engines, and drivetrain components aren’t the only
things changing in GM’s full size trucks. So have buyer’s
reasons for purchasing a GM full size pickup.
says that in 2003 the five biggest considerations that shoppers cited
in their Silverado or Sierra purchase were, in order: rebates, towing
capability, value, exterior styling, and employee discounts. In 2007
in order: styling (interior and exterior), value, reputation, reliability,
and dealership experience when buying.
accidental. Mr. White, says that in 2001, when General Motors looked
forward in time to what buyers would want in the newly redesigned Silverado
and Sierra, they focused on six areas to win in the market: exterior
styling, interior styling, driving experience, safety, quality, and depth
and breadth of the lineup.
To see how
well GM has bridged the gap between its original GMT900 program goals
and buyer’s feedback, we also
had the opportunity at General Motor’s Milford Proving grounds
to drive and compare the Silverado and Sierra to the latest light and
heavy duty competition.
competitive stations were setup up around Milford for journalists to
freely compare GM’s full size pickups
with similarly equipped and configured offerings from Dodge, Ford, Nissan,
and Toyota. They included tow testing up a constant 7.2% 1/3-mile grade,
a towing slalom course, vehicle dynamics testing over a wet basalt tile
skid pad, an autocross course, acceleration and braking runways, and
a split μ (pronounced
'myoo' or 'mew', after a letter in the Greek alphabet) differential
time focused at four of the stations – the two
tow tests, wet skid pad, and autocross.
When I drove
the new GM Heavy Duty pickups during their media introduction back
in February, GM only had a 2007 Ford F-250 Super Duty with the old
6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel on hand for comparison. It almost wasn’t
worth mentioning for the story. This time GM brought a 2008
Ford F-250 Super Duty SuperCrew 4x4, motivated by the new 6.4-liter PSD, to the
comparo against a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Crew Cab 4x4 Duramax
powered HD. Don’t get hung up on the model years. Both trucks went
on sale within a month of each other earlier this year.
I took turns
switching trucks and drag racing Sam
Abuelsamid, from the
awesomely cool and always up to the minute automotive news reporting
website Autoblog, up the moderately steep grade. The F-250 and Silverado
had identical 3.73 rear gear ratios. Each truck pulled a 12,000-pound
ballasted trailer, without a windscreen.