General Motors might be the next company to field an aluminum body pickup truck.
Ford revealed its massive gamble during the Detroit Auto Show last month, claiming to have zapped 700 lbs from the curb weight. The news of an aluminum F-150 – the best-selling truck in the U.S. – triggered a rush for aluminum supplies. According to the Wall Street Journal, General Motors is working on building an aluminum body for the next generation of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra due in 2018.
The Detroit auto maker recently secured contracts with aluminum suppliers Novelis and Alcoa.
If GM goes ahead with building aluminum-bodied trucks, it could have an advantage in production over Ford. The F-150 body panels are riveted and bonded, but GM would likely weld the panels together using the same process already in place for smaller panels on other General Motors products. That process would reduce the material required and ostensibly the curb weight. It would also be a faster production process than what Ford is using.