DETROIT -- General Motors is taking away some features from its cars, but not its full-sized trucks. As a measure of the popularity - and profitability - of trucks, GM is loading more than 40 features onto its biggest light trucks for the 2003 model year.
In contrast, Vice Chairman Robert Lutz is leading a campaign to strip cars of standard equipment that doesn't drive sales, such as cargo nets, extended visors and in some cases antilock brakes.
New standard equipment on GM full-sized trucks includes:
Full-sized trucks also are getting front-end makeovers, new seats, new instrument panels and consoles, upgraded sound systems and advanced wiring that takes 4.5 pounds out of the vehicle. Terry Woychowski, chief engineer for full-sized trucks, says the savings from the electrical architecture allows GM to add other features.
As of last week, GM had not released prices on its 2003 trucks.
GM showed two newcomers to its 2003 truck lineup at a June press event:
1. The Chevrolet Silverado SS, a high-performance variant of the 1500 extended-cab short-bed, will be in showrooms in the first quarter of 2003. The powertrain will include a 345-hp version of GM's six-liter V-8 and a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. Full-time all-wheel drive is standard.
2. The Cadillac Escalade ESV, a 219-inch-long sport-utility derived from the Chevrolet Suburban. GM pitches the ESV as the largest luxury sport-utility on the market. It is powered by the six-liter, 345-hp V-8. It can be configured for seven or eight seats.
GM also unveiled: