General Motors Co. (GM: Quote) is gearing up to launch a largely aluminum-bodied pickup truck by late 2018, and recently locked-in supply contracts with Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Novelis Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.
The company is facing the heat of federal fuel efficiency standards. Last month, Ford Motor Corp. (F) launched its 2015 F-150, which has a body made almost entirely of aluminum.
GM is looking to use more advanced welding techniques to produce a lighter, stronger and easier to assemble truck than Ford, the report added.
The firm has a patented process that uses multi-ringed electrodes and eliminates lots of rivets from its assembly. It has already been used in the production of the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V, the lift gate of hybrid versions of Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon and in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
GM had considered in 2008 to use a largely aluminum design for its Silverado and Sierra pickups. However, the idea was abandoned over cost concerns amid the industry downturn.
GM closed up 1 percent on Tuesday at $36.31.
by RTT Staff Writer
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