GM Designer Stays True to Silverado Buyers

Tom Peters 1 II

With the recent introduction of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and new-truck sales figures on the upswing, you'd think General Motors has several solid reasons to be optimistic. But cautious optimism may be a better position given the choice GM made long ago about whom to put in charge of the interior and exterior design of new trucks.

There's no question Tom Peters, lead designer for Chevy's performance-car and full-size truck design studios, understands what it's like to tackle an important project. In fact, at the same time his crew was putting the finishing touches on the new Silverado, he had another team finishing up the highly controversial 2014 Corvette Stingray. Some have said the new Stingray has no right being "too wild" and "too European" as Chevy's premiere high-performance sports car.

According to Automotive News, Peters was cognizant of the fact that Chevy truck buyers — who are very different from Corvette buyers — weren't looking for flashy, wild or crazy new designs. They were more concerned with function and getting a higher level of overall refinement out of their next truck, according to Peters.

That all makes sense to us, but we're not sure why that wouldn't apply to any manufacturer that makes pickup trucks. Those focused Stingray comments certainly shouldn't have restricted Peters from pushing a few boundaries and trying some more interesting design with a little more personality in terms of the 2014 Silverado.

During his design walk-around at a recent press introduction of the new Silverado, Peters said the guiding image for the new face of the Chevy half-ton was a "fist in the wind." Interestingly, as we recall, this is exactly what current-generation Tundra designers described when it was introduced six years ago. To date, the harshest critics of the 2014 Silverado have described the subtle grille changes as being more like a soft slap in the face.

Peters shared his thoughts about the new front-end design, which designers discussed, debated and reshaped to improve and more cleanly refine the overall front look of the Silverado.

Silverado frontend II

Surprisingly, the grille was not his favorite part, although he clearly appreciates the wider and sturdier look. His favorite focal point was how the front fenders and fender wells interact with the stacked headlights (we were looking at the High Country trim package at the time), and the wraparound bumper at each front corner. The bulging fender lines in particular are interesting, he noted, because the sheet metal actually folds into the body — although from a distance it looks like the whole fender bulges out from the body.

During his 30-year career at GM, Peters also has been involved with the Corvette Indy concept in the late 1980s, the Pontiac Aztek in the early 2000s, the Cadillac Sixteen concept in 2003 and the Chevy Camaro in 2009.

Whether the 2014 Silverado design becomes one of his huge or mild successes, Peters seems quite comfortable allowing others to decide its success for themselves. For now, it's probably not such a bad thing that the Silverado had a designer who wanted to stay as true as possible to its loyal customers; however, if we had to guess, he allowed his team to "play" a little more with the 2014 GMC Sierra. We'll know more about those details later this month when get our first chance to drive it.

Tom Peters 2 II


@Lou - ok my second guess was canada or there about. Yeah here in the US our Gov' takes a national park conservation land it claims then blocks most of the roads & interesting areas like you describe. I'm originally from south florida only growing up 5 miles from the everglades where my family pioneered land back in the late 1890's and by the end of the 1960's that was the last time a person could have really seen most of everglades national park. I thought america was suppose to have more freedom than canada (lol).

___Land of the few, home of the slave___

Yeah, here in the states we're merely land renters paying property tax after we purchase property (lol). So, essentially nobody actually owns their land anyway go figure. Only big taxpayer subsidized fortune 500 corporations worked by enslaved americans own any sizable profitable land, with a bright future ahead thanks to the IRS style self appointed bureaucrats. Where's free-market capitalism when our system is based on Mussolini's version of capitalism?? If we had an actual free-market system today more auto companies would exist today, theoretically speaking. I mean the big 3 aren't that great, automobiles are a century's old technology (lol).

Did somebody say GMs always had reliable drivetrains?

That person must not have neede valve bodies changes, or injectors canged, or the ignition lock cylinder replaced, yada yada yada.

Just keep trying to make yourselfthink they were reliable!

Here you go, Papa Jim: More good ol reliable Chivys.

And in all fairness, Papa Jim, her is the worst of the Rams.

The thing is, how many red x's are you seeing for Chevy? A whole bunch. Dodges had some sensor issues and bad intake gaskits, but they weren't a bunch of red x's, they are yellow marks, much cheaper to repair.

Sure if you look at the early 2000s Dodges had some red x's, but it wasn't like Chevy; red x's for the same problem, REPEATEDLY.

Your memory must be bad?

Hell fire Tom. Don't you ever give up?? Don't you have a job or a life?? You do not have much room to talk given all of the trash that Chrysler has produced over all the years. Go ahead and keep posting your links to justify your claims and waste bandwidth.

^Sounds like you were on here all weekend long, while I was out there living life. The whole 4 day weekend.
Sucks to be you.

Sorry you get so bent out of shape when I point out Chivys weren't so perfect. Maybe you will get over it.

As far as producing trash, Chivy has produced alot of it. But you probably like their "pretty little bow ties"

Sounds like the troll is you, becaue you hate it when people talk the truth about trucks.

