GM chasing Ford with new heavy duty trucks

Article by Anita Panait, on October 6, 2013

General Motors has unveiled the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 at the Texas State Fair as it makes a bid to catch up to Ford Motor Co. in the race for heavy-duty truck sales. GM's re-engineered heavy-duty trucks boast of a new exterior and cab design and now include features found on the redesigned light-duty Silverado and Sierra 1500.

According to executives at GM, the improvements can increase Chevrolet and GMC's combined heavy-duty market share – currently at 36 percent – and surpass Ford’s 38 percent share. The heavy-duty truck market amounted to 435,000 units in 2012. According to GM’s estimates, Chrysler’s Ram holds 26 percent of the heavy duty market.

John Schwegman, executive director for U.S. product and pricing on GM trucks, said that they expect to “change the rank order of those numbers by brand with [their] new truck.Improvements include a more aerodynamic front end as well as doors inlaid into the body recesses to cut wind noise. Likewise a torsion bar allows for a gently opening rear tailgate.

GM added that the cab will be the quietest on the market. GM’s trucks are still powered by a 6.0-liter V-8 and a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel, but with improvements in performance. GM now claims segment leadership when it comes to payload at 7,374 pounds and with regards to its conventional towing power of 19,600 pounds.

The all-new exterior of the new Silverado HD exudes both strength and capability. In addition, it also offers greater aerodynamics for enhanced efficiency and lower wind noise, as well improves cooling for more consistent power whenever the new Silverado HD is in a tough situation.

Design director Tom Peters quipped that their passion for trucks is well conveyed through the lines and dynamically sculpted surfaces of the new Silverado HD. He added that the design of the Silverado HD reflects a function-driven solution – from its well-sculpted one-piece structural bumper to its muscular hood and side profile.

Essentially, the new 2015 Silverado HD features a design that exudes both brains and brawn. Its new inlaid doors fit well into body recesses and help in reducing wind noise, thereby resulting to a quieter cab. Chevrolet made sure that the parts of the 2015 Silverado HD – from its roof to the tailgate spoiler -- underwent wind tunnel testing to ensure smooth airflow, resulting to greater aerodynamic efficiency and lower noise.

Since HD trucks are usually employed to tow under adverse conditions, Chevrolet engineers focused on the airflow for engine cooling as well as on the engine air intakes. Chevrolet engineers tested cooling airflow both in the wind tunnel and on the road, thereby ensuring that the HD’s engine could maintain power on long upgrades even at high ambient temperatures. The front end was also carefully sealed to ensure that the air flowing into the engine intake is cool, thereby guaranteeing optimal engine performance even under adverse situations.

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