GMC is expanding its global footprint into three new international markets by launching its SUV Yukon full-size model in China, Australia and New Zealand.
GM’s truck and SUV brand said it will begin sales of the model in China this year, with Australia and New Zealand following in 2025. The announcement follows the launch of GMC in South Korea last year with the GMC Sierra LD pickup truck.
A GM spokesman told Automotive Logistics that the SUVs will be built at GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly plant and exported to each region.
GMC said the move is continuing its “global momentum” following its most recent results for the full year 2023 in the US. The brand finished the year with a 6.5% increase in retail sales year-over-year, which it said was its best overall sales performance since 2017, due in part to its Hummer EV pickup and SUV which doubled sales from 2022.
Outside the US, GMC sales increased by 10% in Canada, 15% in the Middle East and 14.4% in Mexico in 2023.
“GMC is in the most exciting era in its history as we expect to grow competitively in our home market while venturing into new ones,” said Duncan Aldred, global vice-president, Buick and GMC. “We’re forging our future as a premium truck and SUV brand and our success shows our customers around the world are just as excited as we are for the road ahead.”
The move is a careful return for GM to international markets. The carmaker had pulled back in recent years to focus on increasing vehicle deliveries in North America.
In 2015, the OEM made the decision to close its Bekasi plant in Indonesia because of high material costs and limitations on its ability to fully utilise the local supplier base. GM International’s president at the time, Stefan Jacoby, said that the logistics supporting production of the Chevrolet Spin at the Bekasi plant was “too complex”.
Three years later, the company announced it would close its under-utilised Gunsan plant in South Korea, having run at 20% capacity since 2015. Its remaining plants in South Korea include Bupyeong, Changwon and Boryeong.
GM completely withdrew from the South African market in 2017 and moved to an export-only production model in India in the same year. The firm cited poor sales, margins and a lack of scale in the supply chain as contributing factors in the decision.
In 2021, GM said it was taking steps to increase vehicle deliveries to dealers and customers in the US and Canada to make up for the shortfall in production caused by semiconductor supply chain disruption.