As Chevrolet launches a redesigned light-duty Silverado in tandem with a new medium-duty version of the pickup, General Motors' head of fleet sales is bullish for another year of growth in 2019.
Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM fleet, said the ramp-up of the Silverado 4500, 5500 and 6500 commercial trucks is "escalating nicely" and should be fully humming by mid- to late year.
"The launch of the Silverado and its sharing the name — Silverado 4500, 5500, 6500 — it's massive," Peper told Automotive News Friday at the NADA Show. "Their launch campaign is extensive and there's so much going on. We're tying in nicely because we're another Silverado model."
Ads for the Silverado 1500 started this month. The light-duty pickups started shipping in the fall, followed by the medium-duty trucks in December.
GM partnered with Navistar International Corp. to develop and produce the trucks in Springfield, Ohio. Roughly 500 of the trucks, according to Peper, are expected to be built this month. The trucks will be sent to up-fitters for 45 to 60 days for additional content, depending on the order.
GM, according to Peper, also expects growth in its full-size commercial vans, which were level last year after a fire at supplier Meridian Magnesium Products.