"Our customers rely on their trucks to meet the day-to-day challenges of earning a living, running a business," Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a statement. "Chevrolet is committed to giving truck customers the most refined, best-engineered pickups in the market."
GM's pickup strategy diverges from that of rival Ford Motor Co., which has enjoyed surprising success by touting the fuel efficiency of its six-cylinder EcoBoost offering on the top-selling F-150 pickup. GM won't chase Ford with its own turbocharged six-banger.
Instead, GM is relying on a family of three engines, versions of its next generation of small-block engines, to deliver better power and competitive fuel efficiency. It will no longer offer a hybrid truck because of low sales volumes, a spokesman said.
The new engines are "100 percent truck, specifically designed for the way customers use trucks in the real world," Jordan Lee, chief engineer for the small-block engine, said in a statement.
Core truck buyers
Dave Sullivan, a product analyst at consulting firm AutoPacific Inc., says GM's strategy is to "go after the traditional, core pickup buyer who doesn't want some newfangled powertrain or air-suspension system."
GM wants to keep its full-sized pickups as workhorses while giving fuel-conscious buyers another alternative, Reuss has said.
That's why, unlike Ford and Chrysler Group, GM decided to continue marketing mid-sized pickups -- the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Redesigned and more fuel efficient versions of those trucks are expected to go on sale in 2014.
"Our competitors may think they have smooth sailing ahead but the weather is about to change," Reuss said while introducing the new Sierra and Silverado. "This is different from our competition and we think it will work."