Chevrolet marked a milestone as it celebrated 100 years of Chevy pickups on December 16 for a centennial celebration. At the Texas Motor Speedway, the brand invited loyal owners for exclusive access to the event, and even showed off the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado for the first time.
Loyalty was a common phrase tossed around after 100 years of Chevy trucks, and executives believe it will propel the Silverado to continued success in the future. Automotive News spoke with a couple of Chevrolet executives who provided their thoughts on the Silverado’s loyal customers and what it means to be a “Chevy guy or gal.” Ask owners and they conjure a few thoughts on Chevy pickups: it’s tradition, family and a disdain for Ford.
Alan Batey, GM North America President, phrased the blunt owner comments a different way.
“The loyalty is really at the heart of everything we want to do,” he said. “Everything we’re doing is to build the most loyal customers we can in the industry, because it’s just the right thing for our business.”
And GM has everything to lose in the pickup truck segment. The vehicles are a major source of profits for the automaker and accounted for more than 30 percent of its U.S. sales in 2017. Combining GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado sales, the figure strips Ford of its best-selling truck title, and GM is on track to sell over 900,000 pickups this year alone.
One of the small tokens of appreciation Chevrolet introduced for its loyal customers is the Truck Legends program. The program launched nationwide earlier this year and allows owners of Chevy trucks with more than 100,000 miles—or owners who have bought or leased more than two trucks in their lifetime—to gain exclusive access to events and merchandise. According to Sandor Piszar, Chevy trucks marketing director, the program has over 30,000 members now.
“It’s really surpassed our expectations,” he said. “There’s certainly a business aspect to it … but it’s a great opportunity to hear their voice, what are they interested in … and just to recognize their loyalty to the brand. That’s really invaluable for us.”