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Chevrolet forges sleeker, aerodynamic styling on 2019 Silverado

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Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  December 16, 2017

Cargo box will be lighter and even more functional 'than ever before'

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Chevrolet Silverado, GM's top-selling and most profitable nameplate, will be sleeker, more aerodynamic and available in more trim lines, with expanded powertrain options and functionality, for the 2019 model year.

Chevrolet introduced the 2019 Silverado LT Trailboss, one of eight 2019 Silverado models planned, at the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday before hundreds of Silverado owners as part of celebrations to mark 100 years of truck output.

"The next-generation Silverado is poised to change, really change, the face of trucks again," said Alan Batey, president of GM's North America operations. "It’s strong. It’s modern. But it’s instantly recognizable as a Chevy truck."

General Motors is adopting more light-weight materials, is expected to add a 10-speed automatic transmission and enhancing aerodynamics to improve the fuel-economy and overall competitiveness of the pickup.

Big program

The redesign and re-engineering of the next Silverado and its GMC counterpart, the Sierra, are the biggest product program ever undertaken by GM, analysts say.

GM is spending nearly $3 billion alone to upgrade factories in Michigan, Indiana and Mexico to build the next Silverado and Sierra.

Batey said the redesigned Silverado will offer more engine/transmission combinations, and additional technology and convenience features; however he did not disclose any other details.

“We are truly committed to building a truck for every customer,” Batey said.

Additional information is expected to be released when the Silverado makes its formal public debut at the Detroit auto show next month.

The sleeker, yet aggressive, exterior on the fourth-generation Silverado is noticeably different than the more upright outgoing version. The cab has a slight slope in the roofline similar to GM's current midsize pickups, likely to aid aerodynamics and fuel economy.

The rectangular grille on the truck features two large horizontal bars compared with one on the current-generation pickup that run into headlamp stacks that include prominent outward-boomerang daytime running lights.

Lightweighting

Chevrolet did not specify how much steel and aluminum is used on the latest truck; however it's expected to be a mix of both and other light-weight components as part of GM's strategy of using "the right materials in the right place."

GM said changes in engineering and materials will result in "a significant reduction in total vehicle weight" and "improved performance in many measures" on the pickup.

The 2018 model has a curb weight between roughly 4,700 and 5,300 pounds, depending on the configuration.

The company is also expected to eventually offer a pickup bed that utilizes carbon fiber.

Batey on Saturday said the pickup will have “a stronger, roll-formed steel alloy for the bed and floor, contributing to a cargo box that is both lighter and even more functional than ever before.”

As in recent years, General Motors aims to differentiate the Chevrolet Silverado from the GMC Sierra. Based on previous spy photos, both have unique front fascias. But the bodies mostly appear the same with slight differences in the rear.

The Trailboss trim integrates the off-road equipment of the Z71 package as well as a two-inch suspension lift. Unlike aftermarket lift kits, the Trailboss suspension is fully tested, validated and warrantied by Chevrolet.

GM says the improvements to the next-generation pickup reflects feedback from more than 7,000 consumers -- the most customer research in the company’s history.

"We spend a ton of time listening to our customers, doing market research and taking that feedback and rolling it into the vehicle," Eric Stanczak, GM's chief engineer for full-size trucks, told Automotive News on Friday prior to the unveiling. "If we are limited in terms of what we can update on the current architecture, we're almost always putting those new features the customer's asked for, or that new capability, or that improvement, into the next-generation."

Truck battle

The redesigned Silverado kicks off what is expected to be a renewed battle for pickup buyers starting next year.

GM, with U.S. Silverado sales down 0.5 percent and GMC Sierra deliveries off 3.5 percent this year, has lost ground in a large pickup market that has grown 5.5 percent and an overall light-truck market that is still growing -- up 4.7 percent. (The U.S. light-vehicle market is off 1.4 percent overall this year, mostly on weaker car demand and lower fleet volumes.)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is slated to unveil the next-generation Ram 1500 next month at the Detroit auto show. FCA will begin selling the retooled Ram in the first quarter next year and GM plans to start 2019 Silverado output in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Both companies have strived to reduce weight, boost fuel economy and enhance the functionality of their pickups to better compete against Ford Motor Co.'s F-150, the top-selling vehicle and large truck in the U.S.

The Silverado is the nation's No. 2 selling vehicle, ahead of Fiat Chrysler's Ram pickup, at No. 3.

