Following Ford’s lead, GM is turning to aluminum and lightweight steel for its next-generation of pickup trucks and SUVs.
The American automaker has announced that it will be investing $877 million to overhaul its factory in Flint, Michigan, that is in charge of producing pickup trucks. The investment is part of a plan to expand a trio of U.S. truck plants, installing new assembly lines, body welding shops and paint operations to accommodate future generations of Silverado pickups and SUVs including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade.
People familiar with the automaker’s plans revealed that GM’s next-generation trucks and SUVs will use various materials, including aluminum and lightweight steel to help drop weight and improve fuel economy, similar to a move Ford made with its F-150. Of course, Chevrolet has been bashing Ford’s use of aluminum in new ads lately, but everyone has a short memory and those will be long forgotten by 2018 when Chevrolet brings a truck to market using aluminum.
Unlike Ford however, GM plans to keep its factories running through the major model change and has no plans of taking “the whole facility down for six months and go dark in the market,” according to Cathy Clegg, head of North American manufacturing.
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