GMC is one of the oldest truck manufacturers in the United States, having produced some true classics over the years. The company was originally founded in 1902, in a completely different form than we know from today, and has over the years become one of the leading sellers of pickup trucks in North America. No small feat when you have the likes of Chevrolet in your GM family stable, and of course competitors Ford sell the best-selling pickup in the United States.
GMC can be proud of what they do. The company now looks ready to take the world by storm again with the addition of the Hummer EV. There is still a lot that can be revealed about this cool trucking company. There may be some things that you all find a little surprising with them. What we have on this list are some facts that you may or may not find surprising about GMC and their trucks and history, facts that they themselves have probably never told you. It is fair to say that GMC has done a lot in its long and illustrious history.
10 GMC built thousands of trucks for the military
It is probably not a surprise to hear that one of the largest truck manufacturers in the United States built trucks for the war effort.
But that’s really true for GMC. The company produced about 600,000 trucks for the American war effort during World War II, after also contributing to the American effort during World War I when the nation joined the conflict.
9 The reaction to GMC’s first truck was pretty good
GMC’s first ever pickup was the T-14. This came not long after the first introduction of the segment we know as the pickup in 1938. The T-14 was a small, 0.5 ton light truck that is now quite classic.
The reception for the truck was initially quite good, and continued to be a fairly popular staple in the early GMC fleet with the “General Motors Truck” marked on the side of the front with a mark.
8 The company once produced battery-powered electric trucks
It may come as a surprise, but yes, GMC really created battery-powered trucks early in its life.
These were built from 1912 until 1931, when the trucks were large enough to carry payloads of up to 1,000 pounds, which was already impressive in 1912. The GMC eventually switched to using Detroit Diesel engines in 1931, marking the end of their first edition of electric trucks.
7 GMC trucks used to be identical to Chevrolet
If you look at the GMC trucks of recent years, you may think that they are similar to those of other GM stablemate Chevrolet.
Well, that’s because in 1931 the design of the two companies converged efficiently, and therefore GMC’s trucks were for many years quite identical to those from Chevrolet. Thankfully, the company has been moving away from that lately.
6 The cyclone was called a bit of a gimmick
When we think of GMC Syclone, almost always one thing comes to mind. Why in the world is the name of the truck misspelled with an S and not a C? Well, it was done on purpose, not by mistake.
It was a bit of a gimmick. At the time, Mercury owned the Cyclone name for its muscle car, so GMC had to adjust the truck name so as not to collide with the muscle car. Sad, but somehow interesting.
5 GMC Sierra Sales Bely And F-150 Battle Car
GMC’s Sierra must be one of the best modern pickup trucks that you can buy for money right now. This is despite the fact that Ford’s sales of the F-150 combined both Chevy’s and GMC’s sales.
But the Sierra is still a very capable truck, and although it shares the same platform as the Silverado 1500, its design is different enough to be considered a more elegant alternative to the Chevrolet.
4 GMC was originally a mismatch of companies
The company we know today as GMC was a bit of a mismatch when it was founded in 1902. The company began to consist of two companies, which was Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. and Reliance Motor Co.
It was founded by the Grabowsky Brothers in Detroit before both were then bought out by GM in 1909. It was then renamed General Motors Truck Company before it became GMC in 2013.
3 The company used its own petrol engines before 1968
It may sound strange to say, but there was a time when GMC used its own engines. Until about 1968, GMC designed its own gasoline engines for its range of pickup trucks.
After that date, Chevrolet engines with small blocks were used, but before that the company had its own series of V6 engines. The chance to use Chevy engines comes, of course, because both companies were in the same GM stable.
2 The GMC trucks of the 1960s were actually quite reliable
Is it weird to turn reliability into a surprising point? Perhaps. But when reliability was more of an issue with cars in the 1960s, many of GMC’s products held up well.
This means that when it comes to classic trucks, they are some of the best you can buy if you really are a classic truck fan. Plus they look good, so it’s a win-win situation.
1 GMC truck sales with larger volumes than Chevrolet in Canada
It is no surprise that both GMC and Chevrolet are major players in the Canadian market. They are, of course, two of the largest trucking companies in the world.
It is also noteworthy that GMC sells in Canada with larger volumes than its main competitor Chevrolet at Buick-GMC dealerships, which is a great achievement. It shows how popular GMC trucks can be.
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