Ford shifted its F-series pickups, including the full-size F-150, to lightweight aluminum alloy bodies starting in 2014. The F-150's styling and features were updated this year, and Ford plans to introduce a gasoline-electric hybrid variant in 2020.

A long-awaited milestone -- an EPA rating of 30 mpg in highway driving -- could be hit next year with the latest pickups. Some analysts speculated Ford would achieve the feat with its change to aluminum, however, the 2018 F-150 achieves up to 26 mpg in highway driving with a 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission.

The 2018 Ram 1500 with a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine achieves up to 29 mpg with an aerodynamics package, while the Ram's 3.6-liter V-6 engine is rated at 25 mpg highway. Both Ram models come standard with an automatic eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2018 Silverado is rated at 24 mpg highway with a 4.3-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission.

Healthy outlook

“2018 is shaping up to be a year of truck wars," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader. "For Detroit automakers, pickup trucks account for a big chunk of profit and revenues -- and provide the important profit-sharing checks for workers."

Cox Automotive says large pickups now generate average transaction prices of $46,984 in the U.S. Ford has begun selling a luxury F450 pickup with an MSRP as high as $94,455.

Krebs said a strong housing market and low gasoline prices have kept pickup truck demand strong since the Great Recession, and added volume is expected to remain healthy "with an improving economy and a [major federal] infrastructure package being a possibility.”

Saturday's surprise unveiling, which some expected to occur at the Detroit auto show, came nearly five years to the day when GM unveiled the current-generation Silverado and Sierra for the 2014 model year in Pontiac, Mich.

About 1,000 people, including 450 or more current truck owners, were expected to attend Saturday's centennial celebration event.

Photo gallery - http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=CA&Date=20171216&Category=DETROIT_AUTO_SHOW&ArtNo=121609999&Ref=PH&Profile=1115

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GM plant in Oshawa won't produce redesigned 2019 GMC Sierra, Chevy Silverado

Greg Layson, Automotive News  /  December 20, 2017

General Motors Canada will indeed assemble the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado at its Oshawa plant, but they won’t be the redesigned 2019 models.

GM unveiled the sleeker, more aerodynamic 2019 Silverado on Saturday in Texas.

Instead, the plant will finish assembling and paint outgoing 2018 models shipped to Oshawa from Fort Wayne, Ind., for the foreseeable future.

“Oshawa will be building current model (K2) pickups that helps us meet customer demand while we are in transition to next-generation (T1) pickups,” GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright wrote in an email to Automotive News Canada. “This strategy will help us meet customer demand as we transition our production and introduce our exciting new models into the market starting later in 2018.

“The length of the program in Oshawa will be dependent on market demand.”

Wright said GM CEO Mary Barra recently told investors she expects Oshawa to produce 60,000 trucks a year.

Jerry Dias, president of Canada's Unifor union, said he doesn’t know when production of the current model will end.

“They are being very careful about what they are announcing right now. But they have invested a fortune in Oshawa,” Dias said. “Right now the commitment is to the existing portfolio. More decisions will be made.”

The idea of building two different versions of the same nameplate isn’t new to the industry -- and certainly not to General Motors.

As the automaker transitioned to the next-generation Equinox in early 2017, it still produced the outgoing model alongside the new version for a time. Unfinished Equinox vehicles were sent to Oshawa from GM Canada’s Ingersoll, Ont., plant. Eventually, Oshawa stopped receiving the overflow Equinox.

At least one of GM’s competitors plans on doing the same thing in the red hot North American truck market. Fiat Chrysler will build the current version of the Ram light-duty pickup well into 2019, even after it launches a redesigned Ram 1500 in early 2018, Automotive News reported on Oct. 31.

GM is spending more than $310 million to upgrade Oshawa’s consolidated line, which used to build the Equinox but will now build trucks. The existing flex line, which has the ability to produce multiple different vehicles at one time currently produces the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala.

The upgrade was part of a four-year contract the automaker and Unifor, the union which represents GM workers in Ontario, agreed to in September 2016.

Meanwhile, GM is spending nearly $3 billion alone to upgrade factories in Michigan, Indiana and Mexico to build the next Silverado and Sierra. It’s a sleeker, more aerodynamic version with expanded powertrain options and functionality, for the 2019 model year.

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GM to hike output of large crew cab trucks with redesigned 2019s

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  January 10, 2017

General Motors is increasing capacity to produce crew cab versions of its next-generation pickups, according to product boss Mark Reuss.

The automaker, according to Reuss, has been "constrained" when it comes to output of larger, four-door pickups that have significantly increased in popularity in recent years.

