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Chevrolet News:Goodbye Mr. Avalanche


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#1

William Maley

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
April 13, 2012

2013 will mark the end of an era for Chevrolet trucks as the Chevrolet Avalanche will bid adieu. Launched in 2002 as a new type of pickup with actual space for five and the ability to carry long loads thanks to a clever midgate design. However, sales of the Avalanche have tumbled down from 90,000 vehicles sold in 2003 to around 20,000 units within the past few years.

To mark the end of the road for the Avalanche, Chevrolet will introduce a special trim level known as the Black Diamond. The Black Diamond will body-colored bed surrounds, a unique badge, and added features. LS models will get a rear backup camera, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start will be added as standard equipment. LT models gain a standard rear camera. Also, the base price has been cut by $2,500, which means buyers can take one home for $35,980.

Press Release is on Page 2
[page]
Chevrolet Avalanche to End its Trendsetting Run
  • 2013 Black Diamond Avalanche offers unique final-year model
  • Following Avalanche’s lead, crew-cab pickups now dominate light-duty segment
DETROIT – The Chevrolet Avalanche, which won buyers with trendsetting design and unique features – and helped launch the boom in crew cab pickups – celebrates its final year in production with the 2013 Black Diamond Avalanche.
Black Diamond Avalanches will feature body-colored bed surrounds, a unique badge on the sail panel, additional features on LS and LT models, and lower prices across the lineup.

“More than 580,000 Avalanches have been sold since its introduction in 2001, and Avalanche has won major awards and recognitions throughout its run,” said Mark Clawson, Avalanche marketing manager. “So it is only fitting that Avalanche retires on a high note.”

“The Chevrolet Avalanche was one of the earliest forays into re-inventing the traditional pickup truck, said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst, Edmunds.com. “It was a vehicle that maintained the traditional truck image and capability but was more versatile for the person buying it for personal use more than work – a lifestyle truck more than a work truck. Other variations on the theme from competitors followed the Avalanche's debut.”

For 2013, a rear camera, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start will be added as standard equipment on LS models, while LT models have added a standard rear camera. Base prices have been reduced $2,500 (after equipment adjustments) with the 2WD Avalanche LS now starting at $ 35,980, plus $995 dealer freight charge.

“Although Avalanche sales have tapered off in recent years, as crew cabs have grown to dominate Silverado sales, we know there are many Avalanche enthusiasts among Chevy customers,” said Clawson. “The Black Diamond Avalanche is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and making it just a little more attractive to own one more Avalanche.”

Avalanche reshaped the pickup market
When introduced for the 2002 model year, Avalanche offered unique styling and innovative features like a midgate that extended the bed into the cab. Perhaps more important, its overall design proved to be one of those rare ideas that change a segment – a light-duty pickup with comfortable accommodations for five people.

This concept of a well-equipped light-duty pickup that could tow, haul, and carry the family attracted enough interest to generate 93,482 sales in 2003, its third full year of production. Recognizing the appeal of the Avalanche, Chevrolet and other truck makers began developing light-duty crew cab pickups. By 2011, crew cabs accounted for more than 65 percent of light-duty pickup sales, and helped transform the pickup from a workhorse into a true multipurpose family vehicle.

Through it all, Avalanche retained a core of passionate fans who loved its style, comfort, and versatility. Avalanche was named 2002 Motor Trend Truck of the Year upon its introduction, and 2007 Truck of the Year by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Avalanche also has been top choice in a number of consumer publications.

Avalanche at a glance
The Chevrolet Avalanche is one of the industry’s more-flexible utility vehicles, combining the passenger-comfort attributes of a SUV with the cargo capability of a truck, thanks to the exclusive Midgate. It opens to extend the cargo-area from 5-foot-3-inch-long (1.6 m) length to 8 feet 2 inches (2.5 m). It is available in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD.

Storage compartments alongside the cargo box provide ample and lockable storage with pluggable drains that can be filled with ice and used as coolers.

The Avalanche is based on GM’s full-size SUV platform, offering a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds (3,674 kg). It is powered by an efficient combination that includes the Vortec 5.3L V-8 with cylinder-deactivating Active Fuel Management technology and a fuel-saving Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic.

Avalanche also delivers useful technology and comprehensive safety features, including Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity with specific steering wheel controls, standard rear camera system, head curtain side-impact air bags and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. Avalanche offers an integrated brake controller that works with the ABS system to provide immediate and measured brake force signaling to electric-controlled trailer brake systems; there is no requirement for external and/or aftermarket brake control systems.

