General Motors' executives insist they're not sweating Ford's 2015 aluminum F-150. They say they'll counter with redesigned mid-sized pickups and are working on updates to GM's freshly redesigned full-sized pickups.
And it appears they'll be slinging plenty of aluminum of their own -- in about five years.
Wall Street Journal reported last week that GM has signed contracts with aluminum makers Alcoa and Novelis to supply its next generation of full-sized pickups, due by late 2018. The suppliers are working to increase aluminum sheet production to accommodate GM's next-gen pickup, the paper reported, citing unnamed sources.
A GM spokesman declined to comment.
The 2015 F-150, which Ford is expected to launch around December, will shed up to 700 pounds from the outgoing model. Ford is rumored to be targeting an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg. GM's most fuel efficient truck gets 24 mpg highway.
GM product chief Mark Reuss has said GM has the ability to do an aluminum-intensive truck. GM "can play that game really easily," he said last month, because it has technology to join aluminum panels without the use of rivets, which he calls "probably more advanced than anything in the industry."