But if you want to call me a troll, I do have a healthy trolling motor on my boat. So whatever.

@johnny doe: Yee haw! 12,000 pounds from a 6.2! They can put whatever number they want on it, it's not a realistic rating, but guys like you eat it up! Just to play with Fords pencil whipped ratings!

^Sounds like you were on here all weekend long, while I was out there living life. The whole 4 day weekend.
Sucks to be you.
Sounds like the troll is you, becaue you hate it when people talk the truth about trucks.

But if you want to call me a troll, I do have a healthy trolling motor on my boat. So whatever.

Posted by: TRX-4 Tom | May 28, 2013 10:18:11 AM

'fraid not Tommy. I spent little to no time on here this past weekend for your information. Too much stuff to do around my property, plus a Memorial Day gathering to attend.

I suppose that you have to get excited when RAM does some good things now and then. They had nowhere to go but up. I guess spending so many years in the toilet does that to rabid fans like you.

Forget about the trolling motor on your boat. That is irrelevant. You must have meant your keyboard. That is your instrument for trolling. Keep on trollin' Tom!

^ Ah, go FYS!

@TRX Tom - chill dude and Canada doesn't celebrate Memorial Day.
GMC's have been more reliable overall than Chrysler.
You had a bad experience with a Chevy. I get that. Not everyone is POS just like Ram or Ford.

@Lou: it seems the minute I bust out any real proof or something in writing, the crybabies get to crying. Like "Whaaaa, TRX-4 Tom talking bad about Chevy!" Yet the same place I see all the bad reliability against GM, damned if the Dodges haven't been better, instead of your word, my word, he said, she said, blah blah blah.

How do you back it, Lou? What YOUR FAMILY HAS HAD? You yourself said most people in your area didn't have many/any old Dodges.

LOL everybody, Lou "SAYS" GMCs hae been more reliable!

"GMC's have been more reliable overall than Chrysler." Got that in writing? He said, she said, again.

Hope their trucks are better then those sorry Cobalts. I towed one home for my girlfriends sister and her husband. 125,000 miles on an 05 or 06, the local mechanic and the local Chevy dealer are stumped on it. (for 2 weeks plus) But my Dodge saved them some tow money.

I never said Dodges were perfect. Sure, they were the last to go to an overdrive trans. Too bad Chevy was after Dodge to use multipoint injection in trucks, as the 1992 K2500 I parted out had TBI. What was it 1994 before Chevy had multipoint, then they had a bunch of bad injectors. Read the link, Lou, it holds more water then "what Lou says" or "what Papa Jim thinks" because he might have seen a few Dodges break. BFD! I seen a FEW CHEVYS BREAK!

Of course Lou, you have your opinion on Dodge Minivans, I have mine. My dad went through 4 of them since 1984 or so until the last, which was an 03 or 04 model. He would drive one for about 6 or 7 years. At about 75,000 miles, the trans went out on the last one. One out of 4 had an issue. Then when my dad passed away, my stepma bought a Prius because she had no need for a van. Yet you broke everything. Whatever Lou-maybe in your own words "You had a bad experience with a Chevy. I get that." Should say "You had a bad experience with a Dodge"

I didn't see the Toyota van on the top of the list of customer satifaction, I seen the Town and Country.

So I guess that was you Lou, being "TRX-4 Tom is a troll?" Nobody said anyhing about Canadians. Hows the hockey season, anyway? Go Blackhawks!

Still too tall. I don't much care for any Chevy trucks after about 1980, though I own a mostly reliable '03 Silverado that came my way very cheap.

The grille on the black truck is a nightmare. These front ends are cartoons of American machodom, not the quiet and able restraint of older-truck styling. Red truck's front end is much nicer.

When my '03 craps out from farm work, I'm going to either buy a restrained looking smaller truck with a disel, if one is on the market then, or opt for an old F-150 with 4WD as the next farmyard beater. At least the pre-'97 F series looked like it did work instead of posturing like an urban cowboy.

@TRX Tom - your defensiveness is why the "anonymous" posters are targeting you. I was having a discussion with Bob and he asked me which truck I would chose.
Since there is no reliability data on the 2014 Chevys and there is no data on the 2013 Ram 8 speed, I'd chose the Chevy.
They DO have a better track record according to JD Power and Consumer Reports. Even Vincentric picked the Chevy as the cheapest to run.
I was expressing my personal opinion in the context of that discussion. Bob is a Chevy guy. If you noticed, I also was having a discussion with Joe who is a Ram guy.
I've said this before, when it comes to any "new" truck with "new" engines, features etc., I'd rather wait and see.
I don't buy fresh off the line. That is why I have a 2010 and not a 2011.
In 3 years time we will see for sure as to which is more reliable. We will see fairly soon as to which performs better.

The results of the PUTC LD shootout will be subjected to the usual amount of "crying and gnashing of teeth", coupled with the usual excuses, and bragging ;)

life goes on...........regardless of which pickup we park in our driveway.

