- General Motors is taking a hard look at Ford's playbook for the F-150, as it considers more special models for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado.
- GM is eyeing Ford's co-branding success and niche vehicle strategy, which has produced vehicles like the Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson and Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.
- The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country will go on sale this summer.
DETROIT — General Motors is taking a hard look at Ford's playbook for the F-150, as it considers more special models for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, Edmunds has learned.
GM is eyeing Ford's co-branding success and niche vehicle strategy, which has produced vehicles like the Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson and Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.
"Ford does a lot with co-branding," said Chris Hilts, manager of creative design for GM's full-size pickup truck interiors in an interview. "I can't comment on anything going forward, but I will say our leadership is very aware of not only the (Ford) Harley-Davidson pickup, but also the Raptor. There are a lot of halo vehicles at Ford. They do sell well and they do set a tone for the vehicle. We definitely are looking into that."
The Raptor is a high-performance pickup. The Harley-Davidson F-150 salutes the motorcycle business and is distinguished by special exterior and interior paint and trim. Hilts admits that co-branding is "a delicate walk."
"To find the right product that co-mingles together is a challenge," he said. "You may win some customers, but you may lose some customers."
The concern is that some people may not be able to identify with the second brand and its relationship with the automaker.
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country, the first special model in the truck's portfolio, will go on sale this summer. The new model will be positioned above the LTZ, which had been the top-of-the-line Silverado. GMC Sierra and Silverado crew cab models are in the process of being shipped to dealers. The extended cab and regular models will arrive at dealers in the summer.
In terms of premium pickups, the King Ranch is Ford's most luxurious pickup, as will be the Silverado High Country.
The King Ranch's sticker price starts at $44,800, including a $995 destination charge.
Ram markets the 2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn, which starts at $45,580, including a $995 destination charge. This fall, Toyota will introduce the Tundra 1794 Edition; prices have not been announced.
Hilts said there are no plans to develop a new model that would be positioned above the GMC Denali brand.
Although Hilts would not discuss pricing, the Silverado High Country is expected to carry a sticker price similar to the King Ranch.
He said the Silverado High Country is "for someone who has the money and for someone who wants you to know he has the money."
Edmunds says: An unanswered question is which brands would be a natural fit for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado?