Our friend Mike Levine at Pickuptrucks.com posted some interesting charts that show light-duty truck sales so far for 2009, broken down into 1/2-ton and heavy duty. No big surprise, the F-250 and F-350 have a commanding lead in the heavy-duty segment. What would GM need to do to better compete?
Based on the comments we've heard, it seems that a lot of heavy duty truck buyers are turned off by GM's IFS 4x4 and their puny-looking factory wheel and tire combination. Not only does the solid axle under the Ram and Super Duty have a great reputation for toughness, it has to win at least some sales because of their looks. We see enough lifted 3/4 and 1-ton trucks to know that a decent portion of these trucks are sold as off-road-capable toys. The Super Duty is probably the office favorite as far as looks go, but at least a couple on staff really like what the GMC has going for it. So, just for fun, we thought we'd do a quick Photoshop to see what a GMC HD would look like if it brought some sublte, mid-cycle upgrades to tackle the Super Duty. We gave it larger wheels and tires and opened up the wheelwells so that they will need less lift to clear large rubber. We also gave it a solid front axle. We figured that Chevy can keep IFS 4x4s in the HD lineup for those that prefer the improved ride while GMC, being the Professional Grade brand, needed something to set it apart. Let us know what you think.