In 1902, the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company was founded in Pontiac, Michigan. In 1908, William C. Durant gained control of the Reliance Motor car company and, in 1909, he took over the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and made it a subsidiary of his General Motors Company (GMC).
In 1911, Rapid and Reliance were folded into the newly created General Motors Truck Company. The following year, the Rapid and Reliance names were dropped and the company was known simply as GMC. The company had three manufacturing plants in Pontiac, Michigan; Oakland, California; and Saint Louis, Missouri.
Now, that’s progress!
In 1916, a GMC truck was driven across the country from Seattle, Washington, to New York City in 30 days. Ten years later, in 1926, a two-ton truck was driven from New York to San Francisco in just five days. The motor vehicle was coming into its own.
Beginning in 1920, GMC and Chevrolet trucks became virtually identical, sharing the same body. The only difference was in their nameplates and grilles. Advertising for GMC trucks was aimed at commercial buyers and businesses, while Chevrolet’s advertising was designed to attract private owners.
In 1925, GM purchased a controlling interest in a Chicago bus and taxicab manufacturing company called Yellow Coach. The company was renamed Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing Company (YT&CMC), an affiliated subsidiary of General Motors. In 1943, GM purchased the remaining interest in YT&CMC and renamed it GMC Truck and Coach Division.
During WWII, GMC Truck produced 600,000 trucks
for use by the United States Army.
In 1981, GMC Truck & Coach Division became part of GM Worldwide Truck & Bus Group, however, in 1987, bus production ended and the division was renamed GMC Truck Division. In 1998, GMC shortened its branding from GMC Truck to GMC.
In 1996, GMC dealerships merged with Pontiac dealerships, allowing a single dealer to offer both trucks and entry-to-mid-level cars.
Happy 100th Anniversary!
In 2002, GMC celebrated its 100 anniversary and published 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. Its predecessor was the Envoy which was discontinued with the closure of GM’s Moraine, Ohio plant in 2008.
In 2009, GMC introduced the Terrain, a mid-size crossover SUV, which replaced the Pontiac Torrent.
GMC currently manufactures SUVs, pick-up trucks, vans and light-duty trucks.
Communications and Marketing
Last Updated on July 21, 2019
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