• Jan 14, 2010
Chevrolet Silverado – Click above for high-res image gallery

While the current economic forecast includes much wailing and gnashing of teeth, it will eventually turn around. When it does, truck sales are likely to increase as truck-dependent industries look to replace their wares. General Motors wants to be right there on the tip of the spear with the most recently updated product. To that end, GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre has given a McMahon-sized YES to redesigning the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. The effort is likely to ring up a $1 billion price tag.

While the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra aren't exactly old (they were thoroughly redone in 2006), Ford and Dodge have revised their trucks in the ensuing time. While domestic rivals are the biggest competition for the Sierra and Silverado, Toyota's latest Tundra debuted in 2007, intent on mounting a serious challenge, as well. Only the Nissan Titan, enjoying a precipitous drop in sales lately, is longer in tooth. Things happen fast in truck-land. Full-size SUV sales are down and not likely to bounce back strongly, and new fuel economy provisos are coming on strong, too, but the need for working vehicles has merely waned, and General Motors is anticipating that a turnaround in industries like housing will spike truck sales. This proactive funding of a redesign will put GM's new wares in showrooms for 2012-2013.



[Source: Wall Street Journal]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to think that some of that $1B will go towards finishing up the development on that light duty diesel they teased us with.

      But, the rational side of me is saying that such a thing won't happen.


      My guess is, this will amount to some interior upgrades to match the F-150 and Ram's newest duds and probably an update to the exterior styling as well.

      I'm interested to see where this leads.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM Trucks are tin-cans. They weigh 1000 #'s less than FORD in the HD segment. I'd rather have an engine down a few HP's then a crappy truck like GM. GM and the IFS is junk. PASS!!!!

      GOOD LUCK GENERAL CRAP!!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Weight does not always equal strength, however, less weight always equals better fuel economy.

        What would you rather have? A truck that is designed to do the work you ask of it and saves you fuel costs over the life of owning it, OR paying extra money (in fuel costs) to haul around extra mass that you don't need?

        I know which answer I choose.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't give a crap about fuel economy. It's not ignorance, when I was shopping for my truck I didn't care about fuel economy as I knew the V10 is a thirsty dog. But i'm not putting down the motor just because it drinks too much. The V10 is a stout engine and smooth at idle.

        If I wanted fuel economy I would have bought a Ranger. My point is, nobody buys F250 and up for fuel economy.

        1/2 tons, now that's a different story. I get your point!

        Best,
        -Frank
        • 5 Years Ago
        Trucks are certainly built for fuel economy, you really can't be that ignorant can you? 1/2 ton trucks and below, it contributes to the manufacturer's CAFE number. Improving the fuel economy of one of your biggest selling vehicles by 1 mpg or more is a target every company would spend money on.

        3/4 ton trucks and up were made to haul & tow - an awful lot of those trucks are sold to companies that need them to work - you show me a company with a fleet of trucks that doesn't care about fuel economy and I'll show you one that isn't going to stay in business long. Fuel and maintenance costs can kill profits, but, hey, "Trucks are not built for fuel economy", so I guess it's okay.

        I bought my truck for fuel economy. It is loaded near its GCWR every weekend - and gets near 15 mpg (never go above 60 mph). I picked a 96 F250 with the PSD, ZF and 3.55 rear end specifically for the fuel economy, not for convenience as a grocery getter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a non-issue.

      Spending money on updating your product line???
      Duh. Standard operating procedure.

      The mere fact that some people are surprised by this, and that it is even getting any presstime goes to show how much GM has neglected it's products in the past.

      Spending money on updating your products is what a business is supposed to do to stay relevant within your industry. They just can't go back to the bad-old-days of neglecting their car lines.
      It would be nice that since they are dropping $1B on their fullsize trucks that they spend a few hundred million more and update their mid-size trucks too.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think that the people who usually post on Autoblog would say something along the lines of "that's called transparency".

        I guess the taxpayers ought to get notified that their government owned and operated people's republic car company is investing a billion into trucks... after they said they were going green. More lies and BS out of Govt Motors.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't encourage him, caddy-v. I believe he has had entirely too much to drink tonight.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone who's read my comments knows that I'm as far from a GM fanboy as you can get, and furthermore, I am a European sport-sedan owner, driver and lover, but I tell you now, I LOVE the Silverado. I hadn't driven a truck of any kind since my days detailing cars for a dealership when I was 16 until earlier this year when I moved and had to make a 400-mile trip in a rented crew-cab Silverado.

