General Motors Co. (GM:US), which will start delivering redesigned Chevrolet Silverado pickups to dealers this month, said most of its full-size truck deliveries this year will be of current-generation vehicles.
“Some time in the fourth quarter we’re going to start retailing more new than old,” Chris Perry, Chevy U.S. marketing vice president, said yesterday in an interview at a ranch outside San Antonio.
The redesign of the Silverado and its GMC brand counterpart, the Sierra, are among about 20 new vehicles GM is bringing out this year to renew a lineup that grew 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. Toyota’s U.S. comeback helped it overtake GM as the world’s best-selling automaker.
About 70 percent of Silverado sales this year will be the older version, Maria Rohrer, marketing director of Chevy full-sized pickups, said in an interview. The new 2014 model year double cab goes on sale in the third quarter followed by the regular cab a month to 45 days later, she said. The heavy-duty version will be shown at the Texas State Fair in the fourth quarter, she said.
The revamped pickups are among the most important for Detroit-based GM. Silverado and Sierra version deliveries combined made up 22 percent of the company’s U.S. sales last year and Silverado was the company’s top-selling model. Full-size pickups make up the biggest source of profit for U.S.-based automakers GM, Ford Motor Co. (F:US) and Chrysler Group LLC.
GM aims to boost the mix of more-expensive crew cabs from about 50 percent toward to more than 60 percent, Perry said.
“That’s where some of our competitors have gone strong with the crew cab,” Perry said.
GM finished April with 228,524 full-sized pickups in its inventory, or a 103-day supply, the company said May 1.
While GM hasn’t said what’s its truck inventory goal is for the year, the automaker finished 2012 with more than 221,000 pickups in inventory, roughly in line with its previously stated year-end goal of 200,000 to 220,000.
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 automaker has said. 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.
The new Silverado will start at $23,590 while the Sierra will start at $24,090, the company said. The prices don’t include a $995 freight charge.
GM fell 1.3 percent to $31.65 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 9.8 percent this year compared with a 14 percent rise in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
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