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GM Readying Next-Generation Pickups

Flint plant investment a critical first step.

by on Jul.19, 2011

GM will invest $328 million in the Flint truck plant to prepare for the next-generation of pickups, such as this Chevy Silverado HD.

General Motors is moving ahead with plans for its next-generation pickup trucks by investing $328 million at its sprawling truck assembly plant in Flint. GM officials said quite distinctly that the money will go to the updated, full-frame pick-ups but declined to say when exactly it would reach the company’s show rooms.

“This investment will allow us to continue building award-winning full-size pickups that offer better fuel efficiency than ever before without sacrificing features and functionality,” said Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of labor relations.

“We remain committed to providing customers the utility and capability of our world-class, full-size pickups,” she added.

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GM didn’t say when the new trucks, which are expected to provide significantly better fuel economy, will be available in showrooms. But our frequent contributor, Mike Levine, of, advises us the pickups are likely to begin moving down the assembly line by April 2013, and will be sold as 2014 models.

The large SUVs sharing those platforms, such as the Chevrolet Suburban,  will begin production, according to Levine, by October.


GMC Granite Concept – A Compact Pickup For Millennials?

GM’s truck brand could fill a gaping hole in truck segment.

by on Nov.24, 2010

The GMC Granite Pickup Concept - designed for Californians by Californians. But will it appeal to the rest of the country?

Could the GMC Granite Concept be the shape of things to come in the compact pickup segment?

American automakers have walked away from the once huge niche – or at least they will when Ford pulls the plug, next year, on the ancient Ranger.  A new Ford bearing that name has been launched overseas but there are no plans to bring it here, the maker firmly declares.

For those who want something smaller than an F-150, Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra but want to stick with the domestics, that leaves little – make that no – option.  Maybe.

“GM Design believes there is an opportunity for a small truck because nobody else is doing this right now,” says Clay Dean, the executive director of GM’s advanced global design studios.

If the Granite name sounds familiar, that’s because GMC has already used it on an edgy little crossover/SUV, which made its debut at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.  Indeed, the pickup prototype has some key design features in common with the crossover concept from the nose back to the B-pillar.

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Developed at the GM studio in Southern California, the Granite pickup was “designed to be modular,” according to the studio’s manager, Robb McCann.

That brings to mind some of the funky, but flexible styling exercises the now-abandoned Pontiac brand rolled out in the late 1980s and 1990s.  The goal, back then, and again now, is to come up with a sort of Swiss Army Knife on wheels.