General Motors Truck Company, USA

General Motors Truck Company, USA

GMC (General Motors Truck Company) USA


July 22, 1911; 106 years ago
William C. Durant

Detroit, Michigan, U.S.


GMC (General Motors Truck Company), formally the GMC Division of General Motors LLC, is a division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) that primarily focuses on trucks and utility vehicles. GMC sells pickup and commercial trucks, buses, vans, military vehicles, and sport utility vehicles marketed worldwide by General Motors.



1908-1990s :

General Motors was founded by William C. Durant on September 16, 1908, as a holding company for Buick.In 1909, GM purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, 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, that utilized one-cylinder engines.

The Reliance Motor Car Company 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 only 372 units. 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".

In 1920, the GMC brand incorporated the use of pneumatic tires on light GMC trucks, replacing the traditional solid rubber tires. A year later, the new K-Model trucks were debuted that featured the famous Northway Engines. Additionally, dual-range 7-speed transmissions and electric lamps were available as standard equipment on all GMC trucks.

GMC maintained three manufacturing locations in Pontiac, Michigan, Oakland, California, and Saint Louis, Missouri. In 1916, a GMC Truck crossed the country from Seattle to New York City in thirty days, and in 1926, a 2-ton GMC truck was driven from New York to San Francisco in five days and 30 minutes. During the Second World War, GMC Truck produced 600,000 trucks for use by the United States Armed Forces.

In 1925, GM purchased a controlling interest in Yellow Coach, a bus manufacturer based in Chicago, Illinois which was founded by John D. Hertz.By 1937, the company had redesigned 23 of their vehicle models that featured the latest 2-color scheme and new streamline styling. A few years later, the production of three new small block engines began and diesel engines were released for the heaviest GMC models.

After purchasing the remaining portion in 1943, GM renamed it GM Truck and Coach Division. The Division manufactured intercity coaches until 1980. Transit bus production ended in May 1987. The Canadian plant (in London, Ontario) produced buses from 1962 until July 1987. GM withdrew from the bus and coach market because of increased competition in the late 1970s and 1980s. Rights to the RTS model were sold to Transportation Manufacturing Corporation, while Motor Coach Industries of Canada purchased the Classic design.In 1998, GMC's official branding on vehicles was shortened from "GMC Truck" to simply "GMC".


2000s :

In 2002, GMC released a book entitled, GMC: The First 100 Years, a complete history of the company.

GMC currently manufactures SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, light-duty trucks, and medium duty trucks. In the past, GMC also produced fire trucks, ambulances, heavy-duty trucks, military vehicles, motorhomes, and transit buses.


Logo & Brand

The very first GMC logo was designed in orange, black and white colors. It featured a stylized GMC wording with M stretching the side bars wide as if carrying the other two letters. This was too sophisticated for the commercial trucks manufacturer and was replaced with white GMC Truck sign on black background.

The logo first used the font that became the brand’s iconic image. The ‘Truck’ word was soon omitted, leaving the GMC sign alone. The next GMC emblem was designed in dark-red color and featured a silver border.This combination went on to become the brand’s new identity as the red color symbolized raw power and hard-line character of the vehicles, carrying the GMC logo on the grills. It was later updated as the red color became lighter and the silver border acquired more shades. This logo is now representing the iconic American manufacturer of trucks, SUVs and other commercial vehicles and symbolizes utility and reliability.


Popular Models

GMC Models Lineup Light-Duty Trucks

  • C and E Series (1941 to 1947)
  • Blue Chip series (1955 to 1959)
  • C and K Series (1960 to 1998)
  • Sprint (1971 to 1977)
  • Caballero (1978 to 1987)
  • Sonoma (1991 to 2004)
  • Syclone (1991 to 1991)
  • Sierra (1996 to Present)
  • Canyon (2004 to Present)

Medium-Duty Truck Models

  • L- Series (1960 to 1984)
  • Topkick (1980 to 1996)
  • C-Series (1960 to 2009)
  • Forward (1980 to 2010)
  • T-Series (1994 to 2010)
  • Topkick (2003 to 2009)

Heavy-Duty Truck Models

  • DLR/F/“Crackerbox” (1959 to 1968)
  • B-Model (1960 to 1966)
  • Astro 95 (1968 to 1988)
  • General (1977 to 1988)
  • Brigadier (1978 to 1988)


  • P-series (1940 to 1980)
  • "Old Look” (1940 to 1969)
  • “New Look” (1959 to 1986)
  • RTS (1977 to 1987)
  • Classic (1982 to 1987)
  • B-series (1966 to 2003)
  • S-series (1986 to 1989)


  • Handi-Van (1964 to 1970)
  • Handi-Bus (1964 to 1970)
  • Vandura (1970 to 1996)
  • Safari (1985 to 2005)
  • Savana (1996 to Present)



SUV Models

  • Suburban 1937 to 2000)
  • Jimmy (1969 to 2005)
  • S-15 Jimmy (1983 to 2005)
  • Typhoon (1292 to 1993)
  • Yukon (1992 to Present)
  • Envoy (1998 to 2009)
  • Yukon Hybrid (2009 to 2013)
  • Yukon XL (2001 to Present)
  • Acadia (2007 to Present)
  • Terrain (2010 to Present)


Share post