In the midst of one the worst economic collapse in U.S. history, GM executives culled all sorts of different products and brands from their lineup including the funky, mid-gate Chevy Avalanche. With the economy rebounding, trucks and SUV sales booming and the changing nature of pickup trucks, it is time for Chevy to bring back the Avalanche. Here are my top 5 reasons why.
First and foremost, when discussing future product development, you have to start with the business case. Automakers, like GM, aren’t in business to lose money and developing a dud product is just not something they do.
When developing a new product, you have to take into account first the platform it will be riding on. In the case of the Avalanche, this is easy. It used an existing platform of the popular Suburban/Yukon XL. It can also use the existing powertrains, styling and latest technology of the GM SUVs.
Next, you have to consider manufacturing space. Since 2009, when the Silao, Mexico and Janesville, WI plants closed, the Arlington Assembly plant has built all Chevrolet Tahoes, GMC Yukons and Chevrolet Suburbans in Arlington, Texas. This plant occupies 4.375 million sq. ft. on 250 acres and impressively has been open since 1954. Currently it is running three shifts and is building about 1,200 vehicles each day. This makes its public production capacity of about 270k a year.
Looking at sales for all GM full-size SUVs, they have combined to sell around 143k units through August. With just four months left, it seems like, on paper, the Arlington assembly plant will come in at a little below capacity (22,500 per month capacity, 17,875 current pace). This sales year plus the unknown extra capacity each plant is capable of producing, the numbers show there is capacity for GM to build a new 2018 Chevy Avalanche.
When GM discontinued the Chevy Avalanche in the 2013 model year, the market was clearly clamoring for smaller vehicles and the 2009 economic collapse and subsequent bankruptcy spelled the Avalanche’s doom. Plus, diminishing sales of 16,986 units in its final year that finished off a downward trend of sales barely exceeding 20k for 5 straight years didn’t help. And rampant unemployment, high gas prices and market trends worked against the truck. Finally, the EPA issued their new Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations in May, 2009 calling for improved fuel economy targets to rise above 35.5 MPG.
All of these items painted a dark future for trucks and SUVs. Many analysts thought new EV and hybrid vehicles were the future. In fact, Chevy unveiled a new Hybrid version of the Tahoe in 2007 and was pushing more fuel efficiency. This was the market at that time.
Things have dramatically changed. Now, the Chevy Tahoe hybrid has been discontinued, EV sales haven’t really amounted to much and trucks, SUVs and mid-size trucks even has seen a rebirth. The sales numbers reflect this trend with GM’s latest August, 2016 deliveries report showing Chevrolet having 6 vehicles showing sales growth over the prior year including the Suburban, Colorado, Express van and Tahoe. GMC sales show the same with 4 vehicles showing sales growth – Canyon, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL.
With the top growth sectors being trucks and SUVs, the timing is right for GM to expand its offerings in this segment. Business is all about timing and the time is now.
Why do trucks and SUVs continue to sell well while EV and small cars are posting small growth numbers? Simple. Versatility is hot right now. The American consumer sees those small cars and EVs as great commuter vehicles to get back and forth to work.
When it comes to family vehicles, many want more cargo room. The EVs with their batteries and hybrids also with batteries, restrict the amount of cargo room you can have. This makes it difficult for consumers who want both an EV and cargo room.
These consumers make a choice then between fuel economy and cargo space. With you have a family of 3, 4 or 5+ it isn’t a tough choice. You want the room.
Remember when you were doing good if you truck got 12 MPG? Now days, trucks and SUVs are easily getting over 20 miles to the gallon and gas prices have been holding at around $2 a gallon for some time. Plus, there has never been a better time for consumers who want flexibility in their fuel economy and powertrain choices with diesel and hybrid powertrain options.
For example, the Chevy Colorado has a diesel. The new EcoTec3 engines from GM offer better fuel economy than their predecessors thanks to direct injection, piston cooling jets, active fuel management, variable displacement oil pump, continuously variable timing and aluminum cylinder heads and blocks. Simply put, this new generation engine can produce much more power for less fuel. How much better?
