Almost One-Third of All GMC Models Sold Are Denalis

GMC's efforts to establish itself as a luxury truck and SUV brand are paying off.

It’s official, GMC is a luxury brand. Not only did GMC have a good sales year with a 3 percent increase in total sales in 2017, but the average transaction price shot up to $43,800. The average GMC transaction price has increased 35 percent within the last decade from when it was just $32,600 in 2007. What is driving up GMC prices? One word: Denali.

What started out as a really nice trim for the Yukon SUV is now a full-blown sub-brand of GMC and it’s making bank. In GMC’s own words, Denali is “the pinnacle of design, performance and amenities,” according to a recent press release. Every single GMC model is available as a Denali and an impressive 29 percent of all GMC vehicles sold are dressed up in the highest available trim. The most successful Denali models are the Yukon XL with a Denali take rate of 63 percent, the standard Yukon at 54 percent, the Sierra HD at 50 percent, and the Acadia at 30 percent.

GMC

The Yukon Denali majorities aren’t very surprising. I can’t remember the last time I saw a brand new Yukon XL on the road that wasn’t a Denali. The fact that half of all Sierra HDs are Denalis is surprising at first, but less surprising when you remember we live in the era of the six-figure pickup truck.

Less popular in the Denali trim are the Terrain compact crossover, Sierra full-size pickup, and Canyon mid-size pickup. The low Denali take rate for the Terrain is understandable considering how flooded the market is with compact luxury crossovers. As for the Canyon and the Sierra, the people who want a really fancy pickup are simply outnumbered by the folks who just want a nice, hard-working truck.

Overall, it was GMC’s best year-end sales since 2005, it’s best sales year ever in Canada, and it’s second-best sales year ever in Mexico. GMC was ahead of the curve in the luxury truck/SUV craze and it remains a segment leader in a competitive field.