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.