Trucks & SUVs

Why Does GMC Copy Chevy so Much?

General Motors truck Company (GMC) and Chevrolet are among the top truck brand names in the United States. But you don’t have to be a car expert to notice that the two company’s vehicles, particularly the trucks, are very similar in appearance. Is GMC just copying Chevy then?

GMC and Chevy are under the same umbrella

Both Chevrolet and GMC are owned by General Motors (GM). This means both companies can work together to develop new features or designs. It isn’t that GMC is copying Chevy, it’s just collaboration.

Chevrolet

The Chevrolet division of GM was originally founded by William C. Durant in 1911. Back then, the first big challenge was developing a competitor for Ford’s Model T. The division was later taken over by Louis Chevrolet.

In the U.S., Chevy produces a broad range of quality vehicles from subcompact cars to mid-size pickup trucks. Chevy is a household name and often used when talking about all GM and its offerings.

GMC

The GMC division of GM was also founded by William C. Durant in 1911 and it’s headquartered in Detroit. GMC produces sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks. Under the management of GM, they sell buses, commercial trucks, military vehicles, pickup trucks, and vans worldwide.

So why the similarities? It’s a way for GM to make the most of it’s production process. Through GMC, it can offer upgraded GMC versions of popular Chevy trucks.

SUVs, trucks, and vans

There are some distinct similarities between Chevy and GMC when it comes to SUVs, trucks, and vans. It’s easy to see how it creates confusion. Even if you know that both brands are owned by GM, you may be wondering what the difference between them really is. Is one better than the other?

In truth, the companies are a lot alike. Many of the differences are cosmetic. You’ll find differences in the different trim levels including emblems, grilles, cabin design, and more. There’s also the fact that GMC uses higher-quality materials to offer a more luxurious vehicle than Chevy.

In the ’60s, you could tell one from the other by the headlights. Chevy came with dual-headlights while GMC had quad-headlights. By the early ’70s, GM stopped producing vehicles with quad-headlights and it became harder to tell trucks from the two brands apart. From that time, both Chevy and GMC began producing similar truck lines.

Chevy Silverado vs GMC Sierra

One great example of similar truck styling under the GM umbrella is the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra. The trucks are often referred to as “the twins.” They are two of the most popular light-duty trucks available today.

Similarities

Both trucks offer square wheel wells. Depending on the engine selected, both trucks can tow up to 12,500 pounds. The powertrains and basic mechanical makeup are pretty equal. When it comes to handling, ride quality and performance, you’ll likely get a comparable experience.

Differences

There’s branding to state the obvious. It’s a big deal to fans of the individual brands and important to take into consideration.

The front end design is a big difference between the two trucks. Where the Sierra has a boxier nose and front-end presentation, the Silverado is sleek. You’ll notice differences between the bumpers, fog lights, grilles, and headlights.

The luxury level is different but then GMC trucks are marketed as and know for being more upscale than the more affordable Chevy trucks. The features are always comparable but better materials are used in the GMC vehicles.

There’s also a price difference that reflects the variation in materials and features offered. The GMC Sierra starts at $29,000 where the Chevy Silverado starts at $28,285.

The trucks offered by Chevy and GMC are very similar, offering comparable package options, features, and value. Whether off-road or on-road, handling and performance are close to identical. GMC’s interiors have less noise, are more upscale, and cost a little more. So next time somebody tries to tell you GMC is copying Chevy, let them know that both are playing for the same team.