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I emailed GM about the Avalanche/High Dessert option

av-summit

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I emailed GM about their High Desert option for the halfton, and asked why they wouldn't just bring the Avalanche back if they are already offering something like this for a truck.  The response I got was;

'Hi, Brad ? Thank you for reaching out! We are unable to comment on whether or not the Avalanche will be brought back. I will note that the High Desert is not a concept. It is a special edition Silverado that will be brought into production.
Best,
Kyle"

Maybe they are using the High Desert option as testing to see if they should bring the Avalanche back with their new 2018 platform?  I know this is a typical mgmt response to my question, but I honestly was expecting a "...nothing planned for the future..." or a "....blah blah....we are focusing our efforts elsewhere...blah" type of response. 

But who knows, take from it what you may.  I replied to his email saying I would keep driving my 07 instead of the High Desert package, in hopes it may get back to GM making them realize that only a mid-gate vehicle will do!  Everyone here should follow suit and it may cause change in GM?

Anyway, enjoy the weekend everyone!


 

Vaeagleav

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Just my .02 but I don't see how releasing a High Desert Silverado could be used as a test to see if they should release a 2018 or later AV.........I would take it as a sign that they are trying to appease the few vocal AV owners who complain about the loss of the AV without the expense of releasing a "real AV".  They don't seem to realize that the AV owner bought an AV for it's versatility with the mid-gate and the smooth ride from the Suburban platform. They may sell some High Desert Silverados to those who like the styling cues looking "Avalanche like" but don't need the mid-gate or those who have given up hope waiting for a true AV.
It seems GM is like most manufacturers in that the research and development department is very heavily guarded and won't release info on future projects until the top brass is ready for a press release. That way they keep the element of surprise and it doesn't tip their hand to competitors. I'm sure that way it keeps up customer interest and talk until it gets to that "beating a dead horse" phase..... :laugh:
 

av-summit

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I think they would have appeased the complainers 3 years ago when they stopped production, not now.   


Vaeagleav said:
They don't seem to realize that the AV owner bought an AV for it's versatility with the mid-gate and the smooth ride from the Suburban platform.
That's the reason why I replied to his email the way I did
 

Vaeagleav

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Again just my .02 but I could imagine it taking 3 years to design,prototype, and build the "Avalanche styling cues" to install on the Silverado as a not too expensive option that they can drop or increase any time and meet the supply and demand of that High Desert model, if it doesn't sell they still have a working Silverado to sell. It is sort of like dipping your toe into the water instead of diving in all the way.
 

FLINTaVa

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Don't forget they shelved plans for the new Suburban temporarily, when it got a reprieve it's sibling Avalanche didn't. The High Desert package sounds like some inside GM that would like to bring the Avalanche back so corporate threw them a bone without any meat on it. If they bring it back I wouldn't expect it until the next generation Silverado/Suburban or possibly on the next Colorado/Trailblazer platform
 

frito

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I will first add the caveat that GM is in business to maximize returns for its shareholder.  Being an accountant, I better understand that.  Now, for the emotional response (is that my right brain thinking now  :dunno:) I wish they knew what an awesome design the Avy is.  As many of us have experienced, we are moving stuff out of my Mom's house this weekend.  My brother-in-law was helping me load some lockers into Bumblebee and said I'd just have have to drive with tailgate down.  I grinned/smirked "Oh, no I won't ;)". Of course he insisted I will at which point I told him this isn't his son-in-law's Ford he's driving.  " Watch this, it'll fit  >:D". I proceeded to use the midgate a few times over the weekend.  You can't do that in a short bed pickup and you can't seat five in a long bed unless you want to drive something the length of a semi.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the original designer of the Avalanche was/is a genius.

Ironically, my sister has an '05 nekkid Avy.  She bought it used a few years back from a GMC dealer when her van died.  I guess the GMC guys don't know much about Avys because I showed her many features - midgate, etc. that she had no idea about.

