General Motors is sending its new chief financial officer around Wall Street to keep analysts informed about its current pricing strategies in the highly competitive segment of full-size pickups. Complicating the issue is sales of GM premium trim packages are giving both Chevy and GMC models some of the highest transaction prices in the industry; however, they continue to lose marketshare because the more entry-level vehicles are not selling as well.
According to Automotive News, average per-vehicle discounts have climbed recently. That trend will likely continue into March. GM's response notes that much of the incentive spending is to sell down the existing inventories of Chevy and GMC heavy-duty trucks to make way for the coming 2015 models.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, GM's half-ton V-6 could be ready to make a comeback. Traditionally, a small percentage of total truck sales (about 5 percent in the past), the new EcoTec3 V-6 is hoping to change that, and from initial reports, it is making inroads. According to a GM press release, close to 20 percent of 2014 Chevy Silverados are equipped with the new 285-horsepower all-aluminum V-6. When compared to several half-ton V-8s from 2004, the new GM V-6 beat them in horsepower, torque and fuel-economy numbers. In fact, when calculating the engine's real-world fuel costs and comparing it to other competitive entry-level V-6s, including the popular V-6 EcoDiesel for Ram trucks, the EcoTec3 V-6 gas engine is no better or worse than the fuel-economy leaders in the half-ton segment.
We had the chance to take two identically equipped V-6 Silverado LT double cab two-wheel-drive pickups on a 1,000-mile journey around the Southwest; one empty and the other with sub-6,000-pound horse trailer. We'll have those test results and impression soon, but we were impressed. More to come.