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GM may begin offering medium-duty cabovers again

General Motors is apparently planning to re-enter the medium-duty truck market in 2016 via a renewed alliance with Japan’s Isuzu Motors, offering Isuzu N-Series cabover chassis re-badged with the Chevrolet nameplate.

Isuzu and GM have maintained a strategic partnership for more than 40 years, according to GM. Re-badging vehicles built by other often rival automakers is not a new tactic for GM, either, as that’s the formula the OEM most recently used to bring its Chevrolet City Express van to market, based on the NV200 compact van chassis built by Nissan.

Chevrolet will offer low cab forward medium-duty trucks in the U.S. in 2016. The six new models – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – are based on the Isuzu N-Series, which GM will procure from Isuzu and distribute through Chevrolet dealers.

“Bringing low cab forward trucks back to our portfolio strengthens Chevrolet’s commitment to providing commercial customers with more choices and provides customers with a versatile lineup of trucks, vans and crossovers,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet and Commercial Sales. “This addition helps our dealers satisfy their commercial customers’ needs all in one place.”

The new trucks will be offered in regular-cab and crew-cab body styles. A General Motors’ sourced 6.0L V-8 gas engine and six-speed automatic transmission, or Isuzu-sourced 3.0L and 5.2L turbo-diesel engines will be available, depending on the model. The gas-powered models will be assembled in the United States in Charlotte, Mich.

Along with the Isuzu-badged versions, the Chevrolet models will be the only low cab forward trucks in the North American market to offer a gas-powered powertrain, GM said. Additional features include:

  • Excellent visibility and maneuverability – especially in urban environments.
  • Easy driver entry and exit.
  • Chassis lengths ranging from 109 inches to 212 inches.
  • Compatibility with a variety of body types, including refrigerated box, stake/flat bed and service bodies.
  • Easy-access engine compartment with 45-degree-tilting cab.

Additional features and specifications will be available closer to the start of production.

In addition to the new low cab forward trucks, Chevrolet’s fleet and commercial choices include the full-size Silverado lineup, the Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD full-size chassis cab models and the midsize Colorado, which offers a box-delete option, as well as the City Express small van and Express range of full-size vans.

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