Market Overview

GM Looking to Make Natural Gas Trucks


According to Fox News, both trucks will be available in rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, with either a standard or long bed. In addition, both trucks are fitted with a 6.00liter V-8 engine, modified to be able to seamlessly switch between natural gas and gasoline.

GM went with the bi-fuel option rather than 100% natural gas so as to relieve the pressure drivers of staying within range of the limited natural gas fueling stations.

"Range anxiety is very real," said Joyce Mattman, director of GM commercial product and specialty vehicles. "We worked with the Chevy Volt team on that, and saw the same issues," referring to customers worried about running out of power. For electricity, simply see natural gas.

The trucks will run on natural gas by default, and will automatically switch to gasoline when the gas runs out, or when the driver manually pushes a button.

The economic and ecological reasons for using natural gas are obvious and, with a full GM warranty on offer, the bi-fuel truck might be a great way to make a slow transition to a new fuel type.

It's further good news for GM, following the automaker posting record profits this year. On March 1, J.P. Morgan released a research report saying that GM US February sales declined -3% y/y, better than Bloomberg consensus of down 8%. GM suggested the strength in the month seems to have been driven by a better macro environment. “The company noted that y/y incentive spending was down -3.5 percentage points to 9.5% as a % of average transaction prices. Pickup truck inventories grew by ~29K units m/m to 211K units at February-end. ~50% of the market having reported February sales now, February US SAAR per our model is tracking at 14.7MM, higher than Bloomberg consensus of 14.2MM.”

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