GM Says Recently Dethroned Chevrolet Silverado Poised for a Comeback

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
gm says recently dethroned chevrolet silverado poised for a comeback

Everybody who obsesses over automobiles knows that the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado is a hideous monstrosity with a disgustingly small four-cylinder engine as its base powerplant. At least that’s the gist among automotive journalists. While yours truly doesn’t understand how anyone could claim that GMC’s new Sierra boasts the more-attractive mug, both ended up with mildly disappointing interiors and a ride that’s not quite on par with their domestic rivals — especially the Silverado.

Shade has been thrown and the public has responded by buying fewer full-size trucks from Chevy, forcing it to give up its second place sales ranking to Ram. However, General Motors seems to think the issue has been overblown and only represents a temporary setback.

“Given our limited availability, we deliberately launched with a really high mix in trims,” GM President of the Americas, Barry Engle, told Automotive News earlier this month. “But as we get broader availability and get the full portfolio out there, we’ll be just fine.”

That translates into increasing annual capacity of heavy-duty models by 40,000 and the 1500 by 20,000. In fact, the automaker recently announced it would be investing $150 million into Flint Assembly for just that reason.

However, General Motors doesn’t actually need those pickups to take its number two sales slot back from Ram because it technically never lost it. Assuming you take the Sierra into account, the General is still holding onto its silver medal. But Fiat Chrysler’s truck division is still out for blood. Average incentive spending for the Silverado and Sierra have been about $500 less than Ram throughout 2019 but $1,500 more than the Ford’s F series, which remains America’s best-selling pickup.

From Automotive News:

Ram has beaten the Silverado in nine of the past 10 months, according to U.S. sales estimates from the Automotive News Data Center that have been validated by GM’s quarterly reports. The Ram has outsold the Silverado by 36,619 since the latest Silverado 1500 hit dealerships in August and holds a lead of nearly 22,000 five months into 2019.

Including the GMC Sierra 1500, which was also redesigned at the same time, GM’s full-size pickup share was down 3 percentage points in the first five months of 2019 compared with the same period a year earlier.

With the Sierra, GM remains in second place in the full-size segment, behind Ford Motor Co.

But GM executives insist the shake-up in a closely watched battle with major image and profit implications isn’t a sign of trouble. They say the trucks’ launch is going as planned and that GM is focused on profits, not market share.

“We’ve got a plan,” Engle said. “We’re in this for the long haul.”

That certainly sounds like low-grade chicanery but Engle noted that GM also hasn’t been selling its redesigned pickups to fleet customers in significant volumes and has only just started rolling out HD and lower-priced models. While the wording makes us wonder if the automaker just wants to downplay this whole thing, it also makes a decent counterargument. Ram may not have the mojo to beat GM or even Chevrolet on a longer timeline, especially not if people keep buying pickups with High Country and Denali at the end of their names.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Oldschool Oldschool on Jun 18, 2019

    I think GM and Chevy executives are drinking some bomb ass kool aid or something of a strong denial drank because the Silverado has the worst looking interior out of the Ram and F150. It’s like Chevy doesn’t care to out do itself not blow away its competition. I’m not really a GM fan persay, I do love their old stuff from the 40’s-60’s when they truly were an innovative company and built quality vehicles, but in the last 30 years, GM continues to build “just good enough vehicles” while it’s competition surpasses them with each new generation. The only platform that they built that was actually really good was it’s Epsilon II platform which consists of the current gen XTS, Impala and Lacrosse. As a current owner of a 17 Impala it has been a great car so far. No issue or anything negative to report. But I believe it’s still the best looking and driving sedan Chevy has made in decades and that’s why I bought it. The Malibu is crap, with a cheap interior and a stiff ride, and that stupid auto stop start feature sucks since you can’t turn it off. The Cruze is also garbage, my GF has 2012 Cruze and the head gasket blew at a 120,000 miles, it has all kinds of cooling issues with the engine. And coolant continues to disappear even after the head gasket was replaced and other components. I had a Colorado as a work truck from my previous job, also another cheap quality crappy truck with that puny 4 banger that struggles to go up hills. Hard plastic interior, that creaks and easily gets scuffed up. Hopefully GM realizes it’s half ass attempts at everything it does and gets trashed in sales. Only focusing on SUV’s and Trucks just like Ford is a really risky business decision that I personally feel will hurt the company in the long run. I can see why they pulled out of the sedan market, there cars are simply not competitive. Sure they’re a lot better compared to what they were making in the 90’s- early 2000’s, but the competition is building better cars especially the Koreans which honestly are making better looking cars that are very attractive and stylish while GM is designing these cookie cutter cartoon looking cars and horrifying trucks. Even as a die hard Cadillac fan, I am extremely frustrated and disappointed with what Cadillac is currently doing. It’s all bad.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 19, 2019

    The one thing GM got right was the new Impala and the Lacrosse but one is being discontinued and the other is already discontinued. Both cars are excellent. The Chevy Colorado is a decent truck even with all the plastic in the interior. This new Silverado is a huge disappointment for such an important product to GM's bottom line.

  • Tassos While Acura was the first Japanese attempt to sell 'luxury' (or "premium") vehicles in the US market, and despite its original good success in the near-luxury segment with the Legend and the far smaller and less expensive Itegra (a glorified Civic), it later lost its momentum and offered a series of underwhelming vehicles. It sure is not a LUXURY maker, and as long as it offers FWD or AWD and NOT RWD vehicles, it will never be taken seriously as a serious sports cars maker. Infiniti is much worse, and if both of them go under, few will notice. Lexus was more successful, offering pimped up TOyotas for 10,000s more, but there is NO vehicle in their lineup, esp now that they scewed up the only serious entry (the LS), that I would care to consider. AND I say all this as a very satisfied owner of 5-speed Honda coupes and hatchbacks (a 1991 Civic hatch and a 1990 Accord Coupe).
  • Mike Beranek Yet another reason to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles charged with energy from wind & solar with modern, non-Monty Burns nuclear as a backup.
  • Tassos The cap the timid Western Europeans agreed to, a HIGH $60, which still lets Putin make a TON of billions of $, was way too HIGH. Ukraine correctly complained about this, it had asked for a $20 cap, I believe.
  • FreedMike "...I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath until fuel prices drop."Regular is $2.87 at my local gas station today. Considering that it was over four bucks this summer, I'd call that a drop. And it happened with the war still going on, the GOP not taking over Congress, Dark Brandon in the White House, and the Theoretical Keystone Pipeline still being canned. Imagine that. And I wonder if poor Slavuta has broken out the "will rap for food" sign yet.
  • THX1136 I would imagine the caps will have minimal impact. Putin is going to do what he wants to do regardless of how the citizens of his country fare.