General Motors has mocked rival Ford for its use of aluminum countless times. And despite early reports suggesting the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra would also move to aluminum construction, that doesn’t seem to be the actual case.
However, GM may have an ace up its sleeve with a rather exotic material: carbon fiber. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that GM eyes carbon-fiber beds for the next-generation trucks to shave weight and increase fuel economy. If GM moved forward with the plan, it would be the largest scale adoption of carbon fiber by a long shot. The material is normally reserved for limited-production cars, often much more pricey.
The more expensive material is more complex to work with, too, and not as easy as stamping metal. We’d imagine GM would save such an option for a Sierra Denali or Silverado High Country, or introduce a new range-topping variant altogether. Ford recently introduced a six-figure pickup, GM can certainly do something similar.
Carbon fiber is also stronger than traditional steel or aluminum and could be more resistant to dents and dings. The benefits are there, but just how much could the option cost? We don’t know. And that will be an important question in understanding demand for a carbon-fiber pickup.