Here’s Why The Chevy Silverado And GMC Sierra Pickups Still Use A Whip Antenna59
The latest Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks ride on the GM T1 platform, the same basic architecture shared with General Motors’ line of next-generation full-size SUVs, including the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, 2021 Chevy Suburban, 2021 GMC Yukon, and 2021 Cadillac Escalade. However, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are still equipped with whip-style antennas, whereas the new SUVs are not, leading many GM Authority readers to wonder why. Now, we have the inside scoop from GM Vice President of global product programs, Tim Herrick.
In a recent interview with GM Authority executive editor Alex Luft, Herrick provided some insight into the antenna discrepancy between the Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra and GM’s full-size SUVs.
“The whip antenna is the best way for us to feed the [AM / FM] radio with signal,” Herrick told GM Authority. This is apparently particularly important for GM’s pickup customers, many of whom live in the countryside and prefer AM / FM radio.
“There are rural customers who buy a lot of trucks,” Herrick said.
Notably, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are equipped with both a whip-style antenna and a shark fin antenna, whereas the GM full-size SUVs are only equipped with shark fin antennas. It’s also worth noting that the all-new GMC Hummer EV does not come with a whip-style antenna.
GM Authority previously looked at the asymmetric placement of the shark fin on GM’s trucks and SUVs, which primarily comes down to vehicle assembly ergonomics.
Looking forward, the whip-style antenna is not necessarily a permanent fixture on the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, but according to Herrick, it’s the right choice for customers for now.
“Will it always be there? Probably one day it won’t. But that was something where we listened to the voice of the customer and they want the ability to get a signal,” Herrick told GM Authority.
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Aren’t the shark fins for XM, GPS, and cellular? I thought most cars with shark fin antennas had their AM/FM antennae in the rear windshield, rear windows, or side mirrors. I don’t think the shark fin has anything to do with this story.
Shark fins can have AM/FM as well, it all depends on the design. I think both VW/Audi and Ford had FM integrated at one point. It is true that that they still often use a diversity receive between the fin and glass antenna(s).
I hate the whip antenna. 1985 called. It wants its engineering back.
No problem with the whip antenna. I just wish GM would use a 6” version instead of having to buy an aftermarket replacement.
Or offer a shorter version as an accessory option. Hate that mine hits the garage frame every time.
Buy a better house.
That defeats the purpose of having a taller antenna. FM/AM signals work off line of sight, you are getting multiple miles of added coverage with a taller whip. You don’t like it just buy one of those small stubby bullet ones, many suburban dads do that with their amazon accounts. Those that are out in the country doing work aren’t shopping amazon and shouldn’t have to go buy a new antenna for added coverage because some suburban dad thinks it looks cooler at this kids soccer game.
Then how come gm offers an optional shorter whip antenna? Once again Nosense, you don’t know what your talking about!
The taller antennas definitely have better reception. My Silverado will pick up AM/FM signals much better than some cars I’ve driven that have the small shark fin antennas.
Proper reception of AM and FM relies not only on antenna placement and orientation, but also on the length of the antenna. The antenna must be sized based on a proportion of the frequency wavelength to effectively receive the signal. Cellular, GPS and satellite are higher frequencies, so a shorter antenna will work fine. FM and AM (particularly AM) have longer wavelengths and the mast must be longer to provide acceptable reception.
Put a shorter antenna mast on for looks if you want, but don’t complain that you get really cruddy performance out of the receiver…
Bingo. It’s not just about style.
FM Antenna length is more important than how high it is, FM Bands are already designed with wattage that is ideal for the curvature of the earth and run out of power at that range. The ideal length for the FM Band is 30 inches which utilizes the entire wavelength for those FM frequencies. Too long or too short hinder the reception, this is what GM is getting at.
Finally, someone that understands radio.
Some of us “suburban dads” are also real outdoorsman and do “real things” with their trucks, and don’t want whip antennas coming back and whipping the front windshield and breaking it when trudging through the trees. So do what you want, Mr. High&Mighty with your whip antenna, but I whipped mine right in the garbage for a more appropriate, shorter antenna so I don’t have to buy a new windshield when doing non-suburban-dad activities. Some of us also live in the modern age of digital music and don’t need an antenna all the time. But keep on with your keyboard warrior tactics, and let us all know when you crawl out of your one-perspective caveman mentality.
Great, now fix that cheap crappy interior! Mods, can you post this comment in all future threads until gm replaces interior so I don’t have to keep repeating myself.
Mods, can we block this kid that has no clue what he is talking about? The same repetitive broken record sentence from someone who has never used a truck for anything resembling truck duties in his life. Please get rid of this guy, he is collectively bringing down the IQ of every person, and not just the automotive IQ.