"We're solving things like that," Reuss, GM's executive vice president in charge of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, said Tuesday during the J.P. Morgan Tech Forum at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

A GM spokesman declined to elaborate on Reuss' comments, which come days before GM is scheduled to unveil the fourth-generation Silverado, on Saturday in Detroit.

Crew cabs have grown from more than 50 percent of GM's large truck sales in 2013 to more than 60 percent today, a Chevrolet spokesman said.

U.S. sales of the Silverado rose 1.9 percent to 585,864 last year while the large pickup market grew 5.6 percent.

GM produces the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty crew cab models at a plant in Silao, Mexico, while regular cab and double cab versions are produced in Fort Wayne, Ind. Heavy-duty crew cab models are built in Flint, Mich.

GM reportedly spent nearly $3 billion to retool plants to build the next-gen pickups, which Reuss said will be "more profitable" than the current-generation trucks. He added that the company had a "laser focus" on customer needs when developing the next-gen trucks.

Chevrolet introduced the 2019 Silverado LT Trailboss, one of eight 2019 Silverado models planned, at the Texas Motor Speedway last month before hundreds of truck owners as part of celebrations to mark 100 years of truck output.

GM is adopting more lightweight materials and is expected to add a 10-speed automatic transmission and enhance aerodynamics to improve the fuel economy and overall competitiveness of the pickup.

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'19 Silverado may emerge as efficiency leader

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  January 13, 2018

DETROIT -- Industry-first engine technology, significant weight savings and a new inline-six diesel offering are among the enhancements General Motors is counting on to bolster the Chevrolet Silverado's position as the second-best-selling vehicle in America.

The redesigned 2019 model, shown Saturday evening ahead of the Detroit auto show, is larger than current models yet as much as 450 pounds lighter. It features a longer wheelbase, more interior space and a new high-strength steel bed with increased cargo volume and an available power up-down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, an interior button or by hand.

2019 Chevy Silverado

·    Interior

·       - Up to 8-in. touch screen

·       - Increased front and rear room

·       - Concealed rear-seat storage areas

·     Design/engineering

·       - 3.9 in. longer

·       - Up to 450-lb. weight reduction

·       - Next-gen cylinder-cutoff technology

·       - Optional 3.0-liter I-6 turbodiesel

·       - Available 10-speed transmission

·       - Redesigned suspension to improve steering/braking

·       - Power tailgate, up and down

The enhancements and weight reduction could help the 2019 Silverado stake a claim as the most efficient full-size pickup in the market when it arrives in dealer showrooms in fall.

GM product boss Mark Reuss called the redesign a “massive undertaking” that resulted in a “very responsive” truck that’s larger, lighter and more durable than ever before.

“We are confident that the Silverado will be the very best truck for every customer,” he said Saturday following the unveiling of the trucks here.

GM will offer six powertrain combinations, including a 3.0-liter inline-six diesel and 5.3- and 6.2-liter V-8s with a technology called Dynamic Fuel Management that can shut off cylinders, in a variety of combinations, to optimize performance and fuel economy. It's expected to increase efficiency by as much as 21 percent, though GM didn't give details.

“It’s revolutionary,” Reuss said of the industry-first technology. “It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before in terms of how many cylinders you can have at any one time in any one different condition.”

The diesel engine -- the first in a full-size Chevy pickup since the late 1990s -- and 6.2-liter V-8 will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. GM didn't provide details of other transmission pairings or engines. Chevy currently offers a 4.3-liter V-6 as its base engine.

The redesigned pickup will have six engine options. The base engine, Reuss said, could “quite possibly” be a new offering. He declined to comment on whether it will be a four-cylinder engine.

On the diesel, he said: "I am really confident that we will have the best-performing diesel in the segment."

Ford Motor Co. earlier this week announced that it expects its first diesel F-150, which goes on sale this year, to achieve a highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg.

The eight trim levels include two new Z71 Trailboss models and an RST, for Rally Sport Truck, trim. The models will be much more distinctive than the Silverado's current offerings, said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director.

"We wanted to make it easier for consumers and dealers to find the right truck for what they're looking for, and we've further refined that notion," he told Automotive News, adding that consumers and dealers can expect a "similar price walk" to the current pickups.

Pricing, fuel economy and other details have yet to be announced.

During Saturday's event, GM product boss Mark Reuss called the redesign a “massive undertaking” that resulted in a “very responsive” truck that’s larger, lighter and more durable than ever before.

