General Motors is going after Ford Motor Co.'s sales lead in heavy-duty trucks.
At the Texas state fair last week, GM unwrapped the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500. GM's re-engineered heavy-duties get a new exterior and cab design that adds several features found on the redesigned light-duty Silverado and Sierra 1500 released this summer.
GM executives say the enhancements can help Chevy and GMC's combined heavy-duty market share overtake that of Ford. Ford has a 38 percent share of the heavy-duty market, which totaled about 435,000 units in 2012, GM says. Chevy and GMC combined have 36 percent, and Ram has 26 percent, according to GM's estimates.
"Our expectation is we're going to change the rank order of those numbers by brand with our new truck," says John Schwegman, executive director for U.S. product and pricing on GM trucks.
Improvements include a more aerodynamic front end and doors that are inlaid into the body recesses to reduce wind noise. And a torsion bar allows for a gently opening rear tailgate. The cab will be the quietest on the market, GM says.
The trucks keep the same powertrain lineup they have had since a major overhaul for the 2011 model year: a 6.0-liter V-8 and a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel. But engineers wrung out greater performance: GM claims segment leadership in payload, at 7,374 pounds, and conventional towing, with a 19,600-pound rating.