GMC cars technical info

GMC is a division of General Motors that focuses on producing SUVs, trucks and vans. Though GMC's vehicles are mechanically similar to related Chevrolet products, they are typically differentiated by unique features, trim levels and minor styling tweaks. The automaker's full-size pickups and SUVs are the most compelling offerings in its lineup; in many cases, its products in these categories are class-leading.

General Motors was founded by William C. Durant on September 16, 1908, as a holding company for Buick.[1] In 1909, GM purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, forming the basis of the General Motors Truck Company, from which the "GMC Truck" brand name was derived. (Rapid was established on December 22, 1901, by Max Grabowsky. The company developed some of the earliest commercial trucks ever designed, and utilized one-cylinder engines.) The Reliance Motor Car Company (another independent manufacturer) was also purchased that same year by GM. Rapid and Reliance were merged in 1911, and in 1912 the marque "GMC Truck" first appeared on vehicles exhibited 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. GMC had some currency within GM referring to the corporate parent in general. Later "GMC" would become distinct as a division brand within the corporation, branding trucks and coaches; in contrast, the abbreviation for the overall corporation eventually ended up as "GM".

Sales continued to climb in the 1920s. After switching to a six-cylinder Buick-built motor, GMC Truck's 1- and 2-ton trucks earned the distinction of being the fastest in their classes. By the '30s, the line had grown to include everything from half-ton pickups to 10-ton trucks and buses. New models included the popular 1936 Suburban, which was essentially a truck-based station wagon that paired a truck's utility with a car's creature comforts.

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GMC and Chevrolet trucks are virtually identical except for the grilles and nameplates, though their differences have varied over the years. While Chevrolet vehicles are sold exclusively at Chevrolet dealerships, GMC light trucks have been made available to Buick, Pontiac and Cadillac dealerships, and separate franchises exist for medium and light-duty models as well. This crossover allowed GM dealers that did not sell Chevrolets to offer full lineups of both cars and trucks by offering GMC's trucks alongside "non-truck" divisions such as the mid-range Pontiac. Between 1962 and 1972, most GMC vehicles were equipped with quad-headlights, while their Chevrolet clones were equipped with dual-headlights. 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 companies' sister models (Silverado/Sierra, Blazer/Jimmy, Tahoe/Yukon, etc.) shared everything except for trims and prices. GM has recently begun a divergence in design between the two lines with the 2007 model Silverados and Sierras, which have some differences in sheet metal and style.

Postwar, GMC Truck models became more consumer-oriented, and many were revamped to offer styling that more closely resembled passenger cars. The 1950s and '60s witnessed an upswing in sales, thanks to the popularity of recreational vehicles like GMC-based motor homes and pickup campers. The Jimmy name was revived and assigned to the brand's first ever sport-utility vehicle in 1970. That decade and the next saw a continued rise in the brand's popularity. The early '90s saw the brief appearance of the Syclone and Typhoon. The former was a small street pickup that burned up the asphalt with its turbocharged V6 and all-wheel drive. The latter was essentially a two-door SUV based on the same platform. Either one of these oddball speedsters could rip through a quarter-mile in around 14 seconds flat, making them among the quickest vehicles ever offered by General Motors. Also, by this time, GMC Truck had trimmed its moniker; the brand is now known simply as GMC.

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 introduced the Terrain, a mid-size crossover SUV based on GM's Theta platform which slots below the Acadia as GMC's smallest crossover, replacing the Pontiac Torrent and sharing no sheetmetal with the Chevrolet Equinox.

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