In April 2012, General Motors announced it was discontinuing the Chevrolet Avalanche, much to the disappointment of owners and fans. The Avalanche was loved by many and Chevy’s decision to end it seemed to come out of nowhere.
Since then, many believe low sales volume was behind the decision to cut the Avalanche’s run short. So what really happened? And will the Avalanche ever return?
The Chevrolet Avalanche
People loved the truck/SUV combo, according to GM Authority. They explained that there had been a multitude of emails, conversations, comments, and more around the vehicle.
Officially designated as a “sport utility truck” or SUT, the Chevrolet Avalanche began the crew cab pickup truck trend at the beginning of the century. The Avalanche was an unanticipated trendsetter that recorded just under 94,000 sales in 2003 — just its third year. Chevy and its competition felt inspired to design and produce lighter crew cab pickups.
By 2011, 65% of the light-duty pickup class were trucks with crew cabs. The extra cab space meant families could ride inside, earning the SUT a wide and loyal fanbase. Ironically, the crew cab was also its downfall.
The Avalanche also had a passthrough mid-gate. The gate folded down and allowed you to combine the back of the cabin and the 5-foot bed into a full 8-foot truck bed. It was another feature fans really loved about the discontinued Avalanche.
Chevrolet said goodbye to the Avalanche in style with its Black Diamond Avalanche, which offered stylish features like distinctive badging, body-colored bed surrounds, and a lower price. The 2013 models had fog lamps, power-adjustable pedals, rear camera, rear park assist, and remote start standard on the LS trim level. The 2WD Avalanche base price started at $35,980 plus $995 destination.
A Silverado successor?
With the success of the Avalanche, Chevrolet added crew cabs to Silverado after the 2013 model year. Did that mean the Silverado replaced the Avalanche? Not exactly.
Realizing that the Silverado with a crew cab wasn’t enough to appease Avalanche fans, Chevrolet added a High Desert package with more features from the Avalanche. The package added storage boxes you could lock as well as sport bars and a three-piece tonneau cover.
Chevrolet also offers a mid-sized Colorado along with a full-size Silverado and heavy-duty Silverado HD. There are twin GMCs on top of this. For loyal Avalanche fans who want it back, the question is: Would it be feasible today in Chevy’s lineup? What kind of truck could it be and would it be financially feasible?
Is the Chevy Avalanche coming back?
Will Chevrolet bring back the Avalanche? The odds are against it. There is the business aspect to consider first and foremost. Developing a new truck — and the Chevrolet Avalanche would be an all-new truck — would be very expensive.
It’s hard to beat the flexibility of today’s crossovers and SUVs. While the mid-size truck segment is going strong, with the cost of developing a new Avalanche, the MSRP would be high. As a more expensive truck, many believe it wouldn’t get the sales numbers it would need to be a success.
Could Avalanche coexist with Silverado? Do we need both? Those are important questions. Not only that but would the fanbase return to buy them after the first year? These are questions we’ll probably never get an answer to.
The only way some think we’ll ever see the Avalanche again is as a hybrid model. But you won’t see that type of truck on the market for the next few years. If it were to come back as a hybrid, what would it have in common with the Avalanche that everyone knew and loved?
While it doesn’t appear like we’ll get a resurrected Avalanche any time soon, the Silverado 1500 High Desert might be close enough to fill the Avalanche’s void.