General Motors is confident that the performance of the next-generation models of the large GM pickups has improved, enough to match or exceed Ford. GM’s officials don’t believe that Ford’s new turbocharged V-6 fullsize pickups would be able to have much impact on its truck sales.
According to Chris Perry, vice president-global marketing for Chevrolet, the fuel economy ratings of GM’s Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are competitive with Ford F-150 models that have EcoBoost technology. WardsAuto said that through August, GM sold 252,738 Silverado and 93,438 Sierra pickups.
Meanwhile, Ford sold 340,783 F-150s, says Ward's Auto. Ford trucks with direct-injection EcoBoost engines account for over 40% of the total.
WardsAuto data also show that in the past few years, GM’s V-6 option never has taken more than 10% in a model year. Nonetheless, GM had a bigger share in the fullsize-pickup market through August with 39.2%, while Ford had 37.2%. In a recent conference call, Chevrolet U.S. sales chief Alan Batey said that he doesn’t expect that there would be a “negative impact” on its share.
The Silverado had its best performance in August, beating its record in December 2010. The demand for Ford’s V-6 EcoBoost remains strong, which is a huge risk paying early dividends in a market that is controlled by big-displacement engines and persistent high fuel prices.
GM also thinks that it has found a way to get a competitive advantage. Chevy Silverado is holding share against Ford F-150 with the EcoBoost. Ford sales officials anticipate that the Ecoboost’s take rates would go up, indicated by the dealerships’ overall demand for V-6 engines increasing to 60% of the orders last August.