No More Midgate: Chevrolet Avalanche Dies After The 2013 Model Year

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The Chevrolet Avalanche may have been ahead of its time when it debuted in 2001, but it seems its time will soon end: General Motors confirmed today that its half pickup/ half SUV will end production at the end of the 2013 model year.

The Chevrolet Avalanche was arguably groundbreaking when it first took to the streets in 2002, thanks to its half-and-half philosophy. The Avalanche had four doors and five seats, but also a pickup truck bed. The party trick, however, was the so-called midgate: stow the rear window, fold the rear seats, and lower the panel separating the cargo bed from the cabin, and you could extend the pickup bed by nearly three feet. In 2003, Chevrolet sold nearly 94,000 units.

Sadly, Chevrolet Avalanche sales just aren’t what they used to be. With annual volumes hovering around the 20,000-unit mark for the past two years, it would seem that the Avalanche is ready for retirement. It doesn't help the Avalanche's case, also, now that Silverado sales are predominantly crew cab models, which offer much of the same convenience and usability.

Chevrolet will mark the end of the line with a special Black Diamond Avalanche. The Black Diamond Avalanche gets body-color bed surrounds, special Black Diamond badging, and slightly different trim levels. LT models now get a standard rear camera, while LS models get standard rear parking sensors, a rear camera, power adjustable pedals, fog lamps, and remote start.

With the Chevrolet Avalanche on its way out, one would think its sibling, the Cadillac Escalade EXT, is in trouble. The EXT has sold one-tenth as much as the Avalanche in the past two years (only 4118 units), and only accounts for 10 percent of Escalade sales. General Motors hasn't announced any plans for the future, but it's safe to bet that the luxo-truck's days are numbered.

The 2013 Black Diamond Avalanche, with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine and rear wheel drive, will start at $36,975.

Source: General Motors

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