As General Motors gears up to launch its 2019 Silverado Medium Duty conventional trucks – the Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD, it’s already preparing its next product in the commercial truck space: a Class 7 truck.
According to rumors intricately familiar with future GM product plans, the automaker is in the initial stages of exploring bringing to market a Class 7 truck in collaboration with Navistar, with which it co-developed its new Silverado Medium Duty series. That initial collaboration for medium duty trucks was termed a success between the two partners, enabling them to consider a follow-up project.
If green-lit, the medium-heavy truck would slot at the top end of Chevrolet’s recently-expanded Silverado range and have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) anywhere between 26,000 and 33,000 pounds (11,794–14,969 kilos). Sources tell us that GM and Navistar would potentially launch their respective versions of the future Class 7 truck in the 2022 calendar year as 2023 models.
Notably, the head of GM’s U.S. Fleet division, Ed Peper, may have hinted that there is more in the works beyond a Class 4, 5 and 6 trucks in a March 2018 quote during the announcement of the Medium Duty models.
“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 a statement.
Current Class 7 trucks include the Ford F-750, Peterbilt 337 Series and HINO 338. Notably, Class 7 trucks (and above) require a Class-B commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate in the United States.
The rumor brings up several questions, the primary ones being whether GM’s Chevrolet brand will call the upcoming Class 7 vehicle Silverado, as it did with the Class 4, 5 and 6 models, or give it an entirely new name? Another key question is what powertrain combination the potential new truck will use.
Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to see GM returning to the commercial medium and heavy truck space after a decades-long absence, even if it is via a partnership.