In the minds of some, there is no reason why both Chevrolet and GMC pickups should exist, especially in light of the restructuring and government loans necessary to keep GM alive.
Since there's little difference between any given model of Chevy Silverado and any given model of GMC Sierra, the question always comes up: Why didn't GM kill off the smaller GMC lineup of pickups and put all the company's efforts into a single Chevy-branded truck?
Only time will tell if keeping two separate lines of essentially the same truck was the right move, but so far it's looking pretty good. Sales are strong even though Ford and Ram have come to market with completely revamped and updated models in the half-ton segment. On the heavy-duty side (2500 and 3500), the Chevy and GMC models still look similar to the trucks offered more than 10 years ago. (Yes, we understand that the vehicles are quite different underneath.)
Possibly the strongest argument for keeping Chevy and GMC in today's market may come from GMC's own history. The story of GMC in the U.S. is practically the same story of the pickup truck and the growth of this country over the past 100 years. GMC vehicles were built for hard work, and they were bought by customers who did hard work. And, for the most part, the same is true today.
Does this mean GM will never find itself at a point where it may need to take a hard look at the two-brand strategy? We don't think so.
For now, it's worth understanding where the GMC brand came from — especially since it's celebrating its 100th anniversary this year — and how well it has connected with its customers. One of our PUTC friends, Tudor Van Hampton, put together this GMC historical piece for the New York Times, and it does a pretty good job of mapping out where GMC came from and why it has a right to be in GM's portfolio. Hope you enjoy it.