The Chevrolet Silverado HD Carhartt Edition made its big public debut early last month at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The special-edition pickup follows the 2017 Silverado Carhartt Edition concept shown at SEMA back in 2016, and is based on the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab model equipped with the optional Z71 Off-Road Package. We wanted to know more, so we spoke with Chevrolet Silverado marketing manager Hugh Milne, who laid out how the truck came to be.
The story starts in 2016 with the release of the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD. “We’re always looking for partners that make sense, and that was the year we introduced our new [L5P Duramax] diesel engine, and we wanted to do something cool,” Milne told us.
For those who may not know, Carhartt is an apparel company that specializes in work clothes, fire-resistant clothing, and hunting clothes. The connection to Chevrolet Silverado buyers is obvious, and given Carhartt is based out of Dearborn, Michigan, the pieces fell into place nicely for Chevy.
“The more we started working with them, the more we talked about our customers, the more we talked about synergies, we totally are talking to the same customers,” Milne said.
The next step was a promotional agreement.
“This past year we linked them into our [Chevrolet] truck tour – a tour that goes to state fairs and big events. There, product specialists are wearing Carhartt gear,” Milne said. Likewise, Carhartt began hosting Chevy trucks on site for store openings.
The reveal of the initial concept truck at SEMA 2016 further cemented the relationship between the two companies, but the timing wasn’t quite right for a production version – at least not yet.
“We did the reveal [of the concept] and it was pretty clear that this was a huge win, but we were late in the last truck’s lifecycle,” Milne said. “I remember that over a year later, we were still getting emails from customers saying, ‘Are you guys gonna build this thing?'”
For reference, the initial Chevrolet Silverado Carhartt Edition concept was released late in the cycle for the last-generation K2 platform-based truck, and was about two years away from the release of the current-generation model. However, with the new truck now out, a production version of the concept was given the green light.
“So to me, it was the most successful special-edition concept that we’ve done and as soon as we could, we got it in,” Milne said.
For reference, the Chevrolet Silverado Carhartt Edition is only available in Mosaic Black metallic paint, and comes with Carhartt gold pinstriping, unique badging, a soft rollup tonneau cover, and other exterior upgrades. Meanwhile, the interior is equipped with Carhartt-branded all-weather floor mats, exclusive two-tone leather seats, and embroidered headrests.