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Sierra HD to Debut in Detroit

GMC is debuting a new Sierra HD concept truck at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January and for many auto fans, it's much bigger news than Al Golden being hired at Miami. The truck is thought to be GM's answer to the Ford F150 SVT Raptor in particular, and this concept could be one generation away from competing against that truck, or it could be closer to production than that. The Raptor is one of the most exciting light duty trucks to appear in sales showrooms in a long time. The GMC Sierra is a bit more truck than the Raptor in the sense that it is a heavier duty vehicle. It has a bit of the same gentler ride that always set GMC trucks apart, but combined with a proclivity for hauling and doing dirty work.

As the market for trucks continues to develop, it seems as though GMC has tried to claim its spot among the three major domestic truck makers as the brand of luxury even as it also positions its vehicles as work trucks. And this is in keeping with trends across the industry in response to pubic changes in expectation. It used to be that the truck was what Dad drove to work and the family took camping in the summers because it could pull the camper. Now, families take their crew cab trucks to church because they are roomier than the other vehicles and in many cases more comfortable as well. This is certainly no stretch with many GMC trucks, and it appears to be more of the same with this concept truck.

Concept Not Far from Production

Although this truck is only a concept at this point, it is mostly built on the frame, shocks, struts, and axles that are already in production for the 2011 model year [1]. This makes the concept truck one that is surprisingly realistic and possibly not too far off if it does go into production. Basically, all the parts that are in use in the concept are available, so the vehicle could be cobbled into a production model in a hurry if the mood struck. This truck is expected to come to production, but as successful as the 2011 model launch of the current Sierra has been, it may be a year or two off yet.

The one thing that the concept version of the Sierra HD has not lost is its unique GMC look. There are folks who don't buy GM trucks who do not understand why GM continues to carry two different truck brands, GMC and Chevy Trucks. But those who are GM people see that front end of this new Sierra, and say that it couldn't be less like a Chevy if it tried. Chevrolet is the utilitarian truck, while the GMC is the upscale version. The two are not identical twins as some assert, and key differences in the ride and in other features prove that.

Whether this truck comes to production is something group auto insurance customers will have to wait to find out, but there are those in the industry who still see the truck as something still too in between: not as boxy in the ride as a Dodge, not as light duty as the Raptor. But it appears as those GMC is aiming to be just that, positioned right in between the two competitors, positioned to catch buyers who feel like one is too much and the other not quite enough in one way or the other. The Sierra HD concept truck makes some observers who want to see the brand really go toe to toe with the Raptor hope for an accelerated release date.

[1] http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/12/first-look-gmc-all-terrain-sierra-hd-concept/ Retrieved 2010-12-26.

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