Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
Type Division of GM
Founded 1901
Founder(s) Max Grabowsky
Headquarters Detroit, Michigan, United States
Industry Automobile
Products Trucks
Parent General Motors Company

GMC (General Motors Truck Company) is a brand name used on trucks, vans, and SUVs marketed in North America and the Middle East by General Motors Company. In January 2007, GMC was GM's 2nd largest-selling light vehicle division after Chevrolet, ahead of Pontiac.


GMC Truck, from a 1919 advertisement

In 1901, Max Grabowsky established a company called the "Rapid Motor Vehicle Company", which developed some of the earliest commercial trucks ever designed. The trucks utilized one-cylinder engines. In 1909, the company was purchased by General Motors to form the basis for the General Motors Truck Company, from which GMC Truck was derived.

Another independent manufacturer purchased by GM that same year was Reliance Motor Car Company. Rapid & Reliance were merged in 1911, and in 1912 the marque "GMC Truck" was first shown at the New York International Auto Show. Some 22,000 trucks were produced that year, though GMC's contribution to that total was a mere 372 units.

In 1916, a GMC Truck crossed the country from Seattle to New York City in thirty days, and in 1926, a 2-ton GMC truck was driven from New York to San Francisco in 5 days and 30 minutes. During the Second World War, GMC Truck produced 600,000 trucks for use by the U.S. military.

In 1925, GM purchased the controlling interest in Yellow Coach, a bus manufacturer based in Chicago, Illinois which was founded by John D. Hertz. After purchasing the remaining portion in 1943, GM renamed it GM Truck and Coach Division, and it manufactured transit and inter-urban buses in Canada and the United States until the 1980s. GM faced increased competition in the late 1970s and 1980s and stopped producing buses soon after. In 1987, GMC later sold their bus models to Transportation Manufacturing Corporation (also under Motor Coach Industries in Canada) and later NovaBus.

In 2002, GMC released a book entitled, GMC: The First 100 Years, that explained the company's complete history.

GMC currently manufactures SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty trucks. In the past, GMC also produced fire trucks, ambulances, heavy-duty trucks, military vehicles, motorhomes, and transit buses.

Similarities to Chevrolets

Although GMC and Chevrolet trucks are mostly identical, their differences have varied throughout the years. While Chevrolet is sold solely at Chevrolet dealers, GMC are made available to franchisees of Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac. GMC have slight trims differences from Chevrolets (i.e. grille, emblems, and other minor aesthetics). Between 1962 and 1972, most GMC vehicles were equipped with quad-headlights, while their Chevrolet counterparts were equipped with dual-headlights. Starting in 1973, with GM’s introduction of the new "rounded line" series trucks, GMC and Chevrolet trucks became even more similar, ending production of GMC’s quad-headlight models, and setting the standard for the Chevrolet/GMC line of trucks for over thirty years. During this period, the sister models of the two companies (Silverado/Sierra, Blazer/Jimmy, Tahoe/Yukon, etc) shared everything except trims and price. GM has recently begun a divergence in design between the two lines with the 2007 model Silverados and Sierras, which have slight differences in the shapes of their body panels and overall looks.

Today, for the most part, GMC offers the same trucks available under the Chevrolet brand. A Sprint, for example, was a rebadged Chevrolet El Camino, the Sierra is a rebadged Chevrolet Silverado, etc. Alongside sister brand Cadillac, all three share the Suburban/Tahoe SUV platform due to Cadillac's upscale Escalade and Escalade ESV brands, with GMC's Yukon Denali being more close to the Escalades.

In the United States GMC is usually sold by dealers in combination with Buick or Pontiac, typically at lower volumes than the equivalent Chevrolet trucks. GMC's trucks, vans, and SUVs offer more options and standard features than Chevrolet, while Chevrolet is often offered as an entry-level car. In Canada, GMC is sold by Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealerships, usually at volumes equivalent or greater than the comparable Chevrolet trucks.

