Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

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Thread: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

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    Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    https://www.thedrive.com/news/26609/...er-tim-herrick

    Under the direction of Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer for General Motors' full-size pickup trucks, a new generation of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have arrived on the market sporting world-first features. The Sierra's MultiPro six-position tailgate is the most versatile on the market and can open to a carbon fiber-reinforced CarbonPro bed, the first ever fitted to a mass-produced pickup.

    The Drive was given a chance to chat with Herrick about the importance of the Sierra's signature, market-first features, along with the direction in which GM could take the engineering of its future pickup trucks. Topics include the value of carbon fiber and light-weighting in full-size pickups, improvement on the MultiPro tailgate, and possible future full-size truck variants, from low-volume aspirational models to electrification.

    The Drive: The fourth-generation Sierra and Silverado platforms are still new, but have you identified ways in which the vehicles can be improved?

    Tim Herrick: "The new next-generation trucks had well over 7,000,000 test miles before we delivered our first truck to customers—making it the most-tested truck we've ever built at GM. As such, we're confident we’ve made a great truck for our customers, which is just hitting full production capacity now. That said, we are always looking for ways to improve performance or add new features. That's our job as engineers."

    TD: With Ford announcing the F-150 will be getting an electric variant, do you see any value in an electric Sierra/Silverado? If so, what engineering challenges would you face that are unique to an electric pickup?

    TH: "As a rule, we do not cannot comment on future product for competitive reasons. I can say GM believes in an all-electric future and is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs."

    TD: GM kicked off this tailgate war we're seeing now, but has FCA's new tailgate for its Ram given you any ideas for how to improve the MultiPro tailgate?

    TH: "I think consumers are just beginning to understand the usefulness of the MultiPro tailgate—which really is the first of its kind. The split 'barn-door' style tailgate [as used on the new Ram 1500] has been tried in the past, and did not get a great deal of consumer acceptance in part because it was not a significant leap in functionality over a traditional tailgate."

    TD: The Sierra's carbon composite bed poses several questions about the use of lightweight materials in mass-market trucks. For starters, why a carbon bed and not other components such as the roof or hood?

    TH: "Our mixed material strategy—delivering the right material for the right purpose—continues to serve both us and our customers extremely well. The carbon composite that is used in the new CarbonPro box is tougher and more durable, so it is an ideal choice to meet the expectations of the Sierra customer. For the CarbonPro box, this results in a significant decrease in mass, more cargo volume, and improved durability. The dent, scratch, and corrosion resistance of CarbonPro makes perfect sense for active, adventure, and hard-working pickup truck owners."

    TD: What are some unique challenges associated with cutting weight in full-size trucks via the use of composite materials?

    TH: "There were two challenges. First, we had to ensure that customer expectations for durability are met or exceeded. The CarbonPro box has gone through rigorous testing, like hot and cold weather tests, abusive loading, etc. to ensure that it can be used as a tool during the day and loaded with bricks or rocks, but after being washed, its ready for a night out on the town. Second, we had to develop a new manufacturing process to bring this innovative approach and material to our customers."

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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Why is this discussing trucks released in late 2018 as if it is the most advanced pickup on the market currently, lets not even bother to realize only the exterior was new, the interior almost entirely pulled from the 2014-2018 k series model lines. No one cares about the tailgate, why they continue to discuss it as the best thing since sliced bread is kind of laughable, not to mention i think is only available on top of the top trims. Also who ever designed it obviously has never towed a thing in their life seeing as if you dare to keep a trailer ball on your hitch dropping the gate will result in it slamming the top of the ball denting your 2,500 dollar tailgate.

    Looking at the 2021 adds and deletions they are essentially making it so if you want upper end options you will be forced into a crew cab model only, no more AT-4 or Denali in double cab variants, like they did with regular cab packaged models they are now neutering the double cab options. GM seems to want to drive their truck owners elsewhere to me, no other brands roadblock you like gm does with options! And you would think with 7,000,000 miles of testing on these trucks they could of actual put some effort into correcting transferred problems for the 2014-2018 models with over a half decade of data to go by. Still have valves dropping in brand new engines or oil lines that went from leaking to now completely blowing out and trashing the engine, really some have it happen within the first 1,000 miles of owning. Wont even go into the back window leak issues and how gm's fix was to essentially pump sealant goop around the back window that is in many 2019 and of course not fixed in the 2020 models.