@Joe - it is frustrating. I often find myself agreeing with Janis Joplin's "Me & Bobby McGee" line, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose".


FYI, Tom I am not Lou. You can bet your bank account on that!

@Lou yeah I here you. I can understand your reluctance against RAM's track record there is truth in what you have stated. So, I've decided to see what my RAM is made of. I've been running her only on synthetic oil & 87 octane not the best gas for Hemi's but, I've had no problems yet. DEALERS NEVER PUTS SYNTHETIC OIL IN MY TRUCK. WHY? It runs just mine on synthetic 5w20. one thing RAM's run 7 or 8 degrees cooler than chevy's. Chevys tend to stay at 210 degrees while my RAM seems to fluctuate between 203 & 204 degrees. Also, manual says tune-up 30,000 miles. I currently have 26,100 miles on my 2012. I heard some people can let it go till 70,000 miles on various RAM forums. We'll see I love my truck no issues.

I still have a suspicion most of the technical problems stem from poor maintenance of your pickup truck. Granted I don't worry about detailing my truck out like some of the city slickers do. I am more concerned mechanically how my pickup is running and handling on the highway. I probably wouldn't go back to GM trucks even though their power-trains are decent. I like the ford pickup but, want to be patiently waiting for the 2015's and then new RAM's to see if I will trade mine in or not. I want my next truck hopefully to be something more advanced than the stereotype v8 maybe umm a light weight diesel..After I heard ford's got something equally as interesting comparing eco-diesel from RAM.

"TRX-4 TOM IS A TROLL" is Tyler. Little crybaby.

@Lou: the whole thing that started it, on this post was Papa Jim and his opinion, which is just that. Then when somebody replies to it, the Chevy camp is all over it. Lou, you said it yourself, you like to provide links, so I provided some, and look, the GM drivelines are not the great thing Papa Jim and you seem to think. Maybe you both have lost some memory?

But keep thinking GMs don't have issues with valve bodies, injectors, fuel pumps, ignition lock cylinders, they will nickel and dime you.

Speaking of the GM driveline, my 2006 4 speed made a clunk going into to second gear, light pedal pressure, no load. I guess the GM crowd just learns to accept it, just like the people that drive the 6 speeds and they slam into 1st gear.

I need one of those shirts that says "GM quality control" And the GM is sideways, not square, dicolored. It would represent my 2006 Chevy well.

As far as the shootout comming up, I think alot of people will learn that this stupid one up-manship between GM and Ford is dumb, and whoever thinks a GM 5.3 is a better pulling truck then a Hemi 8 speed, a Tundra 5.7, or an Ecoboost, based solely on inflated tow ratings, deserves whatever their 5.3 turns into after miles of that kind of use.

It won't be my problem.

There goes Tom again. He must get his rocks off trolling GM and Ford threads. Heaven forbid that someone should say anything about his precious RAM or Chrysler.

@Joe: My dealership will do synthetic. But because of the cost, the last time (when I was gone) they changed it, I had my X provide them with 7 quarts of synthetic, and then they put the non synthetic in the old bottles, to be used in my X wifes Jeep. But I hate having others change the oil.

You are pushing it if you try to go 70,000 before changing plugs, if the coils should go bad or something else because the twice the distance plus, hope you man up and say "it's my fault" But most don't. I totally think they need better plugs though. 100,000 is alot of miles on any set of plugs, but that's what some other trucks do. Wonder how much the mileage drops off?

Do the Fords, GMs and Toyotas even tell you EXACT temp of coolant, oil, trans fluid?

Mine runs 194 water temp, and I seen 204 pulling my boat. But then my Camry had a 215 Thermostat, so whichever.

@Joe, TRX-Tom - I'm not bashing Ram. When it comes to a new product that hasn't seen much real world exposure and data isn't available, all I have to go on is personal past experience and gut feelings. Bob asked me which one I prefered. I said that I prefered the GMC and I cited my reasons. To be fair, I'd rather base my decisions on more concrete information. I like the looks of the new Chevy trucks and they have fixed the flaws that I critiqued on the GMT900's.
Time will tell.

I do prefer links and data. We've all encountered outrageous claims and manipulation on this site.

I hope gm beats ford and ram. the better they do, the less the gov't will own of them. btw this truck looks like it will get better mpg than either ram or for without 8 speeds, and turbos. seems like its impressive to me!

I would have to admit, when the renderings appeared in late Febraury, I had a 50/50 split reaction to the appearance, but look at GM's history with the Full-Size pick truck line, they have taken the evolutionary approach before, especially between the 1970's and 80's line-up, and though I don't drive one, the 2014 Mercedes S-Class is stunning to look at, but not a dramatic departure from the previous car it replaces, all automakers go through with this minimal exetrior upgrade trap, the Jeep Wrangler is certainly no stranger to evolutionary changes within the past few decades, even though it is praised by millions. In due time, once the new Silverado hits the streets, it will be well accepted as it has always been.

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