In time for the Chevrolet Trucks' centennial, General Motors officially unveiled its much-anticipated 2019 Silverado pickup truck Saturday night at the Detroit auto show.
Thanks to its increased use of mixed metals, the pickup is 450 pounds lighter than its predecessor, featuring a roll-formed (not stamped) high-strength bed, it boasts the biggest box in the segment, increasing width by seven inches and length by one inch over the current model.
The bed also features the first-in-its-class power tailgate that can be opened or closed by key fob, cabin button or hand.
GM will offer six different engine and transmission combinations, including a new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder Duramax diesel paired to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. Other engines available are the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management, a new system that allows it to run on between one (yes, one) to seven cylinders, depending on load demand.
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be offered in eight different trims, Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trailboss, the sporty RST, High Country, LT, LTZ and the LT Trailboss, which includes a two-inch suspension lift with Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires, a locking rear differential and skid plates.
Crew cabs for both Silverado and GMC Sierra (with four large doors) are built in Silao, Guanajuato while regular and double cab pickups are made in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Heavy-duty pickups are made in Flint, Michigan.
According to Autonews, the redesign and re-engineering of the next Silverado and its GMC counterpart, the Sierra, are the biggest product program ever undertaken by GM. The company is spending nearly US$ 3 billion alone to upgrade the three plants that build the Silverado and Sierra.
GM sold 585,864 Silverados in 2017 (including heavy duty trucks), a 1.9% increase from the previous year, and 217,943 GMC Sierras, down 1.7%.
GM defends Mexican plant
General Motors CEO Mary Barra expressed optimism on Saturday that the North American Free Trade Agreement would survive, and other senior GM executives stood by the company's plans to continue building trucks in Mexico, Reuters reported.
At the event where the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pickup was unveiled, “Barra twice did not answer directly when asked if the automaker is reconsidering current production in Mexico in light of potential changes or the collapse of the trade deal,” the Canadian news outlet revealed.