GM’s Denali could ultimately become a stand-alone brand image

General Motors had a surprise success story with its local only GMC brand, but even more so with the Denali models – which on the long run might very well transform into a brand.

Through its Denali luxury style models, GM dominates a rather growing market segment – while GMC last year went up 9%, the brand itself became the 10th largest in the US market. And within, the Denali models grew at an even more astonishing level, surging by 20% – almost double since 2010.

“The Denali customer is naturally attracted to the best of the best in whatever they’re buying,” contends GM’s marketing chief Roger McCormack. “It’s largely all been organic.”

And, according to Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting, full size SUV’s like the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali (a sibling to Chevrolet Tahoe, which both share the same platform with the new 2014 GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickups) are cars that “epitomize the concept of obscene profitability.”

GM’s full-size SUVs deliver some of the biggest company margins, pushing even into the four-digit areas on very well equipped models. This is why, although the first Denali model was offered only since 1999, now every GMC product line has an up-scale Denali version, a reason that in part aided the brand go from 32,886 cars sold in 2010 to 75,558 in just three years.