The GMC brand presents a complete line-up of crossovers, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks, available in two-wheel, four-wheel and all-wheel drivetrains as well as gas and diesel powertrains. GMC also offers medium-duty trucks, vans and chassis-cab vehicles.
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Back in 1908, the newly established General Motors purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle company, who had created their first truck in 1902, and the Reliance Motor Company, who had created theirs in 1903. A few years later, the two companies were consolidated to form GMC, and its logo was first shown to the public on trucks presented at the 1912 New York Auto Show. The first vehicles were designed for heavy-duty transportation.
Despite the current EV trend, GMC actually built and sold a battery-powered vehicle from 1912 to 1917, called the GMC Electric.
During WWI, the brand provided over 8,500 trucks for the U.S. Army. Product range grew to cover every aspect of the commercial truck business. During the ’20s and ‘30s, a succession of models was produced, while electric lights and 7-speed transmissions were introduced in 1921, and tandem driving rear axles appeared in 1930.
In 1927, “Cannon Ball” Baker crossed the U.S. aboard a 2-ton GMC T-40 tanker loaded with Atlantic Ocean water, and setting a truck speed record.
The Suburban Carryall was introduced in 1937, and the first diesel engines were made available in 1939.
During WWII, GMC provided over 1 million vehicles to the U.S. Army, including 6x6 trucks and amphibious vehicles. By 1949, the brand’s line-up offering 75 models with GVW ratings of up to 75,000 pounds. In 1953, automatic transmissions became available, while power steering was introduced a year later.
GMC light-duty pickup trucks such as the Model 100 received the brand’s first V8 engine offering in 1955, provided by Pontiac. The ‘50s also brought tubeless tires, 4-wheel drive, air suspensions and Allison 6-speed automatics.
More consumer-oriented products appeared in the ‘60s, such as the C/K pickups, the Handi-Van and the Jimmy. Models such as the Rally and Vandura were introduced the following decade, as full-size vans were in fashion, while the Sprint and Caballero coupe/pickups were offered from 1973 through 1987. GMC also produced motorhomes from 1973 to 1978.
As every domestic automaker was downsizing their portfolio, the compact GMC S-15 pickup and two-door S-15 Jimmy were introduced in 1982. The Safari also appeared in 1985 in response to the Chrysler minivans, powered by a V6 engine. The brand’s full-size pickup got a major redesign in 1988 and became the Sierra. In 1989, the Suzuki-sourced Tracker mini-SUV was also launched in hardtop and convertible body styles.
During the ‘90s, GMC produced two unusual high-performance models. The Syclone pickup and Typhoon SUV were both equipped with four-wheel drive and a turbocharged and intercooled version of GM’s 4.3-litre V6, good for 280 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The product line-up received several name changes, as the Sonoma replaced the S-15, the Yukon XL replaced the Suburban, the Savana replaced the Rally and Vandura, while the Envoy replaced the Jimmy.
Today, GMC’s line-up consists of the Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Yukon XL and Yukon Hybrid SUVs as well as the Canyon, Sierra, Sierra HD and Sierra Hybrid pickups.
GMC was the oddball when GM went through bankruptcy in 2009. With other brands easily cut from the portfolio, many believed GMC should have been ditched as well. General Motors is now proving the naysayers wrong.
As an avid reader of all things car on Auto123.com (we hope, and thank you if you are), you'll have noticed the large number of stories and reviews related to the compact CUV segment. The volume of noise on the subject inevitably leads to more interest and more cars for us to review.
As humans, we have an innate need to let others know our status in life. We may not like to admit it, but our materialistic nature has lead to us announcing said status via the objects we own, be it clothing, a house or a vehicle. When a vehicle is "used" as this status symbol, there are a few manufacturers that jump to mind immediately: Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche.
GM's new heavy-duty line of pickups is a significant
update over its predecessor. While most changes
were for the better, there are still some lingering
issues that carry over from the previous generation.
The auto industry's saddest running gag right now is arguably General Motors announcing yet another recall, except today we're talking about four separate U.S. recalls all at once, affecting 2.42 million vehicles.
The freshly updated GMC Terrain enters
model-year 2014 with a great reputation
for fuel efficiency and safety, and a
boatload of new features and technologies
to create a compelling compact crossover