DETROIT -- Don't expect General Motors to copy Ford Motor Co.'s move to an aluminum-intensive body for GM's next-generation full-size pickups when they debut in a few years.
That was the takeaway from global product chief Mark Reuss this month when an analyst asked him about GM's strategy for using lighter-weight materials to meet future fuel-efficiency regulations.
GM's approach will be "very different than some of our competitors," who focus on "one material" to solve the lightweighting equation, Reuss said, referring to Ford's extensive use of aluminum on the F-150, launched in late 2014.
He noted that GM's full-size pickups -- the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra -- had been about 200 pounds lighter than Ford's truck in recent years, before the F-150's switch to aluminum for the 2015 model year.
Instead, Reuss implied that GM will use a "mixed-materials" strategy to reduce mass on its next-gen pickups, which sources have said are scheduled to begin production in late 2018. He said the upcoming Cadillac CT6 sedan will include six grades of high-strength steel and six types of aluminum.
GM soon will begin using a new spot-welding technique that can bind aluminum to steel, which "has never been done before" in the automotive industry, Reuss said. GM will use the process in CT6 production in early 2016.