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Auto blogMon, 14 Oct 2013 14:00:00 EST
General Motors must be pretty pleased with sales of its two newest pickups, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, as it's announced price hikes for both models, as part of a planned price tweak.
Prices will be bumped by as much as $1,500, although weirdly, they'll be offset by as much as $1,500 in cash-back offers through the end of October. Fox Business reports that GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the price hike, "With the sell down of the '13 models nearly complete, this price adjustment was planned and is a normal part of business."
The move, as Fox is quick to point out, is an interesting one, as sales of the twin pickups struggled last month relative to the Ford F-Series, while both of GM's crosstown competitors have been aggressively undercutting Silverado and Sierra prices. The F-150 starts at $24,070 and the Ram 1500 comes in at $23,600, not counting any cash on the hood. A base Silverado, meanwhile, retails at $25,575.
There is a showdown brewing in the medium-duty truck segment next year as Ford prepares to launch its all-new, in-house engineered 2016 F-650 and F-750. It finally marks the end of the Blue Diamond joint venture between Ford and Navistar and, making the two entities direct competitors instead of partners.
Ford announced the end of the joint venture in an investor report in 2011, but it didn't reveal the new F-650 and F-750 until the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, IN, in March. Unlike the current, Mexican-built models, the new generation will be built in Avon Lake, OH, starting in mid-2015.
The challenge from Ford comes during a rough patch for Navistar. The company had a $248 million loss in the first quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal, and its medium-duty truck market share is currently down to 26 percent, from 36 percent in 2011. Building the previous-generation Fords brought in about $400 million a year to Navistar, according to the WSJ. To take on its former partner, Navistar plans to offer its International brand of medium-duty vehicles with more engine and transmission options to customers. It even struck a deal with Cummins to put its diesels in some of the models.
Australia's Motoring has put together a little video on two of the great performance vehicles available down under - the Holden VF Commodore HSV GTS and the Ford Falcon FPV GT R-Spec. And while both FPV and the Falcon might be on their way out, there's still plenty of time for a little head-to-head comparison between the two.
The cars aren't all that well evenly matched, though. The Ford boasts a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8, which the Aussies measure out at 449 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The HSV, though, with its Corvette-derived, 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 is just too powerful - 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque.
Predictably, it doesn't end too well for the Ford. As the guys from Motoring point out, the new VF Commodore is just too new and too good, with its extra power and its adaptive dampers (GM's excellent MagnaRide). Interestingly, Motoring did point out that the Holden's electric steering is better than the Ford's hydraulic steering, which is a lot like a Porsche purist saying they prefer water-cooled engines to air cooled.