Synonymous with high-end trucks and highly customizable SUV's the GMC brand has been around for some 100 years. Standing for a history of take-overs, the name GMC began with the establishment of the “Rapid Motor Vehicle Company” in 1901. Owned by Max Gabrowski, the company built some of the earliest commercial trucks ever built.
Despite its fortunate premature involvement in truck development, Gabrowski's establishment would not survive on its own. GM, whose popularity was soaring thanks to Business-whiz Durant bought the company in 1909 setting the base for the General Motors Truck Company that later turned into GMC.
GM's buy-out-smaller-companies skills allowed he giant to encompass another manufacturer the same year, this time the “Reliance Motor Car Company”. The latter was regarded as the missing ingredient and was quickly merged with “Rapid” to form “GMC Truck” in 1911. One year later, Gm would boast its new brand at the New York International Auto Show.
Having garnered the attention needed to start production, GM focused on truck building, having made about 20,000 trucks in 1912. GMC's involvement was barely noticeable with only 372 self-units.
Although GMC was timidly developing within GM boundaries, it did have spark attention through a series of country cross-overs. In 1916, a GMC truck covered the distance form Seattle to New York on a thirty-day long drive while 14 years later, a second GMC truck made it from NY to San Francisco in 5 days and 30 minutes.
As WWI came to end, GMC would begin a new chapter in the automotive industry. The war had thrown back many companies, allowing survivors such as the large GM to scavenge for prey. In 1925, a Chocago, Illinois based bus manufacturer called Yellow Coach was partially absorbed into General Motors. BY 1943, GM had gained full ownership of Yellow Coach and transformed it into the GM Truck and Coach Division. GMC has also involved in the production of urban and transit buses throughout the 70's and 80's after which production was stopped as a result of being outrun by competition.
Resuming their regular truck-making activity, GMC joined the row of suppliers for the US Army during WWII, having built 600,000 trucks throughout the conflict. Post war times found GMC experimenting with utility vehicles such as Fire trucks and ambulances as well as heavy duty trucks. Despite the reputation GMC had earned, extensions in other market segments did not meet expectations and were dropped. SUV, pick up and light truck production was re-emphasized and has remained unchanged ever since.
GMC has held on its older designs like sister-competitor Chevrolet has, until recently when the company brushed the dust off its shoulders through the introduction of Acadia, a curvier model highlighting the segregation between GMC and Chevrolet designs. Presently, GMC is enjoying a greater popularity and sales in Canada rather then US where Chevy trucks still hold a grip on the first place.