Looking at the pickup truck competition in the United States, one cannot blame automakers for taking on different risks in trying to score a bigger share of the market. General Motors is one company to launch an unprecedented move in the industry.
GM revamped its GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup trucks by introducing a 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel engine and it appears the automaker is now reaping the benefits of the gamble.
In a report published by Automotive News, a survey conducted by GMC showed that more than two-thirds of customers who bought Sierra trucks were trying out diesel engines for the first time. Even better is that about 50% of these Sierra buyers are coming from a different brand. Simply put, the diesel engine is effective in attracting customers to switch to GMC.
Another survey showed that many of GM’s customers considered the diesel power an advantage because of how quiet it is, while 96% said they were satisfied with the way the engine sounds. Diesel engines are usually known for their loud, clanking noises, but it does not appear to be an issue with the new Sierra and Silverado drivetrain.
Moreover, the turbodiesel engine delivers a fuel economy of up to 26 miles per gallon on combined highway and city driving.
According to GMC’s Vice President of Marketing, Phil Brook, there is a spike in demand for diesel engines among their customers. He also said GMC is working to “get a bit more awareness out there” regarding the growing demand for diesel-powered trucks in their lineup.
Following the success of diesel engines on full-sized pickup trucks, the light-duty pickup segment is becoming a center of competition as well given that several automakers are now making the necessary adjustments to meet fuel economy regulations in the United States.
Currently, Ram and Ford also offer diesel engines for the 1500 and F-150, while GMC and Chevy rolled out theirs just after they debuted their current generation of pickups.