The latest generation of GM’s small block engines came out in 2013 and the 5.3L V8 is used in the 2014 Chevrolet Suburban (6.2L for Yukon XL). This SUV produces 355 HP (up from 320 HP) and 383 lb-ft of torque (up from 335 lb-ft) while returning 16/23/18 city/highway/combined MPG in 2WD and 15/22/18 city/highway/combined in 4WD. The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban was EPA-estimated at 15/21/17 city/highway/combined for 2WD. Now take these engine improvements and combine it with a new 10-speed transmission GM and Ford have been working on together and you could feasibly see a mid 20’s highway fuel economy number out of a large SUV.
Back 10 or even 15 years ago, vehicle pricing was largely held to an axiom that people won’t pay for features if they don’t find it immediately useful and this was especially the case with trucks and SUVs. These were the “people-hauler” vehicles and luxury touches were not the norm. Instead, they were often offered in bare bones with roll-up windows to keep price down.
Flash forward to present and GM is planning to offer a GMC Canyon Denali. Yep, a $50k mid-size truck. My how things have changed. This would have been completely unthinkable a decade ago.
Why bring this up? Profit is a big deal to GM and company executives have publicly stated they aren’t trying to buy market share anymore, they are trying to make money. If this is the case, can you imagine what a 2018 Chevrolet Avalanche Denali would do to the marketplace? It could easily top $60k and would be loaded with profit for GM considering they could use existing technology, platforms and powertrain to build it. Plus, old customers would come out of the woodwork for it much like they are for the new Honda Ridgeline. It could easily hit the 20k unit mark and might even surpass the old sales high of 93k units.
Whether GM reacts quickly enough to the changing market to produce a 2018 model is pretty unlikely. However, they could do it much sooner than other manufactures. They have the knowledge, the engineering, the production facility and a consumer base hungry for its return. These all add up to a winner in my book.
I would love to see the Avalanche make a comeback! I recently picked up an ’04 myself. My personal conspiracy theory is that a third-gen model was on the drawing board before the bankruptcy, and the powers-that-be put in charge of the GM bailout nixed it because they were kind of anti-Truck/SUV at the time, and the projected sales weren’t high enough to justify the R&D expense. The Silverado High Desert concept shows me there are still some within GM that are fans of the Avalanche and would like to see it make a comeback. Officially, GM says there are “no plans,” but I wouldn’t be completely shocked if it came back for 2020, a year after the next-gen Silverado launches.
I’ve owned an Avalanche since 2003. I had a 2003, 2007, 2012, & 2013 and bought them all new. I’m getting ready to buy a new vehicle because my ’13 has 150k+ miles on it and I’m stuck between a Tahoe & Silverado. That’s exactly what the Avalanche was. I’ve owned a truck since a was 16, that’s almost 40 years now and I’ve never had anything that could do what the Avalanche did as far as hauling. Not to mention the ride, on the road or in the snow nothing was better. I will truly miss it.
Sucks you are forced to buy something new. Have you considered holding onto your Avalanche as long as you can? I’ve seen a few trucks these days reach 300k, 400k, 500k and even a million miles.
I really miss my 2004 Avalanche, hind sight is 20/20, I should have kept it, borrowed the $10k that it would have taken to refurbish it, I would have been much happier! I went with a 2017 Colorado, and am happy with it, but I still miss the Avalanche’s size, ride and versatility. But I went with the Colorado once I saw the price tag on the Silverado High Country High Dessert, just could not afford another mortgage payment. I would LOVE for Chevy to bring back the Avalanche, hands down the best vehicle I ever owned, and first one I ever bought brand new.
