TORRANCE, CA – For the first time in the awards’ history, one manufacturer captured both 2008 Fleet Car and Truck of the Year honors. Chevrolet’s Impala sedan and the Silverado pickup were chosen by fleet professionals in the annual online award program sponsored by Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet magazines.

This year’s award also marks a “three-peat” honor for the Impala. Previous winners in the car category were the Chrysler 300 and the Chevrolet Malibu. The Silverado had alternated with the Ford F-150 as the Truck of the Year award.

Qualified fleet buyers voted on 64 2008 model-year domestic and import-badged cars and 37 light-duty trucks, including pickups, vans, and SUVs. Votes were cast

“What I like most about this award is that it is pure — only fleet managers can vote, and you can’t ‘stuff the ballot box,’ ” said Brian McVeigh, general manager for GM Fleet & Commercial Operations. “The fact that the people who actually make the vehicle purchase decisions for their companies picked the Impala Car of the Year three years in a row is the best customer endorsement you could hope for.”

For 2008, the mid-size Impala offers new features and revisions for 2008, including expanded flex-fuel engine availability and safety protection, according to the automaker. “The Impala offers a great range of models that answer the needs of those looking for efficient, flexible engines — and with the 3.9L engine, they can now choose a flex-fuel vehicle that also provides the gasoline-saving benefits of Active Fuel Management,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager.

A dependable commercial workhorse pickup, 2008 Chevrolet Silverado is not only the strongest pickup ever offered by Chevrolet, but also delivers segment-topping fuel economy, according to GM.

“It’s especially gratifying to receive the fleet truck award; the Silverado was really built and designed with the business and commercial customer in mind. We’re pleased the Silverado was recognized by the people who really put it to work,” said Rob Minton, communications manager for GM Fleet & Commercial Operations.

Minton pointed out features that “make the Silverado a real work truck,” which include the cargo management systems, fold-up rear seats that allow the operator to carry a large toolbox in the cab, the dual glove box, and oversized console. “These are features commercial customers told us they need,” said Minton.

Three cab styles are available — Regular, Extended, and Crew Cab — as well as three cargo box lengths — 5 ft.-8 in. (short), 6 ft.-6 in. (standard), and 8 ft. (long). The pickup is available in four trim levels: WT, LS (Crew Cab only), LT, and LTZ; and is available in 2WD and 4WD.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet