Savana cargo vans attract contractors

Home improvement specialists upgrade with Savana

GMC cargo van offers professional grade capability, variety of up-fit options

Lee Travis (center), owner of Wipliance, a high-tech home improvement specialist based in Seattle, on a job site with his GMC Savana cargo vans Friday, May 27, 2011 in Mercer Island, Washington. Travis relies on GMC Savana cargo vans to keep up with demand for the wireless home entertainment systems, eco-efficient lighting and automated window treatments he sells and installs. (Photo by Ron Wurzer for GMC)

DETROIT – Lee Travis, owner of Wipliance, a high-tech home improvement specialist based in Seattle, recently added three new GMC Savana cargo vans to his all-GMC fleet to keep up with demand for the wireless home entertainment systems, eco-efficient lighting and automated window treatments he sells and installs.

Travis has seen his business grow by more than 260 percent in the past three years, and he isn’t alone. According to a recent study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, annual spending on home improvement projects is projected to reach its highest level since early 2008 this quarter.

“We can see the economy coming back,” said Travis, who purchases all of his Savanas from Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC. “People are seeking a better quality of life and want to enjoy their homes more.”

With more consumers remodeling, many home improvement contractors are relying on GMC’s professional grade work vehicles to handle the added work load. Total Savana sales in May were up 89 percent year over year and up 54 percent calendar year to date, with every other buyer coming from another automotive brand.

“I know I’m buying quality when I buy GMC vehicles,” said Travis, whose personal vehicle is a GMC Yukon XL Denali. “They are highly capable, have strong residual values and the dealer’s upfit options and commitment to service are outstanding. The Savana more than meets our needs.”

Savana, which is adept at hauling cargo or people, is available in light-duty half-ton, three-quarter-ton and one-ton weight classes, in regular and long wheelbases. For 2011, a number of changes, enhancements and new features improve Savana’s capability and give it greater digital connectivity. They include:

  • Widest range of available engine displacements, outputs and fuel choices in its class, from gasoline and diesel to E85 ethanol, compressed natural gas and B20 biodiesel
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on all cargo and passenger van models
  • The “G80” locking rear axle is available on all cargo and passenger models
  • OnStar Generation 9.0 with a free six-month Directions & Connections plan is standard on passenger vans and available on cargo and some cutaway models
  • XM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth is offered with the available digital radio
  • A USB port is included with digital radio

When equipped with available USB port and Bluetooth wireless capability as well as dealer-installed WiFi, the 2011 Savana can be the foundation for a fully connected mobile office that can boost work site productivity. Dealer-installed Autonet Mobile WiFi Internet turns the Savana into a mobile hot spot with the first wireless router engineered specifically for automotive use. It can securely accommodate up to 10 wireless devices at one time, at a range of up to 150 feet with superior buffering capability to help them stay connected wherever they are. Autonet is available for all GMC vehicles.

The 2011 Savana also is available with a variety of upfit packages. These seamlessly integrated rack and bin enhancements are designed to meet the needs of plumbers, electricians and other home improvement professionals. Flexible upfit cash incentive options are also available for eligible GMC vans.

Bob Proctor, owner of Cool Blew, a provider of plumbing, heating, and air conditioning service in Phoenix, counts GMC’s upfit options as one of his key reasons for having purchased 17 new Savana vans from Liberty GMC during the past several years.

“I like the GMC brand because of its reliability, upfit options, fuel efficiency, and great customer service, and will continue to purchase only GMC as our business grows,” Proctor said. “I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else.”

About GMC

GMC has built trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry’s healthiest brands. Today GMC is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain smaller SUV and Acadia crossover. The new GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks in the market.  Innovation and engineering excellence are woven into all GMCs, including the Yukon and Yukon XL and full line of Sierra pickups. Today, GMC is the only manufacturer offering three full-size hybrid trucks. Details on all GMC models are available at, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at