Avalanche milestones
  • The Avalanche was introduced at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a concept and was described as a no- compromise Chevy Truck with a unique combination of configurable passenger and cargo space. The production Avalanche was positioned as an Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV) when it went on sale in 2001 as a 2002 model
  • A special Avalanche was equipped to protect and transport the Olympic Flame during the Torch Relay prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City; the relay covered more than 13,500 miles and passed through 46 states on its way to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 8, 2002
  • In addition to receiving Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year for 2002, the Avalanche received the Design and Engineering award from Popular Mechanics. Both recognized the vehicle’s revolutionary innovation
  • Chevrolet teamed up with outdoor outfitter North Face and offered a special edition Avalanche in 2002 that was used to transport a team of kayakers through the rugged terrain of the Himalayas to the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet, where they successfully accomplished first descent of the most-feared whitewater on the planet
  • In 2006, Chevrolet introduced an all-new Avalanche with a fully boxed frame and redesigned suspension to deliver more refined ride and handling; a new Z71 off-road package was introduced and front featured special off-road tires, unique grille and fascia, an integrated front bumper winch and oversize tow hooks
  • A 2007 Avalanche was presented to the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game MVP Michael Young of the Texas Rangers

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#2

dfelt

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

WOW, Goodbye friend, guess that means the end of the life for Escalade EXT another loverly ride.

Wonder what Caddilac will replace it with? Chevy will miss not having this type of truck.
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#3

hyperv6

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

I have wished they would have applied this kind of cab to the Colorado. smaller truck with a useless bed could benefit by this cab system.

High gas prices and high prices have killed this vehicle. The Crew Cab is much cheaper to buy.

I liked these but I just never needed anything that big.
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#4

Croc

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:24 PM

Truthfully, I never understood the need for a Silverado AND an Avalanche. Unless someone with greater truck knowledge than I possess can break it down, why couldn't the midgate just be included in a Silverado? Is there a necessary reason for a structurally-separate bed that offers real, practical value for a large customer segment?
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#5

CanadianBacon94

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

Truthfully, I never understood the need for a Silverado AND an Avalanche. Unless someone with greater truck knowledge than I possess can break it down, why couldn't the midgate just be included in a Silverado? Is there a necessary reason for a structurally-separate bed that offers real, practical value for a large customer segment?

Avalanche had a better ride, more of a luxury truck.
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#6

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:33 PM

Truthfully, I never understood the need for a Silverado AND an Avalanche. Unless someone with greater truck knowledge than I possess can break it down, why couldn't the midgate just be included in a Silverado? Is there a necessary reason for a structurally-separate bed that offers real, practical value for a large customer segment?


Normal pickups have separate beds for many reasons. The Avalanche is essentially a Suburban w/ an open rear end and is shorter than a normal 4dr pickup.
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#7

smk4565

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:24 PM

Good, Cadillac will get rid of that pickup truck they sell.
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#8

balthazar

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:45 PM

I'd rather have a luxurious pick-up in my marque's catalog, than a cheap, stripper cargo van!
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#9

regfootball

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:54 PM

did very many people use the midgate?
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#10

z28luvr01

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

Full-sized crew cab pickups sacrifice bed space for the sake of a roomier cabin. The Avalanche makes no such sacrifice. If you've lived with one even for a short time you know they're uber useful. It's also IMO the best looking of the GMT900s.
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#11

daves87rs

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:28 PM

Still will miss it though...I have the feeling this will be the first of more..
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#12

CanadianBacon94

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:14 PM

did very many people use the midgate?



me &my father have carried Snowmobiles and dirt bikes in it

midgate down or midgate up

he's carried long boards that went from the back of the front seatback all the way to out of the box

it's useful
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#13

SAmadei

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:17 AM

Normal pickups have separate beds for many reasons.


I don't mean to call you out on this, but could you name a couple?

Only plus I have for the separate bed is that you can remove it when it gets sufficiently rusted out and dented up... and put a homemade flatbed on. But most pickup owners seem to have truck beds that have never seen real work.

As a van and wagon guy, I see few reasons for having a separate cab and bed.
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#14

regfootball

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:32 AM

and how often.
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#15

hyperv6

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:34 AM

The Seperate cab and midgate could be done but the real issue with a truck doing this is the bed in mounted to the frame solid and the cab is made to move. Ths could create issues with cargo. You could used rubber etc to make a seal but you still would have one floor moving and the other one not.

Also I could see a loss of structure as the cab is made solid when you remove the back there is support in the cab. to tie them together would help give strength and support when a midgate is added.

Seperate beds also are key for fleet sales as even the short beds are easy to remove and replace with work boxes and other needs for construction and buisness applications. Things even like Tow beds etc can be added to any truck with a removable bed.

The key to the Avalance was it provided a more Suburban like vehicle that could still do the work of a larger full size truck. It was more a lifestyle vehicle vs work vehicle. They were great for hauling, towing and other task. It was somthing that people would haul Snow mobiles, ATV or a box trailer to a car meet vs to a construction site. It was ment for a different market.

Also the seperate bed was cheaper to buy and replace if damaged under work conditions.

I think we too often think of trucks as more and more a family vehicle but most are still used for work. We have had new models like the Tahoe and Avalance that are more geared for the family.

