General Motors' GMC truck brand has been using the ad tagline "We are professional grade" for several years now. However, to many, GMC models simply represent differently-styled Chevrolet trucks and SUVs, for the most part.
Somewhat telling is the brief appearance, then subsequent phase-out of the L94 6.2-liter V-8 engine in Chevy's full-size Tahoe SUV. Formerly the exclusive domain of the Yukon Denali trim, and Cadillac Escalade, the engine option appeared for the 2008 and 2009 model years, only to be quietly dropped from the option sheet for 2010, leaving the 5.3 V-8 as the sole engine offering for Chevy's bread-and-butter fullsizer.
Reuss says GM has used a "two-brand approach to trucks, to take on our competition that has one." But the strategy hasn't been executed well, he says.
"We need to make sure that we drive the differentiation in the product and the price to create that separation that we know we can on GMC and Chevrolet," Reuss told Automotive News last week. "I don't think we have the margin opportunity set up quite right with GMC."
Through April, GMC sales rose 32 percent to 121,993, while Chevy truck sales rose 23 percent to 289,083.