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General Motors plans changes to line of pickups

It's not uncommon for manufacturers to make changes and implement redesigns when they think their offerings need a facelift. Some of the changes may be minor and can be done as the automaker moves into a new model year, but others are more intense and require a lot of time to completely implement. The latter will likely be the situation facing General Motors, as the manufacturer is preparing to make significant changes to its line of full-size pickup trucks. 

Lighter GM trucks 
The major difference that future truck models will have is a lighter overall weight. With the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado coming in at 4,387 pounds, it's one of the heaviest options on the market, and that is after the parent company dropped its weight by anywhere from 250 to 400 pounds in the past year. To keep the number coming down, GM will be looking at new materials and building processes that could make the truck lighter. 

"We're going to look at all the levers we can pull - materials, aerodynamics, powertrain - to continue to improve fuel efficiency, both on an interim basis and as we go to the next-generation trucks," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told Reuters. 

Although the official spokesman didn't go into much detail regarding the alterations, an insider said that most of the weight reduction would likely come about as a result of a change in the materials used to create the vehicles. 

"GM can make some changes [in materials] when the Silverado and Sierra get a mid-cycle freshening," one source told the news source. 

While some enthusiasts may be anxiously awaiting these changes, which could have a major impact on how truck modifications are done to GM vehicles, the final edition won't be complete until around 2019. AutoBlog reports that, in the meantime, the manufacturer will work to finish minor alterations and could start reducing the overall weight in the next few years. 

Following Ford
Many insiders speculate that the upcoming change to GM trucks is in response to Ford's alterations. Ford announced that it was cutting the weight of the F-150 almost five years ago, and the changes are expected to come to fruition in the 2014 model year. Each of these automakers is striving to improve fuel economy with the changes, and it could also make truck mods, installing a lift kit or implementing other changes much easier.