So after a whole ad campaign crapping on Ford’s aluminum F-150, sources say GM’s planning “significant model changes” on the Chevy Silverado, Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade for 2018 including more use of aluminum and lightweight steel. You can’t make this stuff up.
Reuters’ Joseph White writes; “People familiar with the company’s plans say GM’s next-generation pickups and SUVs will make use of various materials, including aluminum and lightweight steel, to shed weight and gain fuel efficiency to meet tougher federal standards.”
GM is said to be spending $877 million to retool their Flint, Michigan factory as the last chunk of a $5.4 billion spending spree to dial up their facilities.
Meanwhile Automotive News says GM is working up proprietary assembly techniques to put a mix of steel and aluminum in the new Cadillac CT6, and they reckon the company will “use this same approach for the next generation of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.”
We’ve seen some scary reports on repairability for the new aluminum-bodied F-150, it’ll be interesting to see how that goes for the next iteration of Chevy and GMC pickups.
If trucks have to keep hitting tow/haul capacities that rival container ships, and carry all the safety and luxury gadgets buyers seem happy to plunk crazy money down on, and hit high MPG standards, something’s gotta give.
The trucks have to get lighter, or sleekier, or get more gears. Or maybe all three and more, I don’t know, I’m not an engineer. But I do know aluminum is a lighter material to make vehicles out of than steel, Ford seems to have proven it’s just as safe as steel, and I don’t see how GM or Chrysler are going to get away from using it in their future trucks. Or should I say, using it more than they already do.
Wonder what the bears will say about it?