Who knew that GM's five-year-old Fleet and Commercial Operations (FCO) accounts for 1.3 to 1.5 million vehicles a year-some 28 percent of GM's U. S. sales? On the commercial side alone, consider that more than 14 million U.S. businesses, from morn and pop grocers to giant retailers, own vehicles. While GM divisions traditionally have had their own fleet and commercial departments, they were consolidated in 1999. FCO now represents all GM car and truck divisions and products ranging from small cars to massive "medium-duty" trucks, with business sub-divided into three categories: rental, commercial and government.
Chevrolet Kodiak medium-duty workhorses, in regular and crew cab configurations with wheelbases ranging from 152 to 235 in., get available factory-engineered 4WD for 2005. Enhancing their off-road capability is an electronically controlled New Venture Gear Model NV273 2-speed transfer case with a dash-mounted rotary selector switch for 4L 4H and 2H drive settings. Power choices are standard Vortec 8100MD gas V-8 or optional Duramax 6600 Turbo Diesel V-8, both driving through an Allison 1000 Series 5-speed automatic transmission.
GM's Stabilitrak stability control system became standard on GMC Savana and Chevy Express long-whedbase 12-and 15-passenger vans late in the '04 modal year and expands to regular-wheelbase 12-passenger models for '05. Four engines are available: 200-hp Vortec 4300 V-6, 275-hp Vortec 4800 V-8, 285-hp Vortec 5300 V-8 and 300-hp Vortec 6000 V-8. All are mated to either a Hydra-Matic 4L60-E or a 4L80-E transmission with a unique tow/haul feature that improves the predictability and reduces the frequency of shifting during towing.
FCO provides a wide range of vehicles to the U.S. Military and its allies. Cargo and troop carriers derived from regular and crew cab CheW Silverado heavy-duty pickups are powered by a 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel V-8 (upgraded for '05 to 310 hp and 605 lb.ft, of torque) coupled to an Allison 1000 Series 5-speed automatic transmission with a New Venture 2-speed transfer case. For especially "arduous" terrain, an available Enhanced Mobility Package includes two-piece wheels with a beadlock feature that positively secures the tire to the rim even when air pressure is lost. Medium-duty military offerings include troop and cargo careers and specialized models equipped as field workshops, shelter carriers, wreckers, ambulances, tankers, dump trucks and more.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Last year, GM introduced gas/electric hybrid CheW Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups for fleet sales. Powered by a Vortec 5300 V8 coupled through a cleverly packaged electric motor/generator to a 4-speed automatic transmission, they offer flail pickup capabilities with 10 percent better fuel economy and four 120V electrical power outlets. GM also offers a range of vehicles equipped to run on E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) and is the only OEM offering compressed natural gas (CNG) models, both bi-fuel and dedicated, for '05.
The Chevrolet Police Tahoe "engineered for high-speed and severe-duty law enforcement use" and powered by a 295-hp Vortec 5300 V-8 modified for quicker acceleration and higher top speed, features H-rated tires, heavy-duty suspension and cooling and Hydroboost ABS brakes. While most police still prefer RWD (despite its foul weather traction disadvantage), Chevy also offers 3800 V-6-powered Impala police-package vehicles for both overt and under cover law enforcement work. These are equipped with engine and transaxle oil coolers for extended high-speed duty plus H-rated tires on heavy-duty steel wheels, heavy-duty front brake pads, police-calibration ABS brakes and a 125-amp alternator.
Tahoe Special Services vehicles are available in 2wd or 4wd and a choice of standard 285-hp Vortec 4800 or 295-hp Vortec 5300 V-8, the latter capable of operating on E85 fuel. These are equipped for SWAT, daily patrol, K9 unit and other applications. A Chevrolet Express Prisoner Transport Van offers a 300-hp Vortec 6000 V-8 (prepped for alternative fuel conversion) and seating for up to 15 bad guys or gals.
But the ultimate four-wheeled law enforcement tool has to be the hulking Hummer HI Tactical Vehicle, powered by a 6.5L turbo diesel V-8 that generates 205 hp and 440 lb.ft. of torque. This brute boasts 37-in. tires on 17-in. aluminum wheels, 4wd with TorqTrac 4 anti-wheelspin technology, 16 inches of vertical ground ciearance, 72and 37.5-degree approach and departure angles and the ability to ford a 30-in.-deep body of water.
For security-challenged officials and diplomats, FCO offers Cadillac DeVille Protection Series sedans. Available in standard and 8-in.-stretch models and motivated by a 275-hp 4.6L Northstar V-8, these look like everyday Caddies while enveloping their occupants in bullet-resistant glass, ballistic protection on the roof, undercarriage and rear seatbacks, a self-sealing fuel tank and an enhanced mobility tire and wheel system with two-piece beadlocks.
Certified Used Vehicles
FCO also manages GM's Certified Used Vehicle program through 3,800-plus certified U.S. dealers, the most of any OEM. To qualify, GM Certified used cars and trucks must be no more than six years old, have no more than 60,000 miles and undergo a rigorous 112-point inspection and reconditioning process. They carry a 3-month/3,000-mile comprehensive warranty with 24-hour roadside assistance and a 3-day/150-mile customer satisfaction guarantee--the only one offered on domestic non-luxury pre-owned vehicles.
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