“These all add up to a winner in my book” Thats exactly why they probably wont, they cant do the math. I’ve owned a 2007, 2010 and 2013. Ive owned three and I know more than a few people personally that have owned them.. What a shame if they dont bring back the AV
I own a 2007 Avalanche, and even though I’ve previously owned just pickup trucks, I consider this the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. I would love to see Chevy bring the Avalanche back, and would definitely purchase another.
We owned a 2004 Avalanche, brought it brand new. It was stolen in 2014, wrecked, passenger window busted out, etc., so it was totaled due to over 222,000 miles and my baby ran perfectly! Hauling, omg, it did whatever and whenever we needed and NEVER left us stranded on the highway, running from Texas to Georgia numerous times for 2 years straight while son was in college. As long as you kept the timely maintenance, which only was done at the same Chevrolet dealer where we purchased it from. PLEASE…PLEASE bring back the Avalanche ASAP! We are in need of a SUV and wife and I are patiently waiting for the Avalanche!!
I have a 2010 Av, great vehicle and the dealer wants to sell me a new Chev but not an AV. Maybe we can hope for a 2018 as I am looking for a new truck. Without an AV maybe need to look at Ford or Honda.
I have an ’04 Avalanche I bought brand new with 5 miles on it…..now it has over 230,000 miles but I’m holding out on a new purchase in hopes they bring the Avalanches back!
I’ve owned 3
Most recent the 2013 Black Diamond
I too am looking for a new truck but nothing holds a candle to the Avalanche. I’d be in for a new one otherwise…..I have to go Ford… that hurt!
Have you seen a new Chevy Silverado High Desert it’s part of the High Country but it looks just like an avalanche
We bought a 2003 Northface Edition. I thought it was the ugliest truck my husband ever bought. But pretty is as pretty does. It was the best truck we ever owned and we put more miles on it than all six other trucks we owned. He never kept a truck so long. We made a huge mistake trading it for a 2014 Silverado, fully loaded, and after market add-ons. Not the trucks fault, it just didn’t have the features of the Northface did. Sold the Siverado, bought a Colorado Trail Boss. Nice truck, very eye catching, but would trade it for an Avalanche in a heartbeat. By the way, the Northface is still on the road and the new owners say it is the best truck they have ever owned, and no, we can’t have it back
I owned a 2002 and now have the 2013 Black Diamond. Loved them both. If someone starts a petition let me know and I’d sign up.
I bought a 2004 new and put 220,000 miles on it. This truck never ever let me down. I then bought a 2007 LTZ Avalanche with 70,000 miles on it and love it even more. I sold my 2004 to one of my master carpenters and he calls it his going out to diner truck. Still looks new and now has 300k on it with original engine and tranny. If GM is reading this “PLEASE” bring it back!
I have a 2013 right now with 135K on it. I have owned 2 others a 2011 and a 2005. I won’t buy another truck until they bring back the Avalanche, It’s the best truck ever made by any company
I have been hoping wishing and praying that they will bring it back. Love love love love the truck. I won’t purchase another truck until you bring it back!
Totally agree with the other avalanche owners. And you have to have owned one to understand, nothing compares to it. I’ve owned a 2003, 2007, and currently a 2013 black diamond. All bought new. I really would like to have a new vehicle as my AV has some miles now. I was so hoping they’d bring it back. And even at a low 20,000 units for $40 to $60k each is a billion dollars in sales. Why not?
I purchased a new 2008 Avalanche and feel there was no better truck that rode like a car and had towing and load capacity. Had it until 2013. Wished I would have kept it. Traded it in on a Ford 150. If Avalanche ever comes back I will buy one. A improved removable top would be nice.
This really suds that Chevy has taken the avalanche off the market. I have a 2002 Z66 with 143000plus. It will out run anything even my son 2017 GMC Seirra.
I’ve owned six Avalanche .My last was a 2011. I still own it because I can’t find anything that I like. In Nebraska I see them everywhere and everyone I talk to wants a new one. They can’t believe Chevrolet took it off the market. Please…….
I have a 2002 Avalanche I bought in 2004. Love it.
