GMC Rises From Ashes to Become Stealth Success Story

2014-GMC-Sierra-Denali II

It wasn't that long ago when many automotive marketing experts were calling for the elimination of the GMC brand as GM was in the middle of sorting out a long-term recovery strategy to get back on track. Most thought it made good sense when GM got rid of Hummer, Saturn and Pontiac, but they also wanted the company to eliminate Buick and GMC. As it played out, the new GM kept four brands — Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC — but only one has increased market share and improved the average transaction prices from 2009 more than 10 percent. And that's GMC.

According to Automotive News, the brand is huge success story in the industry and seems to be doing it under the radar. GMC is the smallest of the four GM brands and has less than a quarter of what Chevy spends on marketing per year, Automotive News reported. This is a big change from past where GMC had been constantly criticized for being a carbon copy of the Chevy brand. Unique among truckmakers, the two-brand strategy was easy to criticize when the only differences between Chevy and GMC pickup trucks had to do with badging and trim package nomenclature, but that's changing.

The strongest market separator in the GMC arsenal seems to be the Denali brand, which has single-handedly helped make the GMC full-size pickup and SUV lineup standouts in the growing (and quite profitable) premium and luxury truck segments.

Automotive News goes on to explain that these simple economic facts are not lost on GM's leadership, either. From design to marketing to engineering and beyond, we can probably expect GM to use some of the focused efforts happening at GMC as a kind of template for other brands in the U.S. and abroad. If that means we'll be seeing more technology and separation for the half-ton and heavy-duty Denali pickups, we think that would be a good thing too. Whatever happens, don't expect GMC to stay "under the radar" for too much longer.

Manufacturer images

 

Comments

It's insanity and a huge price to pay to make the larger production Silverado consistently uglier if only to justify a dolled-up GMC line. GM needs to pull its head out from its behind.

Most people know GM makes GMC so the Buick dealers have trucks and SUV's to sell besides the cross overs. That said I think GM should do like Chrysler did and Make GMC the truck line and Chevrolet the car/crossover line.

@Ken,

Please don't hold back--tell us how you really feel...

This is good news and is of no surprise to me. Of course, the GIRLY GIRL FORD FAN GIRLIES will be along soon to refute this claim, especially FordTrucks1 and Frank.

My sister just bought a 2015 Yukon Denali and that is by far one of the quietest, most powerful, smoothest, and technologically advanced SUV's you'll ever ride in. It's the White Diamond color and it's absolutely stunning! I don't give a $hit what Ford or Ram fan girls say about GM or GMC, they don't make anything that will touch this thing. GM owns the large SUV market, by a wide margin and it's going to get uglier for those guys very soon. Now, if GM would just apply the same effort in designing their Chevrolet trucks, they'd be the sales leader in no time!

In my own personal opinion (which I know most here do NOT want to see) I prefer the looks of the GMC series over the Chevy--with the exception of the Colorado which looks better than all of the above. This has nothing to do with their comparative sizes, but rather to the fascia and potential aerodynamic features of the Colorado's less pretentious grill and more rounded nose. It looks sleeker and more 'approachable' and simply does not even try to pose as a 'big rig'.

The GMC and Chevy are still the same truck, I don't care what they say, the interior is almost exact and the only difference on the outside is the wheel arches and the front nose.

Smart move for General Motors Company to not axe GMC Truck. It looks like it is paying off.

This just in...

GM issues another recall on 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD, GMC Sierra HD pickups due to fire risk - See more at: http://www.equipmentworld.com/gm-issues-another-recall-on-2015-chevrolet-silverado-hd-gmc-sierra-hd-pickups-due-to-fire-risk/#sthash.SVnjYh4y.dpuf

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD full-size pickups equipped with a 220 Amp Generator are being recalled for a loose fuse, which can increase the chance of fire

"GMC has really become the cooler truck for people who care about those extra touches and features."
Sam Slaughter
Sellers Buick-GMC

I'd say that's a problem. I don't this a success story for GM. GMC sells far fewer vehicles and is only up 8%. But Silverado is the bulk of the volume and is down 4%. If the two truck lines are a success, this was a success Silverado should be way up +20% on the new trucks!

The two truck lines has been a failure and continues to be. Also how many who think the Silverado is not cool and don't want a GMC, will just go to a Ford or Ram?

GM needs to pull their heads out of the sand. If they would spend the time making one truck with those extra features and one cool truck, they would make up for the loss of the Sierra. But it's considered a success if Chevy loses and GMC gains slightly but a much lower volume. This isn't right.

GM should have never gotten rid of the extended cab. I looked at a double cab and the rear door opening is so small you can't get anything into the back and then they make the front doors smaller instead of being like a couple with a bigger front doors. Not to mention they just don't look right.

