Editor’s note: This story will be part of a special section focusing on 15 emerging materials that are solving auto industry needs, to be published in the Aug. 5 issue of Automotive News.
Hitting an unlined pickup bed with an aluminum bat typically would result in significant dents and a lofty repair bill.
But not in the case of General Motors' available carbon-fiber pickup box that debuted for the 2019 GMC Sierra. Instead, it meant buying a new bat.
GM has made a bigger commitment to carbon fiber in the new Sierra, with the latest version developed with Continental Structural Plastics, a subsidiary of Japan's Teijin. The carbon fiber box weighs 25 percent less than a traditional steel bed. It is offered exclusively as part of a CarbonPro Edition on the Sierra Denali 1500 and the Sierra AT4 1500 starting at nearly $67,000.