      I can't quite say how it was configured because it had a V8 and the chrome details outside, but it had the work truck interior in cloth. Whatever the case, it was one of the greatest driving experiences of my life. Held everything I could imagine cramming into it, was enormously comfortable with room to spare for my 6'4" frame, drove straight and true without any jostling from cross-winds on I-29 South (very windy), had excellent passing power, very good layout and controls. It was phenomenal.

      For about a month after that trip I told everyone I knew about how amazing it was and I've threatened quite seriously to buy one ever since. If I could afford two cars, I'd get it tomorrow. This is one segment that GM most assuredly has figured out, and it's about the only reason I'm happy the company didn't go under, short of the Corvette.

      If $1 billion can make it even better, then I say it's money well spent and I anxiously await seeing how it will be improved upon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now GM is really blowing it. Now that the guv'ment owns them, why stop at 1 Billion. Belly up to the never ending D.C. pig trough boys. Spend 10 billion-hell, 20 billion dollars. Put in a $600.00 toilet seat, make that sucker fly, heat seaking parking feelers, runs on straight corn oil and windpower.

      Make sure to buy exactly 1/50th of the parts for every truck from every state to get never ending support-get a pineapple air freshener from Hawaii with every truck sold!

      It's the new paradigm!
        • 5 Years Ago
        You made me laugh. Thanks! : )
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM needs to kill the Colorado and bring back the S-10 will they are at it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nick the Verb Warrior strikes again. ;) But yeah, the Colorado/Canyon/i-Series was a massive, epic, catastrophic fail compared to the S-10/Sonoma.
        • 5 Years Ago
        while they're at it.

        Not will they're at it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I remember back when GM had the 8.1L and Ford 6.8L as they were being compared. The 6.8L small black V10 held it's own. Ford does not need a big block that is why the 8.1L was a short run. The V10 is and will still be built by FORD. The 8.1L is deceased.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only complaint I ever had from the V10 was obviously milage. Other than that, it wasn't bad at all. I still prefer Powerstroke, even though the 7.3L was still the easiest to deal with....
        • 5 Years Ago
        You can get the V10 in F450 and F550. Not F250-F350
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hotrodz,

        How funny is that. My 2000 F250 V10 has been flawless. It beat the crappy 6.0 Chevy 2500 I owned. That was total crap.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 5 Years Ago
        I owned a V10 Excursion... worst car buying decision I made ever! I should have stuck with the Suburban or gotten the Powerstroke.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've driven every truck available today in their top trim levels and I think the GMT-900 trucks are still by far the best trucks you can buy today especially when looking at 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks. But you cannot sit on your hands in this segment, not for a minute.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Agreed. Although I never could learn to love the Chevy silver-barred-grill-thingy. Much preferred the Sierra.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems like a lot of money for a thing that at the end of the day is going to have a ladder frame, live axle, leaf springs, .... same as it ever was.

      I understand there are reasons for that, but with all that remaining constant, seems like it leaves _a lot_ for engines and transmissions, stability systems, and the like.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just a standard midlife update.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Last re-done in 2006? That means it's already going on 5 years old. It's about time they start investing in the next gen. New efficient engine, not making it look like crap...all good things.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That better be one hell of an update.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought the same thing. A billion?

        Not that the GMT900s are anything short of competitive, but that much invested in a refresh could make them real standouts. There's not much wrong with them as it is. Ford and Dodge are up on the interior quality for their trucks. That's the only area I see GM needing to exhaust some more effort.

        And I recall hearing Ford has plans for the Duratec 37 for the Silverado. An updated Vortec 4300 ought to be in order then. Both of those together kind of outweigh the necessity for the Vortec 4800.

        Good luck I guess?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The money goes where you, the consumer, can't see it, but will use it every day. For a redesigned (or new) vehicle you need lots of development. Think of things like:

        Crash safety needs to be optimized and tested
        New powertrains need tested and emission certified
        Every component reviewed and kept, updated, or thrown away for a new one...
        -ad nauseam, you get the point.
        Then there is the price of refitting production lines with the proper tooling and fixtures to assemble the new trucks, and the advertising to get the word out.

        I am not privy to what will be the target of this redesign, but I can imagine that it will also include exhaustive study on reducing weight and exhaust emissions while increasing fuel economy and keeping/increasing the truck's performance.

        There is much to be done with a new vehicle, and much of the expense and time incurred can be directly attributed to the government (for safety, emissions and fuel economy). All good things to improve upon, but people often overlook the hidden cost of this regulation in time and resources.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's about the going rate for a complete redesign. It is not out of line with the rest of the industry. Designing new cars and trucks is expensive.
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