2019 Silverado Materials: Chevrolet Banks On Steel5
Following the introduction of the 2015 Ford F-150, the half-ton truck segment seemed poised for a revolution. Steel was out and aluminum was in. But, at Chevrolet, that’s not the case. Steel will, once again, prevail in the 2019 Silverado.
Automotive News reported on Monday that Chevrolet did look at the potential for an all-aluminum Silverado, but it never seriously considered the option. “We don’t believe in it. We fundamentally don’t believe in it,” Alan Batey, General Motors’ North America president, told the publication regarding an aluminum truck.
“Did we ever seriously consider it? No,” he added.
Chevy has stayed all-in on steel for the most important parts of its full-size truck. The hood, doors and tailgate are made from aluminum, and the all-important bed made from roll-formed high-strength steel. All the while, the 2019 Silverado dropped up to 450 pounds. It’s safe to say we’ll see more aluminum attack ads from Chevrolet directed toward Ford.
Ford has no regrets over its switch to aluminum, however, and Brian Bell, Ford’s marketing manager for the F-150, said, “it’s been fantastic.”
And rumors of a carbon-fiber bed? Those seem to be unsubstantiated for now. We haven’t heard a peep about such a material finding its way to 2019 Silverado. Though, never say never. For now, Chevy is heavy on steel and light on aluminum.
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Well there are so many advantages to the steel and combination of many materials.
#1 it controls cost/profits.
#2 Places like insides of beds will take much more abuse and no you should not need a bed liner.
#3 you still drop the weight.
#4 I expect a composite of molded carbon fiber to appear at some point. Carbon Fiber is cheap it is the labor and time lay the panels and cook them in an autoclave. The new material is chopping up the carbon and using an epoxy to bond it. If they get this to be cost effective it will make Aluminum an after thought.
I knew when the commercials came out about the beds that the new trucks were going to be steel bed interiors as they would never put the ads out if they were going aluminum. I expected a mix like we have but excepted more of it.
I now have a rolled steel bed floor now in my Canyon and it has been fine and take a beating.
At this point we have yet to see the end of the weight reductions and we will have more things to come yet from all brands.
Note Aluminum has issues like
#1 Added Cost that effects price and Profits.
#2 Military grade means nothing. The Lunar lander was military grade but it was thin enough you could punch though the wall of the capsule.
#3 We have yet to see if Ford has resolved the paint issue many of their SUV models suffered. The Aluminum would corrode and the Paint would flake off the rear hatch and other painted parts they used in the past. No real way to fix it unless you replace it.
Aluminum does have much good but there is still issue that are part of the problem. To get it stiff enough in structural areas often you have to use so much there is little weight savings vs. some of the high strength modern steels today. Much of these steel are lower in cost and stronger while being as light.
The new Silverado has more aluminum than just the hood, doors and tailgate…Alan Batey keeps touting not that he’s in all in on steel but is all in on the “mixed metal approach” and “the right materials in the right place”…Also the F150 does have an aluminum body, but its on a mostly steel frame…They both use a mixed metal approach, apparently Chevy uses more steel and Ford uses more aluminum…
Carbon Fiber bed could make sense when you’re looking for the most towing capability possible, think 5th wheels, large boats and horse trailers…
This whole steel verses aluminum hype is about body construction, not frames. I doubt we’ll ever see an aluminum frame on a truck. That is until GM (first to Hydroform) starts monkeying with Rotocasting them.
I just want the rocker panels to be aluminum or something that isn’t steel. Living in Wisconsin the trucks rust away before the mechanical parts go and Ford has the edge. Even if the paint looks like crap ten years from now owners of those trucks will be saving thousands while the Chevy’s are soft enough to poke holes in.
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