DETROIT — GMC's freshened Sierra pickup will offer more luxury touches with two new high-end trims, additional standard technology and a hands-free driving option for the Denali subbrand, GMC said Thursday.
The new trims — Denali Ultimate and AT4X — will capitalize on the popularity of GMC's Denali and AT4 subbrands, which make up about 45 percent of the Sierra full-size pickup's retail sales, and further solidify GMC's claim to the premium pickup market, said Duncan Aldred, global vice president of GMC.
The 2022 Sierra, revealed during the NFL's Thursday Night Football broadcast, is expected to arrive at dealerships in the first quarter. Despite the ongoing microchip shortage that has hampered production industrywide, Aldred is confident that Sierras will ship to dealers on schedule. GM has prioritized full-size pickup and SUV production throughout the chip crisis and expects to break a Sierra sales record this year.
GMC has sold 191,186 Sierra pickups this year through September, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier. But Sierra sales fell 22 percent in the third quarter. The Sierra, Ram and Nissan Titan are the only full-size pickups to post higher sales through September, with the Sierra's share of the segment rising to 11.5 percent from 10.4 percent a year earlier.
GMC expects the additional trims to result in Denali and AT4 making up at least half of Sierra sales.
GM's Super Cruise driver-assist technology will be available on all Denali trims for the 2022 model year, and it will come standard on the Denali Ultimate. The latest version of Super Cruise includes automatic lane-changing and trailering capability.
GMC customers "love the premium-ness, and they love the luxury of Denali. But they want more standard equipment, and they want unrivaled technology," Molly Peck, vice president of marketing for Buick-GMC, said during a media briefing. "That's where Super Cruise hands-free driving becomes standard within the Denali Ultimate Package."
The Denali Ultimate will start at $80,395, nearly $50,000 more than the low-level Sierra Pro trim and about $20,000 more than the standard Denali. The AT4X will start at $74,995, about $14,000 more than the standard AT4. Both prices include shipping.
Even with high price tags, Aldred is confident that the new trims will increase sales volume.
"There's a lot of personal expenditure in the marketplace," he said. "Just look at the success we've had in terms of Hummer reservations or just those average transaction prices we've seen, whether it be across the new Yukon or the Sierra as it is."