As the 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL launch in Canada, the introduction of a new off-road oriented grade means that an estimated 85 per cent of next-generation Yukons will be priced at $75,000 or more with delivery fees, according to Mark Alger, national truck and SUV marketing manager for GMC Canada.
The AT4 grade is being added to the Yukon line-up with off-road features such as 20-inch all-terrain tires and a front skid plate that increases the vehicle’s approach angle to nearly 32 degrees. It also gives buyers access to options otherwise only available on the premium Denali grade such as an air ride suspension and 15-inch configurable head-up display.
Packaged with the smaller 5.3-litre V8 engine and available with a 3.0-litre diesel, Alger said the AT4 is projected to comprise up to 25 per cent of the sales mix on Yukon despite having a starting price of $76,698 with delivery charges. Add on the 60 per cent of customers expected to choose the Denali premium grade at its starting price of $81,798 with delivery fees – which is also available with the diesel engine but has the larger 6.2-litre V8 as standard equipment – and GMC expects to expand Yukon’s high-end customer base even further, Alger said.
“There's no recession,” Alger said. “For the last decade, in every single year without exception and every category where GMC competes, the majority or in some cases all of the growth has happened at the highest price point. It's very rich-skewed.”
The starting price for a base two-wheel-drive 2021 Yukon SLE is $600 more than the 2020 equivalent, a factor that Alger said is especially important on a completely redesigned new generation to protect the nameplate’s residual values. A Yukon on a 24-month lease term will return with a resale value of 70 per cent of the retail price, he said, which allows a Denali optioned to $90,000-plus to be leased to some customers for approximately $1,000 per month.
“Our partners at ALG take a look at the packaging and the pricing on the vehicle (when) they assess residual values for us and other players in the category,” Alger said. “That's one of the reasons we've been able to grow our share in the high price bands, with a really good lease offer based on strong residual.”