The Avalance is much like the Suburburban are not selling in numbers like they used too. In the Suburbans case it has much greater sales for work use and will carry on.

As for cab and beds combined we have had them in the fast at Ford in the 60's. In fact If I recall it was unibody too. It made for a cleaner design but it just never was a popular idea with traditional truck buyers in general. Ford also had issues with them bending in the middle.

The bottom line is the seperate bed is Versitility and that is one key in the truck markets that make trucks appealing. While it could be done the key is how many people would really want it. Would the added cost of different parts to do it make it worth making since the present trucks sell fine. In other words is it a question from buyers that need to be answered with the present vehicles selling fine and sharing many of the same parts?
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#16

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:52 AM

If Honda can keep its pathetic truck running with an annual sales of less than what the Avalanche had, I see no reason for GM to discontinue the truck. GM as usual stopped marketing it and let it rot.

The problem with Avalanche was it was over priced compared to a Crew Cab by ~5,500. That is a lot of money.

With more expensive and volume trucks being its platform mates, with diesel and more efficient powertrains this truck could certainly be viable.
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#17

hyperv6

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:25 PM

I think this is just the first move to smaller and more efficent trucks. We will see other large lower volume models that will be down sized or removed. Even with the different levels of regs there will still be a lot of changes. No matter how high the MPG gets the big three have to preserve the sales of the 1/2 ton pick up truck.

The Avalanche was big heavy and really never got any kind of MPG. My buddy has the latest version and loves if but the MPG is a killer even when he is not towing. He drives a Aveo daily to work and leaves the truck sit.

I think the next gen Chevy truck will just start to hint at some of the radical changes we will see down the road. The only thing that will save us from some really crazy stuff is new people in DC who are willing to give the MFG's the break they are asking for in 2017-18 with a review of where they are at. Right now our energy department people will not review and don't care.

Just to listen to the Energy Czar should scare any car owner. It is time to really get a relevent energy policy in place that is good for all. In fact any engergy policy would be a start.
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#18

SAmadei

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

Seperate beds also are key for fleet sales as even the short beds are easy to remove and replace with work boxes and other needs for construction and buisness applications. Things even like Tow beds etc can be added to any truck with a removable bed.


Nobody is suggesting that separate bed trucks are not built all. The question I posed are what benefits does the separate bed have to the end user... commercial chassis vehicles have no bed in the first place.

Of course, you need separate cab/bed units to satisfy makers of commercial chassis vehicles. OTOH, they don't make vans with a separate cab/cargo area... yet they still make commercial chassis vehicles out of truncated vans... more ironically, the vans are unibodies!

The Avalance is much like the Suburburban are not selling in numbers like they used too. In the Suburbans case it has much greater sales for work use and will carry on.


Then the Avalanche technology should be folded into the Suburban... boosting its sales.

As for cab and beds combined we have had them in the fast at Ford in the 60's. In fact If I recall it was unibody too. It made for a cleaner design but it just never was a popular idea with traditional truck buyers in general. Ford also had issues with them bending in the middle.


Its was also a cab-over design. The Corvair pickup never caught on, either... but thats partly because it was a Corvair.

Any issues bending in the middle would be because Ford simply made them too weak... like their 2011 Raptors that are bending in the middle.
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#19

SAmadei

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:48 PM

I think this is just the first move to smaller and more efficent trucks. We will see other large lower volume models that will be down sized or removed. Even with the different levels of regs there will still be a lot of changes. No matter how high the MPG gets the big three have to preserve the sales of the 1/2 ton pick up truck.


Ironically, I feel the high gas prices will eventually deplete the 1/2 ton pick up truck end of the spectrum, pushing those people into smaller vehicle classes... because they will eventually realize they aren't ever hauling anything that needs a truck. Diluting these trucks into CUV-pickups will only hasten the fleeing.

OTOH, diluting the 1/2 ton trucks will cause the 3/4 and 1 ton models to become a separate line... because people who use them for actual work still need the hauling ability and towing ability... but like your Aveo driving friend, are going to leave the monster at home if they don't need it. Granted, people buying trucks to use as trucks is likely a vast minority... shame neither GM or Ford break the sales down between the weight classes.
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#20

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:02 PM


Normal pickups have separate beds for many reasons.


I don't mean to call you out on this, but could you name a couple?

Only plus I have for the separate bed is that you can remove it when it gets sufficiently rusted out and dented up... and put a homemade flatbed on. But most pickup owners seem to have truck beds that have never seen real work.

As a van and wagon guy, I see few reasons for having a separate cab and bed.

I'm an SUV guy, but I'm sure the truck users on here have good explanations. Trucks have been built this way for a century or so, so there must be sound engineering reasons...for replacibilty, to facilitate building custom beds (think of the commercial custom beds used on trucks that were probably sold as cab and chassis units, etc.
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