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 Silverado For 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 engine bay is decorated with images of the American flag.

Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

A new customized 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pays tribute to members of the U.S. military. Karl Kustoms, a Chevrolet Performance retailer and custom shop, recently completed the build in partnership with Bad Boy Vettes. Nearly every panel of the Corvette has been modified to honor a military branch. Even the underside of the hood and engine bay have been artistically sprayed.

"It is a privilege to take on a custom project like this and use our skills to honor our nation's military," Clint Quesinberry, Digital Marketing Specialist. "This Memorial Day, we are proud to recognize those who served."

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette The model started its life as a 2016 Chevy Corvette.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

Unique features include detailed lettering of the words "Honor, Duty, Country", three words given an important place in military history after they were uttered by General Douglas MacArthur in 1962 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as part of his farewell address. There's also imagery of a U.S. Army helicopter firing at a Russian helicopter, a serviceman with a German Shepard, the U.S.S. Iowa battleship, and Arlington Cemetery stones with Medal of Honor recipients from each major conflict.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Military imagery features throughout the body work.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

The car was created as a full-time show car and is currently on display at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It will remain there through the end of 2021 before traveling throughout the country at a variety of car events throughout 2022.

The customized Corvette is also a contender for the 2021 International Show Car Association (ISCA) Car of the Year.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Imagery is featured on the body and under the hood.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

"We did what we could to take this thing over the top," said Ed Birmingham, Karl Kustoms Painter. "I sat there for hours doing the detail work. I spent more time than I would normally spend on a hood, but it all paid off."

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Tesla claims that its Cybertruck will go into production this year.

Photo courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

In a presentation to investors this morning, Ford Motor Company revealed that it has received 70,000 reservations for its just-debuted F-150 Lightning electric truck. Its on-paper chief rival, the Tesla Cybertruck, has over one million according to data acquired by Finbold. Rivian, who is nearly ready to start production of its R1T all-electric truck, has over 30,000 reservations, according to reporting by InsideEVs.

Reservations are not orders or sales though they do serve as an indicator of the buying public's enthusiasm for a new model. More and more automakers are switching to online reservations to gauge buyer interest, determine proper product mix, and stay in touch with clients on a more personal level. Hyundai did this with the 2022 Tucson and Ford has successfully used it to launch the Mustang Mach-E.


2022 Ford F-150 Lightning The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has an all-electric powertrain in its familiar body. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Tesla opened reservations for the Cybertruck immediately following its debut around the same time as the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show where the Mustang Mach-E also debuted. Last July, Finbold revealed that their data showed that there were around 650,000 reservations. In 2018 and 2019 Tesla produced 612,120 vehicles.

Finbold's fresh research indicates that as of May 25, 2021, estimated Cybertruck reservations had reached 1.08 million. That number is more than the 866,750 total vehicles delivered by Tesla in two years between 2019 and 2020.

Though construction at the future home of the Cybertruck, Tesla's Austin, Texas plant, is ongoing, Tesla no longer features the Cybertruck alongside its existing models. The truck's homepage is currently housed in a "see more" style hamburger menu as a singular link alongside the Roadster and Semi. The Cybertruck was originally slated to begin production later this year.

The F-150 Lightning is expected to reach consumers ahead of the Tesla Cybertruck despite the fact that the Cybertruck was unveiled years ahead of the F-Series model. Both have fully electric powertrains. Ford will also offer the electric truck in a fleet version.

Ford has given more specifics about the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning than Tesla has about the Cybertruck. It will look much like a traditional F-150 but have an electric powertrain that gives it a maximum of 563 horsepower and 773 pound-feet of torque. The truck is being built to be capable of towing though doing so will likely decrease the truck's 300-mile maximum range considerably.

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