    Sorry Tim Herrick imo has done a very poor job running gm trucks division. I mean a blind and deaf person could more then likely turn a profit with the gm trucks line, i see continued problems that don't get fixed and more and more options being taken away or hidden in high cost packages. Serious question does Tim here drive a truck, use a truck?
    Last edited by Bigdog; 07-23-2020 at 02:03 PM.

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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by InCogKneeToe View Post
    https://www.thedrive.com/news/26609/...er-tim-herrick

    Under the direction of Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer for General Motors' full-size pickup trucks, a new generation of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have arrived on the market sporting world-first features. The Sierra's MultiPro six-position tailgate is the most versatile on the market and can open to a carbon fiber-reinforced CarbonPro bed, the first ever fitted to a mass-produced pickup.

    The Drive was given a chance to chat with Herrick about the importance of the Sierra's signature, market-first features, along with the direction in which GM could take the engineering of its future pickup trucks. Topics include the value of carbon fiber and light-weighting in full-size pickups, improvement on the MultiPro tailgate, and possible future full-size truck variants, from low-volume aspirational models to electrification.

    The Drive: The fourth-generation Sierra and Silverado platforms are still new, but have you identified ways in which the vehicles can be improved?

    Tim Herrick: "The new next-generation trucks had well over 7,000,000 test miles before we delivered our first truck to customers—making it the most-tested truck we've ever built at GM. As such, we're confident we’ve made a great truck for our customers, which is just hitting full production capacity now. That said, we are always looking for ways to improve performance or add new features. That's our job as engineers."

    TD: With Ford announcing the F-150 will be getting an electric variant, do you see any value in an electric Sierra/Silverado? If so, what engineering challenges would you face that are unique to an electric pickup?

    TH: "As a rule, we do not cannot comment on future product for competitive reasons. I can say GM believes in an all-electric future and is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs."

    TD: GM kicked off this tailgate war we're seeing now, but has FCA's new tailgate for its Ram given you any ideas for how to improve the MultiPro tailgate?

    TH: "I think consumers are just beginning to understand the usefulness of the MultiPro tailgate—which really is the first of its kind. The split 'barn-door' style tailgate [as used on the new Ram 1500] has been tried in the past, and did not get a great deal of consumer acceptance in part because it was not a significant leap in functionality over a traditional tailgate."

    TD: The Sierra's carbon composite bed poses several questions about the use of lightweight materials in mass-market trucks. For starters, why a carbon bed and not other components such as the roof or hood?

    TH: "Our mixed material strategy—delivering the right material for the right purpose—continues to serve both us and our customers extremely well. The carbon composite that is used in the new CarbonPro box is tougher and more durable, so it is an ideal choice to meet the expectations of the Sierra customer. For the CarbonPro box, this results in a significant decrease in mass, more cargo volume, and improved durability. The dent, scratch, and corrosion resistance of CarbonPro makes perfect sense for active, adventure, and hard-working pickup truck owners."

    TD: What are some unique challenges associated with cutting weight in full-size trucks via the use of composite materials?

    TH: "There were two challenges. First, we had to ensure that customer expectations for durability are met or exceeded. The CarbonPro box has gone through rigorous testing, like hot and cold weather tests, abusive loading, etc. to ensure that it can be used as a tool during the day and loaded with bricks or rocks, but after being washed, its ready for a night out on the town. Second, we had to develop a new manufacturing process to bring this innovative approach and material to our customers."
    He only really answered one question out of the above (I'll even let him slide on future product) where he had the opportunity to trash the Ram's liftgate...other than that he beat around the bush or dodged EVERY SINGLE QUESTION. When asked on what they can improve (obviously interior) he replied "we're looking for areas to improve" and then there is this gem of an exchange:

    TD: The Sierra's carbon composite bed poses several questions about the use of lightweight materials in mass-market trucks. For starters, why a carbon bed and not other components such as the roof or hood?

