In less than five seconds after the photos of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD line were released, you could hear one noise that rose from many, many voices in unison: “GAH!” We can be as nice about it as we want but sugarcoating the truth helps nobody…that is one unrealistically ugly snout on the new Silverado. I’ve tried my best to look at it in every positive light I can find and the closest thing I can come up with is that a designer looked at the first generation C/K truck (1960-66) and did their best to bring that nose back in a modern-appearing manner. And Chevrolet is fully aware of the kickback…after being asked by Autoblog about the reactions that the design evoked from the general public, Silverado marketing manager Hugh Milne had this to say: “How much of that reaction is from people who actually buy these trucks? I read all that stuff, I hear about all that. All of our research that we ever did on this, we’re talking to Heavy Duty buyers of all brands. This front end and this design over the top was one of our best-ranked designs.”
While there will be plenty to say about GM and their focus groups (and the bad results that come out of them every now and then) what needs to be addressed on the whole is the truck market in general. The workhorses are also playtoys. The basic rig has now kicked the crap out of the sedan, the minivan and only begrudgingly shares driveways with sport-utility vehicles. This worship of trucks is almost ridiculous anymore…you need to have the most torque, the highest payload, and need to be able to tow around your own personal fuel station without thinking twice. Tell me how nearly three million people in 2017 can argue about how they need the top-tier J2807 towing ability for their around-town duties, or how a $90,000 truck that can’t haul a 53-foot trailer behind it is useful to anything except ego? Trucks get bigger and gaudier every few years and have done so since about the year 2000. The new Ford Ranger is selling so well that Ford is adding additional shifts to meet demand. FCA is considering jumping into the midsize market themselves.
The work truck is now the “fleet sales” truck. The top models look like Cadillacs, Lincolns and Imperials inside. The mid-size truck compares to a full-size from a couple of decades ago in sales. So, where would you start making changes if you were in charge for a day?