, rejecting three-cylinder engines.  The 1.2-litre Prime engine has an oil-immersed timing belt, to be replaced after 240,000 km.

On the Activ and RS trims of the American Trailblazer, the roof can be ordered in a color (white or bronze metallic), different from the rest of the body.  In South Korea, the RS trim offers other combinations, such as red or sea blue with a black roof, and black or gray with a red roof, some of which combinations are also offered in China.

In China in 2020, 15% were four-wheel-drives, reduced to 6% in the first half of 2021.

platform:

VSS-F

Chevrolet Trailblazer (9BUC)

1335

kg

engines:

GM

GM

rear suspension:

compound crank, coils

Prime

E-Turbo

awd: Watt's linkage

3 cyl.

3 cyl.

wheelbase (cm):

264

DOHC

DOHC

length from (cm):

444.1

cc:

1199

1341

cc

width (cm):

180.8

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

turbo

turbo

China

19-

Chevrolet Trailblazer (Chuang Jie)

19-

20T

fwd/awd

CVT/9A

kW

116

kW

hp

158

hp

South Korea

20-

Chevrolet Trailblazer

20-

20-

fwd

fwd/awd

CVT

CVT/9A

kW

102

115

kW

hp

139

156

hp

USA

20-

Chevrolet Trailblazer

20-

20-

fwd

fwd/awd

CVT

CVT/9A

kW

102

116

kW

hp

137

155

hp

 

Net output data are approximate.

 

 

Since 2013, Brazil is building a different Chevrolet Trailblazer for Latin America, similar to the one built in Thailand since 2012, based on the Colorado truck, and marketed until 2020 in South East Asia, the Middle East, South Africa (until 2017), and in Australia and New Zealand as Holden Trailblazer.  GM withdraws from South East Asia, selling its Thai plant to Great Wall.  GM also sold its manufacturing facilities in Vietnam to local auto company VinFast in 2019.  In late 2019, the distributor in Indonesia terminated the contract with GM, effective from March 2020.

 

                                                         with thanks to carsalesbase.com pages

 

 

For more historical information on GM cars built in China (and Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, South Korea and Australia), see:
On a Global Mission: The Automobiles of General Motors International

                                                                   

Trax vs Encore

 

Far East Auto Literature

4 September, 2021