General Motors Corp. announces plans to offer plastic composite pickup boxes as an option on its Chevrolet Silverado beginning in fall 2000. The disclosure is a major materials innovation for the auto industry, which has been dabbling with the concept for years in an effort to reduce weight and improve gas mileage of its gas-guzzling full-size pickups. By making the rear gate, side walls and bed from a plastic composite rather than steel, GM will decrease vehicle weight by some 50 lbs. (23 ...

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