In the world of trucks, there are certain brands that just stick out above the rest. While any truck owner will have his or her own favorite manufacturer, quite often, the name Chevrolet comes up in truck aficionado circles. Along with other brands like Ford and Toyota, Chevy has made its own mark on truck design and manufacturing time and time again. More importantly, its history, dating back decades of development, has given modern Chevy trucks a unique advantage in a very competitive modern market.
What makes the Chevy truck so special? This is a question that has led many new and returning customers to explore the unique offerings this brand has in its lineup. Best of all, it is a question that will give you further insight into how Chevy approaches truck design when answering it. In other words, to know what makes a Chevy truck so special, you need to know how much time and dedication each Chevy designer spends on a single model.
The Drawing Board
All vehicles, both large and small, begin in the same place: on paper or a computer screen. New car design ideas come from creativity and inspiration. Companies like Chevy pay designers good money to think of the latest and greatest trends, features, and overall styles that will define the current or next generation of their cars and trucks.
Every single Chevy truck that has ever existed started from the same place. This is the step where creative ideas run wild. There are very few limitations when it comes to what designers can think of and imagine before real-world challenges begin to reign in the possibilities. These days, technology has made this process even more imaginative since computers make it easy to design and redesign different models at the same time in a quick and effective manner.
All you have to do is look at Chevy concept cars to truly appreciate what can be born from this process. Decades of future-looking vehicles with a hint of grounded realism have demonstrated how Chevy likes to dream ahead while staying rooted in the present. This gives them a way of developing new ideas for their vehicles without getting into the territory of unrealistic possibilities.
As a new Chevy truck comes to life on paper or screen, dedicated designers and engineers take over to begin making the idea into a reality.
The Development Process
No vehicle is developed overnight. Quite often, new generations of new and popular lineups take years to fully flesh out before they are ready for the market. This research and development process is crucial to having a successful vehicle lineup and is one of the key ingredients Chevy has to put their vehicles above the competition.
Research and development often starts small-scale. Designers and engineers will make models, often smaller versions of what will eventually become the real thing, to test certain features and specifications out. As they do, changes and refinements are made to better the design overall before such alterations get more expensive.
At some point, the time to go large scale arrives. The first prototype models are made of a new truck like the Colorado or Silverado. These prototypes will be the accumulation of all the research and discovery that has been made up to that point. Beyond this point, further refinements will be made as the vehicle goes through real-world testing. Crash testing, in particular, is an extremely important component of this process since the designers and engineers will have to make any changes necessary to keep their vehicle safe for all occupants.
Eventually, this phase will reach the point of being production ready. A new truck in Chevy’s lineup will often have the hype and advertising to match the monumental occasion a new generation truly represents.
Introducing a Chevy Truck Into the World
There is no definitive guide or point when Chevy designers know their truck is ready. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of meeting deadlines and project schedules to stay on task. Other times, after enough development and testing, they know they have a good product to introduce into the world. However it comes to be, when a Chevy truck reaches full production, the influence of this new addition is felt in the automotive industry.
You can often see this in trade shows such as Sema each year. Showing off the latest and greatest in truck design, manufacturing, and accessories, this kind of show is often the first introduction new models and generations experience. As a result, a company like Chevy will spend a lot of money to make sure the first introductory event is a memorable one.
The first time a Silverado or Colorado was introduced to the world, it was a spectacular event. After an initial introduction, word begins to spread through media communication about the contribution the new model generation may have. It is also the time where the new design begins to face the pressure and judgment of public opinion.
No truck is perfect, meaning any design defects and flaws or general disadvantages to the new model will quickly be discovered and discussed. This is just a natural process of a vehicle’s development. Chevy may go back and make notes for changes in future model years or tailor existing trims and packages to better fit what customers expect. Either way, this last step of trial-by-fire gives a company like Chevy the feedback it needs to continue to refine the quality of their vehicles.
At some point, the hype over any new Chevy truck begins to subside. The new and unique model becomes mundane. Millions of copies begin to appear on the roads. Eventually, the new model will even become outdated and replaced by something even newer.
This is the lifecycle of a typical Chevy truck that true automotive enthusiasts embrace. While it may be sad to think that a new truck is a temporary status, it is an important part of the overall growth of the industry. Without changing new advancements, automotive design would not continue to improve. It would become stale and stagnant to the point where vehicles of all shapes and sizes would be useless.
Continuing to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, is how companies like Chevy continue to push the envelope, so automotive design progresses more and more into the future.