The Man in Charge
Rick Spina: GM's Global Leader for Full-Size Trucks
With almost 20 years of experience with the GM truck group, Rick Spina, the new global vehicle line executive for full-size trucks, knows birthing a new heavy-duty pickup is no easy task. "We've got a chance with this new truck to do something special, and give our customers more of what they like," he says. Of course, that doesn't come without significant challenges, especially with so much riding on every decision. "We know we're being watched pretty closely and everyone wants to see how we're spending our money...but the truth is the loan from the government has forced us to scrutinize every single dollar. We have to make sure every change will give our customers what they want." We're guessing that's why the new Silverado HD and Sierra HD work trucks won't have a lot of interior or exterior styling changes. "We put all of our efforts, all of our resources into making the platform of this truck better, stronger, stiffer in every way. We had to ask ourselves at every stage--where can we give our truck guy the biggest bang for his buck?" Rick describes his team's process as if he was part of a remodeling crew, improving the foundation and beam supports to a house.
Sure, all the bracing and supports in the basement may not be the sexiest part of the house, but when the bad weather hits, you'll be glad you had it done. And from the looks of it, the same strategy could work pretty well with the new Chevy and GMC HD trucks. At least that's what Rick Spina is hoping for. He finishes our interview by saying, "Most of our truck guys know all the real sexy stuff is under the skin anyway."--Mark Williams