HISTORY OF GMC
GMC’s origins can be traced back to the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, the Reliance Motor Company, and the Randolph Motor Car Company. Rapid and Reliance were both founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1902. Randolph was founded in 1907 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1908 and 1909, these companies became subsidiaries of General Motors. In 1912, General Motors Truck Company was formed with the combination of these three makes, and the use of the GMC name began.
For most of its history, GMC specialized in the production of vehicles intended for commercial use. They consistently produced a wide variety of trucks in different sizes, configurations, and capabilities. In 1917, the last GMC electric truck was produced. During World War I, GMC produced an astonishing amount of model 16AA ambulances, up to 50 per day.
In 1925, GMC merged with Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company to from the Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing Company, a new subsidiary of GM. This subsidiary would officially become GMC Truck & Coach Division in 1943. Sales struggled during the great depression, but innovations, such as cab-over-engine models in 1934, were still made.
World War II provided GMC with the opportunity to drastically aid the war effort through the production of military trucks, armored vehicles, and Duck boats. In total, 583,925 GMC vehicles were produced for the war effort.
Following World War II, GMC enjoyed increased sales and expanded model lines, particularly into light duty trucks. These included models such as the famed New Design series released in 1947, and the Blue Chip series in 1955. The C and K series of light duty trucks, first introduced in 1960, would go on to be produced until 1998.
The 1970s and 1980s brought greater improvements, and other new models such as the GMC Sprint and the GMC Cabellero (both based on the Chevrolet El Camino) as well as the legendary GMC S-15 and S-15 Jimmy. The 1990s brought greater emphasis on SUVs to GMC, including the Suburban (which was originally introduced in 1937), the Jimmy, the Yukon, the Envoy, and, eventually, the Yukon XL. Recent times have brought about the introduction of the Acadia and the Terrain, two smaller, mid-sized SUVs.
In short, GMC has proved to be an incredibly important part of the commercial, the military, and (more recently) the passenger vehicle industries throughout their over a century of history. In the future, GMC is set to continue its relentless quest for the innovation and growth.