Now all that being said, I know all the toys such as heated, memory, massage your rear seats, electronics galore, etc. is what markets and people lay for... and would make a new Avy cost prohibitive for many of us, but I would happily consider a new one with manual, yes manual, cloth seats so long as I could add a center console and sun-roof, nothing else.  They could then market a new one across a much larger spectrum of customers.  Of course, I'm not holding my breath.  Similarly, GM best not it's breath that I will buy a new pickup, no matter how much they try not on things to make the unknowing think it resembles an Avy.  I'll drive Bumblebee and do a frame off restoration if I need to years down the road.
 

newavguy

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I know we are a fan club, but if GM can't sell them they are not going to make them.

The midgate made me buy mine so maybe they can integrate that into the next gen GM truck.

It cost several million to setup a plant to build them, but if they only sell 16,000 of them they are losing money.

Notice that it took till 2014 for them to get rid of all the EXTs

Note: as Flint4X4 said the Burb still survives only because it is the oldest continuously made vehicle on the planet and GM wants to keep it that way.
 

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FLINTaVa

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MS03 2500 said:
It cost several million to setup a plant to build them, but if they only sell 16,000 of them they are losing money.
That's a variable since they use most of the same parts as a Suburban and can run them off the same assembly line. If there is a hole in the production schedule it might make sense to fill it with a new Avalanche rather than lay workers off for a month or more. You can't put a value on the publicity aspect with any accuracy.

Note: The peak Avalanche sales were in '03 when the WBH debuted but they didn't build a WBH until mid-model year so the first half of all '03 models was cladded. Don't confuse sales with production
 

newavguy

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That is similar to what they do to at the Corvette Plant. When they build the special models they shut the plant down and build them all in one run, then switch back to the production ones.

 

Vaeagleav

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I haven't seen any recent production/sales figures for the Suburban but I can only imagine that EPA or some government agency concerned with fleet gas mileage figures put pressure on things with the gas guzzling heavy trucks like the Suburban and wish they weren't on the road. I can see many owners of Suburbans getting out of ownership as well when gas prices climb and they are crying at the gas pumps.
I tend to see the soccer moms and others who don't really need a large vehicle selling them and buying what they need instead of want.
On the other hand an example of one branch of the government trying to get Suburbans off the road is battling against another branch of the government trying to keep them on the road such as FBI and Secret Service using Suburbans as duty, escort etc. vehicles because they can carry all kinds of gear, armor plating, and have the weight advantage when ramming a standard car.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atHYe9qiz6w

I wonder how Suburban sales would go if they did like the old days and offered a stripped down worker version with rubber mats and not much bells and whistles so laborers could have the old panel truck again. My guess is we won't see that version because the profit margin isn't there for GM and the shareholders. Yet I wonder how many average vehicle owners can buy these $70,000 plus vehicles whether it's a Suburban or an AV?
 

frito

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Vaeagleav said:
I wonder how Suburban sales would go if they did like the old days and offered a stripped down worker version with rubber mats and not much bells and whistles so laborers could have the old panel truck again. My guess is we won't see that version because the profit margin isn't there for GM and the shareholders. Yet I wonder how many average vehicle owners can buy these $70,000 plus vehicles whether it's a Suburban or an AV?
Yeah, that's exactly the point I was trying to make.  The Suburban and the Avy with less bells and whistles would make terrific fleet vehicles as well as more affordable for folks like me who would consider an affordable version without all the bells and whistles.  That's how I managed my Bimmer back when I bought it.  I got the sports package, single disk CD player, sunroof and rear fold down seats as options.  Manual seats (ten way adjustable sport seats  >:D), manual transmission, no cruise control.  It's a blast to drive and cost less than most mini-vans at the time.  :drive:

Of course this is not to say they shouldn't make the high end versions.  As far as MPG goes, consider dropping in a more fuel efficient diesel to appease the EPA.  All wishful and delusional thinking, I know.
 

