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GMC has been and is one of the most successful automotive brands in the history of consumer motor vehicle manufacturing and sales, having been in operation for over a century now. It is one of the few original makes that has survived to the present day, establishing a reputation over the course of its life for creating quality, dependable and high performing trucks and vehicles. Today, it continues to build upon that reputation and it is supported by a large base of brand loyalists. We here at 1A Auto, like you, love our GMC trucks and vehicles. However, like with all vehicles, things happen and parts need to be replaced. At 1A Auto, it is our mission to supply you with the parts you need to keep your GMC working in tip top shape, including your classic GMC trucks.

If you are in need of a replacement part for your GMC truck, SUV, crossover, etc., you've come to the right place. At 1A Auto, we get you the right GMC parts for your vehicle, at a great discount. You'll find a large selection of new, high quality aftermarket GMC auto parts, including headlights, taillights, weatherstripping, mirrors, door handles, exhaust manifolds, radiators, and more. We don't only just sell aftermarket GMC parts online here at 1A Auto; we also carry a selection of new, genuine OEM replacement parts - the very same parts you would receive if purchased from your local dealer, but without the inflated cost - and performance parts such as high flow air filters for your GMC as well.

Our product development team spends over 8,000 hours a year researching the best GMC auto parts, and they are carefully selected by our trained engineers so you can rest assured that you are getting the correct, high quality part you need for your truck or SUV, at a discount price. If we wouldn't put the part in our own vehicles, we won't sell them to anyone else. A new aftermarket replacement GMC part from 1A Auto will save you 30-50% on average over a comparable new OEM replacement GMC part that you would get at a dealership, and our new aftermarket GMC parts are also extremely durable and reliable. Don't overpay for GMC truck parts and save yourself from a lot of potential headaches by shopping at 1A Auto.

You can shop for all of your GMC auto parts online and buy safely and securely right here on our website, or you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about any of our parts, or to buy over the phone. With over 150 years combined experience, 1A Auto's customer service representatives are the most qualified to answer your questions about all of our new, aftermarket, genuine OEM, and performance GMC truck parts. Our representatives answer 99.9% of phone calls in less than one minute and emails are responded to within the hour because we know you need answers quickly to get your beloved GMC back in working order again. We also know you want your part fast for the same reason; 98% of in stock GMC truck parts ship from our warehouse within one business day so that you can get back on the road in no time, and all ground shipping in the continental US is completely free. And, in the unlikely case that you are unhappy with your GMC auto part for any reason, 1A Auto also offers the only No Hassle return policy for unused items in the industry. Simply put, our competitors can't beat the 1A Advantage. Don't just take it from us - take it from over 50,000 satisfied customers!

Look no further than 1A Auto for your aftermarket, original equipment (OE) replacement, new and performance GMC parts and get your truck or SUV the new parts it needs today from car enthusiasts just like you! If you happen to be an enthusiastic GMC owner, have a deep passion for GMC vehicles, or just want to learn more about the automobile manufacturer, continue reading below for a detailed look at the brand's history and some of its past and present models.

Overview

GMC is a vehicle division of General Motors, commonly abbreviated as GM, and has existed for over 100 years. GMC currently manufactures a diverse and complete line of trucks, as well as vans, SUVs, crossovers and commercial vehicles. In the past, GMC has also manufactured vehicles for the military, motorhomes, and even transit buses. The brand is marketed in North America and in Middle Eastern countries and is considered to be the high-end and professional truck line of General Motors.

