2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra: A huge dealFri, 14 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800
Yesterday General Motors unveiled its new full-sized pickup trucks, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. It was a big day for me -- like Christmas for an 8-year-old: People who know me know what a Silverado slappy I am. Given that the trucks are the first new GM full-size pickups in years, and since CEO Dan Akerson called it the “biggest launch in probably decades,” clearly it's a big deal for them too.
You'll see the new Silverado and Sierra at the 2013 Detroit auto show. For now, I gotta ask: How badly does GM need the new trucks? The answer? Badly, and for more than one reason.
First, full-size pickups consistently fill the top slots on the monthly sales charts. In fact it's hard to remember the last time the Ford F150 wasn't the U.S.'s best-selling vehicle. And considering in the last few years Ford and Ram have at least refreshed their full-size hardware, GM had to act, and act quickly.
Second, at the end of November GM had almost 244,000 trucks in inventory, a 138-day supply, and the company is beginning to throw cash on the hood to the tune of as much as $2,000 in customer cash; that's on top of the $1,000 GM already was offering on its pickups. GM says part of the reason the inventory is up is by design; it wanted to prepare for the 29 total weeks its truck plants would be down for retooling.
At first glance the new Silverado and Sierra look like, well, GM pickups -- much of the styling looks familiar. Look closer though, and you'll see a more sculpted look with doors now inlaid into the body sides instead of wrapping up into the roof, larger doors and a sealed gap between the cab and bed.
Under the metal you'll find a new, lighter-but-stiffer frame. And there are three new engines, one V6 and two V8s, boasting features like direct injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing. Fuel economy should improve, though we don't have numbers yet.
The interior is more modern with a six-gauge instrument cluster and rubber-coated knobs (so they're easy to grip even while wearing gloves) to name just a couple things (you can see the full rundown of changes to the new Silverado and Sierra here).
Will it all be enough? Has GM done enough to get back to the full-size supremacy it enjoyed five years ago? I get that the trucks will be more efficient and get better mileage, but how big a priority is that for full-size pickup customers? We'll find out.
For now I can say full-size pickup wars are fun. We haven't had one in a while. It will be interesting to watch and see if the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra can elbow their way back in to the fray.
Stay tuned: The war officially gets underway at the North American International Auto Show next month.
By Wes Raynal