Now it’s time to turn our attention toward the young, up-and-coming General Motors engineer that developed the convenient new console: 26-year-old Alex Archer.
Archer recently sat down with The Detroit Free Press to talk about the new power-sliding center console and how she developed it. The southern California native was tasked with developing the console two years ago, when she was just 24, and was given just 36 months to make it a reality.
“They told us to please come up with this invention because we want to incorporate it in our next big SUVs,” explained Archer.
Archer told the Free Press that her relative inexperience (she was just two years out of college when her bosses approached her about the power-sliding center console) made her a good fit for the job, as such a console design was also a first for General Motors.
“They know I’m learning,” said Archer. “They needed someone willing to ask a lot of questions because this was something we’d never done before, no one had done it before, so there was no one to benchmark.”
The young engineer wasn’t the only person who worked on the console, of course. While she was the only member of the team that saw the development through from start to finish, many others also helped bring it to fruition.
“It took a ton of people, I’m just somebody who stuck with it the whole time,” she explained. “There were electrical folks that helped us, designers, tooling, engineers and beyond that because you have to make sure you’re hitting all your milestones.”
Archer also revealed to the Free Press that her desire to work for General Motors was driven in-part by her respect for company CEO Mary Barra and her dedication to electric and autonomous vehicles. Her grandpa, a fellow car enthusiast and her mentor, was a Ford guy, but Barra’s work ultimately flipped her to the GM camp.
“[Barra’s efforts] really resonated with me,” Archer said. “When it came to picking my job, it came down to Ford and GM and it ultimately came down to the CEO.”
Archer’s power-sliding center console will be available on high-end trim levels of the Tahoe and Silverado in addition to Yukon and Yukon XL. You can see the console in action in the video embedded below.