GM Begins Transition to Single Pickup Platform


The strategy to produce both old (K2) and new (T1) Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks was a clever way of making a smooth transition from one important set of half-ton pickups to a set of all-new and just as important (some might say more) half-ton pickups.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), the production of old and new versions of Chevrolet and GMC half-ton platforms should be complete by the end of 2019. Because GM has two plants producing the trucks, the automaker was able to build a small backlog of pickups for the dealer pipeline and keep the plant in Silao, Mexico, running while swapping over the Fort Wayne, Ind., plant to produce the crew- and double-cab models of the all-new 2019 Silverado/Sierra 1500 platform with the V-8 engines. The Mexico plant is expected to start producing regular- and crew-cab 2019 Chevrolet and GMC half-ton trucks by the first quarter of 2019.

Another piece of strategic genius turned out to be creating what GM called the "Oshawa shuttle," which allowed the automaker to lighten the production load at the Fort Wayne plant by sending double-cab Silverado and Sierra 1500s to its Oshawa, Ontario, plant to be painted and assembled. That resulted in very little production down-time during the transition and allowed Chevy and GMC to be more flexible as orders for the new half tons came in from U.S. dealerships.

The all-new trucks began arriving at dealerships at the end of the third quarter; by this time in 2019, the only pickup being produced by GM will be the T1 platform in all three cab styles — regular, double and crew.

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