Chevy to drop Avalanche pickup in 2013

Chevy to drop Avalanche pickup in 2013
Ellen Mitchell
Automotive News | April 13, 2012 – 10:35 am EST

DETROIT — The Chevrolet Avalanche, the truck that helped launch the boom in crew cab pickups, is ending its run a decade after its U.S. sales hit their high level.

Chevrolet confirmed today the 2013 Avalanche will be the final year for the crew cab, which it will send off with the 2013 Black Diamond edition.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said Avalanche sales peaked in 2003 with 93,482 units, but were only 20,088 for 2011.

“As the crew cab pickup became an increasing part of the light duty market, Avalanche sales have really been tapering off,” Wilkinson said. “We have a very passionate following but unfortunately it’s not large enough to make a strong enough business case to do a next generation Avalanche as part of the next generation full-size truck program.”

The Avalanche, introduced as a concept at the 2000 Detroit auto show, went on sale in 2001 as a 2002 model. It was named 2002 Motor Trend Truck of the Year upon its introduction.

The 2013 Avalanche will start production in June and will be in showrooms shortly after, Wilkinson said. The vehicle is built at GM’s plant in Silao, Mexico, which also produces the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Cadillac Escalade EXT.

Mark Clawson, Avalanche marketing manager, said more than 580,000 Avalanches have been sold since its introduction.

“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,” Clawson said in a statement. “The Black Diamond Avalanche is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and making it just a little more attractive to own one more Avalanche.”

Chevrolet sold 5,494 Avalanches in the United States during the first quarter, a 23 percent gain over the first three months of 2011.

Chevrolet says Avalanche reshaped the pickup market with its unique styling and a Midgate that extended the bed into the cab, while still allowing room for five people.

Based on this appeal, truckmakers began developing light-duty crew cab pickups and by 2011, crew cabs accounted for more than 65 percent of light-duty pickup sales, according to Chevrolet.

Base prices for Avalanche have been reduced $2,500 after equipment adjustments, with the two-wheel-drive LS now starting at $36,975, including a $995 delivery fee. The 2012 version sells for $39,235, including delivery.

For the Black Diamond edition, 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. The model also will feature body-colored bed surrounds and a unique badge on the sail panel.

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