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GM may use diesels in light-duty pickups

Mon, 11 Jun 2012

General Motors is considering a diesel engine for light-duty versions of its redesigned full-sized pickups.

GM North America President Mark Reuss said in an interview that a diesel is among the options for the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which are due in showrooms next spring.

Chrysler Group recently said it is considering a diesel for its light-duty Ram. Ford Motor Co. has no plans for a light-duty diesel, a spokesman said, adding that Ford's EcoBoost V6 engine is a less expensive option to save fuel and will be "our diesel fighter."

Speculation abounds that GM, smarting from Ford's success with the EcoBoost V6 on its F-series pickups, will counter with a turbocharged V6 on the redesigned trucks. But Reuss implied GM will go a different route.

"I wouldn't say that's a huge priority," Reuss said. "I think there are other answers to that--which they don't have--for us that make a lot more sense."

He was referring to GM's two-pronged strategy of offering a mid-sized pickup, the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado, alongside the Silverado and Sierra. Ford phased out its compact Ranger pickup last year and will stick with the F-series as its only pickup line.

Reuss believes the full-sized pickup can't be all things to all customers. Fuel economy often isn't a top priority for construction workers or ranchers who rely on their pickups for a living, he figures.

By offering a mid-sized Colorado, Reuss says, GM will have its shot at fuel-conscious buyers "and still keep that Silverado and Sierra as workhorses."

By Mike Colias- Automotive News