Body Type:Pickup Truck
For Sale By:Dealer
Model: Sierra 1500
Sub Model: EXT CAB 4X4
Exterior Color: Other
Number of Cylinders: 8
Huntersville, North Carolina, United States
In the market for a fullsize van but don't need a heavy-duty model? You're in the minority, and you're also out of luck. That's because there are barely any more fullsize vans on the market with gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,500 pounds, the threshold that separates light- and heavy-duty vans.
According to PickupTrucks.com, neither the Ford E-Series, Ram ProMaster, nor Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are available in light-duty versions. Few of the Ford Transit configurations are, either, and now General Motors is discontinuing production of the 1500-series Chevy Express and GMC Savana.
Apparently light-duty versions accounted for just 23 percent of Express sales and only 7 percent of Savanas. Add to that the fact that these 1500 versions were the only ones using the old generation of engines and suspension, and that the Wentzville plant near St. Louis, Missouri, is trying to make room for the next Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, and the fate of the light-duty GM van was sealed.
General Motors has just initiated another crushingly large recall, this time affecting some 3.36 million vehicles built between 2000 and 2014 and sold in the US, Canada and Mexico. Once again, the issue surrounds the cars' ignition switches, which can be kicked out of the run position if they're carrying extra weight or if they experience a "jarring" event. In this particular case, though, GM will modify the keys, rather than the ignition itself.
A four-by-six-millimeter hole will be drilled into the key, which will more safely accommodate the weight of the key ring. As is usually the case, the work will be done free of charge. The recalled vehicles include the 2000 to 2005 Cadillac Deville, 2004 to 2005 Buick Regal LS and GS, 2004 to 2011 Cadillac DTS, 2005 to 2009 Buick Lacrosse, 2006 to 2008 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2006 to 2011 Buick Lucerne and 2006 to 2014 Chevrolet Impala. Only the Impala is still in production, and even then, it's only sold to fleet companies.
According to an official statement from GM, there have been eight crashes and six injuries due to this latest issue. As if this isn't a dire enough blow for GM, the company has announced five smaller recalls, covering 165,000 vehicles.
The Denali trim that GMC uses to denote its top-of-the-line vehicles was introduced back in 1999, partly as a way to challenge the recently introduced Lincoln Navigator. Fifteen years later, and with GMC the tenth-largest US automotive brand by itself Denali has become a sub-brand that keeps the cash registers ringing at the Renaissance Center HQ. While GMC increased sales by 9 percent in 2013, TheDetroitBureau.com reports that that Denali sales rose by 20 percent.
There are currently five Denali models in the GMC line, with the Denali trim available on all but its commercial vans. In 2010, when the now-discontinued Yukon XL Hybrid was also on sale, GMC sold 32,886 units of its top trim. Last year, that number had increased to 75,558, with almost no help from traditional marketing spends. Go to YouTube and search for "GMC Denali commercials" - the few actual commercial results are from years ago. GMC marketing director Roger McCormack tells TheDetroitBureau.com, "It's largely all been organic."
As sales have grown, so has the tide of money GMC rakes in from the additional luxury features on Denali models. The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe starts at $44,600, yet its 2014 Yukon Denali doppelganger starts at $58,320, pricing that includes additional features like the larger 6.2-liter V8, nicer interior, head-up display and magnetic ride control suspension. The Yukon XL Denali starts at $60,965, but the article says the "average customer" likely to spend "up and above $70,000" to take one home. How does that happen? On a top-trim Tahoe LTZ, the top-tier wheel option is a set of 20-inch chrome wheels for $400; on the 'base' Yukon Denali you can swap for a set of 22-inch chrome alloys for $2,995. Add it up, and an analyst at AutoTrends Consulting said that kind of margin "epitomizes the concept of obscene profitability." We say when it comes to Denali, GMC appears to stand for "Grabbing More Cash."