Contents

1. Origin
2. Evolution of GMC
3. 2000's to Today

Origin

The origins of the brand known today as GMC can be traced all the way back to the early 1900’s and two automobile manufacturers – the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and the Reliance Motor Car Company. In 1900, brothers Max and Morris Grabowsky formed the Grabowsky Motor Vehicle Company and began building a commercial truck prototype. The prototype was completed in 1901 but while testing it, the brothers realized that it was underpowered and began working on a second truck. A year later in 1902, they reorganized and formed the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, the first forerunner of today’s GMC brand, and sold their first truck, a 2-cylinder, one-ton model more powerful than their original prototype. The truck literally consisted of a frame with wheels, an engine cover and a bench seat. It was in this same year of 1902 that the second ancestral branch of GMC, the Reliance Motor Company, started operations in Detroit, producing and selling their first trucks in 1903. Reliance would also manufacture passenger cars in addition to trucks for a short time, but that part of their business was sold off to another company in 1907 and they began focusing entirely on trucks at that point. In 1904, the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company was formally incorporated and the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works, which was founded in 1899 by Albert North and Harry Hamilton who would later go on to build the first “Pontiac”-named automobile, provided some additional financial assistance to the new company at the behest of North. In addition, Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works started building Rapid trucks in their own plant located in Pontiac, Michigan. Also in 1904, the Reliance Motor Company was reorganized into the Reliance Motor Car Company.

In 1905, The Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. was again reorganized by Max and Morris Grabowsky, A. G. North and Harry Hamilton, and later that year, North took control of Rapid and became its president. That same year the company built a truck assembly plant in Pontiac, believed to be the first plant in the world to build only commercial vehicles when it started actual production in 1906. During this period, the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company produced numerous vehicles, and their trucks eventually attracted the attention of William Durant, the founder of General Motors. GM was incorporated in 1908 in New Jersey as the General Motors Holding Company, originally as a holding company for Buick which Durant controlled at the time. In 1908, Durant began purchasing stock in Rapid and also acquired Reliance, reorganizing it as the Reliance Motor Truck Company, making it a subsidiary of General Motors. In 1909, GM bought out Rapid completely, making them a subsidiary of GM as well. In 1910, Durant became financially overextended due to his many company acquisitions and banking interests assumed control of GM, while forcing Durant from his top management position. Durant left and co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company a year later.

As a result of the acquisitions and merging of Reliance and Rapid, GM organized the General Motors Truck Company (GMTC) in 1911 in order to sell Rapid and Reliance trucks. The “GMC” name, which was an acronym for General Motors Company, was first used in the business dealings of GMTC not long after. In 1912, Rapid and Reliance trucks featuring the GMC nameplate applied to them were shown at the New York International Auto Show, and this was the first time that the GMC logo was seen by the public. Shortly afterwards, the GMC brand name replaced the Rapid and Reliance brand names on all trucks then being produced. A copyright for the “GMC” trademark which had been applied for earlier was granted later that same year and by 1913 all Rapid and Reliance trucks were formally branded as GMC branded truck models. In 1914, the first trucks to be designed by GMTC engineers were introduced, and these models were meant to replace the Rapid and Reliance trucks. In 1915, the GMC Truck Division of General Motors was formed.

Not long afterwards, thanks to the profitability of Chevrolet, William Durant was able to repurchase a controlling interest in GM and he returned as head of the company, bringing Chevrolet along with him after the deal was complete. GMC and Chevrolet trucks would continue to have a close relationship throughout both of their histories, as even today their trucks are virtually identical for the most part except for the grilles and nameplates, though the their differences have varied over the years. The General Motors Corporation was then incorporated in Delaware at this time and what was the General Motors Company of New Jersey was dissolved. However, Durant would lose control of the company again, this time for good, in 1920. In 1917, General Motors Corporation changed all of its wholly owned vehicle manufacturing and supplier companies to divisions of GM and thus "GMC" became a clearly distinct brand within the overall corporation, which was at that point forward abbreviated as GM. During these early years, GMC offered a mix of trucks.

Evolution of GMC

In 1917, the United States entered World War I. While GMC continued to produce trucks for the civilian population during the war, by 1918 almost all of their truck production was for military use. In addition, the company also manufactured other types of vehicles for the U.S. Army during this time, including ambulances. GMC’s aiding in the war effort helped to buoy the popularity of motor trucks in general as well as the GMC brand in the eyes of civilians. In 1925, the General Motors Truck Corporation (GMT Corp.) was formed as the manufacturer of GMC trucks, and the owner of the truck plants in Pontiac. The old General Motors Truck Company was continued as the sales subsidiary of GMT Corp. Later in that same year, the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company merged with GMT Corp. to form Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing Company (YT&CMC). The Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company (formerly the Walden W. Shaw Livery Co) was originally formed in 1920 as a subsidiary of the Yellow Cab Company, which was founded in 1914 by John Hertz, to manufacture taxicabs. However, starting in 1921, the company also produced passenger cars and light trucks (called Yellocab’s) throughout the 1920’s until shortly after its merger with GM. The company also began producing buses under the name of the Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company during this time, with its plant being adjacent to that of the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company. The merger with GM brought these manufacturing plants and the GMTC truck plants in Pontiac all under one roof and YT&CMC control. GM acquired a controlling interest of the new YT&CMC company and it became an affiliated subsidiary (not a division) of GM. During the 1920’s, the design of GMC trucks really came into their own, establishing a unique and distinct look that began to set the company apart from its competition.

