The 2021 GMC Canyon hasn’t been the most popular pickup truck on the market. The bigger GMC Sierra 1500 is a work truck staple, with a long history and a devoted truck customer base. The Canyon doesn’t have that. So, why has the tide suddenly turned on the crazy uptick in GMC Canyon sales over the past year?
The 2021 GMC Canyon is the lowest-rated truck on Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports gave the 2021 GMC Canyon an overall score of 44/100, earning it a tied last place with the 2021 Chevy Colorado. It is important to note that Consumer Reports is a thorough and trusted source, but not the final word. They tend to grade trucks fairly harshly because they are rating everything the same way. A pickup truck cannot be expected to be as agile, quiet, and comfortable as a sedan or even SUV.
With that in mind, Gear Patrol reports that sales have skyrocketed for the 2021 GMC Canyon. In Q1 of 2020, the Canyon only sold 4,483 units. For Q1 of 2021, the 7,144 units of the Canyon sold. That is a growth of 59 percent. That is more than any sales manager could ever hope to see. So, what happened to make people want the Canyon?
The GMC Canyon AT4 trim is super cool
There are some strong competitors in the mid-size pickup truck market, the Toyota Tacoma, the Jeep Gladiator, and the new Ford Ranger, only to name a few. It seems that the Canyon struggled to stand out, but maybe this new AT4 package helped it rise through the ranks.
The AT4 trim is a tough off-road package that adds features like a specially-tuned suspension, hill descent control, and a locking rear differential. These are the building blocks for a true off-road rig. But the upgrades didn’t stop there. For the 2021 models, GMC added the Off-Road Performance Editon.
What is the GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition?
The GMC Canyon with the performance kit automatically gets a 35 percent approach angle by adding a suspension leveling kit and removing the front air dam. The list of goodies continues with rocker panel protectors and front and mid aluminum skid plates and adds interior protection with floor liners and a spray-in bed liner.
The GMC Canyon sales might have gone up because GMC didn’t just make it better, but the Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance package looks way cooler than the base Canyon. The package includes 17-inch gloss black wheels, Carbon Black AT4 logos, and a gloss black exhaust tip.
Is there something else at work here?
The increase in GMC Canyon sales might also be due to the pandemic? Over the past year, truck sales have been pretty dang good across the board. More people have moved from cities and into the suburbs and rural counties than in recent years. This could be part of the reason more people are buying trucks in general. As the old saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
As the more popular trucks have been selling and the recent semiconductor chip shortage has raked the auto industry, more models have become nearly impossible to buy. This leaves a good opportunity for the less popular models, like the Canyon, to make a play and start selling trucks.
GMC Canyon sales’ massive bump is likely a mixture of both the increasing market and the rad new package available for the Canyon. I will choose to believe it’s the new hardcore Off-Road Performance Edition bringing in the buyers – for GMC’s sake.