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Next-Gen Silverado, Sierra Will Have Better Seats Thanks to Better Supplier Contracts

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A front 40/20/40 split-bench seat and 60/40 rear folding bench seat are standard for the 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500

The interior of the current-gen Chevy Silverado 1500

In anticipation of the launch of its new full-size truck program—codenamed T1XX—General Motors is looking to get a jump on ensnaring suppliers a full three years ahead of production in order to incentivize inclusivity in development and create stronger relationships.

Automotive News reports that GM is offering lucrative contracts to suppliers that reflect its desire to adapt more quickly to changing demand and build lasting relationships with the companies building its parts. According to the report, contracts are being drawn up to cover up to two production cycles, and some suppliers are being offered no-bid contracts.

An example would be Lear Corp., whose seating division chief, Ray Scott, told Auto News that it has already begun working with General Motors in the effort of designing the seats that will adorn the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. These trucks are not expected to hit the market until 2018, which means that Lear Corp. has more flexibility and input when it comes to the overall design process.

The result has been a collaborative effort that has helped cut the vehicle’s curb weight and cost that would otherwise be lost with a more rigid development schedule.

“It basically allowed us to build a crafted seat,” Scott said. “You’re in prior to everything being defined. So you can really influence the craftsmanship, the integration, the design and mass, and cost.”

Because of this innovative contract approach, the T1XX pickup trucks will have better seats and cost less money to manufacture than those used in the K2XX Silverado/Sierra, according to GM purchasing chief Steve Kiefer.

The next-gen Silverado and Sierra—and their cost-/weight-/butt-friendlier seats—are expected to hit the market by the latter half of 2018.

News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)