Chevy Expands Cab-Forward Lineup with Isuzu-based 6500XD

Chevrolet is expanding its range of commercial-grade trucks with the new Low Cab Forward 6500XD. This medium-duty truck isn’t found at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Rather, it helps General Motors expand it reach into the commercial segment, thanks in part to Isuzu.

This isn’t the first Low Cab Forward Chevy has announced. GM re-entered the LCF segment in 2015 thanks to that partnership with Isuzu. A longtime player in the LCF market, Isuzu benefitted from GM’s extensive sales and servicing departments. The duo launched several flavors of the LCF, including the 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500, and 5500HD models – each coming with several engine options and wheelbase lengths.

The new 6500XD features a taller suspension and frame, making it compatible with loading docks. It comes powered by an Isuzu-sourced 5.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel making 520 pound-feet of torque. It’s backed by an Allison 2500 Series, six-speed automatic transmission with a power take-off unit. Heavy-duty Dana axles are present, too. Eight wheelbase lengths are available, ranging from 16 feet to 30 feet, allowing the 6500XD to be upfitted with a 30-foot box. Payload ratings range from 11,374 pounds up to 13,786 pounds, while the gross vehicle weight rating sits at 25,950 pounds. Axle ratings are 12,000 pounds up front and 19,000 pounds out back.

There’s more past the jump, so keep reading.

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Ed Peper, the U.S. VP for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations said this about the LCF truck: “Our goal is to offer the best work solutions and customer care in the business. Our Low Cab Forward dealers and Upfitter Integration Group will work hand-in-hand with customers and their upfitters to spec the right truck for the job. After the sale, our dealers will be there to support customers with extended service hours and work-ready loaners.”

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Geneva is cool and all, but Chevy has a new truck High Resolution Exterior
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Geneva is cool and all, but Chevy has a new truck High Resolution Exterior
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The Upfitter Integration Group Peper is talking about is GM’s liaison between those aftermarket companies which provide upfit equipment and customers. Upfit equipment includes items like enclosed box beds, flat beds, wrecker beds, and other specialty add-on equipment. Also included in the mix are GM’s engineering and marketing teams for answering questions on the trucks. The Upfitter Integration Group also provides customers with detailed manuals, technical bulletins, and best-practice manuals. In short, GM is trying to simplify the process of buying a LCF truck and outfitting it with aftermarket equipment.

Chevrolet announced today that it is expanding its range of Low Cab Forward trucks with a new dock-height Class 6 model – the 6500XD. The vehicles are expected to be available by the end of the year.

The 2018 Chevrolet Low Cab Forward 6500XD, like its Class 3, 4 and 5 stablemates, is a highly flexible platform designed for driver comfort, superior visibility and serviceability, and ease of upfit.

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The 6500XD adds significant extra capability:

Standard equipment includes a 5.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that delivers 520 lbs.-ft. of torque, an Allison 2500 Series 6-speed automatic transmission (with PTO), Dana axles and a robust straight-rail frame.
Front and rear axle ratings are 12,000 lbs. and 19,000 lbs., respectively. Maximum GVWR is 25,950 lbs. – enough capability to haul heavy machinery.
Eight wheelbases are available and bodies up to 30-feet long can be accommodated.

“Our goal is to offer the best work solutions and customer care in the business,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “Our Low Cab Forward dealers and Upfitter Integration Group will work hand-in-hand with customers and their upfitters to spec the right truck for the job. After the sale, our dealers will be there to support customers with extended service hours and work-ready loaners.”

GM’s Upfitter Integration Group provides technical assistance to upfitters and serves as a liaison between Special Vehicle Manufacturers, end customers and several of GM’s engineering, marketing and service teams. They also maintain a website that includes detailed body builder manuals, technical bulletins and best practice manuals.

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GM’s Expanding Commercial Truck Portfolio

GM’s overall Commercial business has been growing steadily, with seven straight months of year-over-year market share gains.

“Award-winning new products like the Chevrolet Malibu, Silverado and Colorado have helped GM Fleet earn more than 134 new accounts in the last three years,” Peper said. “At the same time, new products like the City Express small van, the Low Cab Forward range and the all-new medium duty conventional cab truck coming in 2018 make it possible for fleets to consolidate more of their business with us, which simplifies vehicle ordering, financing, maintenance, technical support and turn-in.”

This product offensive includes new CNG and LPG propulsion options and an industry-leading 20 diesel-powered cars, crossovers, vans and pickups, all of which are compatible with B20 biodiesel.

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GM is also expanding its suite of industry-leading driver connectivity and fleet management solutions for small businesses and fleet managers. At the beginning of March, the company announced that it would add Spireon to its roster of telematics service providers, joining Telogis and GM’s own Commercial Link tool.

These turnkey, scalable solutions can help with efficiency, idle time, labor, fleet mileage and maintenance-related downtime. They can also help provide insights into driver behavior. Because they are compatible GM’s OnStar technology, no after-market hardware installations required.

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