from Detroit News by Melissa Burden
General Motors Co. is introducing an all-new, top-of-the-line Chevrolet Silverado model as part of its rollout of new 2014 pickups, hoping to capture a bigger portion of the premium truck market, the automaker said Sunday.
The 2014 Silverado High Country will come in crew cab only and be available this fall. The truck, which has more amenities than the Silverado LTZ, features a chrome grille with cross bars, 20-inch chrome wheels, halogen projector headlights, body color front and rear bumpers and a mountain range High Country badge. That badge is prominently featured on the front doors, tailgate, door sill plates and is embroidered into the headrests.
Saddle brown is the only interior color available in the High Country. The truck features heated and cooled leather seats, Bose audio and Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system.
“It’s got to play well in Texas, so a touch of Western flavor from a design standpoint can be seen in the interior in particular,” said Maria Rohrer, Chevy marketing director for full-size trucks and crossover.
GM said 30 percent of pickup buyers — up from 25 percent a few years ago — spend more than $40,000 when purchasing a truck. And GM is hoping to win new customers, as buyers in that part of the truck segment are a little less brand loyal. The Detroit automaker will compete with Ford Motor Co.’s F-150 King Ranch, the 2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 and the Ram Laramie Longhorn.
Lloyd Biermann, Chevrolet Silverado marketing manager, said GM may be losing some customers to competitors such as Ford’s King Ranch.
“I think that’s why we’re putting a model in this segment,” he said. “We see that segment, that portion of the market growing and we want to be there.”
Chevy expects High Country volume to start will represent 3 percent to 5 percent of Silverado sales, Rohrer said.
High Country is targeting customers who want something nicer, but not too flashy. Biermann said High Country customers will differ from GMC Sierra pickup or Sierra Denali buyers.
Pricing, which is not available, will be higher than the Silverado LTZ, but lower than a GMC Sierra Denali, GM said.
Rohrer said it’s possible the High Country badge could be included on other Chevy models in the future.
“We’re going to see how it goes,” she said.
High Country comes standard with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine, though the 6.2-liter V-8 is available. Options include features such as a corner step, sunroof, navigation and rear-seat entertainment package.
Pickups are selling well this year and GM’s large pickup sales have jumped 21 percent through April compared to the same months in 2012. The company’s new 2014 Silverado and Sierra pickups begin to hit showrooms in the next few weeks.
Ford says about 30 percent of F-150 sales are luxury models such as the King Ranch, which it’s sold for more than a decade.