General Motors has been on a roll since Mary Barra took over, racking up wins in customer satisfaction, quality, and profitability. Now, the company’s most important product is being prepared to do battle with the dominant Ford F-series pickups.
For the Silverado/Sierra 1500, buyers will see two V8 options, a diesel, and a hot 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, with transmissions reaching up to ten speeds. The heavy duty pickups see fewer buyers, but have bigger profit margins, particularly the higher-priced GMC; and one can argue that they are to the entry-level 1500s what the Corvette is to the Camaro, in terms of branding and shared aura.
You‘ll probably also see a version of this face on new Chevrolet Silverado 4500 and 6500 chassis-cabs, following Ram’s playbook of using 2500/3500 cabs on heavier duty chassis cabs. Ram hurt Ford’s dominance of the class 3-5 chassis cabs, and GM took note — hence the game plan to re-enter the field and fight for every garbage truck, flatbed, and ambulance.
GM is likely to lay on the luxury trim and gadgetry, as Ford has made massive profits in that area; it’s going to be a three-way race, too, as Ram will be dropping their newly re-engineered heavy duties at the same time, and are also chasing Ford’s market spaces.
Each new generation of pickup seems to bring more powerful diesel engines, which are a given, along with big V8s – GM’s 6.2 is continuing and the 5.3 will probably be available on the Chevy Silverado 2500, if not on the GMC Sierra. So far, though, the rumor mill has been fairly quiet on powertrain options.