GM Moves to Develop Next-Gen Aluminum Trucks
Since Ford introduced the aluminum 2015 F-150, other automakers have started to jump on the bandwagon. General Motors, in need of a more fuel-efficient pickup to meet the upcoming federal fuel efficiency standards, has pushed up the timetable for an aluminum-bodied pickup. When first considering an aluminum body pickup, GM questioned whether or not the product would be cost effective and appeal to the U.S. customer. However, instead of going with the aluminum body, GM decided to build two new small pickups, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Both models are expected to hit showroom floors later this year. Like GM, Chrysler Group LLC decided against adding an aluminum-bodied pickup and instead upgraded its current steel-bodied trucks with eight-speed transmissions, high-efficiency axles, and advanced gas and diesel engines. “Ford’s introduction of the 2015 F-150 pickup truck was a game changer, and it’s the first, not the last, conversion of this type,” said Novelis spokesman Charles Belbin, in a recent interview. Aluminum is still a tricky material to work with when building vehicles, and while GM doesn’t expect to offer a full-bodied aluminum pickup until 2018, it will give the automaker extra time to figure out all the kinks. Until then, GM will make component changes by 2016 to address rising efficiency concerns. Source: The Wall Street Journal
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