Trucks & SUVs

GM Had Some Great Truck Concepts-What Happened?

As upstart Tesla sucks the air out of the conventional pickup truck atmosphere, we can only think back to General Motors. All of the millions and maybe billions of dollars it has spent on pickup research. And concepts. And focus groups. What happened? GM has produced some great truck concepts over the years but has chosen to distill them all into bland production trucks.

That’s one of the reasons why Chevy is in third place in pickup sales. It loves to tell us it knows pickups better than anyone. If we go by its past concept trucks, we believe them.

One of the bad things about the internet is that it is so easy to call up the past. Punch in three words, click the button, and it’s all laid bare for everyone to remember. It would be but a forgotten memory for those of us that don’t remember what we had for lunch.

The GM Concept Truck Conundrum

We’re not angry or out to get GM. It does what it does when it does it, and we can only become Monday morning quarterbacks. But the sum total of what GM has teased us with, and the products it chooses to instead produce, is a conundrum as vast as the universe itself.  

With all of the resources, money, and experience GM has from these 100-plus years in business, it should have done better. The fading images on the internet are reminders of what was once the bleeding edge of knowledge and design. At least for the car and truck biz. 

Instead of great GM truck concepts, we got these

So here’s a rundown of how GM knew what we wanted for trucks, knew what it could produce, but didn’t. Instead, we got Uplanders, Monte Carlos, Chevettes, diesel Oldsmobiles, 4-6-8 Cadillacs, Cimarrons, Citations, and Azteks. Oh, those Azteks. 

These concepts are how you get the good design, by trotting out your best stuff and then building upon it and the public’s reception to it. If it’s polarizing like the Tesla Cybertruck, so much the better. The public will give you plenty of feedback on what it wants and needs. Then follow their lead of your lead.

How come great concepts become the Silverado 2500?

What continually happens in the parallel universe that is GM are the kinds of trucks we see like the Silverado 2500. We don’t know how it finalizes designs, only that the finalized design can be unappealing. It’s not polarizing, so it won’t solicit such righteous remarks. Instead, it’s just not very compelling, so instead, it elicits nothing. 

So on a cheerier note take a look below at some exciting truck designs from the vast wasteland of “teased today, gone tomorrow” GM-think.

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2020 Sierra HD sketch by GMC designer Karan Moorjani
2020 Sierra HD sketch by GMC designer Karan Moorjani
GMC Terradyne 2000-002
GMC Terradyne 2000-002
2008 GMC Denali XT Concept Blue
2008 GMC Denali XT Concept
Granite Concept 2010
Granite Concept 2010
2001-GMC_TerraCross-Concept-Image-01-800
2001 GMC TerraCross Concept
All Terrain HD Concept 2011
All Terrain HD Concept 2011
Cheyenne Concept 2003
Cheyenne Concept 2003
2005-GMC-Graphyte-Concept
2005 GMC Graphyte Concept
2020 Sierra HD Denali sketch by GMC designer Karan Moorjani
2020 Sierra HD Denali sketch by GMC designer Karan Moorjani
1988_GMC-Centaur
1988 GMC-Centaur