GM Begins Development of Next-Generation Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra

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Here’s one additional consequence of an automaker filing for bankruptcy: Development of future models and technologies are often delayed. That was the case with General Motors’ upcoming line of revised full-size pickups until recently, when work on the heavily revamped trucks restarted.

GM spokesman Scott Fosgard told The Detroit News that an update program for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, costing approximately $700 million, was approved by the company’s board of directors. The trucks haven’t been updated since 2006, although an updated heavy duty model of the Silverado is rumored to be appearing at the Chicago show next month.

"We're not saying trucks are more important than small cars,” Fosgard told the News. “In every segment we compete, we now have the money and resources to build the world's best vehicles.”

Given the time passed between the last update and whenever the new models arrive, estimated at two to three years from now, the updates are expected to be comprehensive. The new models are expected to sport both new interiors and exteriors and will see improvements in aerodynamics and other factors that will increase fuel economy as ever-tighter CAFE standards creep up on the auto industry.

Fosgard also pointed out that the approval of the truck updates marked a dramatic change in procedure for GM. In the past, a similar update program would have had to been approved by as many as 70 committees. In this case, the company’s truck committee simply approached Tom Stephens, GM’s executive vice chairman for global product operations, who then took it to the company’s board of directors. In the course of two weeks, the program received it’s green light and, perhaps more importantly, its greenbacks.

Source: The Detroit News

-Scott Evans

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