It still doesn't make sense to me to have two competing brands. Couldn't GM offer the upscale Denali package on the Chevrolet trucks and eliminate the costs of two sets of administration, design, etc.?

GMC sells a measly 4,000 more trucks than last year, and Chevy sells 5,500 LESS trucks than the year before. That's called a success for GM's two truck lines???

Chevy was expected to be up 30,000 by now, and GMC should be up 15k+ to make two truck lines worthwhile.

GM = TOTAL RECALL

@chris
I can think of several manufacturers that can provide more advanced and better performing SUVs than any GM product.

Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes, Porsche, Tata, etc.

Ford and Ram are not girly trucks.
I never said anything bad about GMC so I deserve the same respect cause I own a F-150.
The only reason why I would never own a GMC cause I don't like the local GMC Dealer and my Ford Dealer treats me good.

GM = TOTAL RECALL

Posted by: Frank | May 21, 2014 2:11:35 PM

why don't they just put the chevrolet bowtie (really a swiss cross) on the gmc's grilles and the could quit the gmc name and the lousy chevrolet trucks. the gmc trucks have the engineering but they don't have the mainstream chevrolet name (from switzerland). in other words, chevrolet just needs to quit making their trucks look so goofy and more serious and focused. if they put the chevy badge on the gmc trucks and dropped their gen v v8 in the hds and the vans along with a new duramax and a powerwagon competitor they would take off. im telling you.

"That said I think GM should do like Chrysler did and Make GMC the truck line and Chevrolet the car/crossover line."

Thats what I been saying all along. Keep Chevrolet perfomance/economy oriented while GMC have the trucks... To me thats the only way to pull " Professional Grade" off. I don't get it when people say they wouldn't buy the GMC but go to Chevy and get the same truck. GMC was the first truck brand period so why not keep that heritage. Keep blame GMC because of GM's poorly executed habits.

I would slowly kill off GMC starting with the next gen half ton trucks. It will be hard to do, but must be done. But if they want to keep losing market share, then keep doing what you're doing with the two truck lines.

The Sierra outsells the Silverado by 20% in Canada.

With a much smaller volume. And it's a 11% difference this month with only 400 trucks seperating the two truck lines. Sierra is also down -11.6%.

http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2014/05/canada-pickup-truck-sales-figures-april-2014-ytd.html

Instead of just the looking at the transaction price increase, the loss of volume needs to be look at. Does the transaction price inrease make up for a 12% loss in sales?

In the US, how many sales does the Sierra rob from the Silverado because the Silverado does not have the extra features/touches?

These are the facts that need to be looked into, not just transaction prices increased on the Sierra so everything is "good" between the two truck lines.

Auto News should also interview some Chevy dealers or buyers on how they feel, not just GMC sellers and buyers.

I'd like to see PUTC do some original reporting and get some reports from the local Chevy and Chevy sellers/buyers on how they feel about losing sales and not having the extra GMC touches/features and arguably a less attractive design than the GMC.

Chevy is the volume seller with 70=75% of sales, so how does the Chevy seller feel about this?

How does the Chevy buyer feel?

Auto News only asked one side of the story and are abandoning 3/4 of their market story. They only asked the GMC seller and the GMC PR person who is only going to use GMC talking points. It may have been a GMC PR piece.

GMC is making big profits! GM wins again!

@Don,

Up your nose with a rubber hose!

@bob, "G.M wins again."

GM Will Pay $35 Million Fine Over Massive Safety Recall

By Bill Chappell on May 16th, 2014
The Department of Transportation is ordering General Motors to pay a record $35 million civil penalty for its handling of a recall of more than 2 million vehicles for ignition switch problems. The government says GM violated federal safety laws.


If you remember the time...

2008

NHTSA Fines DaimlerChrysler $30,257,635.50

The amount of the fine issued was $30,257,635.50 and serves as the largest fine assessed to date.

Further proof the id1ots buying these are not work types but rather people with no clue about conservation and the future. Good that their kids will pay the price for the party today

@Darien

No doubt there are smart people somewhere reading your last comment and saying to themselves..." WTF does he mean?"

@LOU BC “The Sierra outsells the Silverado by 20% in Canada.”

That’s great Lou and did you know that in Nova Scotia you are not allowed to water your lawn while it is raining.

Now all we have to do is find someone who gives a f$ck about what happens in Canada!

GMC = Girlie Man's Chevy? or Gay Man's Chevy?

Bought my '99 Sierra new and has 235,000 on it!

Has big al always been this big an ass or are other people posting under his name now?

When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?

How do they get the "Keep off the Grass" sign on the grass?

Why do people always remember where they were when someone famous was killed? Do they feel perhaps they'll need an alibi?

GM can't kill off GMC because most GMC buyers won't buy a Chevy so that would more lost sales for GM. The reverse is true as well that most Chevy buyers won't buy a GMC which means more lost sales for GM if they were to drop the Chevy truck line.

Either way GM loses if they drop either line.

In my opinion if GM were smart they would suck it up and dump the Chevy truck line and keep GMC, yes they would lose some sales but long term it would be plus as it would end the cannibalization of their own sales from each other.

While they would more than likely fall to third place in the truck wars for a while they have enough dealers over Ram to regain the number two spot given enough time and if they can start to build a product that meets what the others are building.

I remember a time when Chevy and GMC had the best looking trucks out there, now they are the worst looking trucks, with in my opinion Ram having the best looking trucks today. Ford seems to always be bland with their current designs to square.

Today for looks the ranking would have to be 1. Ram 2. Ford 3. GMC 4. Chevy.

Also in my opinion GMC almost always ends up with a better looking truck than Chevy.

When it comes to technology the ranking would go 1. Ram due to suspension and drivetrains 2. Ford for their attempts with the ecoboost drivetrain 3. Chevy/GM bringing up the rear again as they may have some new engines, but they are nothing special the trucks are just a rehash of the last truck that has fallen behind.

The fact is Ram is on a roll with Ford trying to respond by doing things Ram has already done, frames, or going farther than Ram did, entire body made of aluminum, Chevy/GMC on the other hand seems lost at the moment.

Ram has already said depending on how the public accepts the all aluminum body they are ready to respond. Ram already makes their hoods out of aluminum so they have the ability and experience already if they choose to go that direction.

As for load and tow ratings, I am thinking Ram has been quietly working towards the new standard and will be impacted the lest. It is my opinion that Ford had to use the all aluminum body in order to get a load/tow rating that would not embarrass them so much due to the drop in ratings they will take with the new standard.

Again in my opinion that leaves Ram in the best position as if they have already worked their way to the new load/tow standards, then Ram going with an all aluminum body would only increase their load/towing numbers.

Aluminum is going to raise the price of the Fords, there is no way around that, so if Ford maintains their prices where have they made cuts to maintain their profit margins? That will be an interesting question.

Also those testing trucks need to test them to the new standard and expose those who fail. I know why they don't. It is because sites like this one are afraid of being black listed and not getting trucks to test in the future but if sites like this one fail to test using the new standard then their test is not work the bandwidth that is used to read their tests.

I have a problem sulfuric gas coming out of my rear end. My wife has left me, co-workers have disowned me, and my dog now sleeps outside. The stench is permanentely imbedded in the cloth seats in my truck. Now no one will ride with me. Can anyone help me? I am desparate!

It's insanity and a huge price to pay to make the larger production Silverado consistently uglier if only to justify a dolled-up GMC line. GM needs to pull its head out from its behind.

@Ken, I'm right there with you on that. GM has pretty well ruined Chevrolet trucks. The looks, the designs, the options (or lack thereof) are just abysmal. Consistently uglier since the 03 model forward for sure, no Denali trim, no marketing worth even mentioning. They don't even advertise the rolled steel beds for the once 'like a rock' Chevy. Yet they do GMC. I'm still convinced as with Lou that this was the plan all along. Slowly kill off Chevrolet trucks while building up GMC. Buick will be GM's bread and butter, GMC will be their trucks, Chevrolet will be for sportscars and racing only. I think it will come back to haunt them though.

I have a problem sulfuric gas coming out of my rear end. My wife has left me, co-workers have disowned me, and my dog now sleeps outside. The stench is permanentely imbedded in the cloth seats in my truck. Now no one will ride with me. Can anyone help me? I am desparate!

Posted by: Lou_BC | May 23, 2014 9:19:41 AM

I certainly feel for you, Lou_BC, my blue oval brother! Sadly enough, I have the same issue as you only not quite as bad. After numerous tests by my gastro intestinal Dr., he told me that my Ford truck was the cause of my embarrassing illness. It seems that the stress of owning such an unreliable, outdated truck has taken its toll on my digestive tract.

The seats in my truck stink so bad from my sulfuric gas that the car detailer I took it to go physically ill when he was shampooing the seats. Unfortunately, he could not get the stench out of the fabric. No doubt this is going to kill the resale value when I trade this thing in. Maybe I will go to the junkyard and look for a good set of used seats before I trade for a new RAM, or possibly a new GM truck. I have really taken a shine to the new GMC Denali line.

My thoughts will be with you, Lou_BC for a solution to your issues.

I tied my shoes by myself today. GM WINS AGAIN!



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