General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Saturday took the wraps off its redesigned Chevrolet Silverado pickup, the company’s best-selling light vehicle. The 2019 model-year pickups will hit the market late next year and GM hopes they’ll invigorate sales that have been dwindling this year.
GM and Chevy unveiled the new trucks at an event in Dallas marking the company’s 100th year of building trucks. Chevy has built more than 85 million pickups in those 100 years and claims that the 2019 Silverado is “all new from the ground up.”
The new truck will officially debut at the Detroit auto show next month.
GM noted some significant changes in the new vehicle. The company cites a higher-grade alloy that is used in the roll-formed, high-strength-steel bed floor, contributing to a bed that is more functional and lighter in weight. This helps achieve a significant reduction in total vehicle weight and improved performance. The 2018 model’s curb weight ranges from 4,700 to 5,300 pounds, depending on configuration according to Automotive News.
The company is re-tooling assembly plants in Michigan, Indiana, and Mexico to build the new Silverado and its cousin the GMC Sierra. The new trucks will offer more engine-transmission combinations and other technology and convenience features according to Alan Batey, president of GM’s North American operations, who did not provide further details.
All this matters a lot as GM tries to lift sales for its two full-size pickups. Silverado sales are down half a percent year over year and Sierra sales are off 3.5% while the market for pickups is still rising.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) updated its F-150 styling and features this year and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) is introducing its next generation of Ram pickups at the Detroit show next month and will begin selling the vehicles in the first quarter of 2018.