Detroit auto present: 2019 Chevy Silverado goals to reinvent the pickup mattress

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The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.

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The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.(Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo

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Start with the “simulated hoof-load test.” Then nip and tuck the sides so your pickup’s cargo space dwarfs the competition. Add more tie-downs than you’ve got fingers and toes, and you’re on the way to reinventing the pickup bed.

But don’t forget an industry-first power tailgate.

With a list like that, it’s no surprise Chevrolet thinks the features and materials in the bed of the new 2019 Silverado pickup are its secret weapon in the fiercely competitive pickup market.

After years belittling the Ford F-150’s all-aluminum body and bed, Chevy’s raising the ante with new features and reliable ol‘ steel.

“The bed is the tool of the truck. It’s the reason people buy a pickup,” said Mark Voss, GM engineering group manager for pickup boxes.

Detroit Auto Show:

 Mark Voss, Engineering Group Manager, Pickup Boxes, General Motors (Photo: General Motors)

The 2019 Silverado’s bed starts with a foundation of the roll-formed steel Chevrolet has touted in commercials for years, now upgraded for double strength. The bed is about 0.5-inch longer, but cargo space grows nearly 7.0 inches on the sides, thanks to steel bed walls that are scooped out closer to the truck’s outer skin. There’s just a half-inch space between the bed’s inner walls and the pickup’s outer skin. The Silverado will have three bed lengths: short, standard and long.

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Buy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Alan Batey, President of General Motors North America and Chevrolet Brand Chief talks about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado during the reveal at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President Global Product Development at General Motors, talks about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The interior of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado that was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018. It has more interior storage space in the seats in the second row.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo A truck bed light on either side near the tailgate is one of the new features on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado that was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo From left, Alan Batey, President of General Motors North America and Chevrolet Brand Chief and Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President Global Product Development, talk after the reveal of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Mike Simcoe, Vice President of Global Design for General Motors, talks about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado that was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors, talks after the unveiling of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Mike Simcoe, Vice President of Global Design for General Motors, talks about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado that was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo Mike Simcoe, Vice President of Global Design for General Motors, talks about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado that was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free PressBuy Photo A video plays before the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was revealed at Eastern Market in Detroit on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018.  Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press

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The sides of the bed rise 1.5-inch higher, the finishing touch for a truck whose short-bed Chevy says will contain 20% more than at least one competitor. The ability to carry 4×8-foot sheets of plywood goes without question.

The inner wheelhouses are made of a stronger grade of steel than the bed walls for increased impact resistance. Chevy dealer will sell 7.0-cubic-foot lockable bins that fit atop the wheelhouses.

The tailgate is aluminum. The 2019 Silverado is the first pickup to offer a power opening and closing tailgate, controlled by the key fob or an exterior button.

The power tailgate passed the same durability tests as the rest of the bed, including the hoof-load simulation, which uses a mechanical cylinder to duplicate the load of having a cow walk across the tailgate and stand in the bed.

“All pickup customers use the bed, but they don’t all use it the same way,” Voss said. “Whether it’s hauling sand or carrying dirt bikes, we wanted the longest-lasting, most durable bed.”

Other features in the bed include:

  • A 110-volt power outlet.
  • Lights in the rear corners to illuminate the cargo space.
  • Twelve fixed tie-down points, up from four on the ’18 Silverado.
  • Nine removable tie-downs.

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With 100 years of production and the auto industry’s oldest continually used nameplate, the archetypal hero vehicle for General Motors’ biggest brand is a Chevrolet truck, and it’s celebrating a century on the market. Wochit

Mark Phelan: mmphelan or. Follow him on Twitter .

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