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Chevy Avalanche Put To Pasture

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On: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 10:40AM | By: Chris Salamone

Chevy Avalanche Put To Pasture

Last Friday, General Motors announced plans to cease production on the company’s most bizarre vehicle. Since 2002, the Chevy Avalanche has offered truck buyers a unique mix of interior space, fancy features, girthy dimensions, and a premium price tag – which, at least early on, seemed to be a winning combination for pickup consumers. Unfortunately, the year 2008 came and buyer perspective changed with a trimmed down world economy.

93,482 Chevy Avalanches rolled into new driveways in 2003 but, in comparison, only about 20,000 sold in 2011. And that means GM isn’t willing to update a new Chevy Avalanche in an upcoming truck renovation cycle. 2013 Chevy Avalanches will be the last of their kind, the final generation.

“The average Chevy Avalanche currently sells for $45,198 which is remarkably – and perhaps off-puttingly – high for a pickup truck,” noted Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com senior analyst. “Avalanche sales volumes plummeted during the 2008 recession and never recovered despite high levels of incentives on its hood.”

Melissa Burden, of The Detroit News, speculates that a dying Avalanche might herald the end of another related GM product: the Cadillac Escalade EXT. The two vehicles share many of the same components, not to mention dwindling sales. And, if anything, the Escalade EXT would make a better candidate for death row, considering the vehicle’s maximum sales volume was 13,000 units in its first year of production.

And if $45,198 seems like a lot of cash for a supposed-utilitarian vehicle, then the Escalade EXT’s $64,055 starting MSRP might add weight to the argument that the Escalade EXT will also witness an end of days.

But there is some good news on the horizon. When GM starts to build 2013 final model year Chevy Avalanches in June, a special edition will arise. The 2013 Black Diamond will be the Avalanche’s icing on a decade-long cake of quality domestic engineering. While we don’t know what the official Black Diamond price tag will be, GM claims that the vehicle will carry a unique badge, extra features on LS and LT models, and lower prices across the lineup.

When the Avalanche first came to market, buyers swarmed to the truck’s impressive list of technical features. Nowadays, though, it would seem that mounting concerns for fuel cost have caused a significant change in car consumer culture – a concern which a vehicle like the current Avalanche cannot overcome.


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