General Motors believes that for far too long, the trailer has been viewed as this mystery black box that’s just linked up to the truck, and off the two of them go, with no understanding of each other, according to a Trailer Body Builders report.

So, GM formed partnerships with the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), tested trucks and trailers together, and developed focus areas for future products to make it a smarter experience and provide more safety and security for customers.

“We know that trucks are important to GM, and that trailering is important to our customers, so trailering is equally important to us,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, chief engineer of the next generation of full-size heavy-duty truck at General Motors. “At GM, we put the customer at the center of everything we do. We know that in order to put them there, we need to understand how they’re using their vehicles and what they want out of their trucks.

“We have formed partnerships with NATM and RVIA, and we want to continue to build those relationships because we share customers. We know not every truck customer is a trailer customer, but pretty much every trailer customer is a truck customer.”

She said that when GM talks to its work truck customers, fleet and commercial buyers, and luxury pickup buyers, the conversation invariably turns to towing.

“They want to be able to hitch easier and want to see better,” she said. “We constantly hear frustration from customers relative to hitching. They need a second person with them to direct them as they’re trying to hook up the unit. Now you probably think GM is a vehicle manufacturer. And we are. But we’re also in the business of saving marriages. How can we make hitching for one man or one woman operational?”

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