General Motors is planning a handful of tweaks and updates for its full-size trucks that will take effect in the 2015 model year.
GM executive chief pickup truck engineer Jeff Luke says the company plans to roll out a series of upgrades to its pickup trucks each year with the first wave coming in the 2015 model year. The same updates will follow for the line of Chevrolet and GMC SUVs. Changes to the pickups will enhance fuel economy and include cosmetic tweaks.
That could mean integrating engine start-stop technology to cut fuel consumption at idle, but Luke also said more gears are possible. GM first showed its eight-speed automatic in the Z06 Corvette, but plans to sell it in the less expensive Stingray model starting in 2015. The same transmission will work its way into GM’s trucks to improve fuel economy.
Launched in their current generation for the 2014 model year, General Motors chose not to compete directly in price with Ram and Ford, both of which offered generous cash discounts that stymied sales of the Silverado and Sierra half-tons, prompting some analysts to pan the steadfast pricing strategy. Even with slower sales, the higher relative transaction prices are being credited with buoying GM through its costly ignition switch recall, which pancaked first quarter net income.
When deliveries of the 2015 F-150 begin, Ford will have a competitive advantage with much lighter trucks. At that point, being able to advertise improved fuel economy could be a big asset to GMC and Chevrolet dealers trying to compete with Ford. Ram began offering an eight-speed automatic in its half-ton for the 2013 model year along with several other fuel consumption reducing strategies like active grille shutters.
Official news of what those updates will be is expected to start emerging in the next couple of months.
Discuss this story at our GM forum
[Source: Detroit News]