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Are GMC and Chevy the same company and what is the difference between them?

There is some confusion about whether GMC and Chevy, or Chevrolet, are the same company, both of which were founded in the same year and are owned by GM.

The difference between GMC and Chevy

The two historic brands, GMC and Chevy, were founded in the same year. Both are part of the General Motors (GM) portfolio of car manufacturers. But the question is are they the same company?

Their histories are intertwined with one of the founders of GM, William Crapo “Billy” Durant, also being a co-founder of Chevrolet, better known as Chevy.

The beginnings of GMC and Chevrolet

In 1911, GM created the “General Motors Truck Company” (GMC) folding together two other brands that GM had acquired. That same year Durant, now ousted from GM for overextending the company’s finances in a rapid series of acquisitions, hitched his wagon to Swiss racing car driver and engineer Louis Chevrolet’s endeavor to build cars.

Chevy saw rapid growth to the point that Durant was able to leverage the company’s sales to gain a controlling interest in GM so that he could do a reverse merger in 1918 and became its president again. However, not long after control switched so that Chevy fell under the umbrella of GM along with GMC and Durant was out again. So are they the same company? Not quite.

Differences between Chevy and GMC

Okay, so both companies are owned by GM, but that doesn’t make them the same, exactly. Many trucks and SUVs for both companies come off the same production line, and they have some of the same parts on the inside but have distinctive exteriors. This is a common practice for many manufacturers that control various companies for efficiency and cost effectiveness.

The two brands are targeted to different publics and have their own touches that cater to what each group is looking for in a vehicle. GMC is the more upmarket brand while Chevy is for those that don’t need all the bells and whistles.

Many of the standard features of a GMC truck are add-ons for Chevy trucks. The basic Chevy truck is designed to be a workhorse for heavy lifting so it can go without the extra amenities.

GMC is more tailored toward just making just trucks, SUVs and commercial vans. While Chevy makes those same types of vehicles, the Chevrolet brand has a wider range of vehicle types under its name including the iconic sports cars, Camaro and Corvette. Additionally, the carmaker manufactures the Chevy Bolt which is one of the best selling EVs on the market.


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