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Auto blogMon, 04 Nov 2013 16:29:00 EST
Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. That's a lesson that is currently being taught to General Motors, because despite a strong showing from its 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, the General's pickup sales still can't best those of cross-town rival Ford.
With 59,163 trucks moved, GM fell just over 1,000 units short of toppling Ford, and one of the main reasons for that, according to GM's chief sales analyst, was due to a lack of variety in the engines and body styles available on dealer lots. "We are still over-weighted toward crew-cab V8 trucks. Our light-duty mix will moderate over time as our launch progresses," said Kurt McNeil.
Loading dealers with the popular combination of the 5.3-liter V8 and the four-door, Crew Cab body style was intentional during the truck's launch, but as supplies of leftover 2013 models, which are being sold at heavy incentives, are beginning to wane, both budget-conscious and high-dollar buyers are looking elsewhere instead of at the volume model pickups.
You wouldn't believe it by looking at the Corvette in these pictures, but the driver of the Chevrolet that slammed into the back of this moving truck survived with only non-life threatening injuries. The crash occurred near Los Angeles on the southbound 405 Freeway on Monday, March 4. Fire crews reportedly had to raise the moving truck in order to extricate the driver, who escaped perhaps the worst possible death imaginable - decapitation - by simply ducking prior to impact.
What's supposed to prevent a crash like this from becoming lethal is a Mansfield Bar, so named because the low-hanging bar affixed to the rear of semi truck trailers became mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the death of popular movie actress Jayne Mansfield in 1967 from a rear-end collision with a tractor trailer.
The Mansfield Bar is designed to prevent under-riding, and in 1998, the rules governing them were revised to lower the bar to 22 inches off the ground. Even at the height, some vehicles, including sports cars like the Corvette, have leading edges that are low enough to clear them. That's particularly true when the car in question is braking hard and its weight is pitched forward, lowering the nose even more).
We record Autoblog Podcast #313 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #313
2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra introduced