Chevrolet to Retire Avalanche Pickup in 2013

Chevrolet has confirmed that the last Avalanche crew cab pickup is scheduled to roll of the assembly line sometime next year.  GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said the automaker will end the Avalanche’s run with a Black Diamond edition.

According to Avalanche marketing manager, Mark Clawson, Chevrolet has sold upward of 580,000 Avalanches since its introduction.

Annual sales of the Avalanche reached their peak of 93,482 units in 2003. Last year, however, Chevrolet sold a mere 20,088 units.

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

Wilkerson said, “As the crew cab pickup became an increasing part of the light duty market, Avalanche sales have really been tapering off. 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.”

Chevrolet unveiled the Avalanche as a concept vehicle at the 2000 Detroit auto show. The next year, the Avalanche began appearing in dealer showrooms as a 2002 model and was greeted with enthusiasm from consumers and automotive journalists. Motor Trend chose the Avalanche as its 2002 Truck of the Year.

The Avalanche’s unique styling included a “midgate” that effectively extended the bed into the passenger cab but still provided ample seating for five adults.

The success of the Avalanche led truck makers to begin developing other light-duty crew cab pickups which accounted for more than 65 percent of all light-duty truck sales in 2011.

Chevrolet will start producing the 2013 model this coming June at its Silao, Mexico plant which also makes the Cadillac Escalade EXT, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado.

The 2014 Avalanche Black Diamond edition will feature rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, a rear camera, remote start and fog lamps as standard equipment on the LS model. The LT model will feature body-colored bed surrounds.

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