GM Introduces New Special Equipment Options And Model Changes During NTEA Conference

General Motors (GM) officials spoke about new models and equipment options for the light- and medium-duty product before an enthusiastic assembly of body manufacturers and upfitters at the NTEA Fall Truck Product Conference September 18-20, held in Dearborn, Michigan.

"GM has more to offer the body manufacturer and upfitter today than we ever have in the past," said Steve Strine, divisional head of upfitter integration. "We think 2001 will be an important model year for GM, and we know that when it comes to products for the light- and medium-duty commer-cial marketplace, we can lead the way.

"One of the ways that GM is leading the way is exemplified by our latest marketing agreement with American Isuzu Motors," Strine said. "Under a letter of agreement that has just been executed between the two companies, GM and Isuzu will combine the marketing, sales, and service operations for the commercial vehicle side of the business. This will continue our role as a proactive force in the commercial truck market."

According to a GM/Isuzu spokesperson, Todd Bloom, vice-president of marketing for Isuzu, GM and Isuzu have combined the commercial vehicle business under one management company, GM-Isuzu Management LLC. The new management organization will be responsible for all GM commercial products over 16,000 GVWR, and for all Isuzu commercial trucks and chassis.

The new-style GM 800 product got a big boost by GM's announcement that there would be a factory production crew cab in the popular C/K 1500, short-box style. The new product is scheduled to arrive in the spring of 2001. Along with the crew-cab version of the 1500, GM officials report that a new four-door extended cab will also be available for 2001.

Powertrains for the new-style 800 series include the new Duramax 6600 diesel engine and the Vortec 8100 gas engine. To transmit this power to the axle, GM has enlisted the help of Allison's new 1000-series, five-speed automatic transmission.

The 2001 year model will have the body raised approximately two inches because of needed clearance for the Allison 1000 transmission.

Special Equipment Options GM continues to broaden the special equipment options (SEO) offered in the majority of the commercial products.

These items are selectively available for the New Series C/K model, old-style HD-series, the Suburban-family line, mid- and full-size van lines, and the medium-duty product line. Contact a GM upfitter integration and SEO representative to determine what SEO codes will be model specific.

Examples of SEO content for 2001 include:

- Window swingouts for commercial application.

- Provision for roof mounted warning light.

- Roof strengthening upgrade package for cab mounted emergency equipment.

- Special-duty electrical cooling fan.

- Side-view mirror, outside delete option.

- Onboard diagnostic computer screen blanking.

- Clean power-supply for communications equipment.

- Body-side molding, delete.

- Full vinyl seat covering.

- Front seat, cloth cover with rear seat, full vinyl.

- Single key release.

- Fuel key.

- Black rear bumper.

- Headlight delete.

- Odometer security package.

New Parts The model year 2001 ushers in the redesigned Vortec 8100 engine. This will be the backbone for GM and Isuzu to push further into the gasoline powered, heavy-duty Class 6-8 commercial chassis business. The Vortec 8100 will be offered in the light-duty pickup side and also in the 3500 HD series.

The Vortec 8100 carries two horsepower (hp) ratings, a 210-hp and a 270-hp. The Vortec 8100 carries an 80% content of newly designed parts and castings. Stainless steel feed manifolds, enhanced cooling capacity, a redesigned coolant loss protection package, sequential fuel injection electronics, and improved throttle control electronics complete the Vortec 8100's.

"This is a 200,000-mile plus gas engine for use everyday in medium-duty applications," said Curt Nolte, engineering group manager for SEO options. "If your customer wants a gas-powered truck, this is the engine to have in it." GM also offers a propane-powered unit in the 270-hp version. The Vortec 8100 will replace the 7.4L-series engine.

The old-style 3500 HD will be manufactured at GM facilities in Mexico, said Mike Finch, brand manager for the old-style HD product. "We've seen some great quality coming from our Mexican facility. This year we are also very happy with the 6.5L diesel. It has been a real work-horse for the GM product."

The addition of high-solids enamel paint for the old-style 3500 HD is new for 2002, Finch said. The finish will be available in four colors. However, the clear-coat finish will no longer be available as that finish was only a temporary Flint, Michigan, manufacturing option.

Finch warns dealers and upfitters to be mindful in their model selection process. "Special attention should be paid to the use of the HD designation," Finch says.

New-style C/K models have two GVWR designations, the 7,200-lb and the 8,600-lb. The new-style C/K 2500 in the heavier 8,600-lb GVWR has taken on a marketing designation of HD. The new-style C/K 2500 in the chassis-cab configuration has also been referred to as an HD model. For new-style product, HD is used as a marketing designation, not as an order-selection model designation.

The only model HD that exists in the GM fleet is the old-style 3500 HD. In this case, the HD is a model designation, not a marketing designation exemplifying an upgraded-version of a standard production model. For pool and dealer allocation orders, a 3500 HD is designated by the data book code of C5B for the 15,000 GVWR.

Additionally, all ship-through/ship-to codes are still valid for the old-style 3500 HD.

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