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Vehicle Development Process

Earning Customers for Life

Customer satisfaction speaks to what we believe as a company. Customers trust GM brands, operations and dealers around the world to provide them with quality products that can help their families stay safe.

Today, we are more focused on this responsibility than at any other time in our history. We put customers at the center of everything we do so they are not only loyal to our brands and products, but also recommend them to others. Everything we do is grounded in an intent to deliver the highest possible levels of product quality. Our brands, products and services aim for benchmarks in studies measuring quality and consumer satisfaction. Accordingly, our focus on product quality aligns the entire company with the goal of exceeding customer expectations and providing customers with the best overall experience.

Vehicle Development Process

This focus on the customer defines how we develop, engineer and manufacture our vehicles with quality and durability goals in mind, starting with the vehicle development process. We harness customer feedback from global markets to help shape our customers’ product experience, using our GM Compass customer survey to gather preferences on a variety of issues—from performance and efficiency to how people interact with their vehicles. We also are continually refining our vehicle development processes to help deliver products our customers want that meet their expectations for quality, safety and performance. Our Global Vehicle Development Process includes explicit steps to improve safety and quality assurance.

Building a Quality-Focused Culture

The Global Vehicle Development Process is rooted in a cultural commitment to design, engineer and build quality vehicles. Building upon GM’s “Who We Are” and “How We Behave” foundational statements, employees are committed to a goal of delivering quality as a value supported by key initiatives and behaviors. This commitment is supported by three elements:

  1. Product Safety, which in recent years has been enhanced through several organizational changes, including the formation of a Global Safety, Systems and Integration organization, the restructuring of our global vehicle safety and safety field investigation processes, as well as implementation of our Speak Up For Safety program, Prevent Repeat Defect process and Safety Incident Protocol.
  2. Systems Engineering, which is applied to our processes through an organization that defines functional content, assigns function ownership and uses a new IT-based system to help map, flow and trace requirements across our complex systems network.
  3. Quality Chain, which is an interconnected system of tools and methods that illustrates required collaboration and drives visibility into how design, systems and process failure modes can be mitigated. This helps drive enterprisewide engagement so all issues can be corrected across all systems and processes.

Each element is interdependent, enterprisewide and designed to be sustained over the long term to facilitate the learning, practice and perfecting that are required to achieve a quality-focused culture.

Our Global Product Development function has translated GM’s vision of quality into values and behaviors that are meaningful for employees. These behaviors include a focus on product safety, which we strengthen with continuous improvement in our Global Product Integrity organization, the Speak Up For Safety system and a restructured safety field investigation process. We reinforce these behaviors through the Mark of Customer Excellence (MoCE) award, which recognizes GM employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico who go above and beyond to live our cultural values and create amazing experiences for our customers. The award honors moments that can happen at any time, from work in the office on a project to out in one’s community.

We are also emphasizing systems engineering companywide. This requires all people to practice the discipline of systems thinking, understanding how their individual roles contribute to the bigger picture, rather than thinking in silos. Related to systems thinking is our quality chain construct. GM has quality tools that work as interconnected processes and cross system and organizational boundaries. Using these tools together is helping us build discipline into our process for identifying and addressing failure modes.

These product development-centric elements are foundational and complemented by our Launch Excellence initiative. The initiative uses an Affinity Diagram to help teams focus on what must be true in terms of process and discipline to successfully navigate vehicle development.