General Motors Co. (GM:US), preparing a redesigned Chevrolet Silverado to begin selling this quarter, said the new pickup will have better fuel efficiency than Ford Motor Co. (F:US)’s turbocharged V-6 truck while costing the same as its outgoing model.
The 2014 Silverado with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine and two- wheel drive will get 23 miles (37 kilometers) per gallon in highway driving, the Detroit-based automaker said today in a statement. Ford’s 3.5-liter, six-cylinder turbo F-150 gets 22 mpg on the highway while a flex-fuel version of the vehicle gets 23 mpg, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A flex-fuel 5-liter V-8 F-150 gets 21 mpg on the highway.
“This is better than any V-8 competitor and beats the EPA estimates for the Ford EcoBoost turbocharged V-6 in both two- wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models,” Jeff Luke, GM executive chief engineer for full-sized pickups, told analysts and reporters today during a conference call. “This sets a new bar for mainstream pickups.”
The redesign of the Silverado, and GMC brand version sold as the Sierra, are among about 20 new vehicles GM is bringing out this year to renew a lineup that’s grown stale following the company’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization. The company’s U.S. market share fell to an 88-year-low in 2012 as Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s sales rebounded, helping overtake GM to retake the title of world’s best-selling automaker.
The fuel efficiency of GM’s trucks is key as it continues to compete against Ford. Sales of Ford’s F-Series, which was redesigned in 2008, have made it the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 30 consecutive years. Ford has continued to outpace the Silverado and Sierra as customers have shifted to the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s more efficient smaller engines. The outgoing Silverado, for example, got 20 mpg, according to the EPA.
The new GMC Sierra, a pickup based on the same mechanics as the Silverado, will also get 23 mpg on the highway, GM said in a separate statement. Both the Silverado and Sierra will get 16 mpg in city driving, the company said. Versions of trucks equipped with four-wheel drive will get 22 mpg on the highway.
The new Silverado will start at $23,590 while the Sierra will start at $24,090, the company said. Both prices don’t include a $995 freight charge.
GM shares fell 0.1 percent to $27.80 at the close in New York. They have declined 3.6 percent this year compared with a 9.5 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
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