In 2007, GMC introduced the Acadia, a crossover SUV, which is the company's first unibody vehicle.

In 2009, GMC will introduce the all-new Terrain, a mid-size crossover SUV based on GM's Theta platform which will slot below the Acadia as GMC's smallest crossover. Its predecessor, the GMT-360 based Envoy, was discontinued with the closure of GM's Moraine, Ohio plant on December 23, 2008.

Future of the GMC brand

On April 16, 2009, reports began spreading that GM was exploring the possibility of eliminating the GMC brand as a way to restructure its bankruptcy plan[1]. The speculation was based on rumored reports from automotive websites and business publications after a story involving a study that might point to indications that the brand could be eliminated altogether along with sister brand Buick found its way onto the press despite a GM statement that it was just a rumor[2][3]. There are some who believe that GMC could survive the ax, since GM has stated in earlier stories that it wants to keep the GMC brand in the GM automotive family[4].

On April 24, 2009, people familiar with the decision at General Motors said that the company would be dropping the Pontiac brand while preserving the GMC truck line, as well as the Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick brands.[5]

In December 2007, GM announced its intention to sell GM's medium-duty truck business, whose products include the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Topkick, to Navistar International[6]. In August 2008, both GM and Navistar announced that their memorandum of understanding for the purchase had expired and was not renewed [7][8]. After four years of working with multiple potential buyers, including an anticipated five-year deal with Isuzu Motors announced late in January 2009 to take over the production line in Flint, Michigan,[9] General Motors decided to wind-down its medium-duty truck operations[10]. Production of the Chevy Kodiak and GMC Topkick medium duty trucks in Flint ceased on July 31, 2009.

GMC models


Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
C and K Series 1960 1988 half–, three-quarter– and one-ton trucks, with Sierra, Sierra Grande, High Sierra, and Sierra Classic trim lines
Sprint 1971 1977
Caballero 1978 1987
S-15 1982 1990
Sierra 1988 current
Sierra 3500 1988 current
Syclone 1991
Sonoma 1991 2004
Sonoma GT 1992 1992
Topkick Pickup 1997 1997
Canyon 2004 current

Medium-duty Trucks

Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
P-Chassis 1950s? current Value Vans
L-Series 1960 c.1984 Steel Tilt Cab
TopKick 1980 1996
C-Series 1980 2009
Forward 1980s 2010
W-Series late 1980s 2010
T-Series 1994 2010
TopKick 2003 2009

Heavy-duty Trucks

Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
DLR/F/“Crackerbox” 1959 1968
B-Series 1960s 1960s
HM 9500 1965 1976
Astro 95 1968 1988
JH 9500 1971 1978
General 1977 1988
Brigadier 1978 1988


Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
P-series 1940s 1980 “Parlor” (highway) coaches
“Old Look” 1940 1969 transit
“New Look” 1959 1986 transit
RTS 1977 1987 transit
Classic 1982 1987 transit
B-series 1966 2003 school bus
S-series school bus


Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
Handi-Bus 1964 1970
Handi-Van 1964 1970
Rally 1970 1996
Rally Wagon
Vandura 1970 1996
Safari 1985 2005
Savana 1996 current


Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
Suburban 1937 1999 Similar to Yukon XL
Jimmy 1969 2005
Tracker 1989 1991 Canada only
Typhoon 1992 1993
Yukon 1992 current
Envoy 1998 2000
Yukon XL 2000 current
Envoy 2002 2009
Acadia 2007 current
Terrain 2010 current


Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
GMC motorhome 1973 1978

Military Vehicles

Model Introduced Discontinued Notes
CCKW 1943 1945?
DUKW 1943 1945?


A 1966 GMC C-3000 or C-3500 converted for railroad service in Pennsylvania.

New York City Omnibus 2969 is an “Old Look” TDH-5101 built in 1949.

A 1968-vintage Suburban-type New Look bus.

A 1948 PD-3751 bus built for Greyhound Lines.

See also


External links

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