According to data obtained by Automotive News, Denali and AT4-basdged products have accounted for a whopping 40 percent of GMC’s retail sales so far in 2020. Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick and GMC, believes there is still some room for the pair to grow, as well, and believes the two premium sub-brands could one-day account for 50 percent of its volume, if not more.
Denali sales are so strong, in fact, that if Denali was classified as its own separate luxury brand, it would be a competitive name in the marketplace, Aldred said.
“In its own right, [Denali] would be a very, very successful luxury brand,” he revealed to AN earlier this year. “We’re not doing this by discounting or trying to go to the lower end. We’re staying true to the vision of being the only premium brand that occupies this space.”
The space that Aldred is referring to is the premium truck, crossover and SUV market. At a time when sales of large vehicles are at an all-time high, GMC is one of the only brands operating as a dedicated premium purveyor of trucks, SUVs and crossovers. This has given the brand, along with its honed-in Denali luxury and AT4 off-road sub-brands, an advantage over its direct rivals.
One GMC dealer principal that spoke to AN, Will Churchill of Frank Kent Country GMC, told the publication his dealer “can’t get enough Denali and AT4 vehicles,” which often sell for large, $60,000+ sums.
“It’s not even a question (of price),” Churchill told the publication. “It’s a matter of who has them.”
AN also points out that the performance of the Denali and AT4 sub-brands has “contributed hefty profits to GM’s bottom line during the coronavirus pandemic,” and helped it retain the pile of cash that it will need for its coming electric and autonomous vehicle onslaught.
With results like these, it goes without saying that GMC will be looking to expand the Denali and AT4 range. Right now, the only GMC vehicle that is not offered as an AT4 is the Terrain. A Terrain AT4 will be introduced for the 2021 model year, however, completing the portfolio.
Going forward, it seems inevitable that GMC will rely on its increasingly popular sub-brands to bolster its product range. It’s unclear if the GMC Hummer EV will be offered as a Denali or an AT4 due to its unique position in the marketplace, although it will inevitably feature characteristics of both due to its luxury features and off-road capability.