Detroit’s General Motors Co. today announced at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis that its commercial fleet business has increased 67 percent since 2013.
“Our commercial fleet sales growth is a result of excellent product and an even better team,” says Ed Peper, U.S. vice president for GM Fleet. “The changes for Express, Low Cab Forward and medium-duty trucks are great examples of the team’s commitment to helping customers with their fleet vehicle needs. With the product changes for 2020, we are on track for another year of strong commercial growth.”
Peper says GM’s recent investments in manufacturing facilities will allow the automaker to increase pickup truck supply to meet demand.
Recent manufacturing facility include:
- A $150 million investment at Flint Assembly in Flint to increase production capacity of heavy-duty trucks by 40,000 vehicles annually, beginning in 2020.
- A $175 million investment in a facility which will be built in Brookville, Ohio to produce engine components needed to increase production of the 6.6L Duramax diesel V-8 engines later this year.
- A $1.5 billion investment, including $1 billion toward the Wentzville, Missouri plant, to prepare for future mid-size pickup and van improvements.
Also at the trade show, GM’s Chevrolet brand announced a new engine for the Express and Low Cab Forward trucks, as well as improvements for the Silverado 4500 HD, 5500 HD and 6500 HD chassis cabs. Executives expect these changes to continue to fuel further growth for GM in the segment.
For 2021, Express configurations and Low Cab Forward will be available late this summer with a new 6.6-liter V-8 gas engine. Originally introduced in the all-new 2020 Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD, the direct-injected engine is SAE rated at 401 horsepower and 464 lb.-ft. of torque for the Express. That is 17 percent more horsepower and 24 percent more peak torque than the 6.0L it replaces. The 6.6L output on the Low Cab Forward is 350 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft. of torque, which is nearly 18 percent more horsepower and 14 percent more peak torque than its outgoing 6 liter.
Peper says Chevrolet promises the additional output and wider torque band will give drivers more on-demand power and confidence, especially with heavy payloads. Approximately 70 percent of current Express owners opted for the 6-liter V-8 option, and Chevrolet expects this new engine to garner the same or increased take rate.
Demand for Express remains high across passenger, cargo, and cutaway configurations, with commercial fleet increasing 12 percent year over year in 2019. Low Cab Forward trucks also had an excellent 2019 with a 109 percent increase in commercial sales year over year, gaining an estimated two points of share in the segment.
Chevrolet also says it is updating its medium-duty 4500 HD, 5500 HD, and 6500 HD Silverado chassis cabs to increase performance and flexibility.
Maximum gross combined weight rating is now up to 37,000 pounds, offering a 23 percent increase in hauling capability. A new mechanical locking rear axle improves traction by automatically locking when a rear tire slips — such as driving off-road or on slippery surfaces.
Longer axle-to-end-of-frame options for the two shortest wheelbases enable longer upfit bodies and increased upfit flexibility.