“We are confident that the Silverado will be the very best truck for every customer,” he said.

Production starts

Production of the Silverado and the forthcoming redesigned GMC Sierra is expected to start at GM's plant in Fort Wayne, Ind., in the fall. GM also builds the trucks in Mexico.

Reuss said the Fort Wayne plant will add production of the crew-cab models, which have been built only in Mexico.

GM reportedly spent nearly $3 billion on updating its factories for its next-generation trucks in ways that allowed for streamlined manufacturing, fewer parts and lighter trucks.

"This is a ground-up, all-new way of looking at a pickup from manufacturing, from design, from everything," said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of full-size trucks. "Every model got some level of weight savings, up to 450 pounds."

Much of the weight savings came from the pickup's frame and body. All exterior swing panels (doors, hood and tailgate) are made of aluminum, while fixed panels (fenders, roof and bed) are made of steel.

Eighty percent of the frame is made of high-strength steel, 2 to 5 millimeters thick.

GMC Sierra

The Silverado and Sierra, according to Reuss, will arrive in showrooms at the same time later this year. He said GM plans to unveil the Sierra toward the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter.

GM hasn’t unveiled the pickups separately since the first-generation Silverado debuted as part of a rodeo-themed news conference in 1998.

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Inline 6 diesel.  That should have Ford and Ram looking over their shoulder.

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Very tundraish looking!

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GM picks Mich. plant to build new Silverado diesel engine

Richard Truett/Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  January 16, 2018

DETROIT -- The new 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine coming in the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be manufactured in a General Motors engine plant in Flint, Mich.

Production of the engine -- designed at the General Motors diesel center of excellence in Turin [Italy] -- will start late this year or early next year. It was unclear how many new jobs could be created by the move.  

GM Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems Dan Nicholson would not divulge technical details of the new fuel-efficient engine, but he confirmed that the Flint engine plant would be the production site.

Over the weekend, at the press debut of the new pickup, GM product chief Mark Reuss said Flint would play a "very important" role in the "long-term viability" of the pickup. He declined to offer any specifics.

"You're going to see some announcements around Flint," he said after unveiling the Silverado on Saturday in Detroit.

Flint Assembly produces regular and crew cab heavy-duty models of the Silverado and GMC Sierra.

The diesel engine, combined with a weight reduction of 450 pounds and a new, fuel-efficient 10-speed automatic transmission, is widely expected raise the Silverado's fuel economy to 30 mpg or more on the highway -- which would meet or beat the diesel-powered Ford F-150 debuting this year.

It also would give GM an industry-leading two trucks with highway fuel economy in the 30s. The diesel-powered Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have EPA-certified fuel economy of 30 mpg.

The 3.0-liter engine is the first light-duty diesel available in a full-size GM pickup since the mid-1990s.

Nicholson said the new engine is an all-new GM design

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46 minutes ago, kscarbel2 said:

GM picks Mich. plant to build new Silverado diesel engine

Richard Truett/Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  January 16, 2018

DETROIT -- The new 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine coming in the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be manufactured in a General Motors engine plant in Flint, Mich.

Production of the engine -- designed at the General Motors diesel center of excellence in Turin [Italy] -- will start late this year or early next year. It was unclear how many new jobs could be created by the move.  

GM Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems Dan Nicholson would not divulge technical details of the new fuel-efficient engine, but he confirmed that the Flint engine plant would be the production site.

Over the weekend, at the press debut of the new pickup, GM product chief Mark Reuss said Flint would play a "very important" role in the "long-term viability" of the pickup. He declined to offer any specifics.

"You're going to see some announcements around Flint," he said after unveiling the Silverado on Saturday in Detroit.

Flint Assembly produces regular and crew cab heavy-duty models of the Silverado and GMC Sierra.

The diesel engine, combined with a weight reduction of 450 pounds and a new, fuel-efficient 10-speed automatic transmission, is widely expected raise the Silverado's fuel economy to 30 mpg or more on the highway -- which would meet or beat the diesel-powered Ford F-150 debuting this year.

It also would give GM an industry-leading two trucks with highway fuel economy in the 30s. The diesel-powered Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have EPA-certified fuel economy of 30 mpg.

The 3.0-liter engine is the first light-duty diesel available in a full-size GM pickup since the mid-1990s.

Nicholson said the new engine is an all-new GM design

Thanks for that info. I was curious if it was designed in house or joint venture with Isuzu or  VM Motori

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Now this engine really has me curious. 

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a detroit screamer?  :D

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