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Old 04-16-2013, 04:15 PM   #1
DeadheadNM
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Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

Why did/does GM have both GMC and Chevy divisions making pickup trucks? Obviously, some folks will be biased in terms of personal preference for one or the other. As a company though, why have competing divisions and the added cost of those parts that are unique etc. when these vehicles are close to the same? What's the story?
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

GMC was under the BOP side... so they could sell trucks on the same lots as BOP's.

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Old 04-16-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

Huh - GMCs alongside passenger cars. Guess that increases the number of available dealers. Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

I've wondered that too, all I can come up with is, someone at GM said let's have two lines of trucks, but only one will carry cars....I've never seen a GMC belair or impala....who knows, someone had the idea though
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

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GMC was under the BOP side... so they could sell trucks on the same lots as BOP's.

Gary

stupid ? what does BOP stand for?
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

Buick..Olds..Pontiac
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

HAHA....it all makes sense now!!!
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:51 PM   #8
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

Also back in the day GMC came standard with more of the heavy duty items that was optional on Chevy. I know when I was ordering a 89 Suburban the Chevy was over 3000.00 more than the GMC due to HD stuff I was adding. I wound up ordering a GMC and changing it to the better looking Chevy Grill and name plates
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

They both produce trucks because you can never have too much of a good thing. Thats my guess even though I know it's wrong.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:19 PM   #10
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

there were people that for instance drove a Buick but would not consider driving an Oldsmobile. Same with Cehbby and GMC trucks.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:34 PM   #11
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Smile Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

I agree with the gmc-bop connection. However, iirc, around 1950 even the GMC inline 6 cylinders had more cubic inches than the cousin, Chevrolet. Trying to say that at one time there was more difference between the 2 brands.
I can recall from full service station experience, the larger GMC held 7 qts. of oil, while the comparable year Chevy held 2 qts less. A mistake here was definitely not good for customer relations!
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:55 PM   #12
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

Why does Ford sell Lincolns and Mercurys? Chevy is considered a base model, GMC is considered a step up, with more Chevy options as standard, but both based on the same basic vehicle. Most all brands have tried an upscale division, and they get eliminated if they don't produce. Oldsmobile is on a par with Buick, they got eliminated, just like Pontiac lost to Chevrolet. Imperial was a separate model at one time for Chrysler. Even the rice burners have done it, Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infinity etc. I've always thought GMCs were not as stylish as Chevrolets.
Did you know GMC made a version of the El Camino?
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:05 PM   #13
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

GMC did have a car...kinda of a car it was the el camino version called the sprint.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:25 AM   #14
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

So then which came first: GMC or Chevy trucks...
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1972 K1500 GMC

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:06 AM   #15
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

Considering GMC Truck stands for General Motors Corporation Truck Division, hmm, I'd say GMC. It goes back to 1908, before Buick (The foundation of GM) aquired Chevrolet in 1911.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:03 AM   #16
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

People generally have it backwards and ask why is there a GMC truck division or say they offer GMCs because...this or that. The fact is,GMC came first. GMC is GM's truck,THEN,Chevy decided to offer one years later. GM was formed in 1908. In 1909 they bought the Rapid Motor Vehicle Co.(est. 1901) and Reliance Motor Car Co. which then became the General Motors Truck Co. on 1911. In 1912 they became GMCs. The first Chevy truck appeared in 1924,but in-house designs not till 1930.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:12 AM   #17
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

most of the gmc's of our vintage were leaf spring instead of coil and there were some 'truck only'engines in the larger stuff that weren't just chevy big or small blocks
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:42 AM   #18
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

I personally find the GMC's to be better looking as of recent models i.e. 2007 to present. 67-72 I could care less if it is a Chevy or a GMC as long as I have one.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:38 PM   #19
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

The ONLY thing that bothers me about there being two different lines is that Ford gets to brag about being the #1 selling truck.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #20
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

Don't forget, Cadillac makes GM "trucks" too
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:55 PM   #21
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

I really feel that GM has maintained the 2 brands to kind of fuel the Chevy/Ford rivalry. From a marketing standpoint GM has always pitted it's own brands against each other as a means of progressing customers through the ranks as they evolve in their lives. That said specific division loyalty used to be pretty established in the '60s and '70s especially between divisions like Pontiac and Chevrolet, and between Buick and Oldsmobile among their respective customers. They were not simply viewed as a more upscale version of the other. This is back in the "Body by Fisher" days and it was more looked upon as division adapted bodies supplied to independent manufactures within GM, is that what it really was? not really, but it was the perception that GM tried to evoke.

GMC has always been the truck division, Chevy trucks are there to round out the Chevrolet line so that the dealerships could offer a full lineup with a homogeneous mark like rival Ford did and to a lesser extent Dodge. Transit busses, and for the most part heavy trucks were the exclusive domain of GMC although I think Chevrolet did produce some heavy trucks.

I bought my Suburban new in 1991 from an exclusive GMC dealership and they were very different places then the typical car dealership. They were very oriented towards fleet purchases, almost non-existent showroom, presentation was more out of 3 ring binder spec sheet books as opposed to glossy consumer oriented brochures. It may be true that GMC was an optional carry for BOP dealerships in more rural areas but in urban areas GMC was more typically exclusive commercial truck dealerships oriented towards commercial customers and in that sense competed more against Mack, Freightliner and International Harvester than it did against brands like Ford and Dodge.

As is probably obvious from my signature I'm one of those guys that doesn't really see Chevy and GMC as interchangeable marks, even though I know they really are at the light/medium consumer level. I like the association that the GMC mark has with things more industrial, which is probably strangely ironic considering my current build is sort of de-industrializing a Jimmy, but to me that is what makes it more fun.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #22
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

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The ONLY thing that bothers me about there being two different lines is that Ford gets to brag about being the #1 selling truck.
True true, yet they do make great trucks.


As I always understood it Chevy was the working mans truck and GMC was more of a $tatus symbol that costs more and did everything the Chevy could do but nothing more. Like the difference between folgers and starbucks.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:28 PM   #23
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

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As I always understood it Chevy was the working mans truck and GMC was more of a $tatus symbol that costs more and did everything the Chevy could do but nothing more. Like the difference between folgers and starbucks.
Not really GM marketed GMC as for professionals and Chevrolet for consumers. Consider the Slogans over the years:

"The Truck People from General Motors"
"Rugged Quality Trucks"
"Quality Built for Value"
"Tough Quality Trucks with Value"
"Trucks are what we're all about"
"A Truck you can live with"
"It's not Just a Truck Anymore"
"Professional Grade"
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #24
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

My dad and uncle both worked for GM dealerships most of their careers and told me GMC was the heavy duty trucks and Chevy the lighter duty version.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:53 PM   #25
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Re: Educate me: Why does GM have both GMC and Chevrolet divisions making trucks?

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My dad and uncle both worked for GM dealerships most of their careers and told me GMC was the heavy duty trucks and Chevy the lighter duty version.
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Marketing at it's finest, considering both trucks roll off the same assembly lines, with identical parts.
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