By Jeff Gilbert

DETROIT — (WWJ) Fuel economy is now more important than ever in all categories, including pickup trucks. GM fired the latest shot today.

“Today we are pleased to report that the two wheel drive Silverado and Sierra with the 5.3 liter EcoTech V8 will have an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon,” said Jeff Luke, chief engineer for GM’s full size pickups.

These numbers are important as GM takes on the segment leading Ford F-150, which is now selling more EcoBoost powered V-6 pickups than it does V-8’s. And fuel economy is seen as a big reason for this.

But GM’s Jeff Luke says their pickups will now take the industry lead.

“This is better than any V-8 competitor, and beats the EPA estimates for the Ford turbocharged V-6 in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive model.”

Ford has not yet announced fuel economy estimates for its 2014 pickup trucks. Ford is expected to have updated versions of the F-150 on the market in the next year or so.

GM’s all new pickups are expected to hit the market this summer.

“I am very excited about the launch, it’s going great,” says GM North America President Mark Reuss. “Our plants are ready. Our powertrain plants are ready. Our employees are fired up. So, get ready.”

The GM pickups will carry starting sticker prices around $25 thousand, close to the prices of the current pickups, before incentives.

While GM had problems a few months ago with pickup inventories that were too large, Reuss says that’s largely been taken care of.

“Our inventory is good. Coming off of last month, we took the inventory down another notch as we begin the sell down of it. Yea, it’s going real well.”


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