Are GM's Big Hybrids Headed to the Chopping Block?
Before the Chevrolet Volt and GM's new eAssist models, the carmaker's hybrid offerings were mainly composed of a small number of dual-mode hybrid SUVs and trucks. Now there's some uncertainty as to whether those hybrids will be around when the next-generation models arrive, according to GM Inside News and PickupTrucks.com.
It's speculated that the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid, GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid, GMC Yukon Hybrid and GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid may get cut when the new models come in the 2013 and 2014 model years, according to GM Inside News, an enthusiast site. The forum says the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid may get renewed, however.
The models constituted GM's early foray into hybrid technology; they debuted just as the Toyota Prius was becoming a media and Hollywood favorite. Co-developed with BMW, Chrysler and Daimler, the dual-mode hybrid system pairs a gasoline V-8 engine and electric motors for an overall mileage improvement compared with the regular pickups and SUVs. Chrysler and BMW have already abandoned the system.
The dual-mode hybrids have sold poorly for GM; modest fuel-economy improvements are paired with a $5,000 or more price increase, according to PickupTrucks.com. GM was still enthused by its new in-house dual-model hybrid system when PickupTrucks.com last spoke with the automaker, but those developments seemed to have stalled.
It's important to note that the hybrid scuttling has not been confirmed by GM. When GM Inside News published the article, GM's Vice President Mark Reuss replied via Twitter to the enthusiast site, saying the story goes to "new heights of irresponsible reporting" and "new lows in headlines from some rumor stated as fact. Unbelievable. Lazy, silly, and sad. Bottom barrel."
We'll have to wait and see what GM has planned for the models. Its new trucks are expected within the next six to 10 months; GM's new full-size SUVs will debut later next year.
GM Cancels Next Generation Hybrid Trucks, SUVs (GM Inside News)
GM to Ax Silverado/Sierra Hybrids for 2014? (PickupTrucks.com)
Totally New Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra Coming Next Year