With over a century of engineering excellence, General Motors’ builds outstanding vehicles. From creating iconic nameplates such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban to the GMC Yukon and Terrain, GM have consistently demonstrated the ability to revolutionize mobility and technology, and plan to be leader in re-envisioning the landscape for years to come.
This success spans the globe and part of this is rooted in the brands’ deep understanding of the unique environment and terrain, as well as the nuanced needs of customers, wherever in the world they are. Before launching a vehicle in this region, GM Africa and Middle East put it through extensive and rigorous evaluation to ensure that the vehicle performs as expected against the Middle East’s conditions. Be it terrain or climate, the local evaluation process ensures that GM and its vehicle brands continue to earn the badge of engineering excellence.
“We are proud of our portfolio across the globe and while our vehicles are thoroughly tested in the US, the unique Middle East terrain is different. For example, desert sand in the region tends to be softer and looser, providing a different off-road experience than in California or Arizona,” said Daniel Oden, Regional Quality Manager, GM Africa and Middle East. “Before we launch a vehicle in market, we execute a program tailored around each vehicle, with on-road and off-road evaluation, where relevant, covering thousands of kilometers to ensure that our vehicles not only meet but surpass our local customers’ expectations. The all-new Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 and the all-new GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate have accumulated over 100,000 KM of road test each, to be certain they are primed for launch later this year.”
From A to ZR2 – how Chevy evaluates off-road mastery
The first-ever Silverado ZR2 drives into the flagship position of Chevy Trucks’ factory-lifted off-road lineup, offering race-proven off-road performance. The all-new ZR2’s off-road prowess has been tested thoroughly: from the sand dunes and tracks in Michigan to the challenging rock crawl trails in Utah and mountains of Tennessee, to the desert in Arizona and California and now in the challenging terrain of the Iftar Bowl, Dubai and other popular wadi and desert terrains of the UAE.
The all-new ZR2’s suspension upgrades, enhanced off-road technology and exterior enhancements were developed to optimize off-road performance and capability through key features, such as electrically locking differentials, increased approach angles, protective skid plates and Multimatic DSSV dampers, payload, and towing capacity.
The local GM Quality Team ensure a thorough review of all the new Silverado ZR2 features across a three month, in-country evaluation program, to ensure they perform well in the Middle East. The Quality Team ensure that the protective skid plate defends the underbody from inevitable bumps and scrapes from off-road adventures and that the dual exhaust, which has been tucked into the rear bumper, is properly protected against local terrain. Likewise, the impressive 31.8-degree approach angle is evaluated across sand dunes and wadi beds.
Critical requirements for an off-road vehicle are A/C performance and powertrain cooling due to the extreme temperatures in the Middle East. During local quality drives and off-road evaluations, the GM Quality Team records, tracks and analyses A/C and engine cooling data via thermocouples and vehicle software. This data is then analyzed, and any issues are identified reported back to engineering teams in the US.
New peak in premium capability – The All-New GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate by GM
The first-ever Sierra Denali Ultimate trim is the most advanced and most luxurious Sierra ever, taking the popular Denali sub-brand to an even higher threshold of capable luxury.
Unique exterior styling cues and exclusive interior trim and features are complemented with more standard equipment — including the segment exclusive CarbonPro composite cargo box, offering one of the best-in-class short-bed cargo volume — to set a new standard for premium truck buyers who want to reward themselves. To ensure a smooth and comfortable ride, the GM Quality Team use NVH and Road Compliance to evaluate the suspension compliance to ensure a smooth ride on tarmac and over speedbumps.
For the first time, General Motors Middle East unveils the behind the scenes of a local evaluation day – watch the footage here.
During the evaluation, the GM Quality Team ensure that the interior enhancements go beyond aesthetics, to provide a 360 premium driver experience. Using NVH and Road Compliance tests, the team evaluate the noise produced by the pick-up, looking for squeaks, rattles and road feedback, to ensure the luxurious interior is not drowned out by loud noises in the cabin.
One of the most important evaluations to deliver a premium and capable experience is streamlined tech integration. The all-new GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate will launch with Google built-in, offering Voice Assistant, Embedded Navigation and in-vehicle applications, to enhance the overall customer experience and make it easier than ever for customers to bring their digital lives into future connected vehicles. During evaluation, the GM Quality Team ensure that the features are fully integrated, allowing seamless use of Google technology such as apps, connected maps and navigation, voice assistant, but also with the vehicle’s features such as articulated running boards, Head-Up Display and more. Tech advancements such as Google Built-In are designed to enhance the customer experience and therefore lags, or incomplete circuits will impact the premium experience.
Ensuring that the Google Built-In system is localized to the market and communicates clearly in Arabic for an optimized performance is an essential evaluation to do in the region. Poor localization of touchpoints, especially in Arabic, undermine the premium experience that General Motors Is committed to providing for drivers in the region and therefore this is one of the essential tests the Quality Team runs ahead of launch.
General Motors has been pioneering the future of mobility for over a century, channeling innovation, and engineering excellence into every new project. Delivering against an ambidextrous regional business strategy, General Motors has consistently demonstrated ability to revolutionize mobility and technology, whilst growing and expanding its core business of delivering world-class cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Once the capabilities of these trucks have been proven beyond doubt, the new Chevrolet Silverado and new GMC Sierra line-ups will be available in showrooms July 2022. More details will be shared once the vehicles are official launched in market, so watch this space!