The GMC Terrain has been one of GMC’s best-selling vehicles since its inception back in 2010 and the Detroit-based auto maker is looking to continue that trend. Last year saw Terrain sales rise 37 percent, its biggest gain ever with 83,179 vehicles finding new homes. In an effort to boost sales even further, GMC has announced it will be offering a Denali variant of the popular crossover starting this year as a 2013 model.
Initially introduced at the Detroit Auto Show back in 1997, the Denali made its official debut on the 1999 Yukon. For years, the Denali trim could only be found on the Yukon, Sierra 1500, and Envoy which was phased out in 2009. For the 2011 model year, General Motors decided to expand the Denali lineup with the additions of the Acadia and Sierra heavy-duty variants. The Terrain is the latest GMC vehicle to join “the great one” or “the high one’s” lineup as Denali is a native name for Mount McKinley in Alaska.
Adding the Denali nameplate to one of GMC’s vehicles has translated into healthy sales figures as of late. Sales of Denali-badged vehicles saw a 79-percent sales increase last year which helped boost GMC’s overall sales to the tune of 19 percent. A Denali variant also revived the aging Acadia with sales of the full-sized crossover being the best on record. Denali versions of the Acadia accounted for 28 percent of the 79,288 crossovers sold last year.
The Denali is usually the highest level of trim offered on any GMC vehicle and ushers in different exterior styling cues and further interior refinement. Exterior upgrades such as a honeycomb grille and bigger chrome-aluminum are the most noticeable changes outside for Denali-trimmed vehicles. Yukon and Sierra models dressed in Denali trim also receive a 6.2-liter V-8 engine which is a boost in power from the already powerful and standard 5.3-liter V-8 engine.
GMC has long been a more luxurious brand to GM’s every-day branch Chevrolet, and the Detroit-based automaker is looking to create more daylight between the two. Currently, most vehicles in Chevrolet’s stable have a platform sibling in GMC’s lineup. With the addition of more Denali trims that hopefully won’t be the case for too much longer.
“Denali is a trim level, but it’s really set that line apart” said Dave Sullivan, product analysis for AutoPacific to Automotive News. “To me, that premium status is really what GMC should be all about.”
Do you think the addition of more Denali-trimmed vehicles is a good thing for GMC or will it lose its luxury appeal? Sound off in the comment section below.
Source: Automotive News