GM follows Ford, steps up effort to use aluminum in high-volume pickups

|By:, SA News Editor

GM is accelerating efforts to field a largely aluminum-bodied next-generation pickup truck by late 2018, recently locking in supply contracts with Alcoa (AA) and Novelis which are now working to increase their aluminum sheet production to supply the GM pickup, WSJ reports.

The push to develop an aluminum intensive large pickup marks an apparent change of direction for GM; before Ford (F) unveiled its 2015 F-150 with a body made almost entirely of aluminum, GM execs had questioned whether such a vehicle could be cost competitive or appealing to U.S. customers.

GM is said to believe it can offset Ford's head start by using more advanced welding techniques to produce a lighter, stronger and easier to assemble truck.