NexGen F-150 gets GM’s, Detroit’s attention

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Updated Aug 1, 2014

The pending launch of Ford’s next generation F-150 has caught most everyone’s attention, including rival truck makers in Detroit.

Newsday reported yesterday, citing General Motors’ suppliers, GM is accelerating plans to launch its next-generation full-size pickups by about nine months. The new launch date would bring the trucks to the spotlight in the fall 2018. 

The next generation of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are expected to follow in the footsteps of their chief rival – the F-150 – and lighten up with some aluminum construction.

Even with the expedited schedule, the NexGen F-150 will still have a nearly four year head start over its GM counterparts. Dealers this week started placing orders for the new F-150. 

The news is notable for several reasons. GM only recently debuted current styling for Silverado, its most popular truck, and Sierra. That design will marinate in the market for barely four years before being reinvented in whatever GM produces as its NexGen truck. 

As I wrote in my series on concept development, designing and engineering a production vehicle can take upwards of three years. That gives GM plenty of time to fully explore all its options.

GM is also expected to launch a new line of smaller, more powerful turbo-charged truck engines, similar to Ford’s EcoBoost engines. 

So it’s realistic to expect the 2019 Silverado/Sierra could not only be totally redesigned, but could also be the package that introduces a new suite of powertrains for General Motors. 

As of now, Ford’s 2015 F-150 stands out in the market as something unique, and it looks like that will be the case for at least the next several years. 

However, the 2019 model year could shape up to be battle of Detroit’s giants if Ford has another trick up its sleeve. In either case, the 2018 Detroit Auto Show will be a can’t miss event.