In 1936, the General Motors Truck Corporation was dissolved and shortly after, the Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company became the sole manufacturer of GMC trucks and trailers as well as Yellow branded coaches. Later that year, General Motors Truck & Coach Division was formed and took over for the most part as the sales subsidiary for YT&CMC. In 1937, GMC introduced its version of the Suburban Carryall light utility vehicle, which was based on the Chevrolet model that had been released a few years earlier. The name eventually was trimmed to just “Suburban,” and GMC’s version kept that name until being re-branded as the Yukon XL for the 2000 model year. The market for trucks really expanded during the 1930s, and GMC was right there to meet this demand with many new design elements for their models inspired by popular car trends at the time. This helped the company to appeal to many new truck customers across the United States.

In the 1940’s, GMC was extremely active during World War II, producing hundreds of thousands of vehicles for use by the United States Military. Civilian truck production was halted beginning in June of 1942, and continuing into 1944 when limited production was allowed. After the war ended in 1945, all government restrictions were lifted on civilian truck production shortly thereafter. One other significant company event that occurred during the war was in 1943, when GM purchased the remaining stake of the Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing Company. The former YT&CMC was dissolved and the new company was renamed the GMC Truck & Coach Division of the General Motors Corporation. The Yellow Coach badge was then eliminated in 1944 and gave way to the GM Coach or just GM nameplate. The GMC badge did not appear on buses until 1968. GMC was at the forefront of innovation following WWII including the production of the first trucks to feature fully integrated headlights, and continuing throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s. During the 1960’s, GMC began producing vans, starting with the GMC Handi-Van and Handi-Bus. GMC introduced a handful of new changes and designs on their pickup truck models during the 1960’s as well, which was another watershed decade for the brand. This included the introduction of its C and K series, the name of its full-size pickup truck line, which lasted all the way until 1998 when they were discontinued and replaced in 1999 with the Sierra badge. The GMC Astro 95 heavy-duty cab-over-engine truck was also released in 1969, which represented a major change in their cab-over truck lineup. Eventually shortened to just “GMC Astro,” the truck was discontinued following the 1987 year.

The early 1970’s saw the Handi-Van and the Handi-Bus be replaced by the all new GMC Vandura and Rallywagon G vans. These vans featured many new styling features and performance upgrades and were produced until 1996, when they were discontinued. The GMC Jimmy full-size light sport utility vehicle was also released in the early 1970’s, which was GMC’s version of the Chevy K5 Blazer. This version of the Jimmy lasted until 1992 when it was completely redesigned and replaced by the Yukon badge. The GMC Sprint light pickup truck, based on the GM “A” car platform, was also released. It basically was a car with a truck bed. It was replaced by the Caballero for the 1978 year and the vehicle continued to be produced until being discontinued after the 1987 year. GMC also began offering a crew cab truck for the first time during the 1970’s, to satisfy those consumers who wanted to haul more equipment in their pickup. Additional developments were made to improve the commercial capabilities and appeal of GMC trucks during this decade as well. It was also during the 1970’s that GMC began manufacturing motorhomes; however this was short lived as production was discontinued in 1978. The heavy-duty GMC General and GMC Brigadier were also introduced in the late 1970’s.

