Customer Demand Could Resurrect the Single Cab Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado is a fairly-good work truck–albeit with some interesting recalls–and it’s also very configurable. Engine choices range from a turbocharged four-cylinder to a V8, there are a number of off-road special editions, and buyers can pick from a crew, double, or single cab. However, the only Silverado that can come as a single cab is the base WT trim, and it only comes with a long bed. Although great for payload capacity, not everyone wants a base-level work truck. And based on recent news, Chevrolet may expand its Silverado single cab offerings.

Why don’t we get more single cab Silverado pickups in the US?

2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 | GM
2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 | GM

Although the US only gets one version of the single cab Silverado, other countries can choose from a wider selection. According to Muscle Cars and Trucks, buyers in the Middle East can spec more expensive Silverado trims, like the Trail Boss, with single cabs. MC&T does point out that certain higher-trim parts, such as the Trail Boss’ suspension, are offered as Chevrolet Performance parts. But why can’t American buyers just buy a single cab Trail Boss?

In an interview with MC&T, Chevrolet Silverado Marketing Director Hugh Milne essentially pointed towards fuel efficiency and emissions. As The Drive explained, automakers often have to make certain concessions towards CAFE regulations, based on a complicated formula that involves each vehicle’s weight class and footprint. As a larger vehicle, the Silverado and its GMC sibling, the Sierra, do have slightly easier efficiency targets to hit. But they’re also full-size pickups.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT single cab
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT single cab | Chevrolet

That’s why, even with the Silverado’s diesel and turbocharged four-cylinder engines, it’s tough to hit those targets. And expensive. That’s why the current single cab WT Silverado doesn’t get the diesel or turbo engines: to quote Milne, “it’s only a work truck.” Offering the WT only with a V8 or V6 is part of the reason why Chevrolet can list a relatively low price on those trucks.

Although, market forces may be dictating some changes.

How the single cab Silverado options could expand in the US

According to Milne, Chevrolet has “We had customers that were disappointed that we didn’t do a reg cab short box, and we’re seeing whether or not (offering one) makes sense.” Basically, if customers continue to ask for more non-WT single cab Silverados, Chevrolet may start to offer them. However, it would be a tricky financial balancing act.

Chevrolet would have to price the single cab version lower than the dual or crew cab ones. This would hurt margins on what could be a fairly low-volume product. However, as The Drive points out, it would give Chevrolet a market advantage over Ram or Ford. Both offer single cab trucks, but again, only in base-level work truck form. And single cab trucks do offer several advantages.

Why a single cab Silverado would make sense in the US

Single cab trucks are lighter, which would improve fuel efficiency slightly. The smaller cab and lighter weight also mean they can carry more in their beds, which is why so many work trucks have single cabs. And for off-roaders, single cabs are more maneuverable in tight places, such as forests or rock gardens.

At the moment, Chevrolet is still mulling things over. It would most likely take several years, possibly until the next-gen Silverado, for American customers to get an expanded single cab selection. But at least Chevrolet’s open to the idea. So if you want a higher-trim, single cab Silverado, make sure your voice is heard.