I am wanting to get a newer one as mine is creeping up to the 200,000 mark but am hoping they come out with a brand new model with all the latest toys!
I’ve owned three Avalanches and loved them all. The one I presently own is a 2012 and I’m also holding out on purchasing a new Vehicle. I looked at the new Silverado Avalanche want to be but it’s a joke. The box height is thee and one quarter lower and no mid gate something I absolutely need! Leaf springs in the back gives it a shitty ride and it doesn’t come anywhere near the limousine ride you get with the Av! If they don’t come out with one soon I guess I will be forced to look at Ford, Dodge or the Japanese trucks. Too bad cause I have always had GM’s. I considered a Suburban but the seats fold above the floor which leaves a high storage area with less space than the Avalanche. What a screw up on GM’s part! What were they thinking when they did that!
Well if they designed the seats to fold into the floor in a body-on-frame full size SUV, that requires space between the floor of the cabin and the frame. That increases weight, raises the step-in height, and increases the exterior dimensions, potentially increasing aerodynamic drag due to the greater frontal area. The seats are removable, which is a reasonable compromise for most people.
I would love to see GM bring back the 3/4-ton version of the Avalanche and Suburban.
I have a 2003 AV. best truck that I have ever owned bought it used with 40,000 miles on it now it has 125,000. I pull s 26′ camping trailer. Never had any problems with.it i.wish gm would bring them back.
225,000 on my 2007 and hands down the best and most versatile vehicle I’ve ever owned. I want a new one in the worst way, but the high country despite its comfort does not have a mid gate which once you have, you can’t live without. I’m in the market for a new vehicle but nothing compares. I’m now searching nationwide for one that’s wel equipped and like new but that’s like finding a tick on my dog’s balls! Damn it, bring it back!
There is a reason that this thread has lasted a year…
Dang. You got me thinking on that comment. I didn’t realize this post has been up for nearly a year. I launched this site on 9/15 and this was one of the earliest posts I wrote.
Thanks for the reminder on how much time has passed!
Ok, another 2004 AV owner here with 221,000 on mine. Despite the salt on Minnesota roads rusting expected parts, she has been the best, most versatile truck ever. I’ve owned many Ford, Dodge, and Chevy trucks in my life of 53 years and I’m ready for a 2018 AV.
I made that fatal mistake of selling my 2004 Avalanche. I LOVED my truck and sold it to buy a 2014 Tahoe. I like my Tahoe but I miss my Avalanche tremendously. It was so versatile!!! My Tahoe is easier for my mother (77) to get into but I still keep a step stool in the back for her. I was at my local Chevy dealer last week and got so excited when I saw what I thought was a 2018 Avalanche. It turned out to be a Silverado with the angled trim along the bed and a three part sliding tonnaeu cover. It was like an “Avalanche want-to-be”. I was almost running out of the dealership to see it. My husband asked me if I was going to trade in my Tahoe. I said yea, in a heartbeat if it was an Avalanche. Chevy makes soooo many SUV’s that they should discontinue one of those models and BRING BACK THE AVALANCHE, along with the oversized captains seats and on the surburban chasis. just like before!!! I would be the first in line if they would.
I hereby declare myself one of the lucky ones. I’ve spent months online daily looking for a “new” Avalanche. The good ones won’t be found at auction, (public, dealer or factory) because the nice trades dealers get, they know they can sell quickly and they hit the frontline. I missed out out on 2 by hours and passed on a 2LT that just wasn’t quite right. I was still being picky about colors, trim, options, etc. and while I had to settle for a tan interior ( I wanted black) I found a local one owner, clean and cared for 29,000 mile LTZ example. Couldn’t deal much on it, but got the versatility that I needed and an all but new Avalanche… I should be good for another 10 years if I put the same kind of miles on it!
Keep searching gentlemen,they still exist, but are dying. Take my advice, when you find one, jump on it quickly, nice examples don’t last more than a day or 2 online.
