GM Goes To Great Lengths To Protect Pickups And Other Vehicles Shipped Overseas
Fussy tailors spend years honing their skills, learning how fabric draped on a body could be pinned, cut and sewn to protect the wearer and make a high-quality fashion statement.
But they also spend a lot of time and effort making single-use, custom-fitted car covers so the overseas buyer’s vehicle arrives just like it rolled off the GM assembly line.
The Corvette and Silverado/Sierra HD pickups are among those that receive such a loving touch.
In a collaboration with CoverCar, a unit of Italy-based Confezioni Andrea S.r.l., GM is creating easy-to-install-and-remove custom-fitted fabric covers, replacing the plastic wrap common to vehicle shipping.
Already stylish cars and trucks like the Corvette Stingray, Cadillac ELR electrified luxury coupe, the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD pickup trucks leave General Motors assembly plants in hand-made covers that fit like the finest tailored suits.
“These covers address an important part of the customer experience, ensuring that vehicles delivered thousands of miles away appear as though they just rolled off the assembly line,” said Noel Hunt, GM manager of international quality.
During a recent visit to Flint Assembly, Andrea Torelli, general manager and head of design for CoverCar, checked the fit of fabric around a rear wheel well on a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD before pinning in place a strap to hold the fabric snug to the vehicle.
Similar to crafting a fine suit, the Silverado’s cover was adorned with markings, indicating where the tailor needed to tuck, trim, pin or cut the fabric to ensure the vehicle would remain protected for its 7,000-mile trip from Flint to Dubai.
“GM and our dealers in Dubai and the wider Middle East region are delighted that the covers provide great protection not only during the shipping process but also against the unique environmental conditions we see here; namely sand,” said Maurice Williams, president and managing director, GM Middle East.
Hunt said export vehicles typically have a plastic film applied to protect them from scratches and dirt.
“The best solution is to custom-fit the covers for each model to ensure they stay factory fresh during a lengthy journey that spans weeks and includes time at port and on a ship,” Hunt said. The vehicles can still be driven with the custom covers in place.
Garzone equates the process to creating a package – or a suit in tailor terms – to protect each vehicle.
Hunt estimates that approximately 100,000 vehicles will use the custom-fit car covers.