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The Chevrolet Avalanche, admits General Motors, may just have been too innovative for its own good.
Launched in 2002 as a new type of functional light-duty pickup with with actual space for five, it helped create the boom in crew cab pickups, which now represent 65 percent of light-duty pickup sales. As a result, sales of the Avalanche have suffered, sliding slowly from a peak of over 90,000 units in 2003 to just around 20,000 units the past few years.
“The Chevrolet Avalanche was one of the earliest forays into re-inventing the traditional pickup truck,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. “It was a vehicle that maintained the traditional truck image and capability but was more versatile for the person buying it for personal use more than work – a lifestyle truck more than a work truck. Other variations on the theme from competitors followed the Avalanche’s debut.”
For 2013 the Avalanche will get a back-up camera, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, fog lights and a remote start feature as standard equipment on LS model, while LT models also get a standard rear camera. Moving those last Avalanches off the lots will be easier thanks to a $35,980 starting price (plus $995 shipping), which is $2,500 lower.
“More than 580,000 Avalanches have been sold since its introduction in 2001, and Avalanche has won major awards and recognitions throughout its run,” said Mark Clawson, Avalanche marketing manager. “So it is only fitting that Avalanche retires on a high note.”
That high-note is a Black Diamond edition model with body-colored bed surrounds, a unique badge and added features.