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GMC Limits the Sierra's New CarbonPro Bed to a Pricey Option Package

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 5/20/2019 Annie White
a car parked on the side of a dirt road: The carbon-composite bed in the 2019 GMC Sierra will be available on a limited basis this model year but much more widely in the 2020 model.© GMC The carbon-composite bed in the 2019 GMC Sierra will be available on a limited basis this model year but much more widely in the 2020 model.
  • GMC's newly introduced CarbonPro carbon-composite truck bed will be part of a $10,425 package in GMC Sierra Denali models and an $11,840 package in the AT4 trim.
  • GM will build 500 trucks with CarbonPro beds for the 2019 model year after previously estimating a run closer to 1000 units.
  • The company expects a quarter of 2020 Sierras to have CarbonPro beds.

General Motors has released pricing for its new carbon-composite truck bed, called CarbonPro in GMC parlance, and at the same time roughly halved estimates for its 2019 model year production.

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The bed will be available as part of a limited-run package for 2019 GMC Sierra Denali and AT4 models starting later this year, with wider availability in 2020 models. A Sierra AT4 equipped with the new bed will cost $66,635, while the total cost of the new bed in a Denali model will be $70,020. In both cases, the bed is only available as part of a package that includes other popular equipment such as forward automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, a 15-inch head-up display, and a Bluetooth speaker integrated into the truck's tailgate. Both AT4 and Denali trims come standard with GMC’s folding MultiPro tailgate, too.

a car parked on the side of a dirt field: 2019 GMC Sierra Denali CarbonPro Edition© Mueller/GMC 2019 GMC Sierra Denali CarbonPro Edition

The new beds will be available this summer, but GM will only produce 500 for the 2019 model year. During an April tour of the Huntington, Indiana, plant where supplier Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) manufactures the CarbonPro beds, GM spokespeople gave a running estimate closer to 1000.

GM now says the earlier number was only an estimate, but during the tour chief engineer Tim Herrick discussed the challenges in ramping up production of the new bed, which will bolt onto the same steel outer panels that ring the Sierra’s standard steel bed. "We've got a number of them on the road; we're building more of them," Herrick said. "We’re actually struggling more with the steel outer panel on this than we are with the box right now. Put 32 holes in it to attach it, you'd think it'd be simple, but it’s not."

Karen Williams, the plant manager at the CSP facility that builds the beds, said the production is limited not by how many finished beds CSP could provide, but how many GM's Fort Wayne truck plant could handle. "They have to be able to build it. It is a different process" than building the steel-bed trucks, she explained. Williams said CSP had already made "several" shipments of CarbonPro beds to the Fort Wayne plant at the time of our tour in late April.

GM says the price of the package that includes the composite beds will go down by several thousand dollars in both the Denali and AT4 trims when the 2020 model hits showrooms this fall and that the company expects about a quarter of 2020 Sierras to have CarbonPro beds.

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