GM Planning to use carbon fiber in truck beds

It's only been a few model years since Ford started using lots of aluminum in the bed of their trucks to help reduce weight while increasing performance and fuel economy. Other automakers are planning to follow suit. GM is looking to a more modern material in its efforts to reduce the weight and improve the performance of its full-size trucks.

According to sources who claim to be familiar with the plans, GM intends to use carbon fiber in its truck beds. The material would be used as part of a mixture of materials for the box of the trucks. Along with carbon fiber, GM would use aluminum according to the sources.

The carbon fiber is expected to be GM's first use of a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic. GM has been co-developing this material along with a company called Teijin Limited in Japan since 2011. Carbon fiber is a very good option for vehicles needing high-strength and lightweight the catch being that it is considerably more expensive than aluminum and steel.

The move to a carbon fiber reinforced material in the box of its trucks could help GM to regain some of the ground that Ford took with its lighter heavily aluminum based F150 trucks. To begin the carbon fiber truck beds would only be used in premium versions of the GM trucks.

However, as prices come down on the material it would likely find its way into all versions, even the low-end flavors. GM has made no official comments on the use of carbon fiber at this time. It's also unclear how much the carbon fiber beds might add to the MSRP of the trucks.

SOURCE: Autonews