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Auto blogMon, 04 Nov 2013
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 has announced a recall of 118,800 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks due to the possibility of secondary hood latches not being installed at the time of manufacture. The affected vehicles are from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 model years, all of which were built between November 9, 2009 and August 28, 2012.
According to the official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, these trucks fail to "comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 113, 'Hood Latch System.' The hood may be missing the secondary hood latch." In other words, owners of these trucks could find their vehicles' hoods opening unexpectedly while driving.
The official recall campaign is expected to begin on January 17, 2013. Dealers will inspect the affected pickups and if a secondary hood latch is not present, one will be installed free of charge. Scroll down to read the official NHTSA report.
Aside from the new General Motors offerings, there's not a whole lot of action going on in the fullsize SUV segment. That doesn't seem to be stopping GM from pushing the envelope in the market as Automotive News is reporting that the automaker is looking to introduce some new powertrain options into the Chevy Tahoe (and Suburban), GMC Yukon (and Yukon XL) and the Cadillac Escalade - all have been redesigned for the 2015 model year.
Now, we already know that GM and Ford are collaborating on nine- and ten-speed transmissions for a broad range of applications (including the big SUVs), but this new report says that GM is also considering other options as a way to one-up the competition and, of course, to optimize fuel economy. AN quotes Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, as saying that "interesting powertrain technologies" are coming including a return of a hybrid SUV and possibly even a diesel engine. Although it sounds like the latter could come down to how customers respond to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.