GMC, a division of General Motors, was founded on December 22, 1901 by Max Grabowsky. A manufacturer of buses, crossovers, SUVs, truck and vans, this vehicle maker was the second largest division of GM in terms of sales. Marketed in North America and the Middle East, this company is known for such greats as the Suburban and the Sonoma.
Back when GMC first started, it was known as the “Rapid Motor Vehicle Company”. Developer of one-cylinder trucks, the company was bought in 1909 by General Motors. When the two companies merged, they became known as the General Motors Truck Company. From this merger came the GMC Truck brand.
In addition to purchasing the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, General Motors bought the Reliance Motor Car Company. These two companies were then combined in 1911 and, the following year, the first GMC Truck was introduced at the New York International Auto Show. GM produced 372 trucks that year.
With the introduction of these trucks, many began referring to these vehicles simply as GMC. This was due in part to capitalize on the existing GM brand which was well known. Over the years, GMC would become known as a distinct brand all it’s own while the parent company became known most commonly as GM.
Early achievements for this company include the first GMC Truck crossing the country in 30 days which occurred in 1916. The truck travelled from Seattle to New York City. Ten years later, a two ton GMC truck made a similar trek in five days and 30 minutes although the travel route was from New York to San Francisco.
In 1925, GM chose to expand even further. They bought a controlling interest in a bus manufacturer. The Yellow Coach was headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and was the creation of John D. Hertz. In 1943, GM purchased the remaining interests and began operating this division as the GM Truck and Coach Division which became known as part of the GMC brand. During this time period, GMC also provided the United States Military with 600,000 trucks which were used during World War II.
The GM Truck and Coach Division made interurban buses until 1980and transit buses until 1987. At this time they opted to get out of bus and coach manufacturing due to increased competition. Although they have produced everything from fire trucks and ambulance to military vehicles in the past, their focus now is on vans, trucks and SUVs.
The most popular SUV offered by GMC would be the Suburban if you look at years of production. This model was first introduced in 1937 and production continued until 1999 when it was renamed the Yukon XL. The Yukon XL is still in production today. Their Savana van is also popular. First introduced in 1996, it is still being sold today and their Canyon trucks began production in 2004 and are currently on the market. GMC has a rich history that anyone can appreciate as it has contributed much to this country.
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