2011 GMC Acadia Denali - Click above for high-res image gallery

Despite sharing a lot of dirty bits underneath, General Motors has done a commendable job lately of differentiating GMC and Chevrolet. Look at the Equinox and Terrain or the Acadia and Traverse as proof. Both pairs of vehicles share the same underpinnings, yet each have their own look. That's a definite improvement over prior efforts, and Automotive News is reporting that GM may go further in the future.

Mark Reuss, GM President in North America, tells AN that GM's two-brand approach to trucks needs to be better executed in the future. The high-level exec adds that the similarities in price between the two brands often leads to identical incentives, which has in turn led to the dilution of the GMC brand.

One way to further differentiate GMC is to head upscale, and the Professional Grade has its successful Denali trim range to help make that happen. "I think we can do premium Chevrolets, and take GMC and move it even further up," says Reuss. If GMC were to use Denali to increase luxury sales, the brand would have to incorporate the badging on a lot more vehicles. Right now the Denali brand is limited to Sierra, Yukon and Acadia variants, but a Terrain variant has been spotted testing.


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  • 40 Comments
      MechE
      • 3 Years Ago
      I disagree that they have differentiated the two brands. I agree that they look more different than the 100% clones from the past, but they are still the same vehicle, and the whole "commercial grade" distinction is a crock. I prefer the look of GMC's vs Chevy's (except the Terrain which shouldnt even exist) but if I priced them both out I wouldn't want to pay more than $1000 for the better looking GMC.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      Zoom
      • 3 Years Ago
      Would that mean Cadillac is out of the SUV business?
      tikki50
      • 3 Years Ago
      My suggestion is to make it more professional grade in every way. A pick up that comes standard with an air compressor for contractors, all vehicles come standard with electrical outlets maybe even 220v along with a plug in the bed. More durable interiors. Lock boxes standard built into the side panels, etc. Options targeted for commerical use that small business/private citizens could still utilize. Stronger better overall vehicles from their counterparts. That's what GMC professional grade vehicles should be, not knock offs, even if they do appear different.
      duq1212
      • 3 Years Ago
      I remember GM stated that they kept GMC because most its customers had higher incomes - education levels than the people buying Chevys, and that most of them said they wouldn't by a similar Chevy product. If this is the case, GM needs to follow the Buick format, making GMC the boss's truck to whatever Chevy platform it's based on. It would mean giving GMC more standard equipment, higher quality interiors, and a better dealer experience than you could find at Chevy.
      Tall1
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the only reason GM is keeping GMC around is the dealers that are Buick/GMC could not survive without the GMC traffic. GMC trucks are no different then Chevy trucks and those that actually purchase them do so because of the slight alterations made to their outside appearance. Yes the Acadia and Terrain do look signifactly different from their Chevy counterparts, but honestly they are just reducing the capacity for GM to produce more Chevy's for sale. With Buick becoming more popular now with their models I think this brand is ready for the ax. Sorry Bubba but no one is fooled by the lip gloss and hair extensions on your pimped out Denali Terrain - it is still an Equinox with boxy fenders and shiny bits.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tall1
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      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        futuramautoblog
        • 3 Years Ago
        What are you smoking?
          Michael
          • 3 Years Ago
          @futuramautoblog
          Meth is a helluva drug!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @futuramautoblog
          [blocked]
        Mike
        • 3 Years Ago
        You really think any GMC SUV could compete with a Range Rover off the pavement? You really think any GMC offers more luxury then what BMW, Benz, Land Rover, Porsche can offer? I'm guessing brain washing is day one at the GM dealer training.
      ramairjer
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please get Lutz back in there. GMC is not, never has been, never will be a luxury brand. Besides, wouldn't this be more badge engineering. Just give Cadillac more resources and be down with. Buick and GMC are only luxury pretenders,
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ramairjer
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          QAZZY
          • 3 Years Ago
          "GMC is as much a luxury brand as Land Rover, or Hummer before it and is above Mercedes pathetic attempts at luxury..." So "GMC is as much a luxury brand as Land Rover...". Oh yeah, and a Ford Fusion (don't get me wrong, it's a fine car) is as much a ultra-luxury brand as Rolls-Royce. "...above Mercedes pathetic attempts at luxury...". Then there was GM's pathetic attempts at pretty much everything in the '90s. Only now they make a comeback. Mercedes never makes 'attempts' at luxury, nevertheless pathetic ones. They know how to do luxury, better than any GM-based company I should add (Cadillac is doing a lot better, but in luxury, not Mercedes-level yet).
      • 3 Years Ago
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        • 3 Years Ago
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      Jason
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a feeling that GMC might be getting the axe soon. Not that I want it to or anything but there is very little product differentiation between them and Chevrolet. They need more niche products for them to be different and I don't think having them go upscale will help them much.
      neitsneburtrebor
      • 3 Years Ago
      Upscale, by which you mean a reformed pimp trying to blend into Middle America.
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