Could the Chevy Tahoe/GMC Denali being going the way of the Honda Ridgeline?
Could the Chevy Tahoe/GMC Denali being going the way of the Honda Ridgeline? That’s what the folks at Bloomberg are reporting today.
GM is reportedly considering plans to discontinue manufacturing fullsize body-on-frame SUVs by 2012, converting them to unitbody construction instead. The reason? Primarily, better fuel-efficiency and reduced emissions---and hence a more attractive vehicle to potential buyers. This would certainly be a huge decision for GM to make---the truck-based Tahoe brand is well established in the fullsize market, having been sold continuously since 1969, and profit margins on fullsize SUVs have been enormous---as much as $10 grand per vehicle---due to parts commonality with their pickup-truck counterparts. The General would probably also have to devise an entirely new marketing strategy for a unitbody fullsize SUV as many traditional buyers would likely look elsewhere for a vehicle with the increased towing and payload capacities that a truck-based SUV offers over a unitbody.
Fortunately, sources tell Bloomberg that GM is likely to keep at least one fullsize ‘ute on a dedicated truck chassis beyond 2012, which to us would spell good news for the Suburban, which has been a money-maker for GM since Franklin Roosevelt was President.
So, if you were in the market for a new fullsize SUV for a daily driver/family hauler, would you give a unitbody Tahoe a look? You’d get the benefits of lighter weight, better mileage, reduced emissions and superior road manners. You’d also be giving up quite a bit of towing capacity, payload rating, trailability, and if you ever wanted to lift it, good luck.