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Auto blogMon, 04 Nov 2013 16:29:00 EST
Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. That's a lesson that is currently being taught to General Motors, because despite a strong showing from its 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, the General's pickup sales still can't best those of cross-town rival Ford.
With 59,163 trucks moved, GM fell just over 1,000 units short of toppling Ford, and one of the main reasons for that, according to GM's chief sales analyst, was due to a lack of variety in the engines and body styles available on dealer lots. "We are still over-weighted toward crew-cab V8 trucks. Our light-duty mix will moderate over time as our launch progresses," said Kurt McNeil.
Loading dealers with the popular combination of the 5.3-liter V8 and the four-door, Crew Cab body style was intentional during the truck's launch, but as supplies of leftover 2013 models, which are being sold at heavy incentives, are beginning to wane, both budget-conscious and high-dollar buyers are looking elsewhere instead of at the volume model pickups.
General Motors is recalling 843 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Crew Cab pickups, due to a fault with the vehicle's airbags. According to GM, the airbags may not inflate properly in the event of a crash. There haven't been any crashes or injuries associated with this recall, which is always good. Naturally, repairs will be free of charge, and GM will begin contacting affected owners soon.
GM has a lot hanging on the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Not only is it banking over $12,000 per vehicle on these trucks, as reported by Automotive News, but GM is counting on the Sierra and Silverado to take the fight to cross-town rivals Ford and Ram. The F-150 and Ram 1500 have been on a tear over the past few years, with fresh updates, advanced powertrains, and plenty of solid press while the GM trucks have been waiting for the 2014-model-year upgrades.
It's still entirely too early to judge the Sierra and Silverado, particularly as those 843 recalled trucks make up barely two percent of the over 40,000 units moved so far. But, as AN rightly states, these trucks are the most important vehicles to come out of GM since bankruptcy, with about 60 percent of global profits relating to pickups and SUVs. Starting an introduction of such a big product with a recall, however small, is not the preferred way to do things.
General Motors is already laying claim to best-in-class power for its new 6.2-liter V8 that will be offered in the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra this fall, and now it has released fuel economy numbers for the big engine. Available as an option on the Silverado LTZ and High Country (shown above) models as well as the the Sierra SLT and Denali trims, the 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 will return 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway on rear-wheel-drive trucks; these numbers drop by one mpg each on four-wheel-drive models.
These estimates are in addition to the engine's 420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet of torque and max trailering capacity of 12,000 pounds, and considering all that power it's not terribly far away from the fuel economy of GM's equally new 4.3-liter V6 and its rating of 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. This announcement comes just days after a report indicated that GM is unable to keep up with the demand of the 5.3-liter V8 in the fullsize Chevy and GMC trucks due to supplier issues. GM's official press release for the 6.2-liter V8's fuel economy is posted below.