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About GMCThe GMC nameplate's first year was 1912. The company was formed from a merger of Rapid and Reliance truck companies already under the GM corporate umbrella. The first trucks were available in either gasoline or electric configurations, with electric covering a half-ton to 6-ton capacity, and gasoline from 2-5 tons.
During the First World War, the Model 16 1-ton truck performed admirably as an ambulance. It became the basis of the first K-series trucks. Engines, and even some platforms, were borrowed from Pontiac and Buick until the early '30s when GMC began producing their own engine based on Buick design.
Where GMC has differed significantly from other GM offerings is medium- and heavy-duty commercial production. Fire trucks, ambulances, and motorhomes have all been... View more part of the GMC fleet. A total of 812,262 GMC CCKWs, also known as Deuce and a Halfs, and 21,147 DUKWs were produced for military use in World War II, and later during the Korean War.
A major restyling of the pickup line took place in 1955. A new V8 was introduced, along with relocation of the battery from under the passenger's floorboard to under the hood. More redesigns came in 1960, 1967, and again in 1981--mirroring the changes of the sibling Chevrolet pickups.
GMC entered the compact truck market in 1982 with the S-15, to be replaced by the Sonoma in 1991. A high performance variant of the Sonoma, the Syclone, was available that first year only. It was the first truck to receive four-wheel anti-lock brake system. In a Car and Driver comparison, the Syclone was pitted against a Ferrari 348 TS. It ran a 14.1 @ 93 mph to the Ferrari's 14.5 @ 99 mph in a quarter mile drag run. The next year, GMC's high performance offering was a variant of the Jmmy SUV, known as the Typhoon. It shared the same 280-hp turbocharged 4.3-liter in the Syclone. From 1992 to 1993, 4,697 of the SUVs were produced.
Vans have held a spot in GMC's lineup since the 1964 introduction of the G-series. Minivans were booming in the '80s and GMC was happy to jump in with Chevrolet on the Safari/Astro van. The longest running models were the full-size Rallys and Vanduras, built from 1970 to 1996. Their replacement, the Savana, came out that year and sold 139,735 its first four years. It shares a spot on the assembly line next to the Chevrolet Express.
GMC's current passenger vehicles consist of shared platforms with other GM products. The Sierra pickup is essentially the same as the Chevrolet Silverado, differing in trim and front end design. The Yukon SUV shares the Suburban platform along with the Cadillac Escalade. The crossovers Acadia (introduced in 2007) and Terrain (2009) are based on the Lambda and Theta platforms, respectively. GMC reportedly green-lighted the Granite concept for production in February, 2011. It will be a compact multi-purpose vehicle sharing a global underpinning with the Chevrolet Cruze and all-electric Volt. View less
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