This Faces of GM story is different from the dozens that have come before. Previously we have introduced you to employees, customers, dealers and fans of GM and its products. Today we’re introducing you to a vehicle.
You may wonder how a vehicle can be a face of GM, but the truth is, behind every vehicle are dozens and hundreds of faces that contribute to the development and production of it.
The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD was crowned as the MotorTrend Truck of the Year and the team that developed this award-winning vehicle recently got to together to celebrate their success. We talked to a handful of the people who helped bring the Silverado HD to you.
Bill Krzisnik is the program manager and he told us about bringing people together from engineering, marketing, finance and manufacturing early in the vehicle development process. He says “We have a strong reputation with our Duramax (diesel) and Allison (transmission) and this truck just continues that. It’s very deserving of the MotorTrend Truck of the Year award.”
Lead Development Engineer Jim Mikulec was excited about developing the new HD pickup because, “we were all given the chance to go with a clean sheet of paper.” He says that “no compromises” attitude allowed them to come up with a truck that gives the customer what he or she wants. “They want this thing to ride as good as any passenger car that we put out so not only does it ride great when it’s riding around empty, but when you had a payload in the pickup box or if you’re pulling a 16,000 pound trailer, it has to ride great.”
Jully Burau is the global vehicle chief engineer for full-size trucks for GM and she has spent the last 10 years of her life working on full-size trucks. She says during development the team focused on the three Ps, “The power, the payload and the performance.” Jully says it wasn’t about winning awards, it was about being the best heavy duty truck. “We certainly know what the competition does and what the customer is looking for. We set our standards very high so we could be a winner.”
Rick Spina the vehicle line executive for full-size trucks says winning Truck of the Year is nice, but they all know it places a target on their backs. “The MotorTrend Truck of the Year award makes me feel damn proud. It is a validation by outside parties that what we’re doing is right. Next it makes me feel challenged to know the other guys are coming after us, so we have to get right back at it and do it again.”
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