The 1980’s was a busy decade for GMC. In terms of organization, GM formed the General Motors Truck & Bus Group in the early 1980’s which was given worldwide responsibility for the design, manufacture, sales and service of all GM trucks and buses. The Group included three main organizations, one of which was the GM Truck & Bus Vehicle Operation. Included in this organization were the Truck & Bus Manufacturing Division which was responsible for all GM truck and bus producing plants in the United States; the Engineering Operation of Truck & Bus Vehicle Operations; and the GMC Truck & Coach Division which included the sales, international, financial, business planning, personnel and public relations employees. Later, truck manufacturing and assembly operations of GMC Truck & Coach Division, GM Assembly Division and the Chevrolet Motor Division were merged to reform the GM Truck & Bus Group, as part of the worldwide GM Truck & Bus Group. In 1986, GM sold its transit bus business and production was terminated the following year. This ended GM’s decade’s long involvement in the bus and coach market, as well as GMC’s. GM did however continue to produce school buses until 2003, when production was discontinued as well. Following this, the GMC Truck & Coach Operation was renamed the GMC Truck Division of the GM Truck and Bus Group.

The 1980’s also saw the release of many new models from GMC, including a new medium-duty truck series named the TopKick, the Forward series of GMC medium-duty tilt cab trucks, the GMC Safari mid-sized M van, the S-15 Jimmy compact sport utility vehicle (a smaller version of the full-size Jimmy), and the S-15 compact pickup truck which was GMC’s version of the Chevrolet S-10. In the late 1980’s, GMC began using the "Sierra" badge for the first time. A few different variations were used to distinguish the different trim levels for their newly updated C/K 1500, 2500, and 3500 full-size pickup trucks. This was really the birth of GMC trucks as we have come to know them now. The C and K designations continued to be used through 1999, when they were replaced completely by the Sierra name. Also, production of the GMC General and Brigadier, as well as the GMC Astro, ended in the late 1980’s. This marked the first time that GMC was not in the heavy-duty truck business.

The 1990’s brought a lot of change to GMC. The company renamed the S-15 pickup truck the GMC Sonoma, and the full-size Jimmy was eliminated and completely redesigned, being renamed the GMC Yukon which is still in production to this day. The S-15 Jimmy was redesigned as well, and the S-15 prefix was dropped since the full-size Jimmy no longer existed. The GMC Savana full-size van was introduced as well, and it served as the replacement for the GMC Rally and Vandura vans. It remains in production today as the only GMC van available after the discontinuation of the GMC Safari after the 2005 model year. An all new Sierra series of full-size light trucks began to phase into production in the late 1990’s, and the Sierra badge officially replaced the C and K designations which GMC had used since the 1960’s.

GMC also went through its share of corporate changes during this decade as well. First, while the GMC Truck Division continued to market GMC vehicles, GM North American Truck Platforms (NATP) replaced the GM Truck & Bus Group as manufacturer. Later in the decade, the GMC Truck Division was merged with the Pontiac Motor Division in order to consolidate the staffs and dealer networks of the two divisions into a single marketing unit, forming the Pontiac-GMC Division of GM. The word “truck” was eliminated from the GMC brand name due to a new corporate philosophy.

2000's to Today

GMC kicked off the start of the new millennium with a completely redesigned GMC Suburban, which they renamed the GMC Yukon XL, which is still in production. An upscale version of the compact Jimmy SUV called the Envoy also became available early in the new decade for a short time, featuring many new luxuries. GMC also introduced its Denali line which consisted of upscale luxury versions of their existing models. The line kicked off with Denali versions of the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, eventually expanding into luxury versions of their Sierra pickup trucks as well as crossovers as they were released. The mid-sized GMC Envoy SUV was also released as a standalone model, eventually replacing the smaller GMC Jimmy until it too was discontinued after the 2009 year. It was replaced by the GMC Acadia crossover SUV and the GMC Terrain, which are still in production. The GMC Sonoma was also discontinued in the early 2000’s and replaced with the GMC Canyon which is also still in production. A new Sierra pickup truck series was introduced later in the decade, and the older version became known as the Sierra Classic.

Following the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand in 2010 due to GM’s massive financial problems at the time, and its government backed restructuring efforts which were aimed at focusing on its core brands in North America, GMC once again became a standalone division within General Motors. The General Motors Corporation also once again became the General Motors Company during this process of bankruptcy and reorganization. Interestingly enough, GMC was on the chopping block for awhile during this time, but GM ultimately decided against eliminating it as well.

GMC and the GMC logo are registered trademarks of General Motors. All rights reserved.


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