    TH: "Our mixed material strategy—delivering the right material for the right purpose—continues to serve both us and our customers extremely well. The carbon composite that is used in the new CarbonPro box is tougher and more durable, so it is an ideal choice to meet the expectations of the Sierra customer. For the CarbonPro box, this results in a significant decrease in mass, more cargo volume, and improved durability. The dent, scratch, and corrosion resistance of CarbonPro makes perfect sense for active, adventure, and hard-working pickup truck owners."
    didn't answer at all as to why they didn't use the carbon material or any other lightweight material in the construction of other parts.
    Last edited by sdotjeezy; 07-23-2020 at 03:21 PM.
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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Note that the article is from 2019....

    Anyone have an idea what the take rate is for the carbon fiber bed? Just curious. I assume it's low as it's an expensive option only available on high end trucks, if I remember correctly.

    I'm also interested in what has happened vs. Ram. Last year Ram was beating GM up in truck sales and GMI members said it wasn't product mix related, yet GM appears to have regained 2nd place I think before Covid hit (if I remember right), so what happened?

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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Actually people claimed that the 1/2 ton Silverado was outsold by the 1500 Ram and it likely wasn't. GM typically sells a greater percentage of 1500 trucks than Ram or Ford does. With a new HD pickup coming that balance was greater for GM 1500 trucks and their showing LD, MD and HD sales numbers showed that GM was selling close to 80% 1500s. Ram doesn't list their truck sales separately, so it's not certain one way or the other if those horrible 1500 Chevys were actually outsold by the Ram. Now that GM has a new HD pickup out and gaining sales over last years truck their totals are back above Ram's totals. Could be that the interior is nowhere near as bad as the complainers say it is.

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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by supermoto View Post
    Actually people claimed that the 1/2 ton Silverado was outsold by the 1500 Ram and it likely wasn't. GM typically sells a greater percentage of 1500 trucks than Ram or Ford does. With a new HD pickup coming that balance was greater for GM 1500 trucks and their showing LD, MD and HD sales numbers showed that GM was selling close to 80% 1500s. Ram doesn't list their truck sales separately, so it's not certain one way or the other if those horrible 1500 Chevys were actually outsold by the Ram. Now that GM has a new HD pickup out and gaining sales over last years truck their totals are back above Ram's totals. Could be that the interior is nowhere near as bad as the complainers say it is.
    I called into question the Ram numbers anyway, they are selling the old model alongside the new model and not breaking them out when reporting volume. I was told it's the same vehicle line, so it doesn't matter. Yet we can't add together Sierra and Silverado sales....

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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by supermoto View Post
    Actually people claimed that the 1/2 ton Silverado was outsold by the 1500 Ram and it likely wasn't. GM typically sells a greater percentage of 1500 trucks than Ram or Ford does. With a new HD pickup coming that balance was greater for GM 1500 trucks and their showing LD, MD and HD sales numbers showed that GM was selling close to 80% 1500s. Ram doesn't list their truck sales separately, so it's not certain one way or the other if those horrible 1500 Chevys were actually outsold by the Ram. Now that GM has a new HD pickup out and gaining sales over last years truck their totals are back above Ram's totals. Could be that the interior is nowhere near as bad as the complainers say it is.
    This and actually allowing the customers to pick and choose what options (kind of anyway) they want on which trim. Artificially limiting the 6.2 was a dumb move and there is no doubt it's moving more trucks this year. Easily the best engine in the class.
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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    weve been banging on gm offering the 6.2L in only upmarket trims for almost 10 years. they could care less. btw, you cant get the 6.2L in the tahoe rst anymore either.

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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    This and actually allowing the customers to pick and choose what options (kind of anyway) they want on which trim. Artificially limiting the 6.2 was a dumb move and there is no doubt it's moving more trucks this year. Easily the best engine in the class.
    would like to know the take rate on the LT and lower trailboss with the 6.2L
    as it is a bit of a first for GM to offer a "high end" option on LOW end trucks

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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond2000 View Post
    would like to know the take rate on the LT and lower trailboss with the 6.2L
    as it is a bit of a first for GM to offer a "high end" option on LOW end trucks
    There are two LT Trailbosses in my new neighborhood and both have the 6.2. They sound amazing.
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    Re: Q&A: Talking Trucks With GM's Head Full-Size Pickup Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    There are two LT Trailbosses in my new neighborhood and both have the 6.2. They sound amazing.
    I own a trailboss all black and couldn't be happier with the truck.

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