Late last year, General Motors gave truck fans their first taste of the all-new, 2019 Chevrolet Silverado light-duty pickup, revealing the truck in earnest at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past January. Since then, the automaker has unveiled the Silverado’s mechanically-similar cousin: the all-new, 2019 GMC Sierra.
With available features like an innovative, flexible MultiPro Tailgate and an industry-first carbon-fiber bed, could the new GMC Sierra take a bite out of the Ford F-150‘s market share? It depends on how much of a draw those features turn out to be, and how GM chooses to price them.
The MultiPro Tailgate And The CarbonPro Bed
The current Ford F-150 has its own novel, accommodating tailgate design with an integrated step and a folding handle that can be deployed quickly and simply to ease loading and unloading, but the GMC Sierra’s new MultiPro Tailgate is a cut above. It has six different possible configurations, and includes a deployable full-width step, a folding handle, load stops, and an upper section that can open independently of the bottom to access the second-tier storage. No doubt plenty of buyers will opt for the GMC simply because of the MultiPro’s ability to make life at the job site easier.
The MultiPro Tailgate will come standard on the GMC Sierra Denali and SLT models.
The carbon-fiber bed, meanwhile, seems entirely more gimmicky. Yes, “CarbonPro” is an industry first, and it boasts the best dent, scratch, and corrosion resistance in the business, but it only manages to save 62 pounds over the standard steel bed liner – not that truck buyers seem especially concerned with fuel economy anyway. Meanwhile, GMC has improved their steel bed for 2019, utilizing a new alloy with 50% better strength than on the outgoing truck, and we don’t recall too many owners complaining about the old bed.
Carbon-fiber is, of course, notoriously expensive to produce, likely making CarbonPro too pricey to pull in any but the most hardcore truck users.
General Motors has been relatively tight-lipped about all the powertrain options that its new-for-2019 GMC Sierra will offer, leaving the possibility that the light-duty truck could offer a hybrid option or two. Were GM to do that, the automaker would beat Ford to market with a hybrid full-size pickup the same as RAM Trucks did with the 2019 RAM 1500. Again, fuel economy is not especially high on the priorities list of most pickup truck buyers (excl. fleet managers), but what electrification could offer in the way of low-RPM torque and 110-volt A/C capability on the job site makes it a lure.
For now, the Ford F-150 remains the best-selling automobile in North America, let alone the best-selling pickup truck. But with ever-fiercer competition approaching on all sides, Ford may have to try extra hard to hang onto its market share with the F-150’s next redesign.