Why Nissan Might Be Benchmarking the Old Chevy Avalanche Pickup

They know there’s newer trucks than that, right?

byPeter Holderith|
Nissan News photo

Benchmarking is common in the automotive industry. One car company will buy another's car, drive it around, maybe take it apart, all to learn what competitors are up to. Usually, it's done with new vehicles because the benchmarking is done in the context of future product development. That doesn't seem to be what Nissan is up to. As GM Authority reports, the automaker was recently spotted driving a 2013 Chevy Avalanche with no license plates in and around its engineering facilities in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Could it be the midgate that it's interested in? We just don't know.

Let's get a few things out of the way before going further. Yes, it's funny that Nissan—noteworthy for its aging lineup and habit of reusing old platforms—is benchmarking a 10-year-old truck. Let's get it out of our system. The second thing is that we asked Nissan about what the truck was doing at its facility, and even if the automaker does get back to us (it hasn't as of publishing), it's unlikely it will say anything. Since that's the case, the best we can do is some informed speculation.

If anything, Nissan may be interested in the midgate the truck is equipped with to expand the utility of a future pickup, large or small. Nissan currently makes the Titan and the Frontier. It's not out of the question that it could offer an electric version of either or an all-new pickup that could utilize a midgate in the future. It has, after all, shown off a concept for an electric pickup somewhat recently.

This is made more likely because the new Chevy Silverado EV will be equipped with the feature. In the Silverado, it offers a massive storage area beyond the length of the bed itself. Whether that makes it competitive with the Ford F-150 Lightning, which is compatible with all existing F-150 bed accessories, is yet to be seen. It might have piqued Nissan's interest either way, though.


So what is Nissan doing with an Avalanche? We don't know. It's entirely possible the automaker isn't even benchmarking it. It could be there for some other reason. Until the company tells us, though, we'll only be able to speculate.

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