General Motors’ full-size trucks are undisputedly its most important vehicles, which means recently appointed full-size truck engineer, Sheri Hickok, occupies one of the most important positions within the company. The 37-year old mother of two was appointed to the position in December, and now faces the daunting task of developing the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
According to Automotive News, Hickok is already looking at clay models of the next-generation trucks and discussing the ever-important mix of materials to be used in order to make the trucks lighter and thus more efficient. She’s even sat down with marketers on how they will advertise the trucks’ features.
It may seem like Hickok is making some early moves, but AN says it’s necessary if she wants the trucks to arrive on time and on budget. She’s obviously remaining tight-lipped on the details, but industry experts say the new full-size pickups will arrive in late 2018 or early 2019.
Hickok is smart to watch her tongue, as few segments are as competitive as full-size pickups. She did say she’s taking a trip to a certain state in order to sit in on focus groups and chat with prospective truck buyers, but she wouldn’t specify which one, only saying she’s “buying cowboy boots.”
“I’m not a traditional truck driver, so to me that process will be really powerful,” Hickok told AN in a statement. “The guy who owns the construction business, what does he need out of his truck? It’s probably going to be something very different from what I would want. We need to channel the customer the whole time.”
Hickok has held numerous important engineering roles at GM. She led operations at GM’s noise and vibration center at Milford, served as chief engineer on the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS and was the executive director of global supplier quality. Those were all rather short stints compared to the full-size pickup role, which she hopes to stay in until the trucks’ launch.
“That’s the plan,” she told AN. “The goal would be to launch this.”