GM Rolls Out 2014 Chevy Silverado
What remains to be seen is whether GM got the truck right.
The 2014 Silverado 1500 pickup is being introduced on Thursday, at a time of nearly daily news about the revival of the housing market and the construction industry, the key market for pickup trucks. GM calls its new truck "from hood to hitch, the most refined, best engineered Silverado ever."
The new Silverado features three new EcoTec3 engines, designed for more power and improved efficiency; a stronger, quieter more comfortable cab; revised steering, suspension and brakes; new solutions for managing cargo in the bed, and enhanced towing and hauling capability.
"Our customers rely on their trucks to meet the day-to-day challenges of earning a living, running a business and taking care of their families," said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America, in a prepared statement. "Chevrolet is committed to giving truck customers the most refined, best engineered pickups in the market."
This year, Ford has been easily winning the battle for pickup buyers, particularly in November. GM said its November decline largely reflected high pickup truck incentives by competitors who were clearing out the 2012 models.
In a recent report on the truck market, Edmunds.com noted that truck sales account for 28.6% of all Ford sales, the highest truck share for any automaker, with Ford's share up 1.3 percentage points in the last five years. GM's truck share, meanwhile, is down 1.5 percentage points in the last five years to 22.5%.
Many analysts expect the 2014 Silverado to significantly benefit GM, particularly given the fortuitous timing of its introduction next year.
"When construction gets going, workers need trucks, and many of them have been holding off buying new ones these past few years," said Edmunds.com economist Lacey Plache, in a prepared statement. "Our research shows that America's truck fleet is at a record 10.4 years old. The housing market is showing its most dramatic signs of recovery out west and down south, so we can expect a boost in U.S. truck sales to start there."
The 2014 Silverado builds on 95 years of Chevrolet truck heritage. GM said the exterior design "blends strong Chevy truck heritage with a refined, modern aesthetic" and is "more muscular, more functional and more aerodynamic.
" A twin-port grille, full-width bumper and dual power dome hood create a strong presence, which is carried through in sculpted body sides and fender flares," the automaker said. "The front end is engineered to improve sealing for more efficient cooling, and new inlaid doors reduce wind noise."