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What Does GMC Stand For?

gmc yukon 2021 03 exterior  front  headlights  red jpg 2021 GMC Yukon | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

GMC stands for General Motors Co., which is a subsidiary of General Motors. GM also controls the Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands in the U.S. GMC is most famous for its truck-focused lineup of vehicles, though it currently offers SUVs and vans in addition to pickup trucks. The closest it has come to ever selling a car in the U.S. were the Sprint and Caballero, GMC-badged versions of the Chevrolet El Camino “coupe utility” vehicle (in plain language: car up front, pickup in back).

Related: 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL Video: Dare to Be Different

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GMC as a brand name has existed since 1911, but even before then, companies that would eventually become GMC were making trucks. The Reliance and Rapid truck companies were founded in Detroit in 1902 and were brought under control of GM in 1908 and 1909, respectively. GM also acquired a controlling interest in the Randolph Motor Car Co. that year, but sold control back to Randolph’s founder in 1912.

The GMC badge was first used on Rapid- and Reliance-built trucks in 1912, where they were first displayed to the public at that year’s New York auto show. Since then, GMC has built a variety of light- and heavy-duty trucks as well as commercial vehicles like buses and military vehicles. The most recognizable of its heritage vehicles is arguably the DUKW-353 2.5-ton amphibious 6×6 military vehicle, commonly called the “Duck.” Many original and reproduction versions of the Duck are used as tour vehicles in U.S. cities.

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GMC’s current vehicle lineup includes the Canyon mid-size pickup, Sierra full-size pickup line, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs, Savana line of passenger and commercial vans (Savana … get it?), and Sierra HD commercial trucks. GMC will also sell the upcoming Hummer EV all-electric pickup.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and Cars.com in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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