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GM gives its pickups makeovers

Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, unveiled the 2014 GMC Sierra full-size pickup.

Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, unveiled the 2014 GMC Sierra full-size pickup.

DETROIT — General Motors is giving its big pickups a much-needed makeover. It unveiled new versions of the top-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra on Thursday and aims to get them to showrooms by early summer.

Truck sales are rising after a five-year slump. And the new pickups replace models last revamped in 2007. That means GM dealers are offering pickups that are dated compared with newer Fords and Rams, hurting sales.

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GM says the 2014 trucks have quieter cabs and updated steering, suspension, and brakes.

Gas mileage and pricing were not released.

A 2013 base model Silverado costs about $24,600.

The new pickups are 200 pounds lighter than Ford and Chrysler rivals, which will boost gas mileage, although GM won’t say by how much.

GM, which has been building Chevy trucks for 95 years, says the new models should hit the market at a good time.

Pickups are starting to sell again. The housing industry, which has a direct relationship to pickup sales, is strengthening and should be in even better shape when the weather improves this spring.

Finally, the average age of a pickup in the United States is 10.4 years, GM says. More people will need to replace their aging vehicles.

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