FLINTaVa

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I miss the plain jane trucks, my first and often only mod was adding a stereo system.
 

newavguy

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I miss having a throttle cable.
 

MyBigToy

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GM killed the Avalanche due to 2 things - first and foremost, a total lack of marketing; and second, they priced it into the stratosphere. I'd bet a pretty large sum of money it's not coming back.
 

FLINTaVa

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I wouldn't bet either way, Flint Truck Assembly will be 70 next year and was nearly closed several times. Today we have a brand new paint shop located next door and they broke ground on a new body shop in between it and the stamping plant. In addition to the heavy duty and crew cabs we build we're getting the regular cab production back from Mexico. The Regular and Ext cab trucks will still be built in Fort Wayne too.

With the increased automation and versatility at the stamping plant, paint shop and body shop who knows? I heard Arlington, TX is getting some upgrades too, they build all of GM's full size SUV line. I almost forgot to mention the increase in production capacity, Arlington might be maxed out building Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade but it may not remain that way.
 

MyBigToy

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Flint4x4 said:
I wouldn't bet either way, Flint Truck Assembly will be 70 next year and was nearly closed several times. Today we have a brand new paint shop located next door and they broke ground on a new body shop in between it and the stamping plant. In addition to the heavy duty and crew cabs we build we're getting the regular cab production back from Mexico. The Regular and Ext cab trucks will still be built in Fort Wayne too.

With the increased automation and versatility at the stamping plant, paint shop and body shop who knows? I heard Arlington, TX is getting some upgrades too, they build all of GM's full size SUV line. I almost forgot to mention the increase in production capacity, Arlington might be maxed out building Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade but it may not remain that way.
I've been in Arlington many times, back in the day when they were building the Roadmaster and Caprice. It's not exactly a state of the art facility because it's been around for a LONG time. You may or may not remember I spent 20 or so years in Tier One OEM automotive supply so I've been in quite a few of the OEM manufacturing facilities in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Regarding a new Avalanche, I would never say never but I would say it's highly, highly unlikely.
 

PerfectReign

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Flint4x4 said:
I miss the plain jane trucks, my first and often only mod was adding a stereo system.
That was my 1987 Nissan hardbody. It even had a simulated vinyl bench seat. 

I did add a stereo/cassette player but messed up the crank window on the passenger side.
 

FLINTaVa

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MyBigToy said:
Regarding a new Avalanche, I would never say never but I would say it's highly, highly unlikely.
That's what they said when the first Avalanche concept appeared at an auto show.  :B: 

Amusing thought: I mentioned we can change models quicker than ever before.
Management can change even quicker so you never know, we just need the right prick in charge.  :p







 

txowner

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I call on the former Avalanche  production assembly plant in Arlington TX and just basically asked the question - are they going to bring it back.  No hesitation and universal response was NO.  It is dead.

I hate the current body style for the Surburban and Tahoe - they look like a hearse.  Almost to the point of not buying a GM vehicle because I dislike the look so much and have had to put 2 transmissions in my 06 Avalanche plus a differential.  At 230,000 miles it is getting too long in the tooth for an extended trip to be trustworthy.

<Sigh>
 

ygmn

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txowner said:
I call on the former Avalanche  production assembly plant in Arlington TX and just basically asked the question - are they going to bring it back.  No hesitation and universal response was NO.  It is dead.
THought they were all built in Siliao Mexico?
 

newavguy

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They may be thinking since the Escalade and Suburbans are built in Arlington now that the AV were built there also. GM moved production there after 2013.
 

FLINTaVa

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MS03 2500 said:
They may be thinking since the Escalade and Suburbans are built in Arlington now that the AV were built there also. GM moved production there after 2013.
GM consolidated all full size SUV production in Arlington, TX which already built the Suburban and it's siblings Yukon and Escalade. They'd added the shorter Tahoe and it's siblings from Janesville, WI several years before Silao quit producing Suburban/Avalanche/EXT.
 
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