Posts from ‘Commercial Vehicles’
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2010 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
By Don Sikora II
As America worked its way deeper into the Twenties, Chevrolet was roaring up the sales charts—just as Ford’s legendary Model T was running out of gas. When the last Model T rolled off the assembly line on May 26, 1927, it was nearly a given that for the first time Chevrolet would win the yearly new-car sales race. Ford’s Model TT trucks remained in production a bit longer, but Chevrolet claimed the 1927 truck sales crown as well.
There’s a lot new in the redesigned 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups, but five things stand out:
- Maximum towing capacity of the 1-ton 3500 has been raised an astounding 52 percent to an equally astounding 35,500 lbs.
- For those who tow – and GMC says 93% of heavy-duty pickup buyers do – the Sierra offers up to 15 different camera views, including remote cameras that can “see” inside of and behind the trailer.
- Buyers opting for the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine – which most do – will find it’s now mated to an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission.
- All models are available with GMC’s exclusive MultiPro tailgate.
- Newly available is a large, multi-color head-up display, along with a rearview camera that can project its image into the rearview mirror (which keeps things like rear-seat passengers or tall cargo in the bed from blocking your view straight back).
Okay, maybe that’s six things. And yet there’s still more.
Billed as the water-park capital of the world, Wisconsin Dells is a popular vacation and weekend-getaway destination for folks throughout the Midwest. Located in the heart of the Dairy State, “the Dells” is about a three-hour drive from Chicago–just long enough to feel like a road trip, and short enough to be tolerable with youngsters in the car.
Yes, Police Van! sounds like the name of failed Eighties cop action/drama series, but to General Motors, the van depicted above is an integral part of its 2019 police and fleet-vehicle product portfolio–and much to our surprise, it hasn’t been cancelled yet.
Per ride-hailing giant Uber, the company’s drivers provide patrons an amazing 15 million rides daily. And that’s just Uber–similar firms, such as Lyft, Via, and Juno, are shuttling plenty of people around as well.
Created for the U.S. military, the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, and more colloquially, Humvee) was engineered as a replacement for the M151 jeep vehicles and other light trucks that were previously the Armed Forces’ primary modes of light-duty transportation.
It wasn’t so much a matter of “if” as a matter of “when” … and “who.”
Over the past couple of decades, those following heavy-duty pickups have been treated to a race similar to that enjoyed by car enthusiasts for years. This one, however, wasn’t about horsepower; it was about torque. And though all the top contenders kept leap-frogging each other toward that magic 1000 lb-ft finish line, it was Ram that got there first.
Dealing with legacy product is probably one of the most challenging parts of an automaker product planner’s job. What does a brand do with aging, unhip product that still sells relatively well, but compromises a marque’s image with the younger buyers that marketers so desperately want to attract?