An ill wind blew through Detroit late last decade, prompting all domestic automakers to shed excess weight in order to keep their heads above water. In some cases, automakers shaved off long-running brands like an unwanted hair. Models disappeared, while some prestige nameplates snapped up years earlier went out to the yard sale plastered in discount stickers.
A less flashy side of the recession-era cost-cutting involved the elimination of certain automotive niches. One, General Motors’ medium-duty truck line, failed to find a buyer before bankruptcy tipped GM’s hand. The unit didn’t make it out of the recession alive.
Well, now it’s back. GM has announced the Chevrolet Silverado line will no longer stop at the 3500HD model, and that our first full glimpse of the new medium-duty truck line will come in just two months.
The debut of the Silverado 4500HD and 5500HD chassis cabs will take place at this year’s Work Truck Show, held in Indianapolis in early March. The Class 4 and 5 trucks will arrive in a variety of configurations, all powered by Duramax diesel engines and Allison transmissions.
Regular and crew cab, two- and four-wheel drive, and a selection of GVWRs and wheelbases await potential buyers. â€œThe Silverado 4500HD/5500HD trucks are the flagship of our full-line commercial truck portfolio and weâ€™ve designed them to be among the best in the industry in maneuverability, serviceability, visibility, quietness and comfort, diesel fuel economy and more,â€� said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, General Motors Fleet.
GM claims the trucks aren’t based on existing trucks; rather, they’re a ground-up creation. Frequent partner Navistar International helped in the development. Included in the trucks’ content list is an “expanding suite” of connectivityÂ options like OnStar and 4G LTE Wi-F, plus telematics for fleet monitoring purposes.
Exact specifications will have to wait until the March show, and production is scheduled to commence in Ohio late this year. One wonders if GM will stage a repeat of its Texas helicopter stunt with the largest of the Silverados.
[Image: General Motors]