History of GMC Fun Facts:
GMC's history can be traced back to the 1902 founding of the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company in Pontiac, Michigan. In 1909 William C. Durant gained control of the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and made it a subsidiary of his General Motors Company. Then in 1908 William C. Durant gained control of Reliance Motor Car Company, another early commercial vehicle manufacturer. Then moving into 1911 General Motors formed the General Motors Truck Company and consolidated the Rapid and Reliance companys into it. Within the next year in 1912, the Rapid and Reliance names were dropped intirely in favor of the “GMC" name brand. All General Motors truck production was consolidated and developed at the former Rapid Motor Plant in Pontiac, Michigan. GMC also maintained two other manufacturing locations in Oakland, California and Saint Louis, Missouri.
During the Second World War, GMC Truck produced 600,000 trucks for use by the United States Armed Forces.
In 1925, GM purchased a controlling interest in the Yellow Coach company, a bus and taxicab manufacturer based in Chicago, Illinois which was founded by John D. Hertz. The company was renamed Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing Company (YT&CMC), an affiliated subsidiary of General Motors. All manufacturing operations of General Motors Truck Company were placed under YT&CMC. In 1928 Plant 2 opened and all headquarters staff moved to the administration building at 660 South Boulevard E in Pontiac, MI. In 1943, GM purchased the remaining interest in YT&CMC and renamed it GMC Truck and Coach Division.
In 1981, GMC Truck & Coach Division became part of GM Worldwide Truck & Bus Group. Bus production ended in May 1987 and the division name was changed from GMC Truck & Coach to GMC Truck Division. The Canadian plant (in London, Ontario) produced buses from 1962 until July 1987. GM withdrew from the bus and coach market because of increased competition in the late 1970s and 1980s. Rights to the RTS model were sold to Transportation Manufacturing Corporation, while Motor Coach Industries of Canada purchased the Classic design. In 1998, GMC's official branding on vehicles was shortened from "GMC Truck" to simply "GMC".
In 1996, GM merged GMC Truck Division with the Pontiac Motor Division in order to "give the combined division a brand image projecting physical power and outdoor activity". This coincided with many GMC dealerships merging with Pontiac dealerships, allowing a single dealer to offer both trucks and entry-to-mid-level cars. While many GMC and Chevrolet trucks are mechanically identical, GMC is positioned as a premium offering to the mainstream Chevrolet brand, with luxury vehicles such as the Denali series.
In 2002, GMC celebrated its 100 anniversary and released a book entitled GMC: The First 100 Years, a complete history of the company.
In 2007, GMC introduced the Acadia, a crossover SUV, which was the division's first unibody vehicle whose predecessor, the GMT-360 based Envoy, was discontinued with the closure of GM's Moraine, Ohio plant on December 23, 2008.
In 2009, GMC ended production of medium-duty commercial trucks after over 100 years. In the same year, GMC introduced the Terrain, a mid-size crossover SUV based on the GM Theta platform shared with the Chevrolet Equinox. It replaced the Pontiac Torrent after the brand's demise.
GMC currently manufactures SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and light-duty trucks, catered to a premium-based market. In the past, GMC also produced fire trucks, ambulances, heavy-duty trucks, military vehicles, motorhomes, transit buses, and medium duty trucks; the latter to become exclusive to Chevrolet with the launch of the 4500HD/5500HD Silverado in 2018.
Beginning in 1920, GMC and Chevrolet trucks became largely similar, built as variants of the same platform, sharing much the same body sheetwork, except for nameplates and grilles – though their differences, especially engines, have varied over the years. GMC advertising marketed its trucks to commercial buyers and businesses, whereas Chevrolet's advertising was directed towards private owners. From 1939 to 1974 GMC had its own line of six cylinder engines, first the inline sixes known as "Jimmy's" from 1939–1959, and then their own V6 from 1960–1974, of which a V8 and a V12 version also existed. Additionally, from 1955 through 1959, the less than 2-ton, domestic GMC gasoline trucks were equipped with Pontiac, Buick, and Oldsmobile V8s—whereas the Canadian models used Chevrolet engines. New Chevrolet vehicles are sold exclusively at Chevrolet dealerships, GMC vehicles are sold alongside Buick and Cadillac dealerships (Pontiac and Oldsmobile branded dealerships also had a similar arrangement). Stand alone GMC franchises exist for sales of the entire GMC line up and includes medium and light-duty commercial models as well. This crossover allowed GM dealers that did not sell Chevrolets to offer full lineups of both cars, trucks, and SUVs by offering GMC's trucks and SUVs. Between 1962 and 1972, most GMC vehicles were equipped with quad-headlights, while their Chevrolet clones were equipped with dual-headlights.
In 1971, GMC marketed their version of the Chevrolet El Camino, which was based on the Chevrolet Chevelle. Called Sprint, it was virtually identical to the El Camino, and a sport version, the SP, was equivalent to the El Camino SS. 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.