Big News: Chevrolet Steps Back Into The Medium Duty Truck Market – Did Not See That One Coming!

Big News: Chevrolet Steps Back Into The Medium Duty Truck Market – Did Not See That One Coming!

In news that maybe someone, but not us saw coming, Chevrolet has reentered the medium duty truck segment for the first time since 2009 with the Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500 series offerings. These trucks will compete with Ford in class 4, 5, and 6 offerings. There had been some really low level murmurings that Chevrolet was coming back with some larger trucks but no one knew that the lineup would be this full. After all, they stopped medium duty stuff in 2009. How did they get back in? Thank a partnership with Navistar for that.

These trucks are built on Navistar’s line, carry one engine and transmission option in the Duramax V8 and Allison trans, and are available in more than a half dozen frame lengths for different applications. The frame design has been optimized for upfitters and customizers to do what they do. These will be tow trucks, small motorhomes, fifth wheel haulers, dump trucks, flatbeds, box trucks, and all of the other vocational style deals that these things become. Oh, and coming shortly, Navistar will be selling the same trucks with their own brand.

Things we dig? How about the fact that these things have a proper medium duty truck clamshell hood that tilts forward and leaves the motor mostly out in the open. Things we don’t like? No GMC branded models? Your “professional grade” division does not get work trucks for the cost of badges? Seems weird.

This is huge news for anyone in the market for fleet trucks or who will be in the market for fleet trucks. Why? Options, baby!

Check out the photos below and then all the information from Chevrolet –

INDIANAPOLIS —Chevrolet revealed its first-ever Silverado Class 4, 5 and 6 chassis cab trucks today at NTEA The Work Truck Show – three supremely capable conventional cab models will be the most customer-focused trucks of any major competitor.

“Chevy’s designers and engineers were obsessed with making this Silverado the most customer-focused medium duty truck of any major competitor,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet. “By customer-focused, I mean work-ready trucks that are easy to upfit, easy to drive, easy to service and easy to own.”

The Trucks Dealers, Customers and Upfitters Asked For

The input of fleet managers, truck drivers, upfitters, technicians and Chevrolet dealers drove the development of the new Silverados.

“It’s not just numbers on a spec sheet that make us different and better,” said John Schwegman, director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty at GM Fleet. “These new Silverados are designed to solve the most common upfit and ownership challenges fleets have with many of today’s medium duty trucks.”

Challenge The Silverado Solution
  • Cost and complexity of upfits: Frames that rust; rivets, brackets and fluid lines that interfere with body mounting.
  • A factory-painted frame with one-piece frame rails, smooth, unobstructed top sections, and through-the-frame fuel fill lines.
  • Frame compromises: Frame rails that are too short behind the rear axle to accommodate longer cargo boxes without extensions and reinforcements.
  • Seven Cab-to-Axle (CA) options ranging from 60 to 162-inches, along with five unique axle-to-back-of-frame (AF) lengths sized in 8-inch increments.
  • Service obstacles: Hood designs that force technicians to use ladders or remove vehicle components to access under-hood components for maintenance and repair.
  • A lightweight, front-hinged “clamshell” hood that, combined with a 50-degree wheel cut, allows easy “walk up” access to under-hood components.
  • Difficult to drive: Poor downward perspective for the driver, along with poor low-speed maneuverability due to narrow wheel cuts, and wide turning radiuses.
  • A precisely crafted and contoured hood optimizes the driver’s perspective of the road. Maneuverability is excellent thanks to up to 50-degree wheel cuts.
  • Noise, Vibration and Harshness: The need to retrofit aftermarket air suspensions to improve ride; loud, uncomfortable cabins.
  • An available, factory-installed rear air suspension, not on Ford and Ram; triple-sealed, inset doors to help reduce wind and road noise; huck bolts used throughout the frame for superior clamping force.
  • DEF tank placement: Poorly-placed and marked diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tanks that can lead to refueling errors.
  • The DEF tank is conveniently located on the passenger side of the truck – the opposite side of the fuel fill.

Proven Power

The Silverado will be available in 2WD and 4WD and will be powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine with 350 horsepower and 700 lb.-ft. of torque and Allison transmissions with a Power Take Off (PTO) option.

“When you consider all of the flexibility, capability and durability we have engineered into the Silverado, along with the proven power of Allison transmissions and the Duramax diesel engine, we have a medium duty truck line that will appeal to both Chevrolet loyalists and competitive owners alike,” said Schwegman.

The Most Connected Medium Duty Truck
The Silverado will also be the most connected commercial truck available, thanks to options that include OnStar and Commercial Link, a built-in 4GLTE Wi-Fi hotspot (paid data plan required), wireless cellphone charging, Bluetooth and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Production and Ordering

Production of the new Silverado begins in late 2018. Order guides will be available this spring and pricing will be announced this summer. More than 400 commercially-focused Chevrolet dealers are expected to carry the new Silverado line.

GM Fleet Momentum

The launch of the All-New Silverados will build on the momentum Chevrolet and GM Fleet have been building over several years.

“Chevrolet’s return to the conventional cab medium duty segment is part of a multi-year strategy to earn the business and loyalty of Commercial and Government customers by expanding into new product segments, delivering innovative business solutions, superior value and an exceptional customer experience,” Peper said.

In 2017, GM Fleet delivered nearly 300,000 units to Commercial and Government customers – the most since 2008 – and gained almost 1.4 percentage points of market share.

Chevrolet has been the growth engine:

  • Chevrolet’s three-truck pickup strategy, built around the Colorado mid-size pickup and the Silverado ½-ton and 1-ton models, has made General Motors the leader in pickup deliveries for four consecutive years.
  • New dedicated Commercial and Government products, including the Colorado box-delete and Low Cab Forward, have helped turn the brand into a “one stop shop” for fleet managers and small businesses.
  • Chevrolet has been the broadest portfolio of B20-capable diesel-powered cars, crossovers and trucks in the industry, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Equinox, Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD, Express, Low Cab Forward – and now the new Silverado in class 4,5 and 6 configurations.
  • A very strategic and disciplined approach to the daily rental market helps to support resale values.

“It’s a fact: The more choices we offer truck customers, the more we drive sales across our entire portfolio. That’s because brand and dealer loyalty run deep in this business,” Peper said.


Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heartbeat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

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8 thoughts on “Big News: Chevrolet Steps Back Into The Medium Duty Truck Market – Did Not See That One Coming!

  1. Hippi

    saw a few protos at the Navistar open house these things leave the old Kodiak in the dust

  2. RK - no relation

    Pretty soon we will see these with the dually pickup bed in place; a whole new crop of Big Cowboy Pickups, Yeehaw!

  3. Jay

    Definitely like the idea, but why a reduced horsepower Duramax? New 3/4 tons have 445hp/910tq, and these are built for larger hauling/loads and are 350/700??

    1. Ian

      Increased durability at the lower ratings. Ford and Ram do the the same thing with their medium duty trucks.

      1. BeaverMartin

        No one needs 445/910 to do work. 350/700 is plenty. Give them 900 ftlbs and your company truck will be on you tube pulling a rich kid’s daddy’s F350 backwards.

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