Chevrolet Silverado:

PickupTrucks.com and AutoPacific Announce the Most Significant Trucks of the Decade

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PickupTucks.com and AutoPacific have taken a look at all the new trucks sold in the past 10 years and made their picks for the most significant trucks of the decade. The trucks that made the list introduced cutting edge technologies and pushed the segment into new territory.
“Despite the economic challenges of the past two years, it’s hard not to look back at the last ten years without calling it the decade of the pickup truck,” said PickupTrucks.com editor Mike Levine. “Sales of full-size pickups hit 2.56 million units in 2004 and Ford’s F-Series trucks remain the nation’s best-selling vehicles, 33 years in a row.”
Though there are many trucks that had a significant impact in the last decade, it’s clear that the 2009 Ford F-150 earned the title of “Most Significant”.
“On balance, we thought the 2009 Ford F-150 was the most significant pickup of the last decade,” said Jim Hossack, vice president of consulting for AutoPacific. “It sells in high volume, owners like it and its body, chassis and powertrain are all first rate. Features abound, and there are more models, series and options than can be counted. It’s a good looking truck and suitable for the widest possible range of tasks and uses.”
After the jump are those trucks deemed most significant, in no particular order.


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Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Wins AutoPacific 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Large Light-Duty Pickup

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Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Wins AutoPacific 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Large Light-Duty Pickup Trucks:
“One of the most important launches for the 2007 model year was the Chevrolet Silverado Full-Size pickup. The all-new Silverado wins among Large Light Duty Pickups. When you analyze Silverado’s win, it seems like Silverado product planners set out to beat competition by a nose across the board,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson. “Silverado won in its segment, over stiff competition, by a small margin on each of a large number of attributes, specifically including Warranty – confirmation that GM’s new 100,000 mile warranty is paying off.”.


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2007 GMC Sierra 1500 4×4 Crew Cab SLT – Every Good Cowboy Needs a Good Horse

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American icons like the Statue of Liberty or John Wayne conjure up images of patriotism and true grit. But the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France, John Wayne’s real name is Marion Morrison and this is an automotive web site. So, that leaves us with things like John Deere and the new GMT900 trucks from General Motors, which have a long history, heritage and iconic status.
AutoPacific and VehicleVoice staffers have been evaluating a 2007 GMC Sierra with a list price of $47,135… WOW! Looking at the LA Times this weekend, I saw some full size half ton pickups offered in the mid-teens. Let’s see if there is enough “product” in the Sierra we are evaluating to justify the price.

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Sheet Metal
With the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado roping in Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year we thought it would be interesting to saddle break the 2007 GMC Sierra; the Silverado’s supposedly more ‘posh’ counterpart. If we start with the exterior of the truck we notice that the overall styling is ‘boxier’ than that of the GMT800. The fender flares are no longer plastic/composite extensions stuck on with double-sided tape and a couple screws; they are integrated into the sheet metal of the fenders. Gaps between body panels, headlamps, grills, bumpers, etc., are much improved over the last generation.


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Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Wins North American Truck of the Year Award

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At a press conference January 7, 2007 kicking off the North American International Auto Show, the Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup was named the North American Truck of the Year. The award is presented annually by a jury of 49 prominent automotive journalists from throughout the United States and Canada.
Silverado, of course, had the field of new trucks almost to itself for the 2007 award. The 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup was not introduced until February 2007 and was not in the award field. Pickup contenders included other GM full size pickups – GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade EXT plus SUVs and Crossover SUVs too numerous to list.

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From the Chevrolet Press Release:
“We’re very pleased to receive this great annual honor,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “We’ve been confident all along that we’ve had the best truck out there with our all-new Silverado. This recognition from the top industry journalists provides validation and reinforces our leadership position.”
The all-new truck incorporates new exterior and interior designs, powertrain, chassis and safety systems. The fourth generation of the GM’s small-block V8 engine family is the power behind the new pickup, delivering segment-leading horsepower and fuel economy. Silverado also offers the widest range of truck configurations with three cab sizes, three bed lengths, five suspensions, and two distinct interiors to fit every customer’s needs.
Safety was paramount in the design of the new Silverado, resulting in a 5-Star crash test NHTSA rating. The truck offers 360 – degrees of safety before during and after a crash with dual stage front airbags, optional head curtain airbags, segment-exclusive StabiliTrak standard on all crew-cabs, and the safety and security of OnStar.
The new truck is assembled by the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) at five North American locations: Fort Wayne, Indiana; Pontiac, Michigan; Flint, Michigan; Silao, Mexico and Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
“The talent and effort that has gone into the all-new Silverado is evident. We’re all proud of this truck and thrilled to be the North American Truck of the Year,” Peper added.
The Silverado went on sale at Chevrolet retailers in October, 2006.


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GM's New Trucks

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We Catch the Summer Reveal of All-New Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
GM’s leader Rick Wagoner took some time from his work on the turnaround project and the ongoing Renault-Nissan tie-up evaluation to introduce new products critical to GM’s future profitability and success. VehicleVoice contributors Jim Hossack and Stephanie Brinley, from AutoPacific‘s Market Research and Industry Analysis offices, were on hand for a first look. Brinley helps with the overview, while long-time full-size truck owner Hossack tells us what’s missing.

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The current full-size Chevrolet Silverado (image here) and GMC Sierra, developed under GM’s GMT800 program and first introduced for 1999MY, launched to strong reviews and well-deserved praise. Sales increased throughout the lifecycle and combined they outsold their rivals. Even in 2005, GM outsold the Ford F-series by about 80,000 units, according to AutoPacific’s Sales Forecast Service.
The GMT900 pickups offer significant improvements to body, chassis, and powertrain. GM developed them with the eye to improving on every level an already successful truck. We saw them in pre-production form, but didn’t get the chance to drive them. Based on our first look, the trucks will arrive boasting a best-in-class standing. The 1500 series gets to showrooms in November 2006. Heavy-duty (2500 and 3500) models arrive during the first quarter of 2007. Unlike the previous generation, which rolled out over two years, all versions of the GMT900 trucks roll out in five months.
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The Good Stuff
On a bright, hot August morning, dozens of Silverado and Sierras drove up in front of us at the GM Milford, Michigan, proving grounds. Showing off their versatility and working natures, the display trucks towed boats and equipment, hauled hay and horse trailers. The message was clear: Choice and capability. Whatever you need these trucks to do, they can do it. Whatever form you need, they have it. Short beds, medium beds, long beds, crew cabs, regular cabs, extended cabs with a cool new 170-degree opening rear door, all are available from the GM trucks. It was a dizzying array, but all these options keep loyal buyers happy and to prove that GM is dedicated to full-size pickups.
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2007 Toyota Tundra – The Breakthrough Expected?

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Arguably the biggest news at the Chicago Auto Show was the first glimpse of the all new 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup. Well, maybe it was not arguably, but absolutely the biggest news. Can Toyota be stopped? Will the Tundra gut the family jewels of the Big Three chipping away at the last remaining profitable units in the Silverado, Ram and F-Series lineups? Is the Tundra a breakthrough in full size pickup design? Has Toyota finally fielded a fully competitive pickup? Lots of questions were answered at Chicago and many remain to be answered. VehicleVoice correspondents and AutoPacific analysts were on hand to see the reveal of the Tundra first hand.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA President Jim Press Pitching the New Tundra
Clearly the new Tundra is a substantially stronger competitor than the present Tundra. It is larger and will have a 5.7L V8 available as its top powertrain. With a larger displacement than the Nissan Titan, it is expected the Tundra V8 will get about 325HP although power numbers were not provided. The Tundra 4×4 shown on the stand can tow 10,000 pounds which should be class-leading among half-ton pickups. But many people were expecting the new Tundra to be a breakthrough product. They were expecting a new benchmark for full size pickups. They were expecting Tundra to be 105% of a typical half ton pickup.
What they got was maybe 101% or 102%. Nice truck. But not as muy macho as the FT-X Concept Truck of 2004.


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