For many car and truck enthusiasts, GMC is one of, if not, the leading and most popular brands. But what does it mean? GMC stands for General Motor Company. But the GMC we know now had a lot of changes throughout its lifetime of over a hundred years.
History of GMC
Today, we know GMC formerly as General Motors Truck Company, or the GMC truck & Coach Division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) which focused on manufacturing trucks and utility vehicles. In the past, GMC produced heavy-duty trucks, ambulances, fire trucks, military vehicles, transit buses, and motor homes. Today it caters to the luxury vehicle market and manufactures pickup trucks, SUVs, vans, and light-duty trucks.
GMCs roots can be traced back to 1900 when brothers Max and Morris Grabowsky established the “Grabowsky Motor Company”. This was then renamed as “Rapid Motor Vehicle Company” in 1902 when they moved their operations to Pontiac, Michigan. Later in 1909, the company known as Rapid Motor Vehicle Company would be acquired by GM (General Motors) which was owned by William C. Durant, and was subsequently made a subsidiary of his company. This acquisition would later be merged with another one of GM’s company acquisitions, the Reliance Motor Car Company, which was acquired in 1908.
By 1911, “General Motors Truck Company” was created as a means to fold both Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and Reliance Motor Car Company into it. By the next year, 1912, both company names were replaced with gust “GMC”. And thus the name ubiquitous with high-end trucks was born. GMC acted as a division in General Motors that focused on truck production. All the production took place in the former Rapid Motor Plant 1 in Pontiac, Michigan.
Did you know that the early production of trucks from GMC was powered by batteries? You might have thought that electric cars like TESLA are the vehicles of the future that don’t need gas or fossil fuel to run. But way back in 1912, trucks manufactured by GMC were “electric” as they ran on batteries. These “electric” trucks could even haul 1,000lbs and even up to six tons of load depending on their build. It wouldn’t be until about 20 years later that trucks manufactured would run on Fuel.
Age of Fuel
By 1931, the Detroit Diesel engine started working with GMC. Later manufactured trucks were then switched from running on batteries to running on fuel. This signaled a new age within GMC and its truck manufacturing. No longer will their trucks be strictly “electric” With Detroit Diesel, trucks manufactured by GMC now run on fuel.
1931 was also the same year when GMC began its partnership with Chevrolet. Since then, the brans co-existed and made nearly identical models up until recently.
GMC has been building its identity and branding in the truck segment since its early conception. Through the years, they have gained a strong foothold in this market segment and have become one of, if not, the most popular brands when it comes to trucks and more recently, SUVs. Its long colorful history dating back to more than a hundred years has solidified its status as a premiere truck manufacturing company that not only exudes quality but also excellence. The acronym GMC may stand for General Motor Company, but looking at this company’s rich history, it means so much more than that. So the next time you’re in the market for a truck or an SUV, GMC should be on top of your list, if not, the only one on your list of brands to choose from.