I got a 2012 LTZ but first phone call I put a “hold deposit” on it to avoid potentially losing another one, took the remainder of the day off work, and it was as advertised! I learned quickly that you just have to that aggressive.
Good luck in finding your avalanche.
I currently own a 2009 Black LTZ AV. I purchased it used with very low miles and just absolutely love this vehicle.
The ride, versatility, style and overall ability of the Avalanche makes me wonder why GM chose to drop it. If they build them again I would buy one.
Went to order a High Desert Package. It has been DISCONTINUED.
Now I know GM is run by idiots.
That’s crazy. It just came out!
Hello!!! Anyone still there? I have a 2002 Av., basic 1500, bought new ans have 186k on it. I had numerous round trips Dallas-California (more than 15!), criss-croosing US, and visiting most of the national parks: smoith and safe rides, 20-25 mpg on freeways. I am in love with my Av.; I also have dear memories with Mom and kids, so I would not sell it too soon. If you say it can get to 300 k miles, then we would have a long partnership if I find parts when needed.
My Av. is solid, it is reliable, it is fun. Last Thanksgiving I had the misfortune to be caught in misarable weather in PA on my way to Buffalo, NY, when I hit a patch of black ice on 85 mph that spinned me across freeway 90 twice. Thanks be to God Who stopped the entire traffic without any incidents while my Av. was graciously figure skating on the freeway! I hit a guard rail twice, bruised the driver front side and the rear, busting the fender and the tailgate. To my surprise and praises to the Lord, my rock could go on, bruised as it was. Very solid frame and engine. Both enforcement bars were bent in but didn’t hurt any major parts. I found some mechanics in Buffalo who put back on the tailgate, pulled back the bars as well as they could, and I could make it back to Dallas a week later. I still drive it as it is. It saved my life; well, the Lord saved my life, but the Av. was the sturdy protective shell. I can’t find parts, especially a good fender, to make it look handsome again. I trust my Av. and would urge GM to have a come back asap. I have many friends interested in buying one!
Any advice where I could find cheaper parts for a 2002 1500 basic? I need the driver’s fender, grill, front enforcement bar, bumper and clads; fog lamps…
That is quite the story and thank god you walked away from that accident. Have you tried looking at local junk yards? They may have a few old Avalanches with parts you can use. Not always the best option for those who like to just order new, but you can save a considerable amount of money.
I have had 7 Avalanches and I’m hoping that they’ll come out again. Since the Avalanche
I’ve owned a Silverado & a Tahoe and the ride is not comparable to the Avalanche.
Discontinued the high country?
These pricks need to do something comparable or I’ll be walking to work. Dodge is junk and F150 is best selling because it needs replaced more frequently. I Need that suspension package on a reliable truck what are they thinking!
I still have my 2009 Avalanche and I love it. Someday, I will need a new car/truck and I just hope the Avalanche is back by then!
My wife and I have owned a 2008 Tahoe LTZ since new it has 175,000 miles on the clock, we also own a Silverado LTZ with a Duromax 6.6 diesel. About a year ago we had to make a decision, the Avalanche was tired high mileage with transmission and engine issues our fault not the truck, the body was pristine as was the custom interior we installed. We decided the vehicle was so comfortable on the road and we enjoyed its flexibility so much, we installed a new GM crate motor new transmission, had the body tidied up. The truck is now ready to give us another 200,000 miles. Instead of $60K invested in a new pickup we now have essentially a new Avalanche (with 100,000 mile warranty) ready for another 200,000 miles of the most comfortable flexible driving. We could have bought a new vehicle but we could not find anything that compared with the Avalanche or came anywhere near close to the comfort level even with much higher priced vehicles. Bring back the Avalanche. Please!!!
Where Did you have that done?
GM dealership it was well worth it
I have had a 2009 Avalanche and have been thinking about getting a new vehicle but there just aren’t any out there in the market that compare to the Avalanche so am still holding out hopes that it will come back; this is the best vehicle I have ever owned. Sigh ~~