Trucks & SUVs

Are GM and GMC the Same Manufacturer?

The history of a car company can actually be pretty interesting. General Motors (GM) is one of the most prominent American car companies in automotive history. But what about GMC? Are GM and GMC the same manufacturer?

A white GMC Sierra on display at Chicago Auto Show
GMC Sierra at the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

GMC is known for workhorse truck models like the GMC Sierra. Plus, family SUVs like the GMC Yukon or the GMC Terrain. But how did it become the truck brand we recognize today?

What does GMC stand for?

GMC stands for General Motors Truck Company, and here’s how it happened. Back in the early 1900s, GM was establishing itself as a major automotive manufacturer. According to GMC, GM began buying Rapid Motor Vehicle Company shares. By 1909, Rapid Motors became fully owned by GM.

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Rapid Motors was already producing trucks in Pontiac, Michigan. In fact, the same year that GM acquired Rapid, a Rapid truck made headlines by reaching the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado. Just a few years later, the GMC logo appeared on its first truck and the GMC truck brand was born.

Later, in 1916, General Motors Truck Company (GMC) wanted to really up the stakes and put itself on the map. A man named William Warwick drove a GMC truck all the way from Seattle, Washington to New York. The truck carried a ton of Carnation canned milk all the way there, and then he drove back. The story goes that the truck was a one and a half ton model and it took the truck about 21 weeks and 9,500 miles to make the journey.

Then, on the fiftieth anniversary of that voyage, some 1966 GMC truck models driven by professionals traversed the same historic path. Except for this time, it only took 6 days. Since then the brand has continued to grow, producing new models like the GMC Sierra, and has become the premium truck brand that we are familiar with today.

GMC truck innovation moves into the future with electric vehicles

GM has begun making promises for the future of its brands. Just recently GMC introduced an all-new electric pickup truck. The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is “here to change the game” according to GMC.

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As many auto manufacturers fix their eyes on the future and the coming electrification of the global automotive industry, GM is keeping up. By releasing the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, General Motors remains a fully relevant company. Other companies GM owns, like Cadillac, are also teasing fully electric models.

Are GM and GMC the same manufacturer?

GM and GMC are not technically the same manufacturer. It’s more that GM owns the GMC brand rather than the two actually being the same entity. According the the General Motors Wikipedia page, GM owns four leading brands in the U.S.

Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac are all brands owned by the General Motors parent company. GMC is a truck and SUV brand that produces models like the GMC Sierra pickup truck. These units largely share the platforms that are produced under the GM corporate umbrella and then packaged and badged as either GM or Chevrolet products.