2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

High Country is for pickup buyers who want to make a statement other than, “I’m going to work.”

General Motors revealed today an upscale crew-cab package of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country that includes 20-inch chrome wheels, a saddle-brown leather interior and Bose audio system.

The new model is aimed at competitors such as the Ford F-series King Ranch, Ram Laramie Longhorn and Toyota Tundra 1794.

“We see that portion of the market growing, and we want to be there,” Chevrolet trucks marketing manager Maria Rohrer said.

A special High Country badge featuring a mountainous background is emblazoned on both front doors and the front-seat headrests.

“What we wanted to do was get a little bit of a Western theme to it, if you will,” said Lloyd Biermann, Chevy marketing manager.
Full-size pickups generate $8,000-$10,000 in profit for automakers, and the Silverado High Country could exceed that.

GM marketers declined to reveal exact pricing for the vehicle, which goes on sale in the fourth quarter. They said it would cost more than $40,000, but less than the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali, which starts at $47,425. By comparison, the Ford F-Series King Ranch starts at $43,805.

Trucks in this segment can easily top $60,000 when packed with all possible options.

The standard 2014 Silverado crew cab, which will reach some dealerships later this month, starts at $32,710.

Biermann said GM’s research indicates that 30% of pickups sell for more than $40,000. “Obviously, you can make money up there,” he said.

Rohrer said she expects the Silverado High Country to make up 3% to 5% of total Silverado sales. GM sold 418,312 Silverado units in 2012.

She said GM would continue to sell the Silverado LT, which accounts for up to 70% of Silverado sales, as well as the LTZ version and the Z71.

The standard Silverado High Country will come with GM’s redesigned small-block 5.2-liter, 8-cylinder engine with 355 horsepower that averages 23 miles per gallon with two-wheel-drive. Four-wheel-drive is available and likely to be more popular.

GM launched production on the redesigned version of the standard Silverado and GMC Sierra in Silao, Mexico, last week. It will also be produced at GM’s Fort Wayne, Ind., assembly plant. Heavy-duty versions will be made in Flint.

The High Country is expected to sell well in Texas, where pickups are plentiful and often regarded as status symbols. Biermann said the target customers are people who “want to be able to reward themselves just a bit because they’ve made it.”

Although pickup owners are fiercely loyal to their chosen brands, GM said it believes the premium segment is different. Customers seeking an expensive pickup “may be a little less brand loyal,” Biermann said, and “a little more open to switching.”

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