The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra have a very important task at General Motors: fund the automaker’s future electric cars and self-driving car operations. And to ensure healthy margins, GM worked to squeeze every last nickel and dime from the trucks.
According to a Thursday Reuters report, GM currently makes $17,000 in pre-tax profit on average for every full-size pickup sold. The 2019 Silverado and 2019 Sierra should help that figure climb. GM did its research to ensure it used the right mix of materials to achieve weight savings and cost-effectiveness.
Rather than following Ford to the all-aluminum party, GM engineers studied Ford’s manufacturing process and even ripped apart F-150 doors to understand how GM could make the process better and less expensive. Engineers concluded a mix of materials (high-strength steel and aluminum) were best suited to save weight and money. In total, the 2019 Silverado is up to 450 pounds lighter than its predecessor, and GM product chief, Mark Reuss, pushed for engineers to develop the 2019 Sierra’s carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic truck bed to further weight savings.
And the cost advantage achieved will help the automaker strike at Ford, GM believes.
The money saved will be used to add more technology, entertainment and safety equipment to the pickups, while also investing in its future business strategy.
“We think we have thousands of dollars advantage (over Ford) just in the aluminum costs. It’s big,” Tim Herrick, the executive chief engineer for GM truck programs, said.