General Motors C5500 Status
Prior to 2003 if someone wanted a vehicle to be capable of hauling more than 25 passenger’s options were limited to either a Freightliner or International Chassis. Both options, while offering a tremendous difference in terms of overall quality, capability and longevity also came with a HUGE price increase, over $40,000 in most cases. The C4500/C5500 Series Chassis that GMC/Chevrolet introduced at for the 2003 model year offered a very nice middle ground option as it allowed for capacities ranging from 25 all the way to 45 passengers in some cases. This chassis platform came available with either an 8.1lt Vortec gasoline powered engine or a 6.6lt Duramax diesel engine. Both engine selections were paired with an Allison Transmission combining to give end users a dependable, well engineered yet more affordable alternative than the Freightliner and International trucks.
In late June of 2009, GMC announced it would be ceasing production at the Top Kick and Kodiak plants that produced the C4500-8500 series chassis permanently as of July 31, 2009. Warranties will be unaffected as any certified medium/heavy duty dealers will continue to work on them, and there will likely be a “first come first serve” supply for several months to come.
What does this mean for operators who currently have a fleet entirely or even partly comprised of the Chevrolet/GMC Kodiak Series? Look to Davey Coach Sales Inc. for comparable alternatives! In preparation for the discontinuing of this chassis platform, Davey Coach Sales Inc. has geared up offering new products on the Ford F-550 Chassis which can accommodate up to 30 passengers with a dedicated rear luggage compartment in the same price category the C4500/C5500 previously covered. The C-Series was capable of transporting up to 45 passengers, therefore a large gap in passenger capacity still existed until Davey Coach Sales Inc. announced they would be offering the new Odyssey XL on a smaller Freightliner Chassis designed to compete directly with the C5500 Series. This products research and development was put into motion prior to the Top Kick and Kodiak chassis being discontinued, however the timing could not have been better. This chassis comes with a 6.7lt Cummins Diesel Engine, Allison Transmission, and is spec’d out very comparably to the M2 Chassis from Freightliner, however at a much lower price point filling the gap that previously existed between the smaller Ford Chassis and the heavier duty options. In addition, there are CNG and Diesel/Electric Parallel Hybrid options available straight from Freightliner. Obviously the heavy duty Freightliner and International options are also available for those willing and able to pay the additional money.