Hot on the heels of announcing impressive payload and towing figures for its Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra Heavy-Duty trucks; General Motors has stated that it is seriously looking to re-enter the medium duty truck market. Last year, the General exited this segment, winding down production of its Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Topkick class 5-7 trucks, after deals to sell the medium-duty business to Isuzu and Navistar International fell through.
However, in an about turn, it looks like the General might return to the segment. According to Joyce Mattman, Director of GM’s Commercial Vehicle operations, there are several different strategies that could be taken. One is to go after the class 5/6 market, in which the Kodiak and TopKick competed, but another is to go for the class 4/5 segment, the realm of 1-ton chassis cabs, which are popular with small delivery firms and contractors. “We’ve competed in class 4 before,” says Mattman. “Our C3500 HD was popular and the thing our customers liked about it, was that it had a light-duty pickup cab and they could get between houses and down alleys for deliveries and utility work, places where many traditional medium-duty trucks can’t.”
Given that Ford and Ram already compete in the 4/5 category with their F-450 and 4500 chassis cab rigs, a GM entry would seem a no-brainer, aided by the fact that such a truck could use much of the existing Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra HD hardware. In the meantime with a sizable void in the market, GM commercial dealers are doing what they can to survive, selling left-over Kodiak and TopKick vehicles to those customers who still want a medium-duty GM truck.