Shock (a tell tale sign of a video gamer), for the love of god drop it kid, you aren’t doing you or anyone any favors by saying the same irrelevant sentence post after post.
If shocks mom is reading this, please discipline your kid so he doesn’t grow up to be a skid mark on society…
But but the interior……(toxic shock & oh)..
1. They don’t need to fix the interiors. There is nothing wrong with them.
2. A scheduled update for the interior will come next year. It will keep these trucks fresh well into the future, not because they’re outdated or bad.
Hehe, then why are they doing it?
Is this really a question?
The truck has been out for three years. It’s time for some updates that will allow it to run another 3 (probably more) years. The same strategy applies to nearly every other GM vehicle.
Duuuh home boy. Thinking isn’t a strong suit for you, is it?
Tim Herrick is an idiot, I’ve heard too many ridiculous excuses from him about why GM’s trucks lag behind their competition.
Why is there no large sunroof? Because our customers didn’t ask for it…
Why such a large antennae? Because some customers listen to AM/FM…
In other words, lets design for the customers we have, not any of the new ones we want to get.
I wouldn’t call anyone that, but you do have a point.
If you ask only your own customers, you miss the people who are not your customers and why they didn’t buy your product.
If Henry Ford had asked people in early 19xx what they wanted for transportation, they would have said a faster horse.
That’s how we got the Aztec. Awful.
Let the designers do their thing and give them enough budget to be successful.
It’s because of all the DEVO fans on the GM Engineering Staff. They want to
“Whip it! Whip it good!”
It should have been mentioned that the whip antenna is the only way to ensure I won’t scrape the top of my truck in a garage! It already saved me once.
For years it was always true there was nothing better than 31.5 inches of stainless steel for great terrestrial radio reception.
I must be the only guy that doesn’t really care whether my car has a whip antenna or not.
It’s just that we’re not in 2021. There are better, more effective, and more attentive ways of doing things that were done before. Gm is all about the future and being modern and the triple zero vision, but they still use antiquated technology around which they create excuses.
When they introduced these trucks, they said that the devil is in the details. Having an antique piece of technology like the whip antenna goes totally against that.
But according to this very article, it’s a superior piece of technology.
OTOH, I don’t listen to the radio, so I don’t really care.
GM can’t change the laws of physics. Smaller the antenna versus the wavelength, the worse it works. There’s even a name: the Chu limit.
Your solution is to move to Europe where they are replacing FM with DAB operating at twice the frequency, or half the effective antenna size.
You’re not .
Whip it, whip it good!
Whip Antenna also serves as a clearance test. Its the highest point on the body so if you antenna is clear then you know its okay to proceed. If not stop and check before you cave in your roof.
Hey business team, why does your website serve the same add below the comments three different times, come up with three different ads please
GM pickups didn’t use whip antenna’s in 1985 Kate.
Yes they did.. Both my GMC 84 and my chevy K2500 1985 had a whip antenna on the right front fender.
I can remember when some cars had motor driven antennas that collapsed into the fender when not in use. The only problem I have with the tall antenna is when I go to the automated car wash. I have to remove the antenna so that it does not get broken. Due to the poor design, the stud can also break. If that happens then the entire antenna mount and cable has to be replaced. If the stud were attached to the antenna instead of the mount, then it might be possible to extract the broken stud and just replace the antenna rather than the mount and cable.
I admire GM for doing that because I removed my anntena and almost immediately lost signal in my area only around town I get signal. Now that I put it back on I get signal almost anywhere.
I like antenna balls 🤷🏿♂️
I had to replace my whip (2021 GMC Sierra base) with a 13″ tall antenna as it was getting caught/bending over on my overhead garage door. Did not have that problem with my ’99 GMC, as it had a much lower ride height.
My 2019 C7 gets great reception without the whip. My 2019 1500 does the same with a whip and I am way out in the country.So I guess the whip is for when you are really way out there.
The whip sure beats the infamous windshield antenna GM pioneered in the 70’s. It got horrible FM reception especially in hill/mountain areas. Lots of dealers installed whip antennas on these cars. Guessing engineers in flats of Detroit never saw that coming.
I never listen to AM-FM in my Tesla so no need for a whip.
No need for a whip on your Tesla. All you would end up with is a receiver overloaded with electrical noise from the drivetrain and controllers.
I get no interference in a Volt…?
Hahahaha I see what you did there…shot!!
I always have an electric vehicle 👍🏿
gm and ALL companies SHOULD listen to the voice of the Conservative customer who wants righteous AM radio FACTS not mainstream media LIES.
Well, at least you didn’t capitalize “gm”.