General Motors Jettisons Medium-Duty Truck Unit

Chevrolet’s Kodiak and GMC’s Topkick medium-duty truck lines will be
phased out by July 31 after General Motors Corp. was unable to locate a
buyer for the two divisions.

According to a story Monday (June 8) in Automotive News,
GM had been searching for a buyer for its medium-duty truck business
ever since the divisions began losing money in 2005. A tentative deal
was struck in 2007 with Navistar International, but it expired last
summer without a final sale reached.

GM’s decision to jettison the money-losing business segment was
apparently fueled by its bankruptcy filing last week. The company had
already decided to shed its iconic Pontiac automotive division by 2010,
and its Hummer division is in the midst of being sold to a Chinese
manufacturer of heavy equipment machinery. A third GM nameplate, Saturn,
was sold to Penske Automotive Group Inc. last week.

Although the Kodiak was a popular platform among RV
manufacturers and offered owners a dependable truck-based “C-plus”
motorhome with increased load-carrying capacity, sales of the Kodiak and
its GMC counterpart fell off sharply in recent years. According to GM
CEO Fritz Henderson, GM sold about 30,000 units in 2007, but that number
dropped to just 20,000 vehicles last year.

Available in Class 5 though 7 model lines, the Kodiak and
Topkick are built in five models, with GVWRs ranging from 16,500 to
63,000 pounds.

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