Manufacturing

Your new Chevrolet Silverado won't be as fuel efficient as other 2021 Chevy trucks

The Chevrolet Silverado is the second-best-selling truck in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Chevorlet

The global semiconductor chip shortage is affecting General Motors vehicles and that's directly making an impact the wallets of Chevy truck buyers.

Certain 2021 Chevrolet Silverado models will be built without a fuel management module, which will directly impact their fuel economy performance, making the trucks one mile per gallon less efficient. A spokesperson for GM told Reuters that the company does not expect the change to make a major impact on the Detroit-based automaker's U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers.

The active fuel management module issue will occur only on light-duty Silverados equipped with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine. That engine is available with either a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Chevrolet SilveradoFor the 2021 model year, the Chevrolet Silverado gained GMC’s MultiPro Tailgate under a new name.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Currently, trucks with that engine get between 16 and 19 mpg combined depending on drivetrain configuration, as estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The government agency estimates that some Silverado owners with the engine spend as mochas $4,500 more on fuel over five years than the average new vehicle buyer.

New Silverado 1500s are either equipped with a 28.3- or 24-gallon fuel tank, depending on the buyer's choice of cab. The average price of fuel in the U.S. right now according to AAA is $2.86 per gallon for regular unleaded. Doing some simple math using those numbers, the lack of chip would cost the average Silverado owner around $3.00 more at the pump per fill up.

For the average family, that number may be absorbable. For fleet managers that are already struggling to save every cent in the wake of the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, that figure may be a tougher pill to swallow.

By continuing to build trucks, Chevrolet will likely escape some of the plant shut downs and slowdowns other automakers have experienced. Chevrolet's chief rival, Ford, shut down its Louisville plant for two weeks in January and February hindering production of the F-150, the Silverado's biggest competitor and America's best-selling vehicle.

With Ford truck shortages on dealership lots, Chevy may be hoping that this build strategy will keep their dealerships stocked and perhaps sway customers into becoming bowtie owners.

The company has not made it clear if the chips, once available, will be able to be installed into the engines of the vehicles that are missing them. If they are able to be installed, it's also unclear if that the customer or GM would absorb that cost, and whether or not a recall notice would be issued to add the chips.

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The Denali Ultimate trim is new for 2023.

GMC

The GMC Yukon has always been a luxurious family hauler with beefy capability, but it moved even more upmarket in recent years with added tech and upscale interior materials. GMC just announced an even cushier version of the SUV for the 2023 model year. The Yukon Ultimate Denali gets unique styling touches and upgrades that take the already plush SUV to another level.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate22-inch wheels are standard GMC

The Denali Ultimate gets exclusive upgrades over other trims that include 22-inch wheels and chrome accents outside. The full-size SUV just got a complete redesign for 2021, which brought updated boxy styling, and a sleek look, so there are no additional exterior changes for 2023.

GMC offers three engines in the standard Yukon, but only two make it into the Ultimate. The standard powertrain includes a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel is also available that makes 277 horsepower and a whopping 460 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission is standard for all engines, and four-wheel drive is available.

Inside, the Ultimate comes with Alpine Umber full-grain leather upholstery with 16-way power front seats and massaging. Trim-exclusive contrast stitching and aluminum trim accent the space, and the top model gets an 18-speaker Bose audio system with stainless steel speaker grilles.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali UltimateGrained leather upholstery and upscale interior finishes are standard. GMC

A 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen comes standard, and offers Google services built in. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, along with wireless phone charging. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Amazon Alexa functionality are available. GMC also offers Super Cruise hands-free driving system in the Denali Ultimate.

GMC hasn’t detailed pricing for the new SUV yet, but we expect it to start at a premium over the standard Denali, which starts at just over $70,000.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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