2019 Chevy Silverado is the Biggest Project GM Has Ever Done

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

The 2019 Chevy Silverado’s significance cannot be overstated, even by the man that’s shepherded its development for the last few years.

“This is the biggest project General Motors has ever done,” said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer for full-size trucks at GM. Evidently, it’s been a more significant undertaking than the small-block V8, Hydra-Matic transmission and Volt extended-range electric car. And the reason for this is fairly simple; there’s more to the story than just Silverado. When all platform variants are included, vehicles like the GMC Sierra, Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe, its magnitude comes into focus. These vehicles form the financial bedrock of this Detroit-based automaker, with hundreds of thousands of examples being sold each year.

Ensuring it’s built for the long haul, Chevy’s new Silverado, is the most exhaustively evaluated vehicle GM has ever built, having endured more than 7 million miles of real-world testing. But even that’s not enough. Herrick explained, “Architecturally, when we’re done with all of it we’ll have enough simulation miles, durability miles, test miles and road miles that we could hit Mars at its closest spot to earth about 31 million miles away.” That’s A LOT of testing.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Review – VIDEO

Ensuring greater long-term robustness, engineers doubled many important validation metrics for this truck, to meet aggressive warranty targets and ultimately keep customers on the road rather than in the repair shop.

And it’s taken quite a while for the engineering team to get where they are today. Herrick said the new Silverado’s been under development for about three-and-a-half or four years though. “We’ve had trucks on the road for quite a bit of time,” he noted. They’ve been running the new chassis underneath the outgoing model’s body for quite some time, all in a bid to get rack up more real-world miles.

Trucks are major profit-generating engines for automakers, particularly the Detroit three, which continue to dominate the segment. With each new generation, the competition grows fiercer, though GM has no intention of yielding to Ram or Ford. “These are the crown jewels of my company,” said Herrick. “I walk down the halls at GM and I get told, ‘Don’t screw it up because it’s my retirement.’ And you know, I don’t take that lightly.”

Discuss this story on our GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado Forum

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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  • Dan Dan on Sep 04, 2018

    Wow. How embarassing this must be for GM. "The biggest project ever done" and the result is an outdated (mostly unchanged) interior, outdated features (no adaptive cruise control), and largely the same ride quality (unchanged suspension). GM's largest project ever produced pretty minor results: an exterior refresh, some new engine tech (no more efficient than the competition), a storage compartment in the rear seatback, an auto up/down tailgate, and a wider box (admittedly this last one impresses).

  • Darthineus Darthineus on Sep 04, 2018

    I was going to say the same thing then saw someones already said it. EMBARRASSING. I bought a Chevy two weeks ago just to get the outgoing model before they ruined it. The old one was missing so many competitor features but is such a better looking and proportioned truck compared to the new one. I also have a Ram. Ram Longhorn for the win. I've been driving a new gen F150 King Ranch for work and I hate the interior design shapes and the overwhelming